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The Reverend Cecil Baron Jones, Jr.

October 2, 1941 May 25, 2020
The Reverend Cecil Baron  Jones, Jr.
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Obituary for The Reverend Cecil Baron Jones, Jr.

The Reverend Cecil B. Jones, Jr., retired priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi, died Monday, May 25, after a life of service to his church that spanned more than fifty years.
Cecil was born on October 2, 1941, in Meridian, MS, to The Reverend Cecil B. Jones, Sr. and Margaret Bourdeaux (Peggy) Jones. As a small child he moved to Columbus, MS, when his father became the rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and it was there he grew up.
In the early 1940’s his father and fellow priest, The Reverend Duncan M. Gray, Sr., were charged with finding a plot of land on which to build the camp that would ultimately become “the heart and soul of the Mississippi diocese,” Camp Bratton Green at Way, MS. During his childhood and youth, Cecil spent every summer there, first as a “staff brat,” then a camper, and finally as staff, developing a passion for this place that would become central to his life.
Following graduation from high school Cecil attended Ole Miss, where he became a member of the Kappa Alpha Order and was also involved in campus politics. In his senior year he was a member of the Student Judicial Council that dealt with the aftermath of the riots that marked James Meredith’s entrance to the University. This experience engendered in him a lifelong passion for social justice which was reflected in his ministry as he constantly urged his parishoners toward inclusion and community outreach.
From college, having been surrounded and greatly influenced by a “family full of Episcopal priests” known as “The Jones Boys” from Woodville, MS, Cecil attended seminary at The University of the South at Sewanee. After receiving his Master’s of Divinity, he served his curacy at St. John’s Laurel, where he would be ordained to the Diaconate and was ordained to the priesthood at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in May of 1967.
Throughout his years as an active Episcopal priest Cecil served the following parishes and missions in the Diocese of Mississippi: St. James, Greenville; Church of the Redeemer, Greenville; St. Stephen’s, Columbia; Grace, Canton; All Saints, Tupelo. In semi-retirement he served both St. Christopher’s, Jackson, and Christ Church, Bay St. Louis, as priest-in-charge. Others he served as supply priest on a long-term basis are St. Mark’s, Raymond; St. Stephen’s, Indianola; Christ Church, Holly Springs; St. Luke’s, Brandon. (Please forgive us if we have left someone out; the diocesan office is closed!)
Among his parishoners Cecil was thought of as a gifted teacher who made the gospel “come alive” and as a good listener, a pastor who walked with them in their time of need. Throughout the diocese he was known for his skills as a facilitator of small groups and for his teachings on Christian stewardship in terms of the importance of time and talents.
During Cecil’s lifetime his name became synonymous with Camp Bratton Green, just as his father’s had been. For nearly thirty years he directed summer camps, becoming known to his campers and staff as one who would gladly become the target of their pranks but who would also sternly warn them, “If I find one more paper cup on the ground, I will close the ice machine for the day!”-- and mean it! In the 1970’s and 80’s he served in every administrative capacity from Executive Director to Chair of the Board of Managers. For several summers, in the absence of a resident manager, Cecil and his young family lived in the Bishop’s Cottage as he “ran camp” and commuted to his church in Canton. In the 1980’s when the diocese purchased the property across Way Road which had been the former Allison’s Wells, Cecil headed the group that oversaw the designing and building of the conference center which, along with Camp Bratton Green, became collectively known as Gray Center.
Cecil was preceded in death by his parents, his sister and brother-in-law, Ann and Larry McDuff, and his infant brother. He is survived by his three children and their families: Laurin Jones Kay and sons Hardin and Keller Kay of Hattiesburg; Louis and Ginger Jones and children Maggie and Andrew Jones of Brandon; Pipes and Alley Ejlali and their children Noah Jane and Holden Ejlali of Oxford. Also surviving him is Jane Phenix Jones, the mother of their children, and his nieces and nephews: Mallory McDuff, Laurence McDuff, Margaret McDuff Lewis, Wilson McDuff, and their families.
At this time because of the threat of COVID-19, there will be only a small family service during which Cecil’s ashes will be scattered at Gray Center. The family hopes to have a memorial service there at a later date in which extended family and friends can participate.
Anyone wishing to honor Cecil with a memorial is asked to consider a monetary donation to Gray Center. To donate please send a check to Gray Center- 1530 Way Road, Canton, MS, 39046 or donate online at www.graycenter.org

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Previous Events

Graveside

Monday

1

Jun

10:00 AM 6/1/2020 10:00:00 AM
Duncan Gray Center

1530 Way Rd
Canton, MS 39204

Services will be private for family only in attendance, however, services will be Live Streamed at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 1, 2020. Please go to the following link to view the service: http://facebook.com/TheEpiscopalChurchinMississippi/live You do not need a Facebook account to view the service. Due to current circumstances, the family will have a Celebration of Life at a later date. Details will be forthcoming.

Duncan Gray Center
1530 Way Rd Canton 39204 MS
United States

Memorial Contribution

Duncan M. Gray Center Chapel

1530 Wayy Road
Canton, MS 39046
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