Arthur Jones Jr.
Pastor Arthur Jones, this year’s Outstanding American award winner, started his wrestling career at a very young age. Arthur’s father was a wrestler and expected young Arthur to follow in his footsteps. He recalls that the neighborhood kids would draw a line in the dirt and, if anyone walked across it, a wrestling match would ensue. Arthur would always be willing to meet the challenge of any of his peers and could whip all challengers except for one, Johnny Boon. Putting down Johnny’s shoulders for the mandatory count was next to impossible. Arthur remembers very well that his father would not be pleased with negative results and let him know in no uncertain terms failure was unacceptable.
At the beginning of his middle school years, his mother felt that Arthur should be more concerned with church affairs rather than athletic endeavors. However, he was able to persuade his mother to allow him to participate in the sport that he would soon learn to love. Pastor Jones’ first coach in organized wrestling was Hall of Fame (2007) coach John Spencer at East Rochester High School. Jones credits Spencer with helping him get his wrestling career started in the correct direction. Later in high school Arthur would wrestle for another Hall of Fame member (2003), Frank Marotta at Madison High School. Pastor Jones pays tribute to Marotta’s coaching. At Madison, he was an exceptional wrestler winning a city championship and going 24-2-1 in his senior year. Marotta stated, “Arthur was an outstanding wrestler with great strength, speed and knowledge about the sport. He might have had a problem making weight on occasions but he always made it.” Pastor Jones stated that he always wanted to be a state champion but fell short of that when he was defeated in the sectional finals. However, two of the Pastor’s sons, Arthur and Jon, would later become state champions wrestling for Union-Endicott High School. Furthermore, Arthur credits wrestling at the “Carter Street Club” under the watchful eye of Dr. Frank Oliveri in Rochester and going to the RIT wrestling camp under the direction of Earl Fuller helped to sharpening his skills. Arthur had the upmost respect for Coach Fuller and Dr. Frank Oliveri.
Arthur stated that some of the most important lessons that he learned from wrestling was that there will always be “ups and downs” in life. You are challenged each day and a wrestler keeps going on no matter how difficult the journey may be. Additionally, Jones contends that wrestling makes you mentally tough. Sometimes your biggest opponent is yourself, and you have to believe in yourself. Pastor Jones maintains that wrestling has taught him many life lessons, and he has applied them throughout his life. Wrestling is a passion that he has been grateful for and that urge has been a big part of his life.
He has taught his family these lessons, and the results are quite obvious. Art and Chandler played collegiate football at Syracuse University and eventually went on to the NFL to make a name for themselves. Jon is a UFC fighter who many people claim maybe the best fighter in the history of the sport.
Donna Lupardo, member of the New York State Assembly had this to say about Pastor Jones: “I have seen firsthand the Reverend’s care and compassion for our entire community, but especially that of people in underserved communities. This work has led him to leadership positions on the boards of human service agencies and advocacy organizations and has earned him numerous awards and honors.” Pastor Arthur Jones has always been thankful for everything in his life and has served his God and community to the best of his ability.
When you attend a church service at the Mt. Sinai Church of God in Christ on 126 S. Washington Street in Binghamton, you can feel the power of the Pastor. His congregation is tuned in with every word that he delivers. Pastor Jones plays a very good guitar, has an exceptional singing voice and swings and dances with the music that is generated throughout the service.
Pastor Arthur Jones Jr. is a man of God who has come through challenges and has suffered immeasurable losses and has always bounced back like a champion. Because of what he does for his community, church and all the people he has touched. The Upstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame would like to present him with their “Outstanding American Award” for 2022.
New York - Upstate