More than a century of living has not slowed down the Rev. Dr. Whalen Samuel Jones, who celebrated his 106th birthday on June 7.
The handsome centenarian still speaks with godly wisdom, attends church on a regular basis, and shares his time and talents as pastor emeritus of Messiah Baptist Church in Los Angeles, the congregation he founded in 1954.
In appreciation for his many contributions, Pastor Perry J. Jones and Messiah members threw a gala party for him with more than 100 people in attendance. The celebrants included his children, grandchildren and great-children as well as scores of other relatives and friends.
Commenting on his long life, Dr. Jones said, “I feel fine that I have been blessed by God to see all of these years.”
During his long ministry, which began in 1937, Dr. Jones led congregations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania before coming to Los Angeles. He also earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Eastern Baptist College and Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Years later, he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Eastern College and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree at California School of Theology.
Dr. Jones served 34 years as Messiah’s senior pastor before retiring in 1987, however, he holds pleasant memories of his tenure.
In a 2013 Sentinel interview, he said, “God permitted Messiah to grow and prosper in every way. How I thank God for allowing me to pastor a ‘Godly group’ of people.”
Messiah Baptist Church is located at 4500 West Adams Boulevard in Los Angeles. For information about worship services and ministries, call (323) 734-7920.