Tampa pastor to be laid to rest after losing battle with cancer - WRBL

Tampa pastor to be laid to rest after losing battle with cancer

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Reverend Arthur "Art" Jones spent his lifetime serving God, both as a minister and a gospel singer. He led the Florida Mass Choir, which he helped found.
 
For more than two decades, the Tampa native worked as a marketing executive at IBM. But the calling to spread the gospel in song and word never left.

In 1992, he founded Bible-Based Fellowship, the church with 28 people in his living room. It eventually grew to a reported 3,500 members. But it's not necessarily how he intended his life to be.

In an interview with the Tampa Tribune's Michelle Bearden in 2011, Jones said, "The Lord convinced me my true calling in life is the ministry. It was not my desire to be a gospel singer, I really wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. Gospel singing is a part of what I did and very much a part of the church I grew up in."
 
In 2010, Jones was diagnosed with cancer, multiple myeloma. He remained prayerful and determined. He said when he found out, he immediately began to pray, essentially tuning out the rest of what the doctors were saying.
 
During that 2011 interview he said he prayed the day he got the diagnosis, "I don't deserve this. I never put drugs in my veins or alcohol in my mouth. I wasn't that bad of a dude. You know where this came from, and you know how to get rid of it," Jones said.
That was December 2010.
 
He stayed faithful and prayed until the end.  "I told God, I've got one more lap in me. Let me run it. That's what I said to Him. I know I've got another lap left... let me run it."

On Saturday, he finished the race. He died at a hospice facility, surrounded by friends and family.

The funeral will be Friday at 11 a.m. at Bible Based Fellowship, 4903 Ehrlich Rd. in Tampa.

The Tampa Tribune's Michelle Bearden contributed to this report.

 

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