Thoughts

The Legacy of Franklin Jones

You can’t hurry up and have a legacy.

Today marks five years since the dispatch from glory stopped by St. Luke’s Hospital in Houston, Texas and picked up the greatest man I’ve ever known. Franklin Garner Jones occupied earth as a living human for almost 75 years, but his legacy is still strong and powerful, gaining in strength and stature.

Bishop Franklin Jones was not a perfect man, but he was fully aware of that and never tried to assume or act in any other manner. He was a supporter of people and a lover of the underdog, and if he ever slipped up behind you and encircled you in his great arms and big hands, you knew you had been thoroughly and completely hugged. He was gifted by God to give gifts – gifts of confidence, gifts of love, and gifts of mercy. He was a professional forgiver.

At 7:55 AM on October 30, 2007, God called one of the good ones home. I miss him. I trust a God I don’t understand, and I love a man that I can no longer touch, but both God and Daddy still touch me, and I trust them.

Franklin Jones, 1933-2007, the greatest man I’ve known. You can’t hurry up and have a legacy. Legacies take time.

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Comments (47)

  1. A beautiful tribute. One of my great disappointments is that Jeanne and I did not make it to Grace soon enough to know the Bishop before he became ill. I don't think I have ever known of a man who was more universally loved and respected than your father. You were indeed fortunate to have him as your dad.

  2. I honor Bishop Franklin Jones. I never met him personally, but I feel I have just spent 6 days with him in Houston. Both you and Pastor Scott are living out the legacy. That in itself is also worthy of honor.

  3. Reading this as we work on a track for “I Never Lost My Praise” lyrics say;

    “I’ve lost some good friends along life’s way

    Some loved ones departed in heaven to stay…

    I never lost my hope

    I never lost my joy

    I never lost my faith

    Most of all I never lost my praise”

    He was a great man to me and my whole family.

    Love you

    Mark

  4. There are a few families that I can say I remember most of my life from the Houston area. The Franklin Jones family is one of them. Though I never really connected with him until my 30's, I remember his hugs, his "gotcha's", his coaching, his peaceful way, the very way he made you feel special when you did not feel special at all. I was honored to know him.

  5. Pastor Brett, The legacy that your great father left to you is seen in the way that you embrace, love, and forgive others. I was never blessed to be hugged by your dad, but I have been blessed to have the same kind of hug that he gave to so many every time you have hugged and encouraged me. Thank you for sharing this small piece of his great legacy with us. I love and appreciate you! Jerry

  6. Bishop was an awesome man of God. I am so very thankful that God brought us back together before he was taken to glory. I will never forget that service at Grace in 2003 when he stood in the aisle with his arms around mine and Raylene's necks and gave us the godly advise that changed our destiny! He knew when and how to speak! Thanks for sharing him with us!!

  7. Every time I slip on my suit from Harold’s I feel your Daddy’s AWESOME legacy surrounding me one more time! How Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His Saints. We sure DO MISS HIM…. and those behind the back HUGS!!!

  8. Brilliantly & sweetly said. What I'm so grateful for, Brett, is getting to watch the awesomeness of Bishop Frank Jones live on in the incredible gifts of his children. I encourage you & your siblings today as you all miss him on this 5th anniversary . . . you are all "doing him proud"!! Love you all much. Praying for & missing him with you & your family today.

  9. He was the greatest Christian that I've know! I have know the feel and loveof his hug. The sight of him on one knee, talking to a child after church, will stay always in my heart. I'm thankful that his legacy continues thru his family and thru Grace. he was a Real Man!

  10. Eloquently spoken, in the usual way of Brett Jones. Beautiful words about a beautiful man. I miss my Uncle Frank and those hugs were stuff of legacy. I may be an unofficial family member, but I did inherit those. I love y'all.

  11. Every time I wear my suit from Harold's I feel Bishop Franklin's legacy surrounding me! We MISS HIM and MISS those behind the back BIG HUGS. In the Summer of 2005 he was just exactly what we needed! To be LOVED back into GOD'S KINGDOM…..his families are ALL so precious to the Worsham's!!

  12. Thank you for sharing this. Everything you stated about Bishop is so true and so reflective of the man he was. I count it a great honor to be the recipient of some of those life giving hugs.

  13. I still live with the gigantic thumbprint of Bishop Jones on my life. As a young pastor he accepted & affirmed me. Now, all these years later I find myself trying to emulate his example. His influence lives on. Thanks Bishop for a life with nothing to lose, nothing to prove & nothing to hide!

