Bishop Noel Jones is the senior pastor of the City of Refuge Church in Gardena, California. Jones, a former cast member of “Preachers of L.A.,” made recent headlines when he proposed to his partner of over two decades at the age of 72.
Loretta Jones, his longtime partner, is a chef and businesswoman who serves as CEO of Loretta’s Kouture boutique. She and Jones reportedly co-own JJ’s Bistro.
Bishop Noel Jones’ Proposal
Jones made the revelation that he was ready for marriage at a January 30 church event, where he invited Loretta to the altar. At the altar, the bishop folded to one knee, pulled out his ring, and popped the big question. Loretta accepted the proposal and the ring with a smile.
Neither the pastor nor the church has issued any official statements acknowledging their nuptials. However, Loretta Jones posted about it on her Instagram page, and footage of the proposal was all over the internet.
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During the event, Bishop Jones went on to discuss controversies surrounding his relationship with Loretta and why he waited so long to propose to her.
“I thought about should I give up my freedom coat for a straight jacket,” he says in the video. “Should I get married to someone younger than me? I thought about should I give up not having to answer to anybody… Should you have to push a wheelchair when I can’t walk?”
“Should you have to deal with an old man when you have had many suitors who were young?” he went on to say. “Should you have to listen to a man who was intoxicated with the exuberance of his own verbosity or who is set in his ways? I got away from all of the shoulds. Should I? Should you? And I’ve decided simply to say: will you marry me?”
Who is Bishop Noel Jones?
Family and Education
Bishop Jones is a Jamaican-born preacher and the brother of model, singer, and actress Grace Jones. Jones, born January 31, 1950, to Marjorie Jones and Bishop Robert Jones, is a well-known pastor, particularly in the Los Angeles-area. The pastor obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Aenon Bible College, an educational center headed by the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. In addition, Jones later received an honorary doctorate from the International Circle of Faith College.
Church and Ministry
Jones received his call to ministry at age 19. At the age of 26, he began his pastorate at Bethel Temple of Longview in Longview, Texas. However, he later succeeded Bishop Robert W. McMurray as pastor over about 1,000 members of the Greater Bethany Community Church. The church reportedly currently has over 17,000 members.
In 1994, the Pentecostal preacher established Noel Jones Ministries and went on to spread the gospel through audio and video teachings. The City of Refuge Church was founded in 2003 when the Greater Bethany Community Church purchased a new building in Gardena, California, and christened it The City of Refuge. The City of Refuge Church is well-known for its choir, The City of Refuge Sanctuary Choir, whose debut album secured a spot on the Billboard 200 chart and reached number one on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart in 2007.
TV Shows and Books
He was also one of the preachers in the reality show “Preachers of L.A.”, which debuted in 2013. Bishop Clarence McClendon, Pastor Wayne Chaney, Bishop Ron Gibson, Pastor Jay Haizlip, and Pastor Deitrick Haddon are among the renowned Christian luminaries included in the reality show. Furthermore, the pastor has written various publications, including God’s Gonna Make You Laugh and The Battle for the Mind, to name a few.
Bishop Jones was previously married to Ruth Jones, with whom he had three children: Noel, Tifani, and Eric. After 22 years of marriage, the pair split, and Jones began a relationship with his now-fiancée, Loretta, in 1992.