Pastor discusses the importance of marriage and family

caines | 6/6/2013, 5:30 a.m.

Leads church and West Park community More than 30 years ago, a couple met with Rev. Eric H. Jones, Jr. for marriage counseling. The session went so well that they brought another couple the second time around. Within six months, there were 20 couples meeting with Jones for counseling. And out of the marriage counseling sessions, emerged Koinonia Worship Center and Village, a church of 2,500 members that operates seven days a week. Until this day, along with restoration, marriage counseling is still one of the churchs top priorities. Jones said he believes marriages makes strong families and a strong society. Jones, who has been married to First Lady Bloneva for 42 years and has three sons and three grandchildren, performed more than 1,000 marriages. Couples are able to receive premarital and marriage counseling at the church about three or four days a week. When the married couple ministry have their Saturday meetings at the church, they are able to realize that most marriages have common problems, according to Jones. We spend a lot of times letting couples know that there are valleys, but you wouldnt have valleys, if there werent mountains, Jones said. If you look at the valley and fail to look up at the mountain, then you stay in the valley. Another one of the churchs focal points is restoring those who have lost hope and felt their identity has been destroyed. To assist the church and community members, the church has about 25 in-reach and outreach ministries, according to Jones. They include: a mentoring ministry for young boys, a prison ministry, a halfway house ministry, a nursing home ministry, a singles ministry, an ex-offenders ministry and many others. The church also has spiritual specific workshops on Thursday nights. Its just a matter of being where the people in pain are, Jones said. If you go where the people in pain are are located then your ministry becomes effective. Jones said that there is always something going on at the church and it is important that the church operates seven days a week because the devil operates seven days a week. Along with pastoring the church, Jones has served as the mayor of the City of West Park since 2005 the Citys first mayor. He also holds numerous leadership positions in the community, in organizations, such as: the South Broward Ministerial Alliance, the Concerned Clergy of Better Broward and the Alliance for Action Council of Florida. Jones is also known for his local and worldwide radio broadcasts. The church will celebrate their 34th anniversary June 25-27. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com