Palestine Magazine January 2019 - Page 57

A life of selfless service, here and around the world Pastor Paul Jones lives to serve others. He always has, in South Africa, Louisiana, Palestine, and numerous other places. Jones was born in Kitwe, Zambia. A job opportunity in the mines took his parents to South Africa. After graduating high school, he joined the South African Air Force, work- ing as a radio technician; he served South Africa in the war in Southwest Africa. After retiring from the Air Force, he and his wife, Sharron, were married in November 1979. The couple was blessed with three children. After working as a electrician with his dad, he and his family went into mis- sion work in Petersburg, north of Pretoria. He worked tirelessly to establish 13 congregations there. The family later moved to Johannesburg, where he ran his own electrical company. Jones also began a pool building company, while preaching full- time. In 1998, he decided to come to the United States. After many interviews, he chose White Hall Arkansas, where he preached for three years. From there, he went to Lafayette, Louisiana. He and his family were there during Hurricane Katrina and Rita. He began a relief effort to house and care for hundreds of hurricane victims. In 2006 the family moved to Palestine, where he began preaching at Court Drive Church of Christ. Mission work remains Jones’ passion. His family goes to Zimbabwe every other year to work with other missionaries. Jones also has worked in Russia, India, and South America. Here in Pal- estine, he continues to serve others in the food pantry, the YMCA soccer program, the flood in Timber lane, and GREET. In 2017, The Chamber named Jones Volunteer of the Year. Renee Laudadio On a mission to make a difference Renee Laudadio enjoys supporting organizations that make a differ- ence in Palestine, where she also works full-time as Banking Center President for Prosperity Bank. Laudadio considers each commitment carefully, before adding more to her busy schedule. In 2018, she joined the YMCA’s board of directors. She already served on the board of the Palestine Area Chamber of Com- merce, as well as a member of the Palestine Rotary Club, and Harvey Women’s Club. “I’m always happy to contribute through leadership, teamwork, and partnerships for the betterment of my community,” Laudadio said. Previously, Laudadio served as a member of the Junior Service League, mentoring business students at Palestine High School. By choosing com- mitments wisely, she can give 100 percent to each organization she serves. An “Air Force Brat,” Laudadio has lived in many places, including 13 years in Palestine. Born in Biloxi, Mississippi, Laudadio’s hometowns also include Wichita Falls, Texas; Denver; Las Vegas; Fussa, Japan (two hours outside of To- kyo); and Fort Worth, Texas. She is a graduate of Texas Christian Univer- sity in Fort Worth. JANUARY 2019 57