OCCUPATION: Pastor of Lighthouse Community Baptist Church in Pawcatuck.
BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN: I was born in Westerly and raised in Clarks Falls (a little village in North Stonington.)
RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF: Leading our church through the celebration of Advent and helping my youngest daughter, Krista, work through the college selection process. When I’ve got some spare time, I’m working on a long-term writing project on the significance of the name of God and its implications for the uniqueness of the Christian faith.
I ENJOY SPENDING MY TIME: With my wife and kids.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: My nearly 25 year marriage with Lori and our 4 amazing kids: Kara (22), Kailey (20), Krista (18) & Trey (14)
I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR: My devotion to loving and serving my Lord, my family, my church and my community.
TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: Visiting the Holy Land and writing a book.
ALWAYS IN MY POCKET: My cell phone.
WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP: When I was a kid sports were my life. I was obsessed with becoming a professional baseball player. I dreamed of playing for the Red Sox.
PERSON WHO HAS INFLUENCED ME THE MOST: My parents, Ray, Sr. and Sheri Jones.
FAVORITE AUTHOR: David McCullough
BOOKS ON MY NIGHT STAND: Thomas Friedman’s "From Beirut To Jerusalem," Ron Chernow’s "Alexander Hamilton," and Dan Allender’s "Leading With A Limp."
I AM LISTENING TO: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. My three girls introduced me to it and their interest inspired me to read up on Alexander Hamilton.
FAVORITE MOVIE: It’s either "What About Bob?" or "Forrest Gump."
LAST MOVIE WATCHED: "Fantastic Beasts 2." I was totally lost!
FAVORITE TV SHOW: I’m boring. I really only watch Cable News and the major Boston sports’ teams.
FAVORITE SONG: U2’s "Beautiful Day."
FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD: Mint chocolate chip ice cream.
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES I USE MOSTLY: Facebook and Linked In
TRAIT I MOST ADMIRE: A strong work ethic.
PET PEEVE: Chewing with one’s mouth open.
FAVORITE QUOTATION: “Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD: Growing up, I was the local kid who didn’t want to go to school far from home. So, when I reluctantly moved away for college and seminary, all I wanted to do was come back home to start the church I’m privileged to pastor. I have traveled abroad a fair amount and I believe we live in the most beautiful place in the world. As much as I’m in awe of our area’s landscape, what I love most is that I can’t walk into a store without running into someone I know.
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: Jesus
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I’m a roofer and carpenter by trade.
BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: My dad insisted I learn a trade no matter how many degrees I earned.
ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE: Jesus really is the answer to all of life’s questions and problems. I know it sounds cliché, but I’ve not only experienced this in my own life, but I have witnessed firsthand the transformation of many people who have surrendered their broken lives to Jesus.
IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD: I’d make civil dialogue my top priority. I would suspend Cable News and social media for a time and make people of opposing religious and political views sit down in the same room and actually talk with each another. People are less likely to hate someone if they meet them in person and make the effort to engage in a real conversation. They will probably still disagree with one another, but they will hopefully emerge with a better understanding of each other.
IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS: Since I don’t play, I’d have to rely on someone else to win it! They could bless our church with the money we need to expand our present facility and make it handicap accessible.
I DRIVE A: Green 1999 Dodge Ram Pickup truck with over 200,000 miles.
I WISH I DROVE A: I’d love to go back in time and drive my dad’s ’57 Chevy or ’67 Camaro.
ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: Eggs.
IF I COULD INVITE ONE SPECIAL PERSON TO JOIN ME FOR DINNER AND CONVERSATION, I WOULD INVITE: It would unquestionably be my late Nana, Barbara Jones. Next to my parents, she has been the most influential person in my life. I’d ask her to make the dinner in her humble kitchen in Clarks Falls. The main course would be her Swamp Yankee Chicken Pie and for dessert it would be her Cherry Cheesecake. Oh, what I’d give to hear her laugh again!
— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro