VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/20/15)—The Reverend Carmella Jones, a resident of Seabrook, Maryland, has been endorsed to serve as an American Baptist International Ministries (IM) missionary. She is scheduled to serve in Hungary as a school chaplain through IM partner Hungarian Baptist Aid.
Rev. Jones, a registered nurse and ordained ABCUSA pastor, is experienced in Faith Community Nursing, a specialty nursing practice that focuses on care of the spirit. The ministry promotes healing and health of mind, body and spirit through prevention and wellness education. It integrates faith and health, so care is provided in the context of the patient’s values, beliefs and faith practices.
As an IM global worker, Jones’ ministry will provide a listening presence and pastoral care to individual students, families and the school community. She brings to this position theological and nursing education that will uniquely equip her to teach and promote hope for the spirit and physical well-being.
“I am looking forward to working in the school environment,” stated Jones. “Education is very important and I think when you minister to children you have an opportunity to change a person, a family and a community. I look forward to opportunities that will allow teaching that focuses on health and wellness in the context of faith and what it means to be a faithful steward of our faith.” Jones is a member of University Baptist Church in College Park, Maryland.
IM Area Director for Europe, the Middle East and Liberia, the Rev. Charles Jones writes, “I am so excited that we have endorsed Carmella for ministry with our partners in Hungary! She will have the opportunity to develop a pioneering ministry of outreach, counseling and health care in a context that both needs and welcomes the sharing of the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ in creative, authentic and refreshing ways! We pray God’s blessings in her life and ministry.”
Rev. Jones earned her Masters of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2012 and a Master of Art in Community Health Education and Wellness Promotion from Trinity Washington University in 1997. In 2015, Carmella was honored with the Crystal M. Lange College of Health and Human Services Distinguished Alumna award from Saginaw Valley State University from which she earned a B.S. in Nursing in 1981.
“I believe that when Christ is lifted up, people are drawn to God,” commented Jones. “’You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.’” (Matthew 5:14-15). “These verses are most meaningful to me as I enter mission service,” she said.
Jones first heard about IM through her home church and her pastor, the Rev. John Burns. She attended the 2012 IM Call Retreat, an annual three-day event to introduce people interested in missionary service to IM.
“Rev. Jones is wonderful minister who loves God and people,” said Burns. “She engages everyone she meets with the joy, compassion and encouragement of Christ. I have seen her ministry skills grow through her time with our church and I am excited for Rev. Jones and the people she will minister to in Hungary because I know she will make a positive difference in their lives. Rev. Jones has tremendous gifts in teaching health, the Scriptures, Christian theology and the ways of Christ. She will carry out her work as a chaplain with mature faith, trustworthy service, proven competency and devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ.”
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American Baptist International Ministries is celebrating 200 years of ministry in 2014. Organized in 1814 as the first Baptist international mission agency in America, IM began its pioneer mission work in Burma and today works in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas serving more than 1,800 long-term and short-term missionaries. Its central mission is to help people come to faith in Jesus, grow in their relationships with God and change their worlds through the power of the Holy Spirit. IM works with respected partners in over 70 countries in ministries that meet human need.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.