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Robert Reynolds Jones,1883-1968,Educator
AUTHOR: Johnson, R.K.
PUBLISHED ON: March 17, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN
PUBLISHED IN: Biographies

Robert Reynolds Jones
1883-1968
American evangelist and educator. Robert Reynolds Jones, bet-
ter known as Dr. Bob Jones Sr., was born in Dale County, Ala-
bama, on October 30, 1883. He was converted to Christ at the
age of 11, began to preach and hold revival meetings at the
age of 13, and was licensed to preach at the age of 15. He
preached in the cotton fields, and in country churches and in
brush arbors. Later, he held huge campaigns in American cit-
ies large and small, and preached around the world in many
cities and mission fields.
        In 1927 Dr. Jones founded Bob Jones College, now Bob
Jones University, where each year more than 3,500 students
from every state in the union and 34 foreign countries are
matriculated. This school, now located in Greenville, South
Carolina, came into existence as a result of the hundreds of
young people Dr. Jones had met in his ministry, whose faith
had been shaken in colleges and universities. He set out to
build a school that would combat the atheistic trend in edu-
cation, and would become a center in Christian education.
        Throughout his entire ministry, Dr. Jones was a lead-
ing spokesman for the fundamental, conservative, Scriptural
position, while opposing modernism, neo-orthodoxy, and neo-
evangelicalism. The many hundred graduates of Bob Jones Uni-
versity serving the Lord in churches in America and on the
mission fields of the world are an extention of his ministry
to this present hour.

Robert Reynolds Jones
BORN: October 30, 1883
Shipperville, Alabama
DIED: January 16, 1968
Greenville, South Carolina
LIFE SPAN: 84 years, 2 months, 18 days
FUNDAMENTALISM’S GREATEST FORTRESS of the faith for years was
Bob Jones University. “Preacher boys” trained there have
fanned over the world with a zeal seldom matched anywhere.
The fabulous growth has put it in the top spot as far as en-
rollment is concerned among Christian colleges. Some 5,000
take training there annually. What produces such a school?
Many things, but the indefatigable work of the founder, Bob
Jones, Sr., surely can be considered as the key ingredient.
One of the great evangelists of all time–a man who preached
in 30 countries–Dr. Bob’s contribution to Bible Christianity
has seldom been matched. By age 40 he had preached 12,000
sermons to some 15,000,000 people, with 300,000 converts.
        Jones was the son of William Alexander and Georgia
(Cree) Jones. The parents were farmers of Calvinistic convic-
tions. He was the eleventh of twelve children, having eight
sisters and three brothers. The family moved to the Dothan,
Alabama, area shortly after his birth. Christian convictions
were instilled in him by his parents and hard work on the
farm gave him a challenge early in life to work.
        He was converted at age eleven in a country Methodist
church outside Dothan. The preacher was 80 years of age and
the young lad was the first to go forward. Since age six he
had desired to get this matter settled.
        From the time of his conversion he began preaching
publicly and was known as “the boy preacher.” He preached to
anyone who would listen. He became a good debater. He devel-
oped strong convictions and undