Benefit concert for first US commissioned AGWM missionaries in London
Waxahachie, TX – February 22, 2012 – Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) faculty members Nathan and Meredith Jones will be the first Assemblies of God world missionaries in London, England, later this year. The couple has been chosen as the focus of the Student Missions Association’s (SMA) Spring 2012 giving project.
On Sunday, February 26, there will be a student-led concert fundraiser that will involve local churches and other ministries. The “Bridging London” concert will be held on the SAGU campus in the Sheaffer Full Life Center auditorium from 7 - 9 p.m. Admission is free. However, students will receive donations to support the missionary couple.
Musicians participating in the event include Amy Roberts, Binil Chacko and David Belt, The Call, Jonathan Trammel, and Nathan and Meredith Jones. Additionally, a guest folk band, the Animal Family Singers, will perform that evening.
Meredith Jones has had a passion and interest in London since she was a young girl. “I used to look through encyclopedias and look for anything I could find on England and the culture,” she says. “God put that love in my heart for a reason.”
In a recent missions chapel service, SMA surprised Meredith and Nathan Jones by announcing that the student body would financially support the couple for the spring giving project. SMA encourages SAGU students and faculty to give through several different methods during the spring semester.
Forms of donation include Buddy Barrel collections during which students are able to collect loose change in a container and compete against other dorms to raise the most funds. Students and faculty were encouraged to take music notes off of the chapel wall; each note represents a $25 donation towards the project. Another method of support for the Jones family would be through a faith promise, a monthly commitment towards their ministry.
“This project is so personal to SAGU, and we are honored to send them off as missionaries,” says SMA Treasurer Mary Duong. The project goal is $15,000 dollars, excluding any faith promises to support the family month to month.
SAGU’s Gold Jackets, a Student Congress service organization comprised of female students, hosted a London-themed "Mr. Wonderful” fundraiser that raised $1,300. Dates will be auctioned off to raise funds for the cause.
SMA’s decision to support the Jones’ financially is another way they believe that God has miraculously provided for them. The couple was even supported to go through missions training; they could not afford the necessary courses.
“If God has given you a dream that seems impossible, and you have no way of making it happen . . . well that’s good,” Meredith says. “He is the God of the impossible.”
Although London is not considered to be in a third world or destitute condition, the Jones’s noticed the spiritual and moral depravity in the town and the post-Christian attitude amongst the people. “Many consider themselves above or beyond Christianity intellectually,” says Nathan.
“They may not seem to have a lot of social justice issues because they are stable economically, but the people have a desperate need for God. It’s hard for Americans to see the need in this land," Meredith says.
Islam is growing rapidly in England and many parts of the world (Operation World). “Not only is it the fastest growing religion, but they have a strong voice.” says Nathan. “Radical Islam causes a general sense of fear to the people.” The Jones’s note that many of the empty churches of London are being sold to Islamic groups for mosques.
“A minister currently living in England told us of two things that the people respond to: the supernatural and music,” says Nathan. The couple plans on being involved with church planting and music ministry in London for the two years they are as missionaries.
Meredith Jones has been SAGU’s chapel worship director since Fall 2008 and was a professor at SAGU since January 2006. Nathan has been a guitar instructor in the music department since 2008. The couple has two children and is expecting another in March.
Nathan and Meredith are both SAGU graduates. Nathan received his bachelor’s in Church Ministries with a focus in music, and Meredith received her bachelor’s in Music Performance. She earned a master’s in music from Texas A&M University at Commerce with a specialization in Music Education.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The University was established in 1927 and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at www.sagu.edu or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.