The Reverend David O. Jones, is a fourth generation educator who has been involved in Christian education since 1981.
Rev. Jones was born and raised on a farm in central Illinois where the closest town numbered only six hundred. His youth revolved around family, church and school.
Two weeks after graduating high school he entered Northern Illinois University, to prepare for law school. God had a better idea. David recognized God’s call on his life to enter the ministry, left the university and enrolled in a small ministerial school in Des Moines, Iowa. While at Open Bible College, he married and had a son, Andrew Scott.
Following college, he returned to DeKalb, Illinois to serve as a Pastor of Youth and Evangelism. Daughter Jennifer Rae was born during that time. Two years later the young family moved to Bloomington, IL where he pioneered a congregation while founding a national youth evangelism project with his church’s denomination. After leading and developing leadership in the Bloomington congregation, David moved the family south to Franklin, Tennessee.
While on hiatus from pastoring, he became involved in a number of political activities and served as a chairman of several campaigns. His activity with the Williamson County Republican Party provided its first computerized mailing list, its first dues-paying membership and the first issues of its newsletter.
Rev. Jones’ son Andrew drowned in 1982. A year later he and his wife began to teach their daughter Jennifer at home. His convictions and Christian commitment over-rode the fact that the practice was not yet legal. In 1983, he was a founding member of the Tennessee Home Education Association.
In 1984 Rev. Jones was asked to be the founding pastor of a new congregation in Franklin. He served as pastor of Heritage Covenant Church for twelve years. While pastoring he worked with Tennessee’s Right-to-Life organization. He served in various leadership roles in the Nashville chapter as well as Vice-President of the state organization. During the picketing of one of the abortion clinics in Nashville, he had a confrontation with its owner which resulted in his being sued for a million dollars. Also during the late 1980’s, Rev. Jones attended three separate White House foreign affairs briefings at the invitation of President Ronald Reagan.
As a pastor, Rev. Jones was active in the local ministerial association, taking a leadership role in community worship services. He helped establish the first “safe house” for victims of domestic violence in Williamson County. As a multi-racial congregation, Heritage Covenant Church established a monthly food distribution for the community. Rev. Jones also served for several years as chaplain for the Franklin Police Department.
In 1986, Rev. Jones founded Heritage Covenant Schools. Beginning as a program for elementary age homeschoolers, a year later HCS began operation as a church-related school and developed a program of “satellite classrooms.” HCS has provided educational administrative services to thousands of families in Tennessee.
In 1993, he with the late Dale VanGorden founded Eagles Nest Preschool which became a separate entity, Eagles Nest Academy, now The Classical Academy of Franklin. Also in 1993, he helped George Grant and David Dunham found the Franklin Classical School which also became a separate entity. In 1994, he was co-founder of the Tennessee Association of Church-Related Schools and testified before a joint legislative committee in Nashville which enabled TACRS to gain recognition in the Tennessee Code.
In July 1996, Governor Don Sundquist appointed Rev. Jones to serve on Tennessee’s Task Force on Arson at Places of Worship.
Rev. Jones is grandfather to four lovely little girls who live with their parents in Franklin, Tennessee. In November 2003, his wife Debbie passed away from complications of Lupus.
During the 2004 legislative session, Senator Jim Bryson sponsored a Joint Resolution in the Tennessee legislature honoring “Rev. David O. Jones for his laudable contributions to education in Tennessee.” On the 9th of September 2004, Rev. Jones was invited by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn to offer the opening prayer for the daily session of the United States House of Representatives.
On 25 May 2006, just five days after the HCS Commencement, he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. A full recovery was doubted, but by God’s grace and healing power, he was dismissed from the surgeon’s care in twelve weeks.
Prior to the accident he had moved to a cabin in the woods near Lobelville and commuted to the HCS office in Franklin. Because the hours driving were not helping his complete recovery, the HCS office was moved to Lobelville in July 2007.
Always one to be active in the community, Rev. Jones became a member of the Board of the Perry County Chamber of Commerce shortly after moving to Lobelville and served as President during 2010 before retiring from the Board. In 2013 he was elected Chairman of the Southern National Congress, an office he continues to hold.