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Cornelius News

Willie Jones, a community leader, has passed away

June 10. Willie Jones, the first executive director of the Smithville Community Coalition, has passed away. He recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to affordable housing, community development, and social justice at the Affordable Housing Awareness Month breakfast hosted by Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region.

Willie Jones

A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, June 18 at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church 232 Skyland Ave. in Charlotte. Visitation will be 11 am to noon and the service at 12, followed by food and fellowship.

A leader

Jones’s leadership was instrumental in the production of over 5,000 units of affordable or mixed-income housing, valued at more than $500 million. He was inducted into the Affordable Housing Finance magazine’s Hall of Fame, recognizing his significant impact on affordable housing and urban development.

After retiring and relocating to Cornelius in 2014, he earned a Master of Theological Studies from Hood Theological Seminary in 2016 and was ordained as a Minister of the Gospel in 2018.

He has also assisted churches in restructuring their debt to free up resources for active ministries. His efforts have led to the development of 112-unit and 72-unit affordable housing initiatives in Charlotte.

He and his wife Pam Jones received Individual Diversity Champion awards from the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce in 2018.


7 Responses to “Willie Jones, a community leader, has passed away”

  1. He will be sorely missed. A wonderful person.😞💕

    Posted by Karen Asche | June 10, 2024, 12:31 pm
  2. He was a brilliant human being with a wonderful soul. So many people will miss this shining spirit.

    Posted by Michael Connor | June 10, 2024, 9:22 pm
  3. Willie was a true leader for the Smithville Community. We had a vision before Willie joined the Coalition but we didn’t know how to achieve it. Willie gave us his expertise to guide and lead us toward that vision.

    Posted by Ronald L Potts | June 10, 2024, 9:33 pm
  4. I feel honored to have met Willie and to witness his deep commitment to justice and equity. May we continue the work he was so devoted to. He will be sorely missed.

    Posted by Karin Sawhill | June 11, 2024, 8:53 am
  5. “Ever true” is a Brown University phrase. Our Brown family weeps today with Pam and family. However for over 54 years our lives have been blessed by Willie and Pam Jones with precious memories.

    “We only live once. Wrong! We only die once. We live every day.” Willie lived everyday…thank you…let the life you lived speak for you!

    Posted by Robert Gaylord Yizar | June 11, 2024, 7:49 pm
  6. Our Icebreaker small group was so blessed to have Willie as a part of us. He gave us an understanding of racial issues and taught us so much American history we never learned in school. He will forever be a part of each one of us. We love you Willie and our group won’t be the same without you.

    Posted by Nancy Johnson | June 12, 2024, 4:00 pm

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