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New ministry emerges from life changing tragedy
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Lora Jones’ life changed drastically when she and her family were involved in a terrible automobile accident. Her husband and son died at the scene. Her daughter died later that night in the same hospital where Lora had been taken.
Lora will speak at a Ladies Salad Luncheon at the First Southern Baptist Church in Great Bend from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. She will also speak at the Hoisington New Life Baptist at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning, May 5, and at the 10:45 a.m. service at the First Southern Baptist at 19th and Harrison. The public is invited to hear her powerful testimony at any of these locations.
The following is an excerpt of Jones’ story as told to Eva Wilson in the February issue of The Baptist Digest.
“I love ministering to people. That’s the only thing in my life that didn’t change.”
Lora Jones sits at the oak dining table in her 1920s bungalow-style home in Liberal. She recalls how a traffic accident right before Thanksgiving 2004 changed her life forever. The accident claimed the lives of her husband, J.L., and their two children, Janessa and Jayden.
At the time the family was living in Miami, Okla., where J.L. was pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church. Before that they served at Calvary Baptist Church, Clay Center, and Immanuel Baptist Church, Grand Island, Neb.
J.L. and Lora had been ministry partners since they were students at Kansas State University in the early 1980s. They married in 1985.
On that fateful night in late November 2004 the family was traveling in a snowstorm to Liberal to spend Thanksgiving with their families. At Kingman an oncoming pickup hit a slick spot, crossed the center line and hit the Joneses’ vehicle, which J.L. was driving.
J.L. and their son died at the scene. Lora and Janessa were taken to a Wichita hospital, where Janessa died the next day. Jayden was 11 and in the sixth grade, and Janessa, age 14, was in the eighth grade.
With her old life ripped away, Lora found God leading her back to Miami, Okla. She lived in the church parsonage for six months and then bought a house, where she lived for two years.
“The whole community took care of me,” Lora recalls.
As she grieved the loss of her family, Lora found herself struggling. “God had to confirm to me that He still had a call for me.”
Lora opens her Bible to Romans 11:29, which says God’s gifts and calling are irrevocable. Then she points to the date she wrote by that passage: Dec. 13, 2004.
In March 2005 she shared her testimony at a country church near Miami, Okla.
“God started telling me I was going to do this [have a speaking ministry]. It took me a while to say ‘OK’.”
Her early speaking engagements “were out of obedience, not desire,” Lora says. “I’m not a speaker by nature. I hated speech in school. God has changed my nature. I love seeing people get a breath of hope.
“People want to know how I’m doing it. It gives me a wide open opportunity to talk about God.”
In 2007, Jones moved back home to Liberal. She served as Christian education director at her church for three years before going full time in her speaking ministry.
“My heart’s desire is not to become some famous person,” Jones says. “My heart’s desire is to stay in the little places where anybody can have me come speak.”
Learn more about her ministry at her website: