Rev. Joseph L. Jones stands in the computer center at his church where youth are given free computer training.
By David Scott
On September 17-21, Rev. Joseph L. Jones and The Love Temple Missionary Baptist (LTMB) Church will celebrate its 45th year at 8401 Birch Street at 84th Avenue, Oakland.
Rev. Jones, who was born in McGee, Arkansas in 1930, is the founder and senior pastor who, with his wife, Bobbie, has faithfully served the congregation. He credits two church sisters, Betty and Emma Jean Immersion for helping maintain a strong congregation base.
The Jones’s have 4 children; Debra Jones, Dexter Jones, Corliss Jones-Nelson, and Stanley Keith Jones.
A young Joseph Jones joined the Arkansas National Guard and was activated for the Korean War. He recalls that ‘’those huge guns (90 MM) could shoot the enemy target up to 13 miles away, and take a plane out of the sky.’’ Jones’ unit, the 719th AAA Gun Battalion, was part of the western air defense was charged with the protection of the west coast from Alaska to Mexico. Upon completing his service, Pastor Jones worked for the Veteran’s Administration in Livermore.
In 1961 Pastor Smith accepted his calling to the ministry by working at St. Mary’s Missionary Baptist Church. On September 8, 1963, the LTMB church was organized in the home of Rev. and Mrs. Jones by a 36 member charter group. The “First Lady” declares that the song, ‘’The Lord Will Make A Way Somehow,” has served as a beacon – “(A song) We have been rejoicing over. No matter how great the demands placed on me, the Lord always worked things out for me and my family.”
Pastor Jones attended Bay City Bible Institute where he received his Bible Studies Certificate. He also has attended Merritt College where he received a degree in communications. His church has grown from its humble beginnings of 36 members to a 5,000 Sq.ft sanctuary with a fellowship hall, a computer resource center, a large parking lot and 2 additional homes currently being rented out. The LTMB church provides free computer training every Saturday for the youth. It also distributes backpacks to children starting school.
The LTMB church has a Leading Ladies for School Readiness program – a pre-school ministry that prepares children for success during the years before kindergarten age. Led by California Leading Ladies, “The First 5” is statewide effort to educate African-American parents and other caregivers on the importance of school readiness.