Rev. Jack Edward Yonts Sr.
United Pentecostal Church international
1928 ~ Present
Rev. Jack Yonts was born on march 28, 1928. he spent his early life in Herrin, a small mining town in southern Illinois. he was the youngest son of five children. When he was 10 years old, he moved with his parents, raymond and Della Yonts, to Glendale, illinois. In 1938, Glendale was a remote farming community without electricity or running water. His father, Raymond, pastored a small church in this town.
The next move came four years later, when the family relocated to Indiana. At this time, jack went to live with his uncle and aunt, T.J. and loraine miller. The millers pastored a thriving church in Muncie, Indiana. This move was extremely significant in jack's young life. It was here, at the age of 14, that he gave his heart to the Lord and made an eternal commitment to Jesus Christ. His first hand experience of New Testament salvation changed him forever. The preayerful and disciplined life of his aunt and uncle shaped jack's walk with God. It was in their home that he learned the value and habit of daily, fervent prayer. Discipleship and prayerfulness continue to characterize Jack Yonts's leadership and devotion toi the Lord today.
In 1945, Jack moved again. Now 17 years old, Jack accompanied his aunt and uncle who were moving to Toledo, Ohio, in order to pastor a small church there. In Toledo, God dealt powerfully with the young Jack. At this moment, he consecrated his life and made the firm decision to willingly carry out whatever the Lord would ask of him. His commitment remains unshaken.
In the fall of 1947, he enrolled as a student at apostolic bible Institute in St. paul, Minnesota. Jack had an intense desire to know the word of God. While attending ABI, God called Jack into the ministry. He was just 19.
Jack's head was buzzing with the exciting truths he had learned from the word of God, and as the spring of 1948 began to blossom, a different kind of light entered his life: her name was Jo Ann Whitaker! She was, and indeed still is, his "dream girl"! She became the love of his life and his life partner in ministry. They were married in july of the same year. he was 20 and she was 19. Jack and Jo Ann Yonts went on to raise a beautiful family of four children.
The young couple began to travel, conducting revivals for 2 years. He preached and she played the accordian and sang. She also worked with the children at each revival service. By 1953, the couple were ready to settle in one place, and began a Home Missions church in Connersville, Indiana. They labored here for 2 years with minimal results, and then moved to Mincie to serve as Assistant Pastor.
In 1955 he became the pastor of the Pentecostal church in Hartford City. He served the congregation for 7 years until the fall of 1962. These years perhaps laid the foundation for Jack's leadership abilities. He served as District Youth Secretary from 1955-1060, and as District home Missions Director from 1960-1962.
The family moved again in the fall of 1962. This move took them from Indiana to madison, Wisconsin, where they were ti pastor for 9 and a half years. Iw was during this period of time that Jack's strong leadership potential began to develop. He served as District Home Missions Director for 1 year and as District Secretary for 8 years. Significantly, it was here his passion for reaching the lost and clear understanding of the needs of home missionsaries birthed "Christmas for Christ" in the December of 1963.
In the fall of 1965, however, disaster seemingly struck the heart of this ministerial family. Jack suddenly and without warning fell victim to rheumatoid arthritis. He was confined to bed for weeks on end and it seemed as though his ministry was over. His wife Jo Ann, tended to his needs tirelessly, while simultaneously leading the church. her faith was unwavering. During these days of overwhelming physical weakness, however, Jack experienced first hand God's personal promise. And in time, God, in his miraculous way, brought healing and restored his health.
The spring of 1971 took the family to Appleton, Wisconsin. Impassioned with the ministry of Jesus christ, they began a Home Missions church in their home. Beginning with just their family members, the work grew to become a revival church with a congregation of up to 200 during the six and a half years they labored there. Here in Appleton, Jack served as Regional Home missions Director for 2 years and as District Superintendent for 4 years. His visionary leadership was becoming evident.
At General Conference in 1977, Jack was elected as General Home Missions Director. During his 16 years in that role, Jack Yont's intrepid leadership pioneered the birth of the New York Metro District (he served as the Superintendent for 6 years during itsdevelopment) and the Central canadian District (he served as the district Superintendent for 3 years). Blazing a trail of anointed innovation, jack Yonts oversaw the first Black Conference in Houston and the first Spanish Conference in New york, both held in 1978. Additionally, the first National Growth conference was held in st. Louis. Metro evangelism was clearly the heart beat of his burden and administration. Numerous metro-missionaries were selected and supported, and the "Home Bible study," a simple and effective soul-winning tool, was promoted across America and canada. He was also a significant participant in the development of the Home Bible Study, "Exploring God's Word." Consequently, this soul-winning tool has brought the life-changing word of God into the homes of North Americas across the continent.
As Jack approached the age of 65, the life of Jack and Jo Ann Yonts took perhaps the most exciting turn yet. At a time when others may have considered retirement, God in His infinite wisdom called Jack and Jo Ann to the great mission field that is Chicago-metro. This life-long church planter drove into Chicago land area without knowing a soul. Armed with prayer, dedication and the simple word of God, Jack and Jo Ann once again started the church in their home with the Home bible study, "Exploring God's Word." The church, now in Bartlett, has a congregation of approximately 400, who excitedly praise God in every service. A beautiful building worth approximately 3 million dollars is paid for.
Jack Edwards Yonts Sr. has served the United Pentecostal Church International that he loves so dearly for a life-time. He has been part of the Executive Board for 16 years and the General Board for 33 years. His visionary leadership has always extended beyond himself, and the training of others for leadership is an integral part of his ministry today. To this end, he has authored a multi-media teaching series, Passing the Mantle Vol.1 and Passing the Mantle Vol. 2.
A young man, born in poverty in the first part of the 20th century, Jack Yonts now faces the early 21st century as an innovative leader. It is difficult to accurately measure Jack Yont's contribution to the kingdom of God. In his own words, "God has taken a castaway and made use of him."