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Jones, Robert Elijah

by Grady L. E. Carroll, 1988

19 Feb. 1872–18 May 1960

"Methodist Episcopal clergyman and editor Robert E. Jones and his second wife, Harriet." Image courtesy of Emory University. Robert Elijah Jones, Methodist clergyman and editor, was born in Greensboro and earned degrees at Bennett College, Greensboro, and Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Ga. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Hurst and elder by Bishop Mallalieu. Jones served pastorates in Leaksville, Lexington, and Thomasville, and in 1897 he became assistant manager of the Southeastern Christian Advocate. In 1901 he was field secretary of the Board of Sunday Schools, and in 1904 returned to the Advocate as editor.

In 1920 Jones was elected to the episcopacy and served in that capacity at the Central Jurisdictional Conference (black) until his retirement in 1944. Bishop Jones was a member of five General Conferences and a trustee of three institutions of learning. He founded the Gulfside Assembly at Waveland, Miss., and served as its president and in other high offices. In 1927, when awarded a bronze medal by the Harmon Foundation, he was recognized as one of the outstanding preachers and orators in black Methodism; two years later the foundation awarded him a gold medal for distinguished religious service. He was the recipient of honorary degrees from seven institutions. After retiring, he lived at the Gulfside Assembly. He was survived by a son, Robert E., Jr.




Lindo D. Addo and James H. McCallum, To Be Faithful to Our Heritage: A History of Black Methodism in North Carolina (1980).

Additional Resources:

Robert Elijah Jones papers, 1872-1965Add to your cart.  Amistad Research Center:

Robert Elijah Jones Papers (1872-1965). Emory Libraries:

Image Credits:

"Methodist Episcopal clergyman and editor Robert E. Jones and his second wife, Harriet." Image courtesy of Emory University. Available from (accessed July 26, 2013).

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