Refiner's Fire Community Church is a non-denominational church, located at 1003 East Main Street in Durham, North Carolina. In 1977 the ministry was founded "on the knees" of Dr. Tessie M. Jones, who started with only four people, calling themselves the “Evangelistic Prayer Band.”
Meeting weekly in each other’s homes for the sole purpose of praying to hear God's voice, there was always at least one more person in attendance than the week before. Later that year, Pastor Jones and the Evangelistic Prayer Band moved to the Durham Housing Authority Recreational Center and held their first official church service. Confident she had heard from the mouth of God, Pastor Jones stepped out in 1978 with nine members and an obedient spirit. She began New Mt. Temple Tabernacle, a nondenominational Christian church located in Durham's inner city, under the covering of Bishop Hatti Harden of Mt. Sinai Holy Church.
In 2001, amidst declining health, she received clear instructions from God to retire from her position as Pastor. Under the complete direction of the Holy Spirit, she passed the mantel to her eldest son, Willie L. Jones II, affectionately known as "Pastor Roy."
Pastor Roy was ordained and installed as the Pastor of New Mt. Temple Tabernacle by Bishop Barbara Amos. The Lord birthed a new name for the ministry in the heart of Pastor Roy, and in 2002 the church was renamed Refiner's Fire Community Church.
At only 12 years of age, Dr. Tessie M. Jones, pictured here with her husband, Willie L. Jones, Sr., preached her first message entitled, "Touch Christ,” scripture referenced from Matthew 9:20-22. She later started the “Evangelistic Prayer Band” and then was called to become Pastor in 1978. She also served as an Elder under the leadership of Bishop Barbara M. Amos, M.Div., founder of Faith Deliverance Christian Center in Norfolk, Virginia.
Dr. Jones is a native of Durham, North Carolina, where she attended North Carolina Central University, North Carolina Bible College, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She graduated from Croft Business College, Union Christian Bible Institute, and Andersonville Baptist Seminary. She holds a Bachelor of Theology, Masters of Divinity, and Doctorate of Philosophy. She was chosen for two years as keynote speaker for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Week of Recognition at Duke University.
Dr. Jones has been married to Willie L. Jones, Sr., for over 50 years, and they have three children, Tamie, Willie II, and Jules.
Today Dr. Jones continues to say, "I shall not die but live and proclaim the works of the Lord."