Will Jones is joining the East Ohio Conference as director of Multicultural Vitality.
This new full-time position was created by action of Annual Conference 2016 in recognition that our church is concerned for reaching a complex and changing environment in our communities. Multicultural vitality challenges us to model the way the Gospel of Jesus Christ speaks to diverse perspectives of age, race, education, economic status, political view, and personal lifestyle.
As director of Multicultural Vitality, Jones will actively engage pastors, congregations, and conference leaders to discern their roles in fully embracing the communities that our churches serve.
“Will has demonstrated a deep faith and an appreciation for the values, relationships, and connections we share in The United Methodist Church,” said the Rev. Steve Court, director of Connectional Ministries for the East Ohio Conference. “He has a commitment to, and a passion for, helping disciples of Jesus Christ reflect, engage with, and transform the communities in which they live. The directors of Conference Council on Ministries (CCOM) are excited about the perspective and the skills that Will brings to our team.”
“I am humbled and blessed by this opportunity to work alongside churches in the area of multicultural vitality,” Jones said. “I am passionate about engaging churches in conversation to better understand how we, as The United Methodist Church, can be the hands and feet of Jesus in the multicultural and diverse communities that we serve. I look forward to using my gifts and experience to resource and come alongside churches, pastors, and laity in laboring in the work to which God has called each of us.”
Prior to accepting this new job with the conference, Jones was the youth director at Dueber United Methodist Church (Tuscarawas District). There, he assisted the congregation in connecting with school and community activities, and forming relationships with youth and young adults who had not been a part of the church.
Currently in the Army Reserve, Jones previously served eight years of active duty as a chaplain’s assistant in the Army. He developed training to mentor chaplains and military leaders in their understanding of, and ability to work with, complex religious relationships in Afghanistan and other settings.
“Will brings passion, inter-cultural leadership skills, and community organizing and development experience that will help resource and equip clergy and local churches in embracing the racial, ethnic, cultural, and generational diversity within their communities,” said Bishop Tracy S. Malone. “He will help to create, and to expand, strategies for developing multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-generational ministry.”
Jones earned a Master of Urban Planning, Design, and Development from Cleveland State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Religion from Liberty University.