In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Donald “Don” Lenn Jones, 1956-2023

Donald “Don” Lenn Jones, 1956-2023
IMB Photo

Donald “Don” Lenn Jones, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Paraguay, died Dec. 30, 2023, in Peoria, Illinois, following a brief illness. He was 67.

Don was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, to Ruel Jones and Doris Youngblood. He graduated from Sterling High School and received the Bachelor of Arts from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Master of Divinity from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Master of Arts from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, and a Doctor of Ministry from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana.

He married Jane Miller on June 5, 1977.

In 1983, the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) appointed Don and Jane missionaries to Paraguay.

His obituary reports that in Paraguay, Don taught at the Seminario Teológico Bautista del Paraguay and mentored numerous pastors inside and outside the classroom. He was very committed to learning Guarani, the indigenous language of Paraguay, to minister more effectively to Paraguayans in their heart language.

After 18 years in Paraguay, the Joneses returned to the United States, where Don served as associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Muskogee, Oklahoma for seven years. In 2011 the couple were reappointed as missionaries with the IMB. They lived in Nairobi, Kenya until 2015, traveling around the continent as member care consultants. Briefly, before retirement, they worked in Panama before retiring in 2016. Upon second retirement from the IMB, Don became associate pastor at First Baptist Church Moore, Oklahoma, where he pastored the Spanish language congregation until 2022.

Don is survived by his wife, Jane, daughters Elizabeth “Liz” Jones (Heidi) and Megan Scott (Russell), two grandchildren, and many other family and friends.

A funeral service was Jan. 20, at Spring Creek Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.