The Jones family donated $8,580 to begin the Lorenzo R. Jones III Endowment Fund at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
The fund will provide scholarships to assist students in pursuing a college education in all areas and departments at UAPB. Recipients of the one-year, nonrenewable scholarship must have a 2.5 GPA and classified as a sophomore, junior or senior, according to a news release.
A 1964 graduate of AM&N College (now UAPB), the late Lorenzo R. Jones III was a visionary, preacher and teacher.
He valued education and often shared his journey and blessings to encourage others to continue their education and become gainfully employed and productive citizens, according to the release.
Jones spent a brief time in Chicago before returning to Pine Bluff, serving at several churches after being ordained. The late Rev. Albert King, then pastor of New St. Hurricane Missionary Baptist Church, elected Jones to serve as youth pastor. After King died, Jones was called to pastor New St. Hurricane on July 5, 1988.
During his administration, the church experienced rapid growth and flourished, including 33 functioning ministries. He prioritized education, both academic and Christian. He awarded scholarships to high school graduates and established a Christian Education Department.
In March 1998, ground was broken for a new $1.2 million building. In October that year, New St. Hurricane moved into the new facility. On November 1, 2009, the members celebrated a mortgage burning ceremony.
Although Jones retired in 2012 after 24 years as pastor of New St. Hurricane, he continued working as an associate minister of Kings Highway Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the Rev. Walter C. May.
Jones served as executive secretary of the Regular Arkansas Baptist Convention under the leadership of the late Rev. D.L. O’Neal and vice moderator at large for the Regular Saint Marion Baptist District Association. He was also a silver life member of the NAACP.
Jones began his career as an agent with the Internal Revenue Service. After several years, he was promoted to special agent with the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. He was the recipient of several awards, including expert marksman, and recognition for volunteering and service. On Feb. 3, 2003, he retired from the IRS with many accolades and respect.
“To his family, it is important to honor his life, legacy and vision by establishing this endowment for students in need of financial assistance. Jones was a devoted family man. He and his wife, Jacqueline, were childhood sweethearts and were married for 44 years. They are parents of two sons, Lorenzo, IV and Kevyn; and he was most proud of the title ‘Granddaddy’ as he was affectionately and loudly called by his four granddaughters, Anya, Kierstyn, Kennedy and Kerrington,” according to the release.
At UAPB, endowment opportunities are available for any family, foundation, or organization that wishes to benefit students and/or programs at the university. To start an endowment, contact the Office of Development at 870-575-8702 or email@example.com.