Reverend Darren McCarroll-Jones (May 20, 1963 - November 27, 2011):
Ordained Minister of Unity Fellowship of Christ Church
Pastor of Unity Fellowship Church, Detroit
1st Minister of Music for the Mass Choir of Unity Fellowship Movement
1st Musical Director and Minister of Music for Unity Fellowship of Christ Church, Los Angeles
Reverend Darren-McCarroll-Jones, Minister of Unity Fellowship of Christ Church
Darren McCarroll-Jones first heard about Unity Fellowship of Christ Church (Los Angeles) on Jefferson Boulevard from a friend back in the late 1980’s. Although Darren was directing the choir at his home church on Sundays, he managed to dash over to Unity a Couple of times to find out if what he’d heard about the church service was true.
One Sunday, he came for the entire service and was deeply moved by Archbishop Carl Bean’s healing words, as well as the termination of the small choir performing without musicians or a choral director. For a time thereafter, Darren would come from his church for the last half of service. All the while, he considered whether he should move his membership and offer to serve as Unity’s Musical Director. “It was not an easy decision,’” he admitted. The turning point came in January of 1990 when an associate pastor at his church preached a blistering sermon denouncing homosexuality. Shortly afterwards, Darren met with Archbishop Bean and offered to help with the choir because he had made the decision to move his church membership. Bean, a gospel singer in his own right, eagerly accepted the offer and Unity’s Music Department with Darren as Musical Director was born.
Under McCarroll-Jones’ guiding hand, many talented musicians, singers and choir directors emerged to share their gifts at the Los Angeles church as a part of the voices of Unity each Sunday, during his tenure at the Detroit church, as well as during the Movement’s Annual Fall Convocation. In addition, McCarroll-Jones directed the choir on the first L.I.F.E. Records CD, titled Right Now, recorded by the Los Angeles church, featuring the original music of Archbishop Carl Bean. http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/bean_c.html
In the early nineties in Los Angeles, Reverend McCarroll-Jones was a tireless worker in the field of AIDS at Unity’s Minority AIDS Project and the first to serve as Program Director for MAP’s Treatment Advocacy Program. In later years, in Detroit, he served as Unity, Detroit’s pastor, earned his J.D. degree, served as a consultant in the Detroit mayor’s office, taught as an Adjunct Professor in Paralegal Technology at Wayne County Community College District.
I was fortunate to know and work with Darren at MAP in Los Angeles in the late 1980’s through the early nineties. It was true heaven to sit in the audience of Unity, L.A. and listen on Sundays to the Voices of Unity under his musical talent and direction. He was a smart, dedicated, and talented man.
I will and do miss him.