Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him (Psalm 127:3). While some may gloss over this declaration in the book of Psalms in passing, this verse is at the very core of the Jones family, known musically as forever JONES.
Early in their marriage, Dewitt & Kim Jones were given devastating news. A bout with toxic shock syndrome at age 18 had resulted in Kim being diagnosed with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, and the young newlyweds were told they would likely never have children. The doctor prescribed medication for Kim, but she made a decision not to take it, but rather to completely trust God with her life and for her healing.
Now, after 31 years of marriage and miracle after miracle, Dewitt and Kim have 5 children and recently welcomed their first grandchild. Indeed, “children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.” It wasn’t until Kim was holding her fourth newborn in her arms that she was told the condition she had been diagnosed with was known to completely sterilize 99% of the women who have it. “I looked at my miracle Judah and my 3 other kids at that time and said, ‘God, you gave me a miracle,” Kim remembers. “I didn’t even realize how big of a miracle it was.”
Both growing up in the state of Washington, Dewitt and Kim come from very musical backgrounds and have been traveling, writing songs together and singing Gospel music in one form or another since their teens. Dewitt experienced early success as a songwriter when world-renowned worship leader Ron Kenoly recorded his composition “Use Me” on the landmark 1994 album “God Is Able.” Since then, that song has gone on to become a staple in many churches around the world and has been covered numerous times, most notably by the GRAMMY® Award winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.
A songwriter and musician most all his life, it wasn’t until Dewitt obeyed a very specific call from the Lord that there was a marked moment in the young family’s life that would notably change their path forever. “20 years ago the Lord gave me an invitation to spend time with Him at 9 A.M. every morning,” recalls Dewitt. “I remembered the account in 1 Chronicles, where Obed Edom had the amazing privilege of entertaining the Ark of the Covenant, the very presence of God, in his home for 90 days. As a result, everything he had was blessed.” Those 9 A.M. family devotions and worship times have not stopped since, and continue to be the foundation and driving force behind the heart for worship and passion for the presence of God that forever JONES so fervently embody.
It was through a long time relationship with their manager Jeoffrey Benward that the Jones family was introduced to GRAMMY® Award winningwriter/producer Tommy Sims. I took no time at all for Sims to take a liking to what he heard and saw and quickly signed up to produce forever Jones’ debut recording. “In 20 years of being in professional music, I’ve never heard anything like this,” proclaims Sims, himself no stranger to the very best that the music world has to offer.
The resulting album, “Get Ready” (EMI Gospel), is a spirited and distinctive tour-de-force of pop/rock/soul Gospel that captivates listeners from beginning to end. From the instantly memorable piano-driven pop melody of “Heaven” to the swirling throw back in-the-pocket rhythm of the title track and lush melodic song of worship “You Can Do Anything”, the songs alone are remarkable selling points from this otherwise “debut” group. “All of our songs are born out of our 9 A.M. family devotions,” says Dewitt. God-breathed, indeed.
While mom and dad are certainly prominent figures in the group, each contributing musicians and vocalists on the project, foreverJONES’ “Get Ready” is nothing less than a full-fledged family affair, with all 5 children adding the mix with their respective musical gifts.
The Jones’ eldest daughter D’Jeniele’ (pronounced Jineel) is not only a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist but also now a wife and mother herself. One of the shining moments on “Get Ready” is “Adoration (SoAmazing)”, which was composed by D’leniele’ and finds her rendering flawless harmonious praise with her younger sister Dominique. In addition to being one of forever Jones’ principal songwriters, Dominique is a dynamic vocalist and multi-instrumentalist in her own right, often writing complex arrangements on both the guitar and keys. While “Get Ready” is replete with “wow” moments, Dominique’s compositions “He Wants It All” (the first radio single) and “Heaven” are easily two of the most standout tracks.
Youngest daughter Mya Joy Grace may be the latest addition to the family but that certainly doesn’t diminish her contribution to the family or group. In the context of the Jones family’s testimony, there’ssomething riveting about hearing Mya deliver the closing line of “Time To Believe”, her favorite song on the album.
Not to be out done by their sisters, the Jones’ sons Dewitt IV and Judah also bring a considerable amount of musical chops and charisma of their own to the table. Sharing both his father’s musical ability and heart for others, Dewitt IV is a born leader who also happens to be quite an accomplished bass player. Kim remembers an infant Dewitt hearing his father playing the organ and mimicking the groove he heard with his mouth. Youngest son Judah has been the group’s drummer since the age of two when pots and pans were his percussive instruments of choice. An avid student of great drummers for much of his life, Judah’s God-given ability is now the rhythmic backbone of the forever JONES sound.
While their roots are in the Northwest where they still travel and minister, the Jones family now makes their home in Shreveport, LA where they are all actively involved in ministry at their church, Shreveport Community Church. “We are living a miracle,” says Kim. “Any time I stand on any stage with my children is an amazing moment and reminder of God’s faithfulness to me and my family.”