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Jones’s ministry leads to book contract

Nan Jones said she was singing the high notes on the Hallelujah chorus when her name was called as the book contest winner in Asheville in February.

Originally published: Mar. 14, 2013
Last modified: Mar. 14, 2013

Heather Samudio

Crumpler resident Nan Jones began writing as a hobby, and has been a creative writer for as long as she can remember, but today, that hobby has become a ministry and earned Jones a book contract earlier in February.

As a contributing author with Christian Devotions, an online ministry, Jones entered the Badge of Honor Book Contest. She won first place, earning a book contract after submitting a work-in-progress of her planned book, “If God Be For Me: The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife.”

Jones’ journey to where she is today began in 1992 while she was attending a women’s conference in Tulsa, Okla., during her husband, David’s, seminary training.

“During a time of worship, I felt the spirit of the Lord settle upon me,” Jones said. “I opened my eyes. Women all about me stood with arms stretched towards the heavens. I saw them as never before … yearning to know their God more.

“I heard the Lord’s gentle whisper, ‘Nan, look about you. My spirit is on you to take my message of redemption, healing and restoration, my light into the dark crevices of their hearts that no one else sees,’” she said.

For the next 18 years, she held this experience close to her heart as she taught Bible studies, provided counseling and ministry, led women’s groups at churches she and her husband pastured and wrote every chance she could.

In 2009, when the couple resigned from the church they pastured, Jones felt it was the time to “answer God’s call,” and she launched a full-time writing and speaking ministry to “carry the light of God’s word into the broken places of the hearts of Christian women struggling with their faith.”

She began her ministry with a website, http://www.jubilantlight.com, and a devotional blog, Morning Glory, at http://morningglorylights.blogspot.com.

“The Lord has given me the platform of, “Even so, I walk in the presence of the Lord,’” Jones said. “This concept is the primary focus of Morning Glory and of my speaking events. I have learned that God’s presence is with me always, not just in rhetoric, but in actuality.”

Her ministry and desire to learn the craft and business of writing led Nan to attend Writer’s Advance Boot Camp, a conference for Christian writers, held at Billy Graham’s The Cove in Asheville, and submit her book outline and beginning to the contest.

This year’s boot camp was held Feb. 1-3, and Jones was announced as the book contest winner on Saturday night, Feb. 2.

“Oh my goodness,” she said. “Surprise doesn’t begin to describe the flood of emotions,” Nan said about her reaction to winning. “I knew I had done my best and that my manuscript was strong, but I didn’t know who or what I was competing against.”

The judges included professionals in the Christian writing industry, outside the framework of Christian Devotions, including published authors, editors and publishers. Out of five of the judges, Jones received three perfect scores.

“I was filled with wonder at the goodness of God, tremendous gratitude and shocked that what I have worked so hard for is about to come about, book publication,” she said.

The first person Jones told after her win was David, who, she said “let out a loud whoop. It sounded like the Packers had just won the Super Bowl or something. I honestly think he was running around the house hollering. I love that man.”

Her book is non-fiction, written by a pastor’s wife for pastors’ wives. According to Jones, the book confronts issues faced by a pastor’s wife during difficult times, such as when resigning as pastor of a church.

“It’s my desire that this book will lead the pastor’s wife to a place of healing and renewed purpose as she serves alongside her husband,” Jones said.

She has until this summer to complete the manuscript and then publishing will begin.

There isn’t a launch date yet, but readers will be able to purchase it from her website when it is printed.

Nan attends Osborne Memorial Baptist Church where David, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, pastors. She leads a ladies’ Bible study on Monday nights at the church.

The author hopes to become a keynote speaker with the Southern Baptist Convention, become multi-published and write a series of Bible studies with accompanying DVDs.

“My greatest prayer is that the Lord might be glorified through my life and that I would be obedient to everything he asks of me,” she said.

For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.