People who inspire others are a gift from God. Janette Jones of Bellevue is one of those people.
She and her husband, Jerry, are originally from Goldsboro, North Carolina. The family arrived at Offutt Air Force Base in 1981 after her military husband completed a tour of duty in Germany. They have three children and three grandchildren.
Janette is not one to be idle. Even as a child, she was writing plays, essays and short stories. When other little girls were playing with dolls, she was writing. She has written two spiritual and inspirational novels, both of which have received rave reviews.
Carolyn Baskin-Bell, pastor at a church in Los Angeles, wrote: “Janette Jones’ creative writing presents everyday people in practical life experiences which come alive in a vivid and descriptive manner. ‘Cloudy Witness’ and sequel ‘Finding a Happy Medium’ illustrate the trials, tribulations, and the transformative events that communicate life lessons to examine marriage, family and interpersonal relationships.”
Not only has she written books, but she also was a featured personality in a documentary that won the 2010 Emmy Award for Best-Documentary-Cultural, “An Inaugural Ride to Freedom.” The Omowale Akintunde film production chronicles the trip made by the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Black Studies Department, students, faculty and community members to the inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2009.
In 2002, Jones produced a play titled “Sistah Girl” and, in 2005, she produced “Sistah Girl Revisited.” In 2008, as a tribute to a beloved cast member who had died, Janette produced “Sistah Girl Now and Again,” which played at the Joslyn Art Museum’s Witherspoon Concert Hall.
Janette has received many awards and accomplished much in her lifetime and has also been fortunate enough to follow her dreams. In this new year, Janette can be an inspiration to many other people who have dreams of achieving in different areas of their lives but are reluctant to do so.
For instance, for many years Janette loved teaching God’s word. Every opportunity she had, she would be willing to teach others about Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior. She said, “After beginning to write at an early age, as I became older, I branched out and adapted, produced and directed ‘Passion of the Christ’ at church in North Carolina.”
As her love for the Lord continued to increase, she wanted to do even more. She became an ordained elder in the African American Methodist Episcopal Church, and now serves as an associate minister at Allen Chapel AME Church in South Omaha, where Elder Benjamin R. Finnell is pastor.
She had an interest in helping brides. So, she opened a home-based business called Make My Day Floral Creations. It consists of event planning and staging, fashion show coordination and floral design. She has helped brides as far away as Chicago, Arizona, Texas, California and Georgia.
Maybe it is not possible for everyone to follow their dreams, but Janette also exemplifies finding passion in what she is already doing.
Pope Paul VI said, “Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we may live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”
I would say that Janette Jones fully epitomizes that message.