Welcome to the Whyte House Family Spoken Nonfiction Books podcast: Black History Month edition episode #106. Today we are celebrating the life of Absalom Jones from the book “100 Most Influential Black Christians in History” compiled and edited by the editors of BCNN1.
Founder of the Free African Society and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)
“In his first sermon at the African Church of Philadelphia, Jones put out the call to his fellow African Americans to ‘arise out of the dust and shake ourselves, and throw off that servile fear, that the habit of oppression and bondage trained us up in.’” (Gary B. Nash)
Absalom Jones was born into slavery in Sussex County, Delaware, on November 6, 1746. He taught himself to read and knew the New Testament thoroughly at an early age. He was allowed to work for himself in the evenings and keep his earning. He was married in 1770. By the time Jones was 38 years old, he had purchased his wife’s freedom, and his own, and had bought a house.
During this period he met Richard Allen, and they became lay preachers in St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church and lifelong friends. Their efforts met with great success, and the congregation multiplied tenfold.
Jones and Allen, in 1787, organized the Free African Society. The Society was both religious and benevolent, helping widows and orphans and assisting in sick, relief and burial expenses, and the assimilation of newly freedmen into urban life. Because of racial tensions and an altercation with church officials, they left St. George’s congregation.
In 1792, under the leadership of Absalom Jones, “The African Church” was organized as a direct outgrowth of the Free African Society. In 1793, the two men organized the Black community to serve as nurses and attendants during Philadelphia’s severe Yellow Fever epidemic.
Absalom Jones led his African Church in applying to Bishop William White for membership in the Episcopal Church. On Sunday, September 14, 1794, the congregation was received into the fellowship and communion of he diocese of Pennsylvania. So “The African Church” became The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, and Absalom Jones was ordained Deacon. Some nine years later he was ordained Priest, becoming the first priest in America of African descent.
During his ministry, Absalom Jones never lost his deep conviction that religious and social action go hand in hand. He founded schools for his people, helped them in distress, and supported them in their protest against slavery and oppression. He helped to found an insurance company, and a society which fought vice and immorality. Absalom Jones died at his home in Philadelphia.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of Whyte House Family nonfiction books. You may purchase a copy of this book and any other Christian nonfiction books read on this podcast from Amazon.com.
Now, dear listener, please know that God—the divine Author of all things—wants to write a great story with your life as well. But first you must give Him the pen by trusting Him with the life He gave you and surrendering your heart to Jesus Christ as Savior. Here is how:
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
May God bless you until next time.