On Monday, February 22, 2021, our gracious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ called home our beloved Reverend Dr. Wilbur Rea Jones to eternal rest. Pastor Jones was a great man of God, servant, wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend to many he met along the way. His life was an example of Christ’s love and forgiveness in ways too numerous to describe. His charity towards his family, flock, and the community was boundless. God truly blessed Pastor Jones with many gifts and talents which he used daily in the preaching of God’s Word, the administration of the Church, and life in general. He was a kind man and generous with all that God blessed him with. He shared his time, wealth, and abundance. We will not forget his distribution to his children, other family, and church members of paper products during Christmas; the picking of pears, apples, peaches, grapes from his fruit trees and vines; and the distribution of many vegetables from his garden. We will not forget how much he enjoyed bike riding all through and beyond the Hampton Roads area. We will not forget his love of the outdoors for working, gardening, and recreation. Surely we will remember his love for horseshoes of which he and his son Charles won several trophies at our Family and Friends Day picnics. We will remember his love for softball and how he was always chosen first or second during the selection of teams and took his rightful place at the pitcher’s mound. His smile, humor, and love will remain with us and we will forever cherish this truly anointed and spirit-filled man of God.
Not capable of summarizing all of Pastor Wilbur R. Jones’ life on this earth, below is a glimpse of his heritage, affiliations, and legacy.
One of seven children, Pastor Wilbur R. Jones was born on August 22, 1934, to the late James and Elsie Jones of Grafton, Virginia. Pastor Jones attended Grafton School, Yorktown Training School, and The Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind. Although he never graduated from high school and possessing a strong desire to do so, he learned of a program through the City of Hampton that would allow older citizens to pursue and achieve a high school diploma. At the age of 65, he returned to school and graduated from Hampton High School. Thereafter, he continued his education at Thomas Nelson Community College. Later, Pastor Jones was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity Degree from Canaan Theological Seminary, Hampton, VA.
At an early age, Pastor Jones accepted Christ attended Grafton Baptist Church-Harris Grove, Yorktown, Virginia, along with his mother and sisters. As a young man, Pastor Jones was called by God into his ministry and began preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the region. Pastor Jones was the founder of The Lighthouse, a prayer and praise meeting house located in Grafton, Virginia, where many souls found Jesus and others preached their initial sermon. To be united with his then-wife and children, he joined Zion Prospect Baptist Church, Tabb, Virginia, where he was ordained and served as Assistant Pastor. In 1976, Reverend Wilbur R. Jones was called to serve as Pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church, Hampton, Virginia and remained so until his retirement in 2012 after 36 years of service.
Reverend Jones married the former Gloria Delores Barkers on June 24, 1955. They were fortunate to share 54 years of marriage before God called Sis. Gloria Jones home on November 20, 2009. This union was blessed with seven children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
On November 3, 2012, he married his “New Edition” Annie Lofton. From this union, two children were added to the family flock. Affectionately called Ms. Annie, she has been a loving and devoted wife; caring for her husband in all things and protective over him in every way.
Pastor Jones was an active member of Morning Star Baptist Church, The United Christian Brotherhood, Ministers Coalition of Hampton and Vicinity, and the NAACP Life Member until his illness prevented him from doing so. He also regularly attended the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference.
In addition to those already mentioned, Pastor Jones was also preceded in death by his son, Donald Jones of York County, VA, granddaughter, Bridgette Jones of Hampton, VA, brother, Charles Jones of York County, VA, and sister, Annie Harrod of Buffalo, New York.
He is survived by and leaves to cherish wonderful memories, his wife, Annie Jones of Newport News, VA; children, Wilbur L Jones of Hampton, Rev. James Jones (Josette) of Raeford, NC, Barbara Jones, Yorktown, Pamela Jones and Tonya Smith-Ball, both of Hampton, Charles Jones (Elayna) of Yorktown, Lolita Brooks and Andre Brooks, both of Newport News; 15 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; sisters, Dorothy Walton of Newport News, Elsie Williams (Otto) of Smithfield, Eleanor Cooke (Herman) of Hampton, and Ruth McKeller (Charles) of Gloucester; sisters-in-law, Joan Jones of Gloucester, Ruth Dixon (Thomas) of Newport News, and Nola Cheseman of Hampton; godchildren, Marcus Calabrese and LaAntoinette Camm; and a host of nieces, nephews, the Barkers’ Family, other relatives, and friends.
A Homegoing service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 27, 2021, at Morning Star Baptist Church, 2717 N. Armistead Ave, Hampton. COVID restrictions will be observed with limited seating. Livestream will be available at the start of the service. A viewing will be held on Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., in the church.
Professional services entrusted to the staff of Whiting’s Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185. 757-229-3011 whitingsfuneralhome.com
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