The Reverend Alice Virginia Jones Quarles was born in Columbus GA on July 14 1957 to William Ray and Audrey Lee Jones. Ray was an auto parts dealer who was good at it, primarily because he liked people and people liked him there were few people in this world as emphatic and as compassionate as Ray Jones. Audrey was a nurse anesthetist dedicated to caring for people and easing their pain. Their daughter Alice inherited a double portion of her parents’ empathy, compassion and commitment to others. She moved with her family to Summerville South Carolina in 1958. And while she may have been born in Georgia, she was raised in South Carolina and was a low country girl at heart. Her parents where devout Christians, and committed Methodist, as a result Alice was raised in the church and was ordained to serve the Church and God’s people as and Elder in the United Methodist Church. She was very active in the youth programs of Bethany UMC in Summerville, serving several times as a youth delegate to the South Carolina Annual Conference. She graduated from Summerville Hight School (Go Green Wave) in June of 1975 and enrolled at Baptist College at Charleston on a full academic scholarship. She was active in the Wesley Student Fellowship at Baptist College and the Baptist Student Union as well. In fact this dedicated Methodist was the president of the Charleston City wide BSU her senior year at Baptist College. She graduated from Baptist College at Charleston in May of 1978 Magna Cum Laude and went to work for Dorchester County Child Protective for two years to save up enough money to attend Emory Theological Seminary and follow God’s call to the ministry of word and sacrament as an Elder in the United Methodist Church. She graduated seminary in 1983 and was appointed to the First United Methodist Church of Lancaster South Carolina and was ordained an Elder by the South Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1985.
Somehow in the midst of seminary, social work and pastoral work, she got acquainted with a young Baptist preacher she dated off and on during college. She and Charles (Duke) Quarles where married in May of 1986 and moved to Camp Pendleton California where Duke served as a US Navy Chaplain with 1st Marine Division. The California Pacific Annual Conference welcomed Alice with open arms and appointed her to be the associate pastor of Hope United Methodist Church in Rancho Bernardo California. Alice’s and Duke’s first son Jonathan was born in California. On May 24th, 1991 Alice and Jonathan boarded a plane at the San Francisco CA airport bound for South Carolina where she had been appointed to serve as the Pastor of the Duncan Chapel- Bethel Charge of the SC Annual Conference in the Walterboro District. The low country girl was back home. She loved the land, the church and the people and they loved her. Her second son Mathew was born in South Carolina. In 1995 Alice took a leave of absence from the Church and moved with Duke to Singapore where he served as the Chaplain for COMLOGWESTPAC. And while Alice my have been on leave of absence from the United Methodist Church she was not on leave of absence from ministry. While in Singapore she conducted Bible Studies, organized children’s programs and provided pastoral care and support for the US military community in Singapore.
She was diagnosed with a relapsing/remitting course of Multiple Sclerosis in 1998 just prior to Moving Jacksonville NC in July of 1999. Determined not to let the MS hold her down she sought an appointment to Trinity United Methodist Church in February of 2000. She served there for 20 years, caring for Marines and Sailors and their families as they went into harms way in the War of Terrorism. She baptized the children of the church, guided them in their confirmation, in many case performed their weddings, she visited the sick and the shut ins, and many many times performed the funerals of their loved ones. She proclaimed the good news of Jesus Christ from the pulpit and offered the comforts of the sacraments from the altar. On the last really good day of her life March 6th, Ash Wednesday, she sat in her wheel chair in front of the Altar of Trinity United Methodist Church and anointed the foreheads of the people God had called her to serve one last time with the ashes of Lent. She succumbed to the ravages of MS on March 9, 2019 at her home surrounded by her husband Duke, her sons Jonathan and Matthew and her brother Bill and her sister Cindy, She was a wonderful wife, a loving mother, a gracious friend and a dedicated pastor until the end.
Her Funeral services will be held Thursday at 2:00pm at Trinity United Methodist Church with Rev. Stephen Smith and Rev. Anne Sims-Walker officiating. The family will receive friends Wednesday evening from 6:00pm until 8:00pm at Jones Funeral Home, Jacksonville.