In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Marie Martin Jones, 1930-2024

Portrait of Marie Martin Jones, 1930-2024. IMB Photo

Marie Martin Jones, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in the Americas, died Jan. 21, 2024. She was 93.

Marie was born in Perry County, Mississippi, to J. C. Martin and Ethel Crawford Martin. She graduated from Hattiesburg High School and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and her master’s degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

She married Mack Prentiss Jones on June 15, 1952. Mack served as pastor of several churches in Mississippi and Oregon, and Marie conducted the choirs, sang and played the piano.

While seeking appointment with the Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board) she wrote that “one of the greatest highlights of my life” came during the 1962 Southern Baptist Convention.

She continued, “After the wonderful testimonies of the newly appointed foreign missionaries, Dr. Baker J. Cauthen preached a powerful, Spirit-filled message. Through the message I kept thinking, ‘Oh, I hope that our six young people that came are hearing this.’ Suddenly it dawned on me that God was speaking to me.” God was working on Mack’s heart as well, and together, the couple answered the call to missions.

In 1963, the Foreign Mission Board appointed Marie and Mack missionaries to Costa Rica, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Mexico. They served in Asuncion, Paraguay in 1964; Montevideo, Uruguay, South America in 1970; Mexico City in 1981 and Juarez, Mexico in 1989.

While in between their two Uruguay appointments with the IMB, they entered New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Marie received her master’s degree in Vocal and Sacred Music in 1969. She taught music theory, voice, hymnology and directed choirs at the seminaries in Uruguay. She continued working in music during their time in South America and Mexico. The couple retired in 1994.

Marie is preceded in death by Mack, who passed away in 2018.

She is survived by her nieces, Kathy Stagg Wright (Ken) of Pearland, Texas, and Maretta Martin McLeod of Water Valley, Mississippi, and the family of J.C. Martin, Jr.

A funeral service was Jan. 24, at First Baptist Church of Purvis, Mississippi.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Lottie Moon Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at Generosity Resource Center – IMB Generosity.