Obituary for Pastor Ralph "Billy" Jones
Pastor Ralph Jones was born in Berea, South Carolina, to the late Ben Lester and Helen Jones on Sunday, November 5, 1950. He departed this life on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, surrounded by family and friends at his home in Piedmont, South Carolina. He graduated from Sterling High School in 1969, and obtained an Associate’s Degree in Theology from Beacon University in 2006. Throughout his life, he was a member of the Future Medical Explorers and the Future Farmers of America; served as Worshipful Master of the Mount Pleasant Lodge No. 389, Order of the Freemasons; was a member of the Shriners and the Eastern Stars; and was the first African-American member of the Greenville Board of Realtors.
From an early age, Ralph felt a calling to serve the Lord. He began this journey, as a young adult, by becoming a Sunday School Teacher at Rocky Mount Baptist Church in Berea, S.C. He then became the Adult Sunday School Teacher at Powdersville Community Church in Piedmont, S.C. where he was well received. In 2015, he was formally installed as the Pastor of Powdersville Community Church. As a Pastor, Ralph helped his flock grow closer with the Lord by educating, inspiring, and entertaining them. Ralph always strived to weave humor into his sermons to bring the Scripture to life and make it more relatable to people.
Ralph was a successful businessman in the grading and demolition field for over fifty years. By demolishing old buildings and grading lots, Ralph played a significant role in the re-development of Greenville, S.C. and surrounding areas. Ralph was well respected by his peers and colleagues and enjoyed a great reputation amongst them.
Aside from working and serving the Lord, Ralph enjoyed listening to gospel music and the radio station WTBI, watching western movies, and writing poetry. Ralph was also a comic book connoisseur; among his favorite titles were The Silver Surfer, Conan the Barbarian, Kid Colt, and Enemy Ace. He was also well known for his love of literature, and frequently recited his favorite works including The Night Before Christmas, The Devil and Daniel Webster, The Charge of the Light Brigade, Gunga Din, Richard Cory, and the collected works of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Finally, Ralph was a passionate, life-long learner, and loved nothing more than good, intelligent conversation with friends and family.
Ralph was predeceased by his parents and his son, Gerald Sullivan of Greenville, SC.
He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Sharon Jones of Piedmont, SC; stepmother, Ann Lester of Berea, SC; uncle and business partner, James Jones of Greenville, SC; daughters, Mrs. Amber Payne, (Ben) of Greenville, SC, and Mrs. Ashley Craig, (Justin) of North Little Rock, AR; a grandson, Titus Payne of Columbia, SC; a sister, Mrs. Margaret Harrison, (Bryant) of Pelzer, SC; brothers, Mr. Kirby Jones, of Piedmont, SC, and Mr. Lawrence Jones, (Amanda) of Piedmont, SC; beloved grand-puppy, Miss Muffin of Greenville, SC; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.