Leland L. and Norma J. Jones are the Senior Pastor and First Lady of the Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor Jones was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to Ardie Mae and the late Cleveland Jones, Jr. and raised in Akron, Ohio, Dr. Jones accepted God’s “call” to preach the gospel and was licensed by the Rev. Dr. T. DeWitt Smith, Jr. at the New Hope Baptist Church. After completing high school he moved to Atlanta to attend Morehouse College. There he gained an understanding and an appreciation of what it means to be “young, gifted and black.” While at Morehouse he joined the West Hunter Street Baptist Church and was later ordained by the late Rev. Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, Sr.
In 1991 Rev. Jones began serving as pastor of the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in the beautiful hills of Tate, Georgia. For twelve years he lovingly served the people in that blessed community that exemplified the love that “flows from heart to heart, and from breast to breast.” He was pivotal in growing the small rural congregation into a thriving and spiritually directed Christian fellowship.
In July of 2003 he began his service as pastor of Greater New Light. Under his leadership our church has experienced a re-birth and an extra dose of spiritual energy. Members, new and old, are joining or re-uniting with the Greater New Light Family and are helping us to thrive in an atmosphere of Christian harmony, spiritual development and social inclusion. Rev. Jones has the ability to make people feel special and needed in the body of Christ and also within the network of our church. At Greater New Light everybody is somebody special and under the leadership of Pastor Jones we are striving toward Christian maturity, mutual respect and excellence in all that we say and do.
Pastor and Sister Jones have two daughters, Rikilla and Tiara, and one son, Leland Jr. They also have a “gaggle” of grandchildren.
Sister Jones is a school teacher in the Atlanta area. She holds degrees and certifications from Berry College and Covington Bible College.
Rev. Jones holds degrees and certifications from Atlanta Junior College, Georgia State University, Luther Rice Seminary, Columbia Southern University, Covington Theological Seminary and the Interdenominational Theological Center.
Pastor Jones serves on a variety of civic, social and community service and advisory boards while also serving as Chaplain for the Tuskegee University Football team (since 2011) and he also serves as a Chaplain in the Georgia Army National Guard. He is ecclesiastically endorsed by the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.