DALLAS/ FALLS CITY —Reverend Lester Jones has returned as the pastor of the 7th Day Adventist churches in Dallas and Falls City. Rev. Jones was the pastor there from 1999-2006 and returned in April after pastoring the Silverton, Oregon, 7th Day Adventist church. He was also retired for seven years.

Reverend Jones said he came out of retirement and returned to the churches in Falls City and Dallas simply because, “I missed it.” At first, the churches needed an interim pastor, so he returned on a temporary basis. He was subsequently asked to stay on a continuing basis and he was happy to accept the permanent role. “I was having too much fun and three months wasn’t enough,” he said.

Since he departed in 2006, Rev. Jones said the congregations have changed as one would expect after 15 years. There are new people who have joined the congregation and, of course, the kids have grown up. It’s easy to picture that kids who were 6th graders when he departed in 2006 are now 27 year old adults who may be raising their own children now. Rev. Jones said that, “The the relationships are still here and it’s great to be back.” He said that this is his favorite place to be. “It’s the right fit because of the chemistry and relationships with people.”

Rev. Jones’ wife Sharon is also very involved in the congregations. She loves to play the organ (music is a special part of her life) and she is very involved with small groups. She is a retired school teacher and librarian who loves books and teaching kids. Sharon was born and raised in India where her parents were missionaries. This gave her a deep understanding of other cultures and she is interested in world-wide mission work.

Rev. Jones works with both congregations during the week. Since he is the pastor of both the Falls City and Dallas churches, he alternates between the two churches every Sunday. Local leaders make this possible by stepping in and leading services in Dallas when Rev. Jones is in Falls City. They lead services in Falls City when he is in Dallas. Rev. Jones considers this a strength in that it provides a discipleship opportunity for the local leaders.

When it comes to the topic of COVID-19, Rev. Jones’s perspective is, “We can’t let the COVID challenges keep us from connecting with each other. There are different opinions, but we can’t let those get in the way of important relationships. I think that challenges are opportunities.”

The Joneses are looking forward to their 25th wedding anniversary in the near future.

The name Seventh-day Adventist is based on the Church’s observance of the “biblical Sabbath” on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. “Advent” means coming and refers to their belief that Jesus Christ will soon return to this earth. *bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/subdivisoins/seventhdayadventist_1.shtml

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