C. Don Jones grew up in East Tennessee. He graduated Alcoa High School in 1984. He attended The University of Tennessee for a couple of years before receiving the Big Orange boot. He is the only student ever dismissed for spending too much time in the library. Ten years later he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Ministry from Oklahoma Christian University. Since it is a fundamentalist school, he often says he received his BA in BS which can mean Biblical Studies. He received his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Candler School of Theology, Emory University. His soul was saved by learning a more rational theology.
Don is an ordained Elder in Full Connection in the Holston Conference of The United Methodist Church. He has served churches throughout Eastern Tennessee. He loves preaching and teaching. He also loves writing. Don is active in alcohol and drug recovery work. But he claims no special expertise other than an interest in helping other people overcome their personal addictions and dealing with their darker sides. Don serves as Pastor of Sycamore Tree United Methodist Church https://www.thesycamoretree.org/ in Maryville, Tennessee.
Pastor Don is interested in progressive Christianity including Liberation Theology. Don has experience in labor and management relations and once participated in a labor contract negotiation team while working for Levi-Strauss and Company when there was a plant in Knoxville, Tennessee. During the negotiations, Don used a tactic he learned from his father when buying a car from a dealership. He stormed out of the negotiations and stood in the plant parking lot until someone came out to make what he considered a decent offer. He was a proud member of the United Food and Commercial Workers local then. He continues to advocate for the rights of working-class people and the poor which are too often the same people.
Don is a strong advocate for children’s ministries. His doctoral project Starved to Death for Love: Working with Children in Poverty is available from Pitts Theological Library at Emory University, Atlanta Georgia. He is interested in food ministries including the work of food banks and helping people overcome food insecurity.
He enjoys science fiction, old films, hard rock music, and fishing. He is passionate about History and the biographies of leaders in politics, religion, and the sciences. You can find his personal webpage at http://bluecollarintellectual.org/