  14. Pastor Brett, really appreciate your written words about Bishop. I have always been in awe of him, even as a boy! Bishop has been a steady influence on my life. In fact, he has been a mile marker of sorts, because at each stage of my life, I have felt his love, concern, wisdom, and even humor. I have several written notes and letters from him that are in a special place in my office. Every now and then I read them and feel close to him. I know he is proud of all of you! Love the Jones'

  15. Brett,

    That was a heart moving legacy. But he did leave a legacy. The man you are describing could be you.
    Thanks for being a great friend. Your dad and mom taught you all you needed to fill in for him after he moved up to a better place.

  16. I can’t believe it’s been 5 years! I truly miss your Dad, like thousands of others folks can say, “he was special to ME”. I am especially blessed to have set under his teaching in the OASIS class. KD and I were a little young to attend that class when we started coming to Grace, but we knew we needed to soak up as much as we could from him while we had the opportunity. Wow, are we glad we did. I still have his voice message on my phone when on July 9, 2007 at 1:41pm he called me to check on my wife’s health. He was dealing with his cancer but took the time to check on hers. They both got their healing, just different. He will forever be another structural pier in the foundation of my faith in Jesus Christ. James Sword

  17. A remarkable and legendary leader. I’m living his legacy. Thanks for letting me be a part.

    The year that he passed was the year that God planted the vision for the429 in my heart. It was Feb 2007 that God spoke to me.

  18. Great tribute to a great man. I miss him terribly. I keep a copy of his obit under the glass on my desk and I thank God every day that I was blessed to share in his life. He was my pastor. He was my friend. Lord, let me live my life with the grace, consistency and character of Franklin Garner Jones.

  19. While on earth I'm convinced he was a very impressive man given by the fact he has a incredibly impressive son. Life Changers!

  20. Wow! At a time I'm in reflection of my loved one that just departed into glory, your words really hit home. Bishop Jones was a ray of light that represented the call of God in a way that made me realize the distance that joy and friendliness traveled even during a time of fighting illness. I love you and your entire family. God bless you on this special day as he strengthens you continually.

  21. I really miss Bishop Jones and I honor him. I am very proud to serve with two men that are standing on his shoulders. You are both extending a legacy of your own that I truly feel will be greater. I don't mean any disrespect in that, I just believe that fathers should always set their kids up to greatly surpass them in all they do. I can't help but believe Bishop desired that for his kids.

    Love you all,

    Blake & Amanda Hebert

  22. Dear Pastor Brett & Pastor Scott Jones

    I have till today not forgotten that day when I had the Honor of standing beside that Greatest Man with Great arms and Big hands, Bishop Franklin Jones. The moment I had entered the room there was that sense of awe and beauty that I had never ever sensed in my life as I stood even at that moment looking at his smiling face addressing us a few men during the last week of October 2007.

    I had the honor and privilege of praying for that Great Man of God.  As I shook those Big Burly hands right at that moment I did sense a touch of a Great Great Legacy being transferred to me which humbled me so much as I left that room for the last time knowing that I may never see him again.

    Pastor Brett it is so true and rightly said  " Yes you cannot hurry up and have a legacy as Legacies take time. I know there are many things we may not understand but Pastor Brett here are the words to the great song that someone sang for me when my mother a great woman of prayer and a mighty warrior was called home to Glory on June 16th 2010.  At that moment  I too could not understand why but the words of this song comforted me

          FURTHER ALONG WE'LL KNOW ALL ABOUT IT

          FURTHER ALONG WE'LL UNDERSTAND WHY

          CHEER UP MY BROTHER LIVE IN THE SUNSHINE

          WE'LL UNDERSTAND IT ALL BY AND BY.

    Hence these Legacies can never be forgotten. May the Lord bless you and keep you as you continue forward with that great Legacy which only comes from the Lord  

    Your's In Our Masters Works

    Bishop Dr. Santosh Thomas

  23. Pastor..

    Such a beautiful tribute. My life is better for having known him and knowing exactly what those big arms and hands feel like when hugged by Bishop.

    I'm younger, still learning and maturing but please allow me to say, I'm proud of you. You're not even a half step behind your daddy.

    Caring so..

