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George MacDonald Jones

gm jones

23 June 1907 - 16 July 1998
Conference Cane: 1993
Age at death: 91 years

George MacDonald Jones

George MacDonald Jones was born June 23, 1907, in Gladstone, MI, the son of Clarence G. and Anna (MacDonald) Jones. He answered to many names: George, Mac, MacDonald, and Donald among others. At the age of four, the family moved to Saginaw where he got involved with youth work, including scouting and the Epworth League in the Jefferson Avenue United Methodist Church.

He graduated from Saginaw Eastern High School, deciding to become a pastor. He attended Albion College, stayed out one year and worked at the Pere Marquette car shops in Saginaw, returning to Albion in the fall of 1928, graduating in 1930. For one year, he attended Garrett Biblical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. It was here that he was appointed a Boys Club leader in the Polish area of Chicago and there it was suggested that he attend Yale Divinity School or Harvard University. He was accepted at Yale and because of financial arrangements, he could also work. He achieved a master of divinity degree.

His first appointment was at Prescott in 1934. He was ordained at the Madison Avenue church in Bay City in 1935 by Bishop Blake. On June 12, 1935, he married Evelyn W. Gilroy in Rose City. He served the following churches: Homer, Auburn, Hartland, Durand, Montrose, Detroit: Harper Avenue, Livonia: Newburg, Utica, Wyandotte: Glenwood, Mt. Morris, Commerce, St. Charles, Brant, Harrisville, and Lincoln. He retired in 1972 after 42 years of service. He was hard-pressed to say which charge was his favorite, but Utica held a special challenge. While there, hundreds of new members joined under his leadership and an addition of a fellowship hall was built and dedicated by Bishop Marshall R. Reed.

The Conference Cane is awarded to the oldest United Methodist pastor residing in the conference with over thirty-five years of service. Mac was the 23rd recipient of the Conference Cane. He was a man of social action and peace, once visiting eight countries on a two-month mission trip. He also enjoyed camping, woodcarving, tennis, and work with the YMCA.

He died July 16, 1998, at age 91, at Chelsea Retirement Community. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn; son, Jerry Lee Jones of Burlington, KY; a sister, Georgia Wissmiller of Mikado, MI; a sister-in-law, Ethelyn Gilroy; two granddaughters; and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held July 18 at the Chelsea Retirement Community chapel in the morning and afternoon with the Reverend Dr. Gerald R. Parker officiating. Burial was at Oakview Cemetery, Royal Oak.

- Detroit Annual Conference minutes of 1999, p. 270