Associate pastor, First Presbyterian Church

Rev. Jones Doughton, D.Min.

July 31, 2010 

What’s your favorite part of your job? There are two pieces. One is, I work with fantastic people, both the staff and the people in the church. And, I like running things. My main responsibilities are mission, congregational life and adult Christian education.

How did you know, or when did you know, you wanted to be ordained? It was a process, a series of critical decisions, made over a six-year period. It began with a shift in priorities in my college years, when I started to take my faith more seriously. I worked with a para-church organization, Campus Crusade for Christ and was active in the Presbyterian Church.

Where? In Greenville, N.C.

You were raised a Presbyterian, then? Yes, sixth generation. I was born into First Presbyterian of Charlotte. My family and I moved when I was 10, and we went to First Presbyterian of Hickory, N.C., then I attended University Presbyterian at Chapel Hill and then Peace Presbyterian in Greenville. My mother, Leila, lives in Hickory.

For college, how did you pick the University of North Carolina? Ever since the seventh grade I wanted to go there. It was the only school to which I applied. It’s the flagship school of the University of North Carolina system so there’s a cachet.

What’d you major in? Political science. I started off as an accounting major.

Who’s in your family? My wife is Mary Lee. Our son Bennett will be 5 in October, and our daughter Mary Claire is 18 months.

How did you meet Mary Lee? We met at a wedding in Texas. She was a friend of the bride, and I was a friend of the groom. It was the fourth weekend in April 2002. Our first date was the third weekend of September 2002. I proposed the third weekend of September 2003, and we married in April 2004.

What are you reading? I’m re-reading “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge. His books speak to a man’s heart and soul.

As people talk about the general decline of the mainline denominations, what do you think is a solution? Know who you are, know what you believe and be faithful to do what’s right.

Your Church’s General Assembly recently met and passed some controversial resolutions. How do you think First Presbyterian and Flint River Presbytery will deal with it? General Assembly passes things like Congress and it’s up to the states to ratify. When it’s Flint River’s time to vote, we will do that.

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