One evening when Mark Floyd Jones was only five years old, his young happy life took a terrible turn. He remembers standing at a truck stop about 10 o’ clock at night holding his mother’s hand to his left, and his brother’s hand to his right, as his father drove away. He vividly remembers the array of feelings he experienced that night. Feelings of not being good enough, rejection, abandonment, fear of what’s next, and insecurity. He also personalized his dad’s leaving, wondering what he had done wrong to make him leave. His father moved away to San Antonio and remarried, while he, his mother and older brother Dub moved to the suburbs of Houston and attended a church there. They were destitute.
“I remember the smell of those yeast rolls, and longed to eat one of those rolls. My brother and I would have to sit in the cafeteria and watch everyone else eating those rolls and chocolate milk. I can still smell it.”
Jones’ mother taught him and his brother how to harmonize, and she made them get on the platform to sing in church. Although they were embarrassed, insecure and wounded from their circumstances, they did it. He thanks God that their mother didn’t listen to their pleas to not put them on the platform to sing, because it became a blessing for them.
“Every time I walk on the platform at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio and sing in front of many thousands of people, or sing at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo in front of 18,000 people a night, I often tell my mother, “That is fruit from the seed you planted many years ago. I was embarrassed about it, but now I am thankful for it.” He learned that sometimes those kind discomforts, fears, and inhibitions are not really the truth, and that God has certain gifts that He has imparted to every person, and when used, they are fulfilling and bring blessing to that person as well as to others.
Eventually, Jones’ mother met a man she thought would be a good husband and role model and married him. They moved out of the storage shed into his house. However, this man began physically abusing his mother. The young Jones stood and helplessly watched as his stepfather beat his mother. He remembers the feelings of hatred he felt for this man, as well as fear and guilt because he couldn’t stop it, even feelings of injustice. The violent stepfather even chased them down the streets of Houston one night in a car, threatening to kill them. Thankfully, they were able to get away safely, but there was a lot of trauma around those years.
Jones’ mother began sending him and his brother on a Greyhound bus from Houston to San Antonio to visit their father. He remembers the first few times he was scared out of his mind. He didn’t know if his father would even be there when they arrived, since he had left them in the first place. He recalls that he experienced his first panic attacks during those bus trips. At the time he didn’t know what panic attacks were, but he remembers being sweaty and hyperventilating, while his mind was racing. He was terribly uncomfortable the entire trip. When they arrived to San Antonio, it was always dark, and there were a lot of people at the bus station. He arrived scared and vulnerable, frantically looking out the window searching for his father’s face. Once he saw his father, he felt instant relief. Every weekend they took that bus trip to San Antonio. Their mother would introduce them to the bus driver, trying to make them as comfortable as possible.
Eventually, they had the idea to become “tour guides” since; they were so familiar with the route, including the stop at Frank’s Restaurant in Schulenburg, Texas halfway to San Antonio. They would tell the other passengers the menu options, and how much time was left before they had to get back on the bus. It gave them purpose, and got them through those difficult times.
They finally moved to San Antonio, and their father taught them how to play football, hunt and fish. Their lives began leveling out. Now in high school, Jones and his brother opened up concerts for The Oak Ridge Boys, and other gospel groups that were the premiere groups of the early seventies. It was an exciting time for them, and it helped keep them on the straight and narrow path.
He recalls that he didn’t really have a vision for his future, probably because he was focused on survival for so many years. In his first year in college, he was appointed the freshmen dormitory counselor. He says that the leadership must have seen something in him that he hadn’t seen in himself, his ability to advise and counsel others through difficult times. He didn’t think he was equipped because of what he had been through. But that’s how gifts work.
One evening, a young lady asked Jones for help as she explained a very complicated scenario to him, and somehow he knew the answers. As he sat there that night, a voice came up from inside of him, he believes it was God, the voice said, “That’s how a gift works, it works automatically, it is already on the inside of you naturally, and it blesses you and blesses others.” He began to have insight from that time on, and began thinking about what to do professionally.
“There is a scripture that says to write your vision down and make it clear, to me that means you have to have a vision for your future, you have to write it down so that it can be clear to you; you put a plan together, and then begin to walk that plan out and fine tune it as you go.” He earned his doctorate degree in Ministry (D.Min.), and also became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
He thanks his loving, committed wife Theresa for her support. He recognizes she was his partner in this as she also had the vision and walked the journey alongside him. Dr. Mark Jones, LMFT started his counseling practice in 1992, with no money, but faith in God, and discipline and determination that it would work. During the early years of opening his practice, they suffered monetarily, but kept going and refused to give up. Today they have a flourishing family with three married daughters, a son in college, and 3 beautiful grandchildren. His counseling practice has also grown significantly. He now has a group practice with 5 additional counselors, and it is expanding every year.
“If you will have vision and faith in God, and walk that vision out with discipline and perseverance, God will help you achieve the desires of your heart. I also believe that as you succeed you should give more and help people. The purpose for income and prosperity is not just for your own desires; otherwise it is only selfishness and greed. As you make more, you should give more. I believe that one of the reasons I have prospered is because I give back, and I help others in need. It fulfills me. “
He founded Mark Jones Ministries, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. Single parent mothers, their children, and others in need are given counseling, personal development training, career coaching, food, clothing, Christmas gifts and more. He is thankful to the donors who help make this possible. He also designed Trinity Program, a weekend intensive program for people desiring to resolve and be healed of past wounds.
Dr. Jones says, “God is no respecter of persons, in this world, you will have trouble, and tribulation. But, if you have vision for your life, have faith in God, surround yourself with those who know more than you do, and learn from them purposefully, you can grow, you can be healed of your wounds, and fulfill your purpose in life.”
After 24 years of counseling with wounded people, and knowing the wounds of his own path, Dr. Jones wrote a book called, Walking Wounded. The book helps people identify the wounds and painful experiences of their lives and the negative influences from those wounds. In Walking Wounded, he teaches people how to be healed of their wounds, and how to use their personal gifts and personality strengths to bring fulfillment in their lives and success.
Jones says, “It is never too late to utilize your God-given gifts and to accomplish your purpose in life. Continue to be encouraged.” -Dr. Mark Jones, LMFT
You may reach Dr. Jones at South Texas Liberty Alliance Group
- Phone: 210 495-2797
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: libertyalliancegroup.com