BRASELTON — Mulberry Baptist Association recognized Shuford and Ann Jones for their faithful ministry with a Lifetime Achievement Award at their associational meeting on Oct. 26, 2017.
Alan Hall, Mulberry Baptist associational missionary, presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Shuford and commented, “This is an award we do not give often and certainly do not give it lightly. This award is significant because it is given to recognize a whole lifetime of service.”
Hall commented later, “Shuford’s ministry has been extensive and profound. Shuford and Ann are deserving of such recognition. It was a precious time for our association.”
Shuford pastored 12 churches: Mt. Yonah Baptist (Cleveland), Ocee Baptist, now Clear Springs Missionary Baptist Church (John’s Creek), New Hope Baptist in Greshamville, Immanuel Baptist (a mission of Cross Keys in Macon), Ruth Baptist (Cochran), Wolffork Baptist (Rabun Gap), First Baptist of Franklin, Sargent Baptist, Sligo Baptist (Kentucky), First Baptist of Bloomingdale, Eastern Heights Baptist (Statesboro), and Cedar Creek Baptist (Winder). He also served as interim pastor of many churches, including two in Mulberry Association.
The Jones’ son, Mark, who is pastor of the First Baptist Church in Greensboro, stated, “Dad is like the Atlanta Journal, because he has covered Georgia from Rabun’s Gap (Wolffork Baptist) to Tybee’s Light (First Baptist Bloomingdale).
“He ministered for 20 years through the Georgia Baptist Convention (now Georgia Baptist Mission Board) with a surrendered heart. During that time he assisted in guiding the starting of over 500 new churches.”
Shuford has written widely for newspapers and journals, having served as news editor of the Franklin News and Banner in Franklin, GA and has been a feature writer for the Newnan Times Herald.
He also served as lecturer in Old Testament at the Atlanta branch of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Ann has faithfully worked alongside of him throughout his ministry and her advice and support have been invaluable.
Shuford studied at Truett McConnell College and Mercer University. After graduating from college, he continued to study at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.
He has written two books on the Psalms – Psalms: Fresh Hope for Today, Vol. 1 as well as … Volume 2 and is nearly finished with a book on the Revelation of John. His volumes on the Psalms are beautifully crafted, incredibly rich, and remarkably inspiring.
Mark explained, “My dad has not only been in the ministry for over 60 years, but has impacted the lives of hundreds of ministers, including my brother and me.
“People often stop me and tell me stories of how he discipled them, inspired them, or led them to know Jesus Christ in a deeper and fuller way. He has made a deep impact on people here in Georgia and elsewhere that will be felt for many years to come. I am so glad he has been led to write books on the Psalms and Revelation that will help believers for many years to come.”
A good name
“My dad saved my life when I was drowning as a child,” Mark added, “and I was saved from my sins at age 18 at the church he started when he was 18 years old (Mt. Yonah).
“My mom and dad met at Truett-McConnell, as did my sisters and their husbands. I also attended TMU. We also all attended Mercer. My brothers-in-law, Todd Ware and Stephen Doss, my brother Mike Jones, and I all followed dad’s lead in pursuing our theological studies at Southern Seminary.”
Tommy Fountain, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Monroe, was significantly affected by Jones’ ministry and commented, “The Bible says, ‘A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches’ (Pro. 22:1) and Shuford Jones is a good name. He is a faithful man of God, a family man, and a friend to so many.
“Pastor Shuford and Mrs. Ann not only served as our pastor and pastor’s wife, but they treated us as family. His gifts as a pastor have been multiple. He has always preached expository sermons, visited the hospitals, and effectively led by example. He has always gone above and beyond to minister to his people. His humility and servant’s heart are the keys to his impactful ministry.”
A personal note
As the editor of The Christian Index, I would like to add a personal note to this article, because Shuford and Ann blessed and encouraged me when I was a student a Mercer beginning in 1959. He was a friend and a source of encouragement and inspiration to me when we were young adults.
Shuford and Ann invited Martha Jean and me to their home for dinner when I was a student at Mercer. As I recall, the Jones’ lived in the Cross Keys section of Macon and Shuford had purchased a very small European automobile (I think it was a Fiat). He asked me if I wanted to drive it. I circled around the block and when I came back to their home I couldn’t find the very small brake pedal in the car. The car ended up wedged between two trees, both fenders seriously dented.
I was suddenly submerged into a fit of despair, but Shuford said, “Don’t worry about it. We have insurance and we are not going to allow that to diminish the good time we are going to have tonight.” He never said another word about it.
The church mouse
On another occasion I invited Shuford to preach a revival for me at Little Briar Creek Baptist Church near Thompson where I preached every first Sunday in the month. We noticed during the song service that a little mouse would run out from behind the piano every time the pianist played a hymn. The little church mouse kept running out from behind the piano and then scurry back to where it came.
When Shuford got up to preach he caught out of the corner of his eye that church mouse emerging from his hiding place. With one deft move Shuford picked up the Broadman Hymnal from the pulpit whirled around and threw that hymnal at the mouse and the innocent creature immediately went to meet his maker.
It was a merciless, but needful, decision because no one would have listened to a word Shuford had to say if that mouse had continued to distract the congregation because the women gasped and the men snickered every time that mouse made an appearance from behind the piano.
But I asked Shuford Jones to speak at the revival, because he was a splendid preacher and had an uncompromising allegiance to the Word of God. I also preached in a revival for him when he was at First Baptist Church in Bloomingdale and we had a glorious time together.
Shuford Jones has always demonstrated a love for people, his fellow pastors, his denomination, his Bible, and His Lord. The Lifetime Achievement Award given by Mulberry Baptist Association to this faithful servant of God was well deserved.