DALLAS: Missionary (AMiA) Bishop Plants Spirit-Filled Church

AMIA News Release
May 2011

When a group of people asked the Rt. Rev. Philip Jones to consider planting a church with them in Dallas, the area where he grew up, every fiber in his body shouted, “No.”. The Missionary Bishop of the seven-state Little Rock Network already had a full plate and a comfortable position at a thriving church in Little Rock, Arkansas.

“I thought, ‘I’ve got a platform here and everything is going great,'” Jones says. “I never dreamed of going back to Texas. God’s call was the only thing I could think of that would possibly get me out of where I was.”

Dallas bishop’s men Members of All Saints enjoy a Holy Spirit Retreat held at a farm north of Dallas (Bishop Jones – Far Right)

God was indeed calling him back to the town where he’d played high school football-with the task of introducing Anglicanism to Central Dallas. He and his family moved in August 2010, and now the 120 attendees of All Saints Dallas gather in another church’s building on Sunday afternoons, satiating a hunger for what Jones calls a “spirit-filled, Christ-centered liturgical church” in the Dallas area. In general, Texans are well educated in dispensational theology; All Saints emphasizes the gifts of the Holy Spirit and prophecy.

“Here, people have a lot of head knowledge, but they don’t have a lot of head and heart together,” Jones says. “They know the word, but there’s a hollowness inside. The Spirit gives a balm.”

All Saints recently held a retreat on “Who is the Holy Spirit, and what does He do?” at a farm an hour north of town. They expected around 25 people, but 70 showed up, many from the community.

“That tells me there’s a real openness,” Jones says.

They’re making inroads, but his job is far from easy. Jones is a novice planter also juggling bishop duties that require him to travel two weekends a month. Moreover, he no longer has an office, a building or a staff – structures he’d come to rely on.

All Saints’ first worship service at Central Christian Church.

“In some ways it’s really freeing, but it’s rocking my world,” he says. “I have to find my self-worth not in performance but in that I’m a child of God. The ego takes a bit of a bashing. I do what I do, and God’s got to show up.”

As All Saints continues to sow Gospel seeds and get people fired up about Jesus and the Holy Spirit, Jones knows that he’s right where he’s supposed to be-in Dallas, starting from scratch.

“I’ve never done anything like this before. It really brings out the character issues: trusting, believing, loving God and loving people when you’re a small church and everyone’s got an agenda. It really pulls out from you how much you need God and prayer. I have to trust that the gifts God has given me are needed at a time like this.”

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