At the age of 26, Michael P. Jones is settling in as a new pastor.
He entered the ministry July 25, 2010 and was called to be the pastor of Pigot Branch Missionary Baptist Church in Long County on Feb. 27, 2011.
Before that, he served with the youth ministry at Poplar Head Baptist Church in Long County for eight years.
A native of Tattnall County, Jones said he is excited about his new assignment.
“My vision for the church is to carry out the great commission of spreading the good news, preaching the gospel and telling people about the love of Christ. We want to become more visible in the community,” he said.
“We are experiencing church growth and some of the old members are returning. The church has an average Sunday morning attendance of 70-75 with approximately 50 members at the evening service and 30-35 in Bible study,” Jones said.
“The people at Pigot Branch are full of love. As soon as you walk in the door, you are family. They are very warm, spirited people who are eager to learn and love.”
The pastor and his congregation even take their faith on the road occasionally.
“As part of our evangelism outreach, we hold services at the nursing home in Glennville. At the Sweet Onion Festival, we gave out water and some Christian tracts,” he said.
Jones said the church plans to start hosting a Friday youth night and vacation Bible school this summer. Last week, the church held a revival with Brother Jason Bartlett.
“In the midst of bad economics and downtrodden conditions, fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it,” the pastor said.
Jones credits Pastor Tom Ray and his wife, Jeanette Ray, of Poplar Head Baptist and Pastor Richard Arnhieter of the Antioch Baptist Church in Jesup with mentoring him and preparing him for the ministry.
“With Pastor Ray, there was never a question that was too dumb or simple. He always took the time to help me learn and rightly divide the word of truth. Sister Jeanette Ray loved me to the cross,” he said.
Jones and his wife, Jenna, who have been married since 2009, live in Glennville. Jones’ little sister, Keri, lives with them. “She is very special to us,” Jones said.
“I enjoy playing paintball and video games,” he said. Jones currently attends Southeast Georgia Baptist Institute, where he is taking general theology courses.
The Pigot Branch Missionary Baptist Church family invites members of the community to worship with them on Sunday mornings.
Sunday school is at 10 a.m., the worship service is at 11 a.m. and the evening service is at 6 p.m. Bible study is at 6 p.m. Wednesdays. The church is on Highway 301 in Long County.