Sketches Of

Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers


(pages 265 - 266)

Layman Jones was born October 1, 1803, in Sevier County, Tenn. He was a son of John Jones. His mother was a Layman, sister of "old Daniel Layman," for whom the nephew was named. From the family Bible we get this additional information: He was married to Rebecca Henry, November 25, 1824. After preaching four years he was "ordained a minister of the gospel, November 14, 1830; died August 8, 1845."

In young manhood he was a school teacher, the "second" teacher to help Uncle John Russell "to get a start" in life. Later he helped Elijah Rogers "to fight the battle of missions" in Sevier County. When missionary zeal was burning low in the Holston Association it was Layman Jones and C. C. Tipton who "kindled a fire that burned like stubble."  Elder John Russell attributes his conviction to a mild rebuke of Layman Jones, administered at old Providence Church in Sevier County. The occasion was a "communion service." Young Russell had come to church through mere curiosity to see what was "doing." The preacher, taking in the situation, said: "See how the line of separation is drawn; only those who love the Lord and are washed and separated from their sins can come to the Lord's table. In the judgment
day the line will be drawn again, and the separation will be forever, the sheep on one hand, the goats on the other."  The arrow struck deep, and he never got rid of it till, "washed in the blood," he walked out of the "dark, rough wilderness into the light of day," and took his stand on the Lord's side.

"Layman Jones had system about his sermons; I could always tell when he was going to quit." (J. R.)

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


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