    Huup (as FGJ pronounced it)

  24. The Juarez Family counts it an honor to have known Bro. Jones, too.  His vision for Christian Education saved us in more ways than we might ever know.  And I am a product of that education and will forever be grateful for that.  Thank you, Bro. Brett; your legacy is gaining in strength as well.  Be blessed my friend…

    Joey

  25. Pastor Brett,
    I am always in awe observing the wonderful legacy Bishop left behind. I never had a daddy-in fact-one of my many step dads passed the other day. Unfortunately, I haven't even shed one tear. He wasn't good to me-abusive. Bishop gives me courage even though I had very little contact with him, personally, because I experience his legacy at Grace. His example of being a great leader still lives! Even though I never had a daddy, I empathize with you.

    I love you much-man.

    Jeremiah

  26. I still regret not getting a chance to meet Bishop Franklin Jones when we first arrived in Houston, TX in 2007. I know the Bishop was a great man of God not by knowing him personally but in seeing him through his sons. Pastor Brett, you and Pastor Scott are a continuing piece of the legacy that your dad left behind. And knowing you two, leaves no doubt in my mind that you guys will pass on the same principles and God giving gifts to your family. Isn't it amazing how God works? Your family is truly favored by the Lord! God bless you guys!

    The Davis Family (André, Janelle, Daylen and Bryce)

  27. Pastor Brett,

    Thanks so much for sharing. Our dads are in our future now, they can’t come back but only in our memories and in our actions and that’s  enough to keep me fighting to see them one day by Gods grace. Lets meet up over there one day the 4 of us and swap stories I can’t wait to hear my dads voice again. I can hear him as I write Darryl if you get up one more time than you fall you will make it. Legacy is about getting back up every time. Thank God Bishop Jones kept getting back up, we get to walk on what he stood for. 

    Love you my friend

    Darryl

  28. That's great, Brett. Read it and was inspired to build a great life and legacy for my son! Love you guys so much. Very thankful for your friendship. Love you, John

  29. I never got a chance to meet Bishop, but I feel like I know him so well. Every time I walk through the hallways of the church, or step behind the pulpit I see a incredible sacrifice by an incredible family. Bishop Franklin and Lady J have built a beautiful ministry that has blessed so many through the years. Bishop may have passed in 2007, but he made a way for me to be a part of Grace in 2009. WOW. Thats what a leader does… Even when you are gone, you have prepared for tomorrow. Thank you Bishop for praying in my family to Grace. We love you, and Lady J

  30. To My Dear Friend,__Your father was more than a Prince among Preachers, he was grace, kindness, gentleness and goodness cloaked in Shepherd's skin. I shall never forget, as a little boy, witnessing the faithfulness of Bro. Jones visit my wheelchair-bound grandmother (a charter member of Mt. Houston Pentecostal Church). Bro. Jones embodied a "living" Christ. He was a true lover of people! He was a champion of the downtrodden. He was a beacon of hope to so many who were bound in the bonds of hopelessness. __Pastor Brett, I salute you today for continuing the legacy and for remembering your legend, Bishop Franklin G. Jones. Ann and I send our love and prayers. __Blessings,__WEHII

  31. I feel like I already knew about and could identify with Frank Jones’s “gifts of confidence” … Only because I have received them from you through the years… His legacy lives on…

    Much Love,

    TP

  32. Hey Brett – What a great post. Definitely made me think about the legacy I want to leave for my son. You and Scott are richly blessed to be standing on his shoulders. I only wish I could have met him. But I feel like I have in a way because I know you guys. Very thankful for your friendship. Much love, John Siebeling

  33. What an honor to know your dad!

    What a legacy he left!

    I’m continually amazed how much You and Scott remind me of your sweet, sweet Dad.

    Big Hugs today!

  34. Brett,

    Beautiful!  What a man!  And what sons that follow in his footsteps.  You can't rush a legacy-and yours and Scott's are well into the making. 
    Love you, your whole family, your ministry, your heart…everything about you guys.  Thanks for giving me the honor of remembering a great man.

    Paul

  35. Brett, 
    Thanks for sending the tribute. Well done. Impacting. His legacy is alive & well in you and Scott. Peace my friend. 
    Gordon 

  36. Thanks pastor Brett for including me.  How cool to honor your Dad. I'm sure his thoughts are "Son well done"

    Blessings,
    Bruce

  37. Thank you for this Pastor Brett!!
    When I met Bishop for the first time, he put one of those hugs on me.
    I realized something in me healed—I will always be grateful for him loving us the way he did—and does..

  38. Beautifully written, Bro. Brett!  I miss him also and consider him still to be one of the greatest men I've ever had the privilege of knowing.  You were truly blessed to have him as your Dad!  I feel the same way about mine!