On March 5, 2017, Dr. David C. Jones passed away after a battle with cancer. Jones was professor emeritus of systematic theology and ethics at Covenant Theological Seminary and active in the denomination.
According to a statement issued by Covenant Seminary, a burial service will be held for Jones at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, at St. Paul Churchyard in St. Louis. A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, 2017, at The Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2143 N Ballas Rd., St. Louis, MO 63131. Friends are invited to join the Jones family for both services.
Below is a remembrance of Jones from Wayne Sparkman, director of the PCA Historical Center.
The Rev. Dr. David Clyde Jones was born in Greenville, South Carolina on July 26, 1937 to parents Clyde and Mildred (Smith) Jones. He began formal education at Bryan College, Dayton, Tennessee, graduating there in 1959 with the Bachelor of Arts degree.
Preparing for pulpit ministry, he next attended Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, earning what was then termed the Bachelor of Divinity degree, in 1962. Upon graduation from Westminster in May, he arrived in St. Louis and married Sue Ellen Bilderback in June. The young couple then returned to Philadelphia where David spent an additional two years and earned the Master of Theology degree in 1964.
In June of 1964, Jones was ordained by the Philadelphia Presbytery of the old Evangelical Presbyterian Church (not to be confused with the denomination now known by that name) and he was installed as pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Boatswain Bay, located on the Grand Cayman Island, British West Indies. He was preceded in the pulpit by the Rev. David Calhoun, and Jones left this post in 1966.
The Jones family, which by now included sons Mark David and Keith Andrew, then moved to St. Louis, Missouri where David began work on the Doctor of Theology degree at Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis. His dissertation was titled “The Doctrine of the Church in American Presbyterian Theology in the Mid-Nineteenth Century” and the Th.D. degree was conferred in 1970.
Even before completion of that doctoral work, he had begun teaching at Covenant Theological Seminary, where he served as professor from 1967 until his retirement in 2009. For ten years, 1978-1988, he was also Dean of the Seminary faculty.
Other honors conferred during his life including service as Moderator at the General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, in 1978. He also served on the PCA’s Inter-Church Relations Committee, as well as on several of the committees drafting position papers for the PCA, including Christian Responsibility in the Nuclear Age, and the Report on Fencing the Table.
Drawing from his many years teaching ethics at the Seminary, Jones is perhaps most widely known for his book Biblical Christian Ethics, which was published in 1994. His courses at Covenant were infused with wit and gentle humor, and his life-work continues to be remembered and appreciated by those he taught.