The Howard University School of Divinity will dedicate its library in honor of Dr. Lawrence Neale Jones, during the Opening Convocation on Wed., Jan. 20. Dr. Jones, who served as dean of the divinity school for 16 years from 1975-1991, died on Mon., Dec. 7. He was 88.
Dr. Jones contributions were vast and enduring. Much of the schoolâ€™s growth occurred under Dean Jonesâ€™ leadership including the schoolâ€™s progressive move from the Universityâ€™s main campus to the site on Randolph Street in Northwest D.C. to its current location on Shepherd Street in Northeast D.C. He is also credited for the increase in student enrollment, faculty and resources. It was also during his tenure that â€œGreat is thy Faithfulnessâ€ was adopted as the school song.
Last modified on Wednesday, 23 December 2009 18:34
Dr. Jones served as pastor of churches in Ohio, New York City, and Washington, D.C., including Church of the Redeemer and Plymouth Congregational Church. He also served as Dean of the Chapel at Fisk University; and Dean of the Faculty and Acting President of Union Theological Seminary, where he was the first African American to hold that position.
He wrote many pieces, including Soundings, Theological Reflections and Notes from a Preacherâ€™s Desk. After his retirement, he wrote African Americans and the Christian Churches, 1619-1860, which was published in 2007, when he was 86 years old. He was the recipient of many honorary degrees and awards, befitting an extraordinary person.
Dr. Jones received a bachelorâ€™s degree from West Virginia State College, a masterâ€™s degree in American History from the University of Chicago, a bachelor of divinity degree from Oberlin College Graduate School of Theology, and a Ph.D. in African American Church History from Yale University.
A host of family, clergy, students and friends attended funeral services for Dr. Jones held on Sat., Dec. 12 at Plymouth Congregational Church in the District. Reverend Calvin Butts pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church delivered the eulogy.
Prior to Dean Jones' passing, the Universityâ€™s administration had granted the approval to rename the School of Divinityâ€™s library in his honor, The Lawrence Neale Jones Library. The dedication will be held at the School of Divinity, 1400 Shepherd Street, N.E. on Wed., Jan. 20, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. during the schoolâ€™s Opening Convocation.