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Major J. Jones papers

 Collection — Box: 1-7
Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0096

Scope and contents

This collection documents the work of Major J. Jones, United Methodist Minister, theologian, and President of the Gammon Theological Seminary (Atlanta, Ga.) for the years 1969-1986. The bulk of the material is writings by Jones, including articles, conference papers, lectures and sermons; some materials are related to the administration of Gammon and its parent school, the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC).

There is also a large amount of material related to a litigation group that Jones was a part of in the early 1980s. A group of citizens in Atlanta united in a civil case after their property was damaged during nearby blasting. Jones served as a member of the Steering Committee of this group, and the collection contains correspondence, agenda, exhibits and other legal documents related to Jones' personal case as well as the group.

The collection also contains correspondence from friends, family and colleagues, much of it related to Jones' literary production; as well as records related to his work with the Clark College (Atlanta, Ga.) Board of Directors, the Gammon Theological Seminary and the United Methodist Church.

There is a small amount of printed articles from other authors, and a file of contact lists and business cards for Jones' colleagues.


  • Creation: 1968-1986


Rights Statement

All materials in this collection are either protected by copyright or are the property of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., and/or the copyright holder as appropriate. For more information, please contact

Biographical note

Major J. Jones (1918-1993) was born in Rome, Georgia and raised in DeKalb County. He attended Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta.

He married Mattie Parker of Oxford, North Carolina, and they had one child, a daughter, Chandra Jones Foster. Chandra and her husband, Sam Foster, had two children, Sam III and Landon Avery.

Jones attended Clark College (B.A., Divinity, 1941); Gammon Theological Seminary (M.A., Divinity, 1944); Oberlin College (M.A., Sacred Theology, 1950); and Boston University (Ph.D., Theology, 1957). He also received two honorary degrees: a Doctor of Ministry from Vanderbilt University (1972), and a Doctor of Divinity from Clark College (1985). In 1972 Boston University awarded him its Distinguished Alumni Award. He was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

A United Methodist minister, Jones served as pastor of Heck Chapel (Griffin, Ga.), Ariel Bowen (Atlanta, Ga.), and of Stanley Church (Chattanooga, Tenn.); as district superintendent of the Tennessee Conference; and as president of the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools and the Society of Christian Ethics. He was also an executive secretary of Christian Education of both the Georgia and Alabama conferences of the United Methodist Church.

Jones also worked as a professor of religion and philosophy at Wiley College (Marshall, Tex.).

He served as President of Gammom Theological Seminary from 1967-1985. After retiring from Gammon, Jones became the Chaplain-Counselor for the Atlanta University Center and Robert W. Woodruff Library (where his office was located), and served as adjunct faculty for Clark Atlanta University. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Clark Atlanta University, and founded the AU Learned Society.

A classmate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s while at Boston University, Jones was an active member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and served as Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors. He participated in other forms of public service as a member of the Mayor's Biracial Committee (Chattanooga, Tenn.); the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Community Action Program for Economic Opportunity; and the Governor's Committee to Investigate Racial Problems (Forsyth County, Ga.).

Jones wrote four books on African-American theology, including Black Awareness: A Theology of Hope (1971); A Christian Ethics for Black Theology: The Politics of Liberation (1974); and Color of God (1987). He also wrote many articles, papers, workshops and courses; many of them were related to African-American theology and the role of African-Americans in the United Methodist Church.


3.5 Linear feet

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into five series: Writings by Major J. Jones; Blasting litigation; Correspondence; Organizations and affiliations; Writings by others; and Personal ephemera.

Major J. Jones papers,1968-1986
2011 June
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc. Repository


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