Rev. David O. Jones - BIOGRAPHY
David O. Jones was born and raised on a farm, the closest town numbered only six hundred. His youth revolved around family, church and school.
Two weeks after graduating high school, he entered a university, majoring in political science, to prepare for law school. God had a better idea. David recognized God’s call on his life to enter the ministry, left the university and enrolled in a small ministerial school in Des Moines, Iowa. While there, he married and had a son, Andrew Scott.
His first duties following college were with a small congregation in DeKalb, Illinois. A daughter Jennifer Rae was born during that time. Two years later the young family moved to Bloomington, Illinois where he pioneered a congregation while founding a national youth evangelism project with his church’s denomination. After leading and developing leadership in the Bloomington congregation, David moved the family south to Franklin, Tennessee.
While on hiatus from pastoring, he became involved in a number of political activities and served as a chairman of several campaigns. His activity with the Williamson County (Tennessee) Republican Party provided its first computerized mailing list, its first dues-paying membership and the first issues of its newsletter.
Rev. Jones’ son Andrew drowned in 1982 and a year later, he and his wife began to teach their daughter Jennifer at home. His convictions and Christian commitment over-rode the fact that the practice was not yet legal. In 1983, he was a founding member of the Tennessee Home Education Association.
In 1984 Rev. Jones was asked to be the founding pastor of a new congregation in Franklin and he served as pastor of Heritage Covenant Church for twelve years. While pastoring, his political activity extended into work with Tennessee’s Right-to-Life organization. He served in various leadership roles in the Nashville chapter as well as Vice-President of the state organization. During the picketing of one of the abortion clinics in Nashville, he had a confrontation with its owner which resulted in his being sued for a million dollars. Also during the late 1980’s, Rev. Jones was invited to three separate White House foreign affairs briefings at the invitation of President Ronald Reagan.
As a pastor, Rev. Jones was active in the local ministerial association, taking a leadership role in community Thanksgiving and Easter sun-rise services. He helped establish the first "safe house" for victims of domestic violence in Williamson County. As a multi-racial congregation, Heritage Covenant Church established a monthly food distribution for the community. Rev. Jones also served for several years as chaplain for the Franklin Police Department.
In 1986, Rev. Jones founded Heritage Covenant Schools. Beginning as a program for elementary age homeschoolers, a year later HCS began operation as a church-related school and developed a program of “satellite classrooms.”
In 1993, he with Dale VanGorden founded Eagles Nest Preschool which has become a separate entity, Eagles Nest Academy. Also in 1993, he helped George Grant and David Dunham found the Franklin Classical School which has also became a separate entity. In 1994, he was co-founder of the Tennessee Association of Church-Related Schools and testified before a joint legislative committee in Nashville which enabled TACRS to gain recognition in the Tennessee Code.
Rev. Jones' long-time interest in history moved from the Revoutionary War period into that of the ante-bellum South. In December 1994, Rev. Jones' congregation sponsored a Southern Heritage Conference, complete with a Confederate Ball. Unknown to him at the time, two of his conference speakers were members of the newly founded League of the South.
In July 1996, Governor Don Sundquist appointed Rev. Jones to serve on Tennessee's Task Force on Arson at Places of Worship.
Rev. Jones is grandfather to four lovely little girls. In November 2003, his wife Debbie passed away from complications of Lupus.
In 1999, he had been appointed Chairman of the Tennessee League of the South. He took a two year leave as his wife became more ill, but returned to leadership some months after her death.
During the 2004 legislative session, Senator Jim Bryson sponsored a joint resolution in the Tennessee legislature honoring "Rev. David O. Jones for his laudable contributions to education in Tennessee." On the 9th of September 2004, Rev. Jones invited by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn to offer the opening prayer for the daily session of the United States House of Representatives. As the last session of the House before the anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attack by terrorists, he was asked by Speaker Hastert to remember the victims of terrorism in his prayer.
On 25 May 2006, just five days after the HCS Commencement, Rev. Jones was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. Because of the severe damage to his left leg, a full recovery was doubted. But by God's grace and healing power, the leg regenerated three inches of bone in just six weeks. He was dismissed from the surgeon's care in twelve weeks. He had been selected to organize the League's 2006 Annual Conference and was pleasantly able to fulfill that obligation.
Having already moved to a cabin in the woods near Lobelville, he commuted to the HCS office in Franklin. Because the hours driving were not helping in the complete recovery of his leg, the HCS office was moved to Lobelville in July 2007.
Always one to be active in the community, Rev. Jones served three years as a member of the Board of the Perry County Chamber of Commerce and as President of the Chamber during 2010.
Rev. Jones has spoken before a number of organizations, large and small. His topics range from the historical to current poitical events to political thought and theory. He has been interviewed by various television and radio outlets as well as newspapers. He is available for speaking and/or interviews. Contact him by email at Chairman@FreeTennessee.org