Sketches Of

Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers


(pages 208-209)

J. S. Greenlee was a son of John and Polly (Mays) Greenlee, and a nephew of  Elder James Greenlee. He was born in Grainger County, Tennessee, August 17, 1824. He made a profession of his faith in Christ in his seventeenth year. In his twenty-seventh year he was "licensed" to preach by Beech Grove Church, Grainger County, and later in the same year was "ordained" to the work of the ministry by a council composed of Elders James Greenlee, Samuel Jones and Elias Wester. His ministerial labors, for the most part, were in  Grainger, Hawkins, Hancock and Claiborne counties.

He was pastor of New Bethel, Cedar Springs, Central Point, New Prospect, Kidwell's Ridge, Cedar Grove, Pleasant Grove, Rock Bridge, Big Hill, and other churches.

J. S. Greenlee was a messenger of Central Point Church to the Nolachucky Association for a number of years, and four several years was a successful missionary of that body. His report to the association, for 1865, shows, "seventy-two days' labor,  sixty sermons preached, 190 professed conversions, forty-two baptisms, salary received $69.65."

"For nearly fifty years, with untiring zeal, he went forth proclaiming life to lost men and women. His labors were attended with great success, hundreds of souls being converted under his ministry. He was a great defender of the Baptist faith, and a great missionary and church-builder. Few preachers helped organize more churches than did Brother Greenlee. In his last years he was a great landmark in the Mulberry Gap Association. He died June 12, 1898, at his home near Mooresburg, Tenn." (G. H. Cope.)

I am credibly informed that Elder J. S. Greenlee baptized and was instrumental in bringing into the ministry eight Baptist preachers: J. B. Bundren, Elihu Tittsworth, James Kitts, William Wise, Chrisly Shelton, Eli Jones, B. Riggins, and a Brother Collins.

Burnett, J .J.  Sketches of  Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers.  Nashville, Tenn.:  Press of Marshall & Bruce Company, 1919.


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