Keith Jones found himself running most of his life from his true calling.
Now he feels he is on the right path, and it leads to Rock Pointe Church in Fort Oglethorpe. He is releasing a book he wrote titled "Sheriff Adonai" this month. It tells the story of a dysfunctional teenager who is running from both the local sheriff and himself. Book proceeds will go to fund his Adonai Stepping Stones Ministry for homeless teens and struggling couples.
Working at Unum for 17 years, Jones always knew he was meant to be a pastor. He grew up the son of a pastor and lived in 12 cities throughout the Southeast. After stepping down from his position at Unum in 2011, he focused more on Rock Pointe - the church he launched in December 2007.
"I felt like it was time to focus on my life calling," said Jones. "Originally I did not want to go into ministry. There's a little bit of me in the novel. I did not want to follow in my dad's footsteps and I ran from what I was supposed to do for a long time."
Adonai Stepping Stones Ministry
Rock Pointe Church, at the corner of Cross and Nativity streets, is focusing on helping homeless teenagers and married couples in need of counseling through its Adonai Stepping Stones Ministry, named to represent the effort it takes to get from one stepping stone to the next.
"My wife and I have a real passion for married couples," said Jones, adding that they host a couples' class in their home. "We do one-on-one mentoring for couples."
In years past, the church has assisted 150 area homeless teenagers at Christmastime by buying them clothing, hygiene items and food. In 2014, the church is focusing on helping 10 homeless teenagers by pouring more resources into fewer teens in order to help them fix their broken-down vehicles and help them get on the right path to college and a career.
"We help underprivileged teenagers," said Jones. "A lot of these kids are homeless and have no mentors in their lives. We envision building a big barn to house weddings and to house the homeless teenagers. We will teach the kids skills."
Jones said four couples help with Adonai Stepping Stones Ministry and Gerald Davis serves as the ministry president.
"We have one former homeless teen that we helped that is about to graduate from Southern PolyTechnic State University with a six-year degree," said Jones. "This young man, as a junior at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School, lived out of his car after being abandoned by his parents. Our church members let him sleep on their couches. He's a very smart young man and learned to live on one meal a day while being homeless. Now he works in Atlanta and helps us go shopping for other homeless teens. He's a Big Brother to a child in Atlanta too. We want to pour [resources] into youth like him that want to do well."
Rock Pointe Prison Ministries
Jones also likes to go to prisons and teach inmates leadership skills and professional development.
He recently taught life skills such as how to dress for an interview and the do's and don'ts of job interviews to 30 inmates at Walker State Prison in Rock Spring, Ga. He said they take it seriously.
Jones also handed out 150 copies of "Sheriff Adonai" to the local inmates.
"Our church won the Church of the Year for 2013 for contributions to the Georgia State Prison System," said Jones, who also works with inmates at Central State Prison in Macon.