While sitting around the kitchen table on what would have normally been another quiet Christmas evening of sharing at the home of Rev. and Mrs. Arthur T. Jones, the Holy Spirit transformed that setting into a labor room for the birth of a church. Finally, the long labored thought had come full-term. While Rev. Wayne Thompson prayed, the Holy Spirit ushered in a new babe, a new church. The reality of it brought all those present to tears.
On December 27, 1988, the first informal Bible study was held at the home of Rev. and Mrs. Arthur T. Jones. The weekly Bible study continued, attended by friends and faithful followers.
Attendance grew each week, eventually outgrowing the Jones’ residence. Soon everyone sensed the need for more than weekly prayer and Bible study. They desired a church fellowship.
Our inaugural service was held on February 5, 1989. On March 5, 1989, we began public worship in the ballroom of the Ramada Inn on Bearss Avenue and I-275.
On May 4, 2013, the Lord called the Rev. Dr. Arthur T. Jones home, from his labor here on Earth to heaven to receive his eternal reward. On July 5, 2013 we installed our new senior pastor, Rev. Anthony C. White. We have increased evidence of the relevant vision and mission of the ministry.
Today, the vision continues as we are focused on building a church that is Bible-Based, Christ-centered, Holy Spirit led. God, by His infinite love and wisdom, has endowed Bible-Based Fellowship Church with a phenomenal vision encompassing five (5) essentials pillars of ministry: Evangelism, Education, Economics, Entrepreneurship, and Expansion.
Bible-Based Fellowship Church has a vast array of ministries designed to address the diverse needs of its members and the Tampa Bay community. Through growth in membership, discipleship and fiscal stability, we have seen increased evidence of the relevant vision and mission of the ministry. Yet, this body of believers has most of its promise and potential to fulfill as doors of unimaginable growth and ministry lay ahead.
As the vision unfolds, God continues to pen unparalleled history through the Church and in the lives of its members. As the vision continues to unfold, God continues to allow us to make a local imprint and a global impact.
In addition, Dr. Jones is also co-founder of the famed Florida Mass Choir. For many years he worked to produce, direct, and sing lead vocals for the Choir—yielding ten highly acclaimed LP’s, Videos and CD’s. He also served as Executive Director of the Choir. In 2002 Dr. Jones released a solo CD, Speak For Me.
Dr. Jones was a product of Hillsborough County Schools, having graduated from Middleton Senior School in the class of 1965. He furthered his education at St. Petersburg Junior College, at which he studied Physics. Dr. Jones subsequently studied under and was mentored by Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Molefi Asanti, and Cornell West at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. Ultimately, he would study at both Harvard and Oxford Universities.
Professionally, while studying at St. Petersburg Junior College in 1967, Dr. Jones was recruited by IBM Corporation, and thus commenced a brilliant 24½-year career. Dr. Jones served in various executive capacities for IBM, from which he retired in 1992 as a Briefing Center Manager.
Dr. Jones and his wife Doris were married on June 7, 1969. To this 43-year union was born three children— Shonda, Natalie, and Arthur, II. A proud husband, father and grandfather, Rev. Dr. Jones’s greatest personal success and fulfillment were found in his family.
Although he has gone on to be with the Lord, the legacy and love that he left behind is indelibly etched in the halls of Bible-Based Fellowship Church and the hearts of all of those whom he touched.