Reverend Calvin Jones, Sr. was born to Eddie and Josephine Jones on March 28, 1920 in Louisiana. His family moved to Arkansas, where Calvin attended school in Magnolia. At the age of thirteen, Jones joined the Home Near Baptists Church after he was baptized. Calvin Jones later joined the United States Army and was honorably discharged in 1946. Afterward, he was employed by United Airlines for almost two decades. Within that same year, Jones married his first wife, Corine Johnson, on January 6th. They were married for forty-four years until her death, and they had three children. He eventually married his second wife, Horsea Matin, on August 8, 1992.
A pious and religious man, Reverend Calvin Jones dedicated his life to service and preaching at various churches. In 1947, Jones was active in his community by serving as vice president of the Senior Usher Board, president of the Male Chorus, president of the Brotherhood, and treasurer of the Trustee Board. He was officially ordained as a deacon in 1960, and was elected as pastor for the Providence Baptist Church on July 28, 1962. Devoted to this parish and its community, he was involved in the construction of the recreational and education center, and the establishment of the community outreach program.
A leader during extraordinarily painful times, Rev. Jones delivered the eulogy for Alvert Joe Linthcome, who was killed by a police officer after stealing a car. This eulogy was delivered to a crowd including Linthcome’s loved ones and members of the Black Panther Party. In his sermon, he called for reflection from the congregation, stating, “We are here today for something that could have been avoided . . . Who is actually responsible for this young man’s death? We could name a few including the young man himself.” He reminded the community to reconsider what is truly important in life: a car or the precious life of a loved one. He invited those present to reflect on this tragic situation and led the community in mourning the premature loss of Alvert Linthcome (“Panther at Rite for Slain Youth”).
Rev. Calvin Jones, Sr. , made a mark both on his community and congregation. He served as Pastor for 28 years at Providence Baptist Church.
Rev. Calvin Jones was a pastor for 28 years before he retired on December 31, 1991, and received the title “Pastor Emeritus,” honoring his service to the community. Rev. Jones’ ministry of service did not end after his retirement, however, as he continued on to serve as the Moderator for Home and Foreign Mission District Association. He was also vice president of the California State Baptist Convention Congress of Christian Education and worked with the San Francisco Baptist Minister’s Council. Although Rev. Calvin Jones kept busy through service to his community, he returned to a life of ministry as an interim pastor for the Saint John Baptist Church of Richmond, California on February 1, 1991. He was later chosen to be their official pastor on May 28, 1993. He formally retired on June 1, 1994.
Rev. Calvin Jones’ ministry lasted for more than 30 years before he passed away on June 8, 1994 at Veteran’s Administration Hospital, San Francisco. Reverend Calvin Jones forged a notable legacy in his community in San Francisco.
His achievements as a reverend and activist left indelible marks in the hearts of the people he touched with his powerful sermons and the community he left behind.
His son, Rev. Calvin Jones, Jr., continues his legacy as the senior pastor at the same Providence Baptist Church.
— Kimberly McAllister and Madison Owens
Alexander, Dick. “Trail of Carter Funds to Clergy Turns up 2 New Names.” SF Chronicle. 14 Aug 1976.
“Celebration of Life: Reverend Calvin Jones, Sr.” New Bayview. 17 Jun 1994.
“Panthers at rite for Slain Youth.” SF Chronicle. 8 Apr 1969.
Washington, Huel. “Hundreds Mourn At Youth’s Funeral.” SF Chronicle. 8 Apr 1969.