Jones Tabernacle AME Church : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

The Jones Tabernacle AME Church recently join The AME Related links, a page that I administer, and was I suprised.

I know that many of us are devotees of AME History. On the Jones Tabernacle web site ( found a detailed BIO of Bishop Richard Allen and Bishop Joshua Henry Jones. The Allen BIO contains some detail that I had never read before. Also, I must confess that I had never heard of Bishop Jones. Bishop Jones' BIO contains excerpts from an interview with Bishop Decatur Ward Nichols along with much detail of his work. Based on what little I know about other bishops of the AME Church and the BIO's presented, Bishop Jones would rank alongside the four horseman of African Methodism. I suggest that the "posters and visitors" on this board visit the Jones Tabernacle site and read these BIO's for themselves. Also I'd like to see any information confirming or denying these BIOs Be Blessed Sorry about the "long post"

Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, December 30, 2003


Dear Rev. Paris:

thank you for your comments regarding the Historic Jones Tabernacle A.M.E. Church web site. Regarding the biography of Bishop Joshua Henry Jones, I would suggest that you get a hold of some of our early A.M.E. publications, namely The Bishops of the A.M.E. Church, and early copies of the Enclyclopaedia of African Methodism, both by Bishop Richard R. Wright. As a member of the Historical Committee of the Northeast Texas Annual Conference, pastor of Macedonia A.M.E. Church and by your own admission, any true devotees of A.M.E. history should have possession or at least access to such documents and publications to aid us in understanding of our church's founding.

I received information and documents from a number of sources including the Rev. Dr. Dennis Dickerson, our Connectional Historiographer, the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Leath, Pastor of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church here in the Mother Conference, historical societies here in Philly, and a live interview about four to five years ago with Bishop Decatur Ward Nichols. Presently, I am adding to my research by interviewing direct descendents of Bishop Jones who live right here in the Philly area and in Ohio. (Wilberforce University was gracious enough to send me a copy of the April-June 1964 publication of the A.M.E. Review where Rev. Oliver Childers wrote a very thoughtful piece on Bishop Jones gleaned from an interview with the Bishop's son, Joshua H. Jones, Jr.). Although we are still updating our web site as new information becomes available, we are fairly certain that our information is accurate.

Regarding Bishop Richard Allen's biography, my information mainly comes from research I did at Mother Bethel's historical society. Also I found that Rev. Leath and several other ministers meet regularly to discuss our church's founding and the discrimination suffered in these efforts. (I am unsure if these meetings are still being held.) However, there is still much debate about how the Black members of St. George's left this largely white congregation to start their own ministry. Bishop Allen's work and the discrimination he suffered is well documented, not only by Mother Bethel's historical records, but also recognized by the City of Philadelphia.

Thomas Jefferson and George Washington also wrote extensively about plans to relocate black folks to Sierra Leone because they felt that having free blacks in the country during a time when slavery still existed would agitate those that remained in bondage. Further, Jefferson stated that free blacks could never live peaceably together with whites once they realized the horror and tragedy put upon them through the "peculiar institution" known as slavery. Regarding Bishop Allen's place of birth and residence after slavery, this information was documented by Sister Ruby Boyd, who is a descendant of Bishop Allen and currently works with the historical society at Mother Bethel. She also holds her membership there.

Because you didn't specifically state your specific issues in either bio of our Bishops, I tried to answer what I thought you were questioning. Also, I have copied the following persons on this e-mail so that you can contact them directly if you so choose to verify this information:

-Dr. Dickerson, A.M.E. Historiographer/Director, Research and Scholarship -Rev. Dr. Jeff Leath, Pastor of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church -Rev. Ellis Louden, Pastor of Jones Tabernacle A.M.E. Church -Mr. Edwin Robinson, Great grandson of Bishop Joshua Jones -Mrs. Stacey Jones-Anderson-Great granddaughter of Bishop Jones

My other sources include: -Presiding Elder Herman A. Rhodes, Philadelphia, PA -Direct Descendents of Bishop Joshua H. Jones -Ms. Ruby Boyd, Living descendent of Bishop Richard Allen -McGinnis, F.A.: History and an Interpretation of Wilberforce University -Wright Jr., R.R., Journal of the Twenty-Ninth Quadrennial Session of the A.M.E. Church, May 2-16, 1932; The Bishops of the A.M.E. Church, 1963; Encyclopaedia of African Methodism, 1948. -Claflin University-Historical Archives Department, Orangeburg, SC -Wilberforce University-Historical Archives Department, Wilberforce, OH -Drew University--Historical Archives Department, Madison, NJ -Dickinson University--Historical Archives Department, Carlisle, PA -Brown University--Historical Archives Department, Boston, MA -Lexington County Public Library, Lexington, SC -The Ohio Historical Society -The Free Library of Philadelphia -National Archives, Philadelphia Branch

Now I must ask your forgiveness for such a long e-mail!! But I do want to thank you for your inquiry. As A.M.E.'s, we need to make sure that our history is on point because we don't want other people telling our story for us! And also, your comments do suggest that people are visiting our web site so I am grateful for your thoughts.

Finally and as a sidebar, the term "Four Horsemen" are merely semantics to me. I do understand the meaning and that these bishops, Richard Allen, Daniel Payne, William Quinn and Henry Turner, were pioneers in our church. But sooner or later, and because of the nature of life and living, their work had to be continued by those compelled to pick up the torch. So I would submit that all of our leaders in the A.M.E. Church, even you, are horsemen. It is much more than a notion in trying to lead people to God and maintaining the legacy of this great institution of ours. So thank you and be blessed, Horseman Paris!!

Regards, Ms. Ty Kelley Jones Tabernacle A.M.E. Church Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2004

Ms. Kelly...

I thoroughly enjoyed your entry and I know Rev. Louden and Jones Tabernacle's record in excellence. God bless.

Also, please read the history of the Four Horsemen. It is much more than semantics. The significance of these men and their contribution to America as well as the AME Church is outstanding. When the church needed expanded these are the men who did so. When social issues had to be addressed with a powerful voice these men did so. A good source would be "Documenting the American South" website mainained by the University of North Carolina.

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2004

Where is Jones Tabernacle AMEC located in Philly? I would ike to visit the next time I'm in Philly. Is it near my in-laws who live around 61st & Spruce? QED

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2004

Dear Ms. Brooks,

thank you for your response. I just want to clear something up: In my response, I am not saying that the work of the Four Horsemen was insignificant, I was simply saying that the term is. In fact, the term in no way clearly encompasses the extraordinary work done on behalf of African Methodism, and to a greater degree, God's Kingdom. I am in no way downplaying the contributions they made to our church and country. But I believe the true test in all of this is the follow-up.

You can also think of this way: Our Lord is phenomenal and by and large, we christians have been successful in preserving and building on the foundation He laid for us. But imagine if nothing was done to enhance this foundation! Where would we be? Through whose words would we be interpreting the life and work of Jesus Christ? MY GGGGGGGGOD... PERISH THE THOUGHT! So yes, the work of the Four Horsemen is something of a miracle, more in fact--and I apologized for not properly communicating that in my original response. But praise God for the torch bearers in African Methodism!

P.S. I have read extensively about Bishop Payne and I have read some of the information on Documenting the American South at the Univ. of NC Chapel Hill's website. (However, I have downloaded their entire file on African Methodism: %20Methodists%20--%20Biography.

Last month, I found out that after the first wife of Bishop Joshua Jones died, he married Bishop Payne's step-daughter, Augusta Clark!

Be blessed and please visit when you are in Philadelphia. I will pass on your regards to Rev. Louden.


P.S. S. Mr. Dickens, Jones Tabernacle is very close to your in-laws, so when you come to Philly, please join us for worship!!!

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2004

I was not questioning your sources but admiring your work. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit and will visit the church when I have opportunity. The historical accounts reflect the hard work that is being done by you and your group.

Keep it up and Be blessed.

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2004

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