PASTORS OF ABIDING CHURCH
God has given us a love for people and a passion to see lives transformed. We have all been created for a purpose and we know that our purpose is to pastor a life-giving church. In fulfilling this calling, God has led us to Georgia to embark on the journey of our lives. Throughout our years in ministry, we have served together in many ways: we have helped lead churches, have ministered in worship across the nation, and have shaped the lives of hundreds of students through a school of ministry. We are more excited than ever before because we know that our 25 years of combined ministry experience have all been leading up to this moment.
CRAIG & JANNA JONES
WHAT WE BELIEVE
Our story is simple. We are passionately in love with Jesus and His love has caused us to be radical in our love for people. Our goal is to lead people into this same kind of life changing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Janna and I met at while attending school at Lee university in Cleveland, TN. We dated for 4 1/2 years while completing our education. We have been married for 11 years and we knew from the very beginning that our relationship was ordained by heaven. We love doing life and ministry together and we know that we are stronger and more effective as a team.
Over time our team has grown. Almost 6 years ago God blessed us with our beautiful daughter Sophia. She is a compassionate little girl with an uncommon walk of faith. Four years ago my wife gave birth to our miracle boy, Grayson. This little guy was born with two heart deformities, and a mass in his kidneys that would have required open heart surgeries, and removal of the mass before his release from the hospital. Within two days of Grayson's birth the doctors were astonished as both heart deformities were miraculously corrected and the mass in his kidneys had disappeared. We love our children more than words can say and we are excited to see what God is going to do through these world changers.
Ministry to our family will always be first and foremost in our lives, and we believe that this principle of life qualifies us to minister to the world more effectively. As time went on, our family grew and so did our ministry experience. We’ve had some incredible opportunities to lead many people in many different capacities. Ministry started for me at a young age. While most little boys dream of being a policeman or fireman when they grow up, all I can ever remember wanting to do was preach. I have come from a rich heritage of ministers and leaders that has helped shape me into the man I am today. My wife was also born into a christian home. As a pastor's daughter, she has always been around the church and had godly influence in her life. My wife comes from a very musical family which has enriched her gifting and allowed her to travel around the world ministering the gospel through song.
For the past 14 years, we have been a part of the leadership team of New Life Bible Church in Cleveland, TN. During this time we served as the Associate Pastors of this amazing body of believers and God developed in us a passion for the local church. I served as the director of New Life Bible College where I played a vital role in shaping the lives of hundreds of ministry students that had dedicated themselves to the calling of God. From this experience we took away a passion to develop emerging leaders, an appreciation for the power of biblical discipleship, and a desire to lead people into a vibrant life of fulfillment in Christ. As worship pastors for New Life Bible Church we had the opportunity to lead congregations around America in pursuing the presence of God while growing as leaders and songwriters. We have had the opportunity to record our own original worship albums and heard churches around the nation sing our music. Our responsibilities during our service at New Life Bible Church has provided us many opportunities to reach out to people with the gospel, both locally and around the nation. Most importantly, though, we gained a profound appreciation for the values of Spirit-led ministry, integrity, servanthood, and faith in God.
In January of 2014, we began to feel a stirring in our hearts and God revealed to us that we were being called into new territory. As we continued to seek the heart of the Father, we began to see that he was us calling us to pursue the God sized dream of planting a life-giving church in Atlanta, GA. In June of 2013 God deposited in us a profound burden for the people of this city. As we were driving through the city of Atlanta God spoke to me and said "Atlanta shall be saved". We had always enjoyed visiting Atlanta but this is the moment God gave us a heart for this city. Through prayer and preparation, the Holy Spirit has given us a vision for the ministry he has called us to in this region. As we now see this dream becoming reality, we are filled with excitement and anticipation to for the journey ahead.
As we step out to do what God has called us to, we realize more than ever that this is an amazing adventure of faith. Stepping out into that place of faith is not always easy, but we are confident that we are doing what God has called us to do and we have seen His favor on us every step of the way. We knew that God had called us to Atlanta, but metro Atlanta is a very large area so we began praying for God to narrow down for us exactly where to go. We felt drawn to the north west portion of Cobb County, and we prayed for God to confirm this leading and direct us on the timing to move. After a few months of prayer we got a call from a family in Georgia who told us that God had been dealing with them to take a second home that they owned off of the market and offer it to us, free of charge. The home is not only a gorgeous blessing that meets every one of our desires, but it is also located in the very area of Atlanta we felt drawn to. This was the confirmation from the Lord we were looking for. God is continuing to do miraculous things in our lives and we know that this is just a glimpse of the type of ministry Abiding Church is called to be.
Abiding Church exist to reach the city of Atlanta with the love of Jesus Christ. Our hearts desire is to serve the people of Atlanta through Abiding Church and offer them a real and powerful experience with Jesus.