Rev. Jim Jones has been pastor of Highland Park UMC since June 2013. Prior to that, he was at Christ United Methodist Church in Enid, Oklahoma since 2004. A native of Oklahoma, Jim grew up in Stroud graduating with honors from Stroud High School in 1977. After high school, he attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, graduating in 1981 with a biology degree. While at OSU, Jim was a member of the President's Leadership Council, member and vice-president of the Pre-Med Science Club, member and president of the OSU Biology Club, and was president of the OSU Ambassadors his senior year.
During his senior year, Jim was accepted into the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. At the end of his first year, he made the decision that this was not his calling. He then spent six years in sales, the majority of that time with Abbott Laboratories as a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative where he won several sales awards. Following a short stint with the Oklahoma Affiliate of the American Heart Association as the Director of Medical and Community Education, Jim answered his call to ministry while a member of the Village United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. He earned a Master's of Divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary and is an ordained elder in the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church. Prior appointments include Student Pastor at Village United Methodist, First United Methodist in Cashion, Associate Pastor of Nichols Hills in Oklahoma City, and Grace United Methodist in Altus, Oklahoma.
Jim and his wife, Lou Ann, met in high school and married in 1978 while at OSU. They joined Highland Park United Methodist Church that summer. Lou Ann has been teaching Social Studies at Enid High School and also taught at Altus High School. Jim and Lou Ann have three children. Chris was born in 1981 one week after Jim graduated from OSU. Chris and his wife Emily have two daughters, Abigail and Jozie, and they all live in Altus. Their daughter and her husband, Laurie and Russell Fanning, live in Enid. Their youngest son, Tyler, is a sophomore at Oklahoma City University.
One of Jim's passions is mission and he has led numerous Volunteer in Mission teams which include construction, medical, and mission Bible school. His teams have been as small as seven people and as large as sixty people. These endeavors have taken him to Mexico a number of times including trips to Monterrey, La Carbonara, and Rio Bravo. Other locations include Biloxi, Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina, tornado relief in Oklahoma, and most recently to Haiti following the earthquake in 2010. Because of his involvement with Haiti, Jim has taught at the Conference School of Missions the past two summers on the study of Haiti.
Besides mission, Jim also enjoys leading Bible study and other teaching opportunities. Jim is an Eagle Scout and has been involved in Scouts most of his life.
He was instrumental in the formation of three new scouting units. These were a Cub Scout Pack at Nichols Hills UMC and a Cub Scout Pack and Scout Troop at Grace UMC in Altus. His other interests include reading, photography, genealogy, landscaping, and of course, spending time with his granddaughters.
Service beyond the local church has also been a calling that Jim has answered. At the district level, he has most recently served as chair of the Enid District Committee on Ministry and as a member of the Enid Superintendency Committee. He previously was chair of the Enid District Board of Church Building and Relocation. Jim is currently a member of the Conference Council on Finance and Administration and he co-chaired a special task force looking into pension and health care billing and the apportionment formula. He served for eight years on the Conference Board of Pensions and Health Care Benefits and was chair of the Conference Wellness Committee.