The Rev. Dr. Edwin Jones, pastor at Bright Star United Methodist Church, will be retiring from a career of service to the United Methodist Church effective June 30, 2021.
Pastor Edwin began his career as a Sunday School Superintendent, which commenced after serving as the President of the Soccer Union in his high school in South Africa. Soon after his first role in the United Methodist denomination, he went on to serve in other leadership capacities, such as Devotional Secretary for his youth group. He later attended the National Youth Leadership Training Program in 1970, giving a year of his life, and then returned to teach in the program a year later. In 1971, he led the South African Youth Delegation / World Methodist Conference in Denver, CO and worked for the Board of Global Ministries as a youth coordinator in Louisville, KY. He graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology/Psychology, received a Master of Theology degree from Boston University and a Doctor of Ministries Degree from Drew University, NJ.
He worked at his first church as a probationary minister in Kimberley, South Africa where he served over 1,000 congregation members as well as several smaller churches to which he held pastoral charge. This was also where he planned and supervised the building of the Aldersgate Methodist church with no debt accumulated. This was where Edwin started to challenge the congregation to be more entrepreneurial and to start building investment savings into its day to day processes. He served this church for seven years, and it was during that time frame that he was ordained and charged by the Bishop at his ordination to “Be an Ambassador for Christ”.
He later returned to his home church in Johannesburg, South Africa where he served as the Circuit Superintendent of 8 churches and raised money for their Meals on Wheels program through contacts in London and Germany. During this time, he attended the Haggai Institute for World Evangelism in Singapore and several years later was assigned by the Methodist Church of South Africa to facilitate the cross-conference partnership that their conference had with the New England Conference.
During that time, he was also assigned to serve as the guest pastor of the Broadway United Methodist Church in Lynn, MA. His responsibility was to visit all the five states in Southern New England to develop the partner relationships that the local churches had with churches in South Africa. Soon after beginning his tenure in Lynn, MA, he was called to address their financial deficit to avoid financial disaster to the church. While in New England, he attended several Walk to Emmaus events and served as a spiritual director on several of these Emmaus weekends. He was soon assigned to serve the church in Warwick, Rhode Island where he also served on the RI Council of Churches.
Years later, he transferred to the New York Annual Conference where his lovely wife, Una, pursued her interest in working for the Board of Global Ministries and where he was assigned to serve the York Town Heights Methodist Church. In the New York Annual Conference, he served on both the District and the Annual Conference Boards of Ordained Ministries, and it was during this time that he enrolled to study for his Doctor of Ministry degree, while enrolling with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation.
He was soon assigned to serve the United Methodist Church in New Canaan, Connecticut where he enrolled in the Westchester Institute for Psychoanalysis to pursue his interest in pastoral psychotherapy. While serving the church in New Canaan, he raised $500,000 for the HELP Institute in Cape Town, South Africa.
When Una heard that the Board of Global Ministries was going to relocate to Atlanta, GA, Edwin requested a transfer and was assigned to the Bright Star United Methodist Church in Douglasville, GA. Here at Bright Star UMC, Pastor Edwin has excelled at community outreach in many ways. He joined the Chamber of Commerce where he has participated in the Leadership Program. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club and served as its president for 2 years. He is also serving on the Douglas County United Way Board, is a participate in the Partners of Education Program here in Douglas County, and serves on the Superintendent of Schools Interfaith Clergy Committee. His greatest joy here at Bright Star UMC has been to bring the Drive-Thru Mobile Food Pantry to our church and community.
Pastor Edwin has worked diligently to decrease the church debt and, with the support of our members and leadership, has raised close to $200,000, in addition to opening an investment account to assist the church in increasing their monetary freedom to reach the community and make disciples of Christ. He and Una are excited to see what retirement will bring, and only God knows what they will be up to next!
We wish you a happy retirement with sincere appreciation for your faithful service, your friendship, and the difference you have made in the lives of so many. You will always be remembered.
Now, as you start the next chapter of your life, rejoice in your accomplishments with a future filled with blessings of good health, the joy of good friends, a loving family, and the contentment of a job well done!