Worldwide Evangelism Dream Fulfilled
Growing up amid the hardscrabble farms and poverty of east Texas in the 1940s and early 1950s proved tough for anybody. But when Doyle Glynn Jones, the youngest of six children, lost his father to murder at age 3, life became desperate.
“Dad gambled some,” Jones says. “He might have been killed over gambling debts. They never found the killers.”
Three older brothers struck out on their own over the ensuing years, each falling prey to drink. Indeed, readily available alcohol became a problem at the humble family farmhouse at the end of a dirt road.
“I got drunk the first time when I was 10,” he recalls with a sigh.
The boy’s future looked dim. Then a woman from an Assemblies of God church in nearby San Augustine asked his mother if she could load the 11-year-old Jones and his sisters into the back of her pickup truck for Sunday services.
“I got saved and then baptized in the Spirit,” Jones recalls. “I went every Sunday to church with that lady. The pastor there challenged the young people to memorize the titles of the books of the Bible. I did, and the prize was a Bible. I read it through in a year.”
Still at age 11, Jones says a dream eventually would lead him into an international ministry of preaching and planting more than 50 churches in 20 different countries, primarily in Latin America, as well as in Africa and India.
“In the dream, there was a party at our house with music and dancing and people arriving, but with no place to park,” remembers Jones, now 75. “They were driving off a cliff and I was screaming, trying to stop them. One lady waved at me as she went over the precipice; that’s when I woke up.”
The message of the nightmarish vision became prophetic for the young man. “I knew I must stop people from going to hell,” Jones says. “That was my first indication of a calling to the ministry.”
At 18, having saved money from his work as a machinist apprentice, Jones enrolled at Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) in Waxahachie, Texas. Even before graduation, Jones preached in summer revival services; his work as an itinerant evangelist expanded upon ordination at age 23. He joined a three-month crusade to Africa two years later, which further fanned the flames of evangelism.
His first church plant came in 1972 in Paraguay, the fruit of weeks of evangelistic meetings punctuated by salvation decisions for Christ and healing miracles — both of which would come to characterize his ensuing decades of ministry.
In 1974, he married Cherie, a Louisiana pastor’s daughter who became his partner in evangelism. The couple had two sons, Donovan and Nathan, who also became preachers, with Nathan now a missionary in London.
But the Joneses — who returned to SAGU in 1991 for what would be a 14-year stint during which he earned his doctorate in ministry and served as director of missions at the school — also have a brood of spiritual children sharing the gospel abroad.
Among them is Chad Germany and his wife, Angela, who served as missionaries in India for 10 years. At Germany’s invitation, the Joneses arrived in 2009 to spend six weeks of prayer, preaching, and visiting homes that culminated in planting a church in the southern Indian city of Madurai.
“I saw how the Word of God produced faith in the heart of those who heard the message,” Germany tells AG News. “I saw Hindus and Muslims turn from idolatry to worship Jesus Christ alone. And we saw a church established that remains vibrant and active in ministry today.” That church has sent several students to Bible school who are now serving in ministry. Germany, inspired by Jones’ ministry model, has overseen planting seven additional churches in other Indian locales.
Longtime Assemblies of God world missionary Nathan Alfaro credits working with Jones during a 1993 church plant in El Salvador with his own decision to conduct similar work in Nicaragua.
“After those six weeks in El Salvador, I knew I would be doing that the rest of my life,” says Alfaro, who went on to launch 18 congregations — five of them partnering with his mentor’s Doyle Jones Ministries — over the past 24 years. Jones says he has no retirement plans.
Tiffany Mares attended SAGU when she joined Jones for her first mission trip: a church planting in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2001.
“Through his ministry thousands have been healed, saved, and filled with the Holy Spirit all around the world,” Mares says. Today, Mares is a full-time missionary in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Through her Via Love International nonprofit organization, more than 100 children are being fed, receiving free dental care, and learning about the Christian faith.
“I'm so thankful for what God used him to plant in me all those years ago,” Mares says.