Jones was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica in 1950 to Bishop Robert and Marjorie Jones, and is one of seven siblings who include singer/actress/model Grace Jones. His parents relocated to Syracuse, New York when Jones was in his mid-teens, and he went on to earn a bachelor's degree in theology from Aenon Bible College in Indianapolis before further study at the International Circle of Faith and work as a pastor in Texas.
In 1994, he took a position at Greater Bethany Community Church in South Los Angeles. English director Sophie Fiennes made a documentary about Bishop Jones and the church called Hoover Street Revival, which had its festival premiere in 2002. Growing membership led to a new facility in Gardena, California and a new name, the City of Refuge. In the meantime, Jones' Fresh Oil television show began to air weekly on various cable networks, including, over time, BET, The Church Channel, and Inspiration Network.
Bishop Noel Jones & the City of Refuge Sanctuary Choir made their recording debut with the live album Welcome to the City. It was released in 2007 by Tyscot Records and featured guest appearances by the likes of Donnie McClurkin, Damita Haddon, and Deitrick Haddon. The record topped Billboard's gospel chart and was followed by a tour and DVD.
Jones took part in the Oxygen cable network's reality show Preachers of L.A. in 2013 and 2014, and he was named as presenter on Trent von Lee's album I Am a Praiser, released in 2015. It reached number two on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. ~ Marcy Donelson