News Releases

Commissioners Approve Renaming Gray’s Creek Rec Center To Honor J.D. Pone

Aug 21, 2018

FAYETTEVILLEDuring their regular meeting Aug. 20, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved renaming the Gray’s Creek Recreation Center in memory of John Dove “J.D.” Pone.  

The Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation (FCPR) Advisory Board submitted a facility naming request to the Cumberland County Facilities Committee on Aug. 2 to honor Pone, who passed away in April 2016. The request included biographical information that served as evidence of his contributions to the county as well as a petition demonstrating broad support for him as a person with fine moral character and demonstrated leadership qualities.

“I can think of no one more deserving of this honor than Mr. J.D. Pone. He was passionate about volunteerism and offered his time and talents to numerous community boards and organizations,” said Vice Chairman Jeannette Council, who recognized the more than 20 Pone family members who were in attendance.

Pone’s extensive community service included serving as Deputy Chief of the Gray’s Creek Fire Department Station 24 and as the chaplain for the Cumberland County Fire Chief’s Association. He was also a champion for youth and served with organizations that promote youth development, including the FCPR Advisory Board, where he served as chairman; the Gray’s Creek Youth Association; and Southview High School Band Boosters. He was one of the founders and a member of the Board of Directors of the Communities United for Youth Development.

Pone was also involved with Southeastern Cumberland County Rural Association, Board of Directors of the Gray’s Creek Medical Center, Southeastern Interdenominational Singing Union and Gray’s Creek Senior Outreach. In addition to his community contributions, Pone was a U.S. Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War and worked for the Cumberland County Register of Deeds. He was a long-time member of Willis Creek A.M.E Zion Church, where he was a musician and sang in the Male Chorus, Gospel Choir and Senior Choir. He also served as the chairman of the Steward Board.

“It is fitting that this recreation facility will bear the name of a man who devoted so much time and energy to the Gray’s Creek community and thereby also to the entire citizenry of Cumberland County,” Council said.

Pone’s brother, District Court Judge Edward Pone, thanked the Board of Commissioners, the parks and recreation advisory board, and the Gray’s Creek community for the honor.

“He loved children. He worked to improve the quality of life not just for his own children, but for all the children in and around the Gray’s Creek community, the metro Cumberland County area and beyond. He put in countless hours for Parks and Rec and he served as a coach and a mentor to many of the young people who are now adults with children of their own,” Judge Pone said. 

The meeting can be viewed online at