Sing Praise Series Debuts in Southern Ohio

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In September, Southern Ohio was proud to have two hometown groups presented on the Main Stage of the National Quartet Convention at the LeConte Convention Center in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The Lore Family and the Joneses were both featured on the same Wednesday night. We highlighted The Lore Family here on Southern Ohio Christian Voice a few months ago, and they have been singing full-time for the past two years. In March 2018, the Joneses will also take the bold step of entering full-time ministry.

Sing Praise debuts this Thursday night, November 2, at 7 p.m. at the New Covenant Church of Christ in Christian Union in Waverly, featuring The Nelons, the Joneses and ABLAZE.

Group members include Joy Jones, her son Ryan, and his college friend Abbie Ailes. Joy’s husband Tucker is the group’s manager and sound technician. They are currently looking for a new male lead vocalist, so if you are interested in applying, please contact them. The family asks for prayers for God’s will in this decision. “They have to be called,” Joy said about any new members. In the meantime, their pastor Matt Hancock has filled in as well as friend Eli Reffit and Abbie. Tim Keep, who sings with Ohio Christian University’s ABLAZE has also helped out and will be with them on multiple appearances during their Christmas tour through the month of December.

Another new step the Joneses are taking is to promote an annual concert series called “Sing Praise.” This series debuts this Thursday night, November 2, at 7 p.m. at the New Covenant Church of Christ in Christian Union in Waverly. The concert features The Nelons, the Joneses and ABLAZE. Tim Throckmorton will serve as Master of Ceremonies. There is no ticket charge, but a love offering will be taken. The group plans to host spring and fall concerts in 2018 which will also be hosted at New Covenant.

Joy would fight them because she said she became so sick with stage fright, she could not breathe and almost passed out.  But God later delivered her from this fear, and she began singing in a trio called New Harmony.

Going full-time is a big step for someone who used to almost pass out from stage fright. Joy began singing on the road with her parents, Fred and Ida Bales, when she was four years old. She remembers going to the alter almost every service because she said her dad preached “hell, fire and brimstone,” and she always felt convicted. Her sister and brother-in-law, Nancy and Ray McGinnis, and her brother Mark Bales formed The Good News Trio nearly 40 years ago, and they would try to get her to sing. But she would fight them because she said she became so sick with stage fright, she could not breathe and almost passed out.

But God later delivered her from this fear, and she began singing in a trio called New Harmony. In 1996, she joined New Journey, founded by John Darin Rowsey, who later sang with Karen Peck and New River and now sings with The Guardians. During that time, the group appeared in Gaither Homecoming series videos and on several television programs. Joy was also voted “Favorite Soprano of the Year” by the Kentucky Gospel Music Association. She went solo after the group disbanded and began traveling with her husband Tucker and their two sons.

Ryan sang onstage at age 2 and was singing harmony by age 5. He was seven when he and his brother Derec, age 11 at the time, made their first CD as the Jones Boys. Joy and her sons developed The Joneses in 2012 as a family trio. Derec later left the group after he got married and went to work in his local church to lead a youth Bible Study group. Then Joy’s nephew, Andy McGinnis, sang with them over the next couple years.

Tennis and singing were Ryan’s “two things,” and God dealt with him about making a choice between one or the other.

Ryan is a junior at Ohio Christian University majoring in psychology with a concentration in counseling. He also leads the Thursday chapel team. When he graduates, he hopes to be a Christian counselor through the week and travel on the weekends to sing with his family. He was a star tennis player at Wheelersburg High School and was named conference player of the year when he was a senior. He appeared on a national Top 10 list for college coaches who were recruiting talent for their tennis teams.

Tennis and singing were his “two things,” and God dealt with him about making a choice between one or the other. He asked himself where tennis would take him in his life and prayed for God’s will. His final decision was to turn tennis down, so he prayed to God if it was His plan for him to play tennis again someday, to place it back in his life. After his first year of school, OCU formed a tennis team and asked him to play. The school works completely around his ministry, and Ryan has had to travel by air to make it to some of the team’s matches.

A lady who answered the phone said she had been rocking a baby girl all night and praying about what family should adopt her. This baby girl was Abbie.

Ryan met Abbie at chapel when he started at OCU, and they became fast friends. She has now been with the Joneses for almost three years. Born in Taiwan, she was adopted by a family from Lancaster, Ohio when she was five months old. Her parents felt led to adopt a baby girl and went to their pastor who was acquainted with missionaries in Taiwan. The pastor wrote a note to himself on an envelope and had made an initial call, but after some time, he ran across the reminder on his desk and called the orphanage. A lady who answered the phone said she had been rocking a baby girl all night and praying about what family should adopt her. This baby girl was Abbie.

She came to America to live with her new family and began to play violin at the age of 5. A few years later, the Collingsworth Family performed at Faith Memorial Church where her family attended. She told her dad after the concert, “I want to do this someday.” He encouraged her to do whatever she set her heart and mind to do for God. “I’m really thankful God gave me the opportunity,” she said.

Abbie graduated from OCU in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. She began to look for a job and needed something flexible to allow her to continue to travel with the Joneses. OCU recently hired her to serve as a recruiter for adult and graduate studies.

The group normally sings two or three times a weekend, but in March, they will begin their full-time ministry with help from their new booking agent, Bill Eversizer and the Covenant Agency of Indiana. “Some people go full-time just for the fame and perks in it,” Ryan said. “We want to see people saved and lives changed.”

“Singing is number one what God has called me to do in my life,” said Joy. “We just had to let go by faith. I’m excited what God’s going to do and about the people God’s going to work through us to reach.”

He was praying one day a few weeks ago about the group going full-time when he felt led to call a couple agents. One of them was Bill who said he felt the Holy Spirit when Ryan talked to Him and felt the same thing when he listened to the group’s music. Within a few hours, he called back and agreed to represent them. The doors have continued to open, and Tucker is also giving up his sign business.

“Singing is number one what God has called me to do in my life,” said Joy. “We just had to let go by faith. I’m excited what God’s going to do and about the people God’s going to work through us to reach.”

Joy also has a burden on her heart for those who suffer as victims of the human trafficking industry. “I just feel in my heart that I would love to incorporate it into our ministry.”

To follow the Joneses’ upcoming schedule, check out their website at https://www.officialjones.com. You can also follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/officialjonesmusic.

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Angie Duduit is the Owner/President of Joel Communications, LLC in Lucasville, Ohio. She has 24 years of experience in public relations in the nuclear industry. She and her husband, Del, have two adult sons, Gabe and Eli, and they all attend Rubyville Community Church where Angie sings, plays the piano and directs music for the youth group.

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