Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Friday, May 29, 2009

Froggie's Friday Book Review - A Complete History of Methodism

A Complete History of Methodism, as Connected with the Mississippi Methodist Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South was written by the Rev. John G. Jones as a result of a unanimous request of the church's members. When the Conference met in Brandon, Mississippi on December 11, 1872, it passed a resolution requesting Rev. Jones to undertake the project of writing the history of the conference, beginning with 1799 and ending in 1817. Since other volumes were anticipated, this book is labeled "Volume 1." Although Rev. Jones completed his book in 1884, he did not enter it into the Library of Congress until 1887. Interestingly, the book was not published until 1908, when it was published by The Publishing Company of the M.E. Church.

In his book, Rev. Jones has chronicled the Methodist Church's growth in the Mississippi Territory that later became the State of Mississippi. He begins his chronicle with Bishop Asbury's appointment of Tobias Gibson of South Carolina, as a missionary in the territory, and he traces Mr. Gibson's travels throughout the area. According to Rev. Jones, it was Tobias Gibson's successful missionary work that resulted in the establishment of the first Methodist church in Mississippi. The church was located in Washington, near Natchez, and the original congregation was comprised of ten members, 8 whites, and 2 "colored."

Although the book is first and foremost a history book, it also provides a wealth of information about families who were involved in the establishment and growth of Methodism in Mississippi. If you are researching your family history in Mississippi, this book may be helpful in your search. Families mentioned in the book include Gibson (South Carolina and Mississippi) Callender, Jonathan Coleman Jones, Corey, Goodman, Griffin, Griffing, King, Ogden, Swayze, Taylor, Gabriel Scott, Randall Gibson, John Folkes, and Lorenzo Dow.

I highly recommend reading this book. Whether you are interested in the History of Methodism in Mississippi or in tracing the history of your family in Mississippi in the years before statehood, this book is a must read. Within the book's pages, Rev. Jones has included information about families who were involved in the early Methodist movement that may not be found elsewhere.

1 comment:

  1. Good review, as always, Janice. I don't know a lot about the Methodist Church, however, my step-mother's father was a Methodist minister first in Arkansas and then here in Texas. I have several of his papers (not sermons) that were found in Mildred's old desk. I must get them into some kind of order and post them. I love history, so will keep your book and this review in mind for my future reading.