The Living Church

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The Living ChurchMay 24, 1998Around The Diocese by Ann M. Ball216(21) p. 7

The Rt. Rev. Girault McArthur Jones, seventh Bishop of Louisiana, died of liver cancer April 29 in Nashville, Tenn. He was 93.

"Bishop Jones built upon the foundation he had inherited," said the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Jenkins III, Bishop of Louisiana. "Through years of devoted and sacrificial leadership, he expanded the Episcopal Church throughout the State of Louisiana. He is remembered for his strong leadership, sharp wit and deep spirituality."

Bishop Jones was born in Centerville, Miss. He was one of nine brothers. He attended public school in Woodville, Miss., and was a student at Staunton Military Academy in Virginia. He received his BA degree in 1925 from the University of Mississippi and graduated from the School of Theology at the University of the South in 1928. He was ordained to the diaconate that year and to the priesthood in 1929.

His early years of ordained ministry, 1929-1936, were spent as a missionary priest to four counties in southern Mississippi. He married Virginia Hester Wallace in 1930. She died seven months later. In 1931, Bishop Jones became rector of Trinity Church, Pass Christian, Miss., in addition to his care of several mission congregations. In 1935, he married Kathleen Platt.

The following year, he was called to be rector of St. Andrew's, New Orleans, where he served from 1936 until 1949. His ministry included the care of Episcopal students at Tulane University.

Active in all levels of church life, Bishop Jones was elected a deputy to General Convention in 1934, 1940, 1943 and 1946. He was director of the University of the South's summer school from 1939 to 1941, served on Sewanee's board of trustees from both Mississippi and Louisiana, and served three terms on the university's board of regents. He was president of Province 4 from 1956 to 1959.

He was elected the Bishop of Louisiana, Nov. 17, 1948, succeeding Bishop John Long Jackson. Bishop Jones was consecrated March 9, 1949 and was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of the South that year. He served as diocesan until his retirement in 1969.

Among his accomplishments was the establishment of the John Long Jackson Fund which has, for nearly 50 years, offered low interest loans to mission congregations for construction and renovation projects.

He also established the diocesan newspaper, Churchwork, and was its editor for his entire 20-year episcopate. Shortly before his retirement, Bishop Jones became the 16th chancellor of the University of the South. He served in that capacity from 1967 to 1973. He also served as interim dean of the School of Theology from 1981 to 1982.

During his retirement, Bishop Jones authored three books.

Following retirement, the Joneses lived at Sewanee until 1993, when they moved to a residence in Nashville.

Bishop Jones is survived by his wife, Kathleen, of Nashville; two daughters, Virginia Kathleen Callicott of Franklin, Tenn., and Elizabeth Girault Jones Corey of Knoxville; three granddaughters; two great-grandsons and one great-granddaughter.