By Robert Wilson
Megan Jones was 31 years old when she figured it out.
“I was pregnant with our third child. Brian (her husband) and I were talking one day and we decided that we were determined to give our kids some sort of direction in this life,” Jones said. “We wanted to live the best possible Christ-like life we could as parents and hopefully our kids would follow. I hadn’t put priorities in the right order like I should have in the past.”
“How could you be a parent and not have a strong walk with Christ? It is as difficult a job as it is not to have Christ walking there beside you every step of the way. I have a strong group of friends who are believers and they are right there with me too. I’m our kids’ mom and I play a major role in their lives so I better get it right. Whenever we make decisions, we refer to the Bible. It’s hard for our kids to say we were wrong when the Bible says we were right. I’m called to be a Christian mom and that’s what I intend to be.”
Jones, who is the girls basketball coach and teaches math and physical education at Germantown Middle School, and Brian have three boys, Bryson, 14, Bryden, 11, and Brennan, 8. They are members of Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison.
Many know Jones, whose maiden name is Riebock, as one of the top female athletes ever to come out of Brookhaven High School. She was named Most Athletic as a sophomore, junior, and senior in high school, starring in basketball, softball, track, and playing on the boys soccer team. She went on to play basketball at Copiah-Lincoln Community College and McNeese State in Louisiana.
While everything seemed to be great for Jones at school and on the athletic field, it wasn’t at home. She had a traumatic childhood, being abused by her alcoholic father, Kurt. He committed suicide when Jones was 15 and a sophomore in high school. Her mom, Holly, was left to take care of Jones and her three older brothers, Scott, Danny, and Matt.
“My mom is a dynamic woman and had every reason to give up because of all of things went on that she protected us from,” Jones said. “I admire her. She raised us as God-fearing, family-honoring kids and protected us from all of the details that were swirling around her at home. I can’t imagine how she did it. She did a phenomenal job raising my brothers and me.”
Holly Riebock, who has 10 grandchildren, admires Megan. “Megan was an easy child. She never got into trouble and got along fine with everyone,” Riebock said. “She was tough—she had to be with three older brothers—and very competitive. She has grown up into a great person and is a wonderful mom and coach. She is an all-around person and helps everyone around her. Megan seems to always be in control.”
Jones was baptized (Jones was a member of Faith Presbyterian Church when she grew up in Brookhaven) right after Brennan was born and joined Broadmoor. That was a big step, and she took another big step four years later when she opened up about her abusive childhood to Broadmoor senior pastor Rob Futral and family pastor Tate Cockrell. Jones said she went through about a year of counseling with Cockrell to get all of those feelings in the open and learn how to deal with them.
“There are many people out there who have been through the same thing I have,” Jones said. “It is a difficult situation to deal with. I was fortunate to have someone to talk to like Rob and Tate about it and finally open up and get some healing. I want to help people who need to talk about their childhood. I want them to know it is ok to talk about and it’s good to get it out and get healthy again.”
“It was an inspiration to see Megan tackle issues that had been painful baggage in her life for many years,” Cockrell said. “It takes real courage to have the kind of faith to believe in God’s deliverance when you’ve suffered for so long.”
“I had the privilege of seeing Megan’s faith grow so exponentially that she went from being someone who was terrified of talking about her past, to someone who sat in front of thousands and openly talked about God’s intervention in her life.”
“I would describe Megan’s faith as ‘belief in action.’ She not only believed, but she was also willing to work hard to experience God’s best for her life.”