Many of you will know that Bob Jones passed away on Valentine’s Day – which was really appropriate considering the fact that one of the main messages he had for the Body of Christ was, “Did you learn to love?” Bob had such a profound impact on our ministry in the past 25 years and we decided that the best way to honour that was for me to travel to North Carolina to his Memorial Service last weekend.
Last Saturday evening I travelled from Heritage (the home of MorningStar ministries) to a friend’s house to stay overnight before leaving on Sunday. It was a strange journey, because I went through a number of places that we have visited in the last 15 years since starting to traveling to North Carolina – many places that meant so much us over the years. Places we have ministered – the places that we had fun with dozens of young adults who traveled with us. Earlier in the day I had travelled with friends to West Meadows in Moravian Falls for a small gathering at the graveside where Bob is now buried – next to Viola (his first wife who died in 2005). That was also a poignant reminder of many years of travel to North Carolina and significant prophetic ministry we and others had experienced.
I thought about all the people who were at Bob’s funeral – the people who have influenced our life and ministry – some ‘household names’ in the body of Christ and many others you will not have heard about .
In a way I felt sad – because North Carolina is a place that was like a second “home” for us for many years – but it felt different now, because Bob’s not here anymore. And yet I know that the sadness I feel it’s selfish – moving on is part of life, and we cannot change it. It’s also selfish because Bob’s in a better place now – out of pain and in the presence of Jesus!
To try to hold on to someone like Bob is foolish – all we can do is remember the many happy times we spent together – and his love for Jesus and the people around him.
I think it’s fitting to quote two people who spoke at his Memorial Service last Friday:
Mike Bickle, director of International House of Prayer in Kansas City said, ”I am deeply indebted to Bob Jones for how the Lord used him in my early ministry. I loved him more than he ever knew and often told my friends stories about him, I am very sad for Bonnie and his son, Wayne, and for so many of us to hear of his departure, but I am so happy for him. I remember Bob as a man who loved people deeply and served them tirelessly for so many years. Bob was well-known for his remarkable love for Jesus and His Word—he devoured the Bible for 40 years.”
Rick Joyner, founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries made this announcement on the day Bob died, ”Bob passed away at 6:22 this morning, peacefully and smiling, Bob was known around the world for his prophetic gift, but he was also the greatest lover of God and people that I ever knew. It seems fitting that he would pass away on a day that celebrates love.”