(Carlos Restrepo/Democrat-News) [Order this photo]
Jones did not have plans to stay in Marshall after finishing his career at Missouri Valley College. But God, he said, had a different plan for him.
Jones was recently ordained as elder for the Church of God in Christ, the larger organization which PowerHouse belongs to.
In August of 2004, Jones came to Marshall from Dallas with a football and track scholarship for MVC. An All-American athlete, Jones said that while in college he was desperate to find a home church.
One of his friends told him about Aldridge Tabernacle, the former name of PowerHouse Ministries when services were held in Slater.
"I went and I enjoyed the service," Jones said. "I started going every Sunday, going to Bible study. For me, it's the people. I love the people. They are so loving, they're caring. That's what drew me more to the church. It was because they were so loving, they were so accepting."
After years serving in the church, Jones said he heard his calling to become a minister when Bertha, his grandmother, died on his 20th birthday.
"It was kind of a blow," Jones said. "First, it knocked me down a little bit. I almost quit school because I was just so hurt."
Then, he said, he remembered the saying, 'Sometimes people can't live your life of Christ for you any more. Once they are gone, who is going to live it for you?" he recalled.
"You are alone now," he said. "I got to do what she taught me. I got to do what I know it's right. From then on it's been nothing but a blessing."
Church members went to see him play at MVC. He said they became a second family.
"It was like a family away from home because my mom, my family, they couldn't come to my games," Jones said. "Being away from them, I had the church and pastor Stephens come in to support me. They really made me feel like I was at home."
Jones said his original plan was to move back to Dallas immediately after college. He graduated with a recreation administration and exercise science degree in 2009, but stayed and continued serving in the church. He was also coach of Marshall High School's football and basketball teams and worked at Butterfield Youth Services.
Jones realized he had a mission in Marshall, he said.
"It was one of those things where God has a different plan," Jones said. "We might have one plan but God has another plan for us. What really made me stay in Marshall is that I began to see a part of me helping this ministry and in this community."
For now, Jones has settled in Marshall. He married three years ago to his wife, Tori, and works both as assistant superintendent in PowerHouse's sunday school and as supervisor at Roger's Community Service for Developmental Disabilities.
"Javion has been a stellar part of our operation," said Charles Stephenson, executive director and pastor at PowerHouse.
Jones said Stephenson has been a father figure for him and would like to follow his footsteps.
"I do believe eventually I will be a pastor," Jones said. "...I am just going for the ride just standing in God's presence, and wherever he leads me, that's where I am going."
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