Jones, Sam P. (Sam Porter), 1847-1906

Alternative names
Birth 1847-10-16
Death 1906-10-15

Biographical notes:

Samuel Porter Jones, evangelist, was born 16 October 1847, in Oak Bowery, Alabama, and died 15 October 1906, near Little Rock, Arkansas. He grew up in Cartersville, Georgia, was admitted to the bar (1866) but abandoned law and converted to Methodism; he married Laura McElwain (1868). He began to evangelize after his appointment as agent for the Methodist Orphan's Home in Decatur, Georgia (1880) and became a national figure by the mid-1880s. After 1893 Jones devoted all his time to evangelistic work, publishing volumes of his sermons, and writing a weekly column for the Atlanta JOURNAL. A critic of most social activities and an ardent prohibitionist, he became the first prominent evangelist in the United States.

From the description of Sam P. Jones papers, 1859-1961. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122385927

Reverend Samuel Porter Jones (1847-1906), Methodist preacher, author, philanthropist, prohibitionist, evangelist, resided in Cartersville, Bartow County, Georgia.

From the description of Sam P. Jones papers, 1863-1950. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 38478201

Samuel Porter Jones (1847 October 16 - 1906 October 15), Methodist evangelist, was born in Oak Bowery, Chambers County, Alabama, the son of John J. Jones and Nancy (Porter) Jones. In 1855, he and his siblings went to live with their grandparents in Cartersville, Georgia after their mother died. His grandfather, Samuel G. Jones was a Methodist preacher. In 1859, John Jones married Jennie Skinner and settled permanently in Cartersville, Georgia. Samuel studied law and was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1868. Also in 1868, he married Laura McElwain of Kentucky, where he had spent the last days of the Civil War. Samuel and Laura had seven children: Beulah, Mary, Annie, Sam Paul, Robert W., Laura, and Julia. In 1872, Samuel felt compelled to enter the ministry after a promise to his father on his deathbed. Samuel had fallen on hard times, due to excessive drinking, and made a pledge to his father he would reform himself. He was accepted by the North Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and began preaching as a circuit minister covering four counties. Samuel had a natural talent for preaching and before long he assisted other preachers with revival work. He had a plain and simple theology, "quit your meanness". In 1880, the conference appointed him as the fundraising agent for the Methodist Orphan Home in Decatur, Georgia. In time, Samuel spent most of his time traveling around the country preaching at revival services. He estimated from September 1885 to September 1886 that he preached 1000 sermons to three million people. Samuel Jones died October 15, 1906 on a return trip from a revival in Oklahoma City. Several thousand people came to view him as he lay in state in the rotunda of the Capitol in Atlanta and is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Cartersville, Georgia.

From the description of Samuel P. Jones Papers, 1880-1925. (Atlanta History Center). WorldCat record id: 318453535

Sam P. Jones (1847-1906) was a nationally prominent Methodist evangelist. Jones married Laura McElrain of Henry County, Kentucky in 1869 and started his ministry in Van Wert, Georgia in 1872.

From the description of Sam P. Jones family papers, 1875, 1891, 1896 [microform]. (Shorter University, Livingston Library). WorldCat record id: 38727649


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Ark ID:


  • Prohibition
  • Methodist Church
  • Spouses of clergy
  • Clergy--Family relationships
  • Evangelistic work
  • Evangelistic sermons
  • Evangelists
  • Women in the Methodist Church
  • Prohibitionist
  • Revivals
  • Sermons, American
  • Church work with orphans
  • Clergy
  • Methodist Church--Clergy
  • Methodists--Clergy
  • Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)
  • Women--Diaries


  • Evangelist


  • Georgia--Decatur (as recorded)
  • Georgia (as recorded)
  • Georgia (as recorded)
  • Georgia (as recorded)
  • Cartersville (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • Cartersville (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Bartow County (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • Cartersville (Ga.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)