12/13/04 — Bob Jones speaks in Goldsboro

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Bob Jones speaks in Goldsboro

By Linda Luck
Published in News on December 13, 2004 1:58 PM

Dr. Bob Jones III, president of Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., was in Goldsboro on Sunday speaking at two local churches.

He spoke on Sunday morning at Grace Baptist Church and on Sunday afternoon at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon. Several graduates of the university visited Grace Baptist to show support and reminisce with Jones.

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Jones talks with Janet Dail, who has two children enrolled at Bob Jones University.

Grace Baptist Church has been a long-time supporter of Bob Jones University. Its pastor, the Rev. G. James Frasher, is a graduate, and although it is not a large church, seven of its young people are enrolled at the university.

And Jones' daughter, Roxanne, is married to Dean Robinson of Goldsboro. They accompanied Jones on Sunday and sat with Robinson's parents, Roy and Geraldine, who have been members of Grace for many years.

Jones, knowing he was among friends, was relaxed and friendly, having no need to defend the university or its policies. Founded in 1927 by Dr. Bob Jones Sr., the school is often criticized for its rules.

George W. Bush came under fire for not denouncing the university's policies against interracial dating during a visit he made to the campus in 2000 when he was running for president. Following the outcry, the university lifted its ban on interracial dating, explaining that it was not important. Jones said he is still amazed at the attention and criticism the college draws.

For example, following Bush's re-election, Jones sent him a letter of congratulations, urging him not to forsake his Christian values when making decisions and appointments. Sending the letter seemed like an innocent and natural thing to do, Jones said.

He read the letter to the student body and some of them urged him to post it on the university's Web site. Jones said he was shocked to learn that it had been picked up by the media and was being read aloud by commentators on several television stations, including Tim Russert on "Meet the Press."

"In your reelection, God has graciously granted America -- though she doesn't deserve it -- a reprieve from the agenda of paganism," Jones wrote.

"Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ," says the letter, posted on the college's Web site and dated Nov. 3.

While Jones is a staunch supporter of Bush, he was not looking to him as the answer to the country's problems, as Jones stated in his Sunday morning message.

Reading from Isaiah 59, 1-16, Jones compared this nation's moral decline to that of God's people and pointed out that God "wondered that there was no intercessor" (verse 16).

Describing an intercessor as "one who stands in the gap," Jones urged the congregation to become prayer intercessors for America. He then cited several examples of answered prayers and encouraged Christians to persevere.

The church served lunch afterward and several members of the congregation introduced themselves to Jones as parents of Bob Jones University students. One grandmother thanked him for "providing a safe place for her children and her grandchildren to attend college."

It is very encouraging, Jones said, when the second generation attends the university.

However, he admits the second generation is different. Because of the influences of television, music and movies, today's young people are more insensitive to moral corruption and their standards are not as high, he said.

The job is more difficult, said Jones, but added that he is committed and that resolve is renewed each time he looks into the trusting faces of parents and grandparents who send their children to Bob Jones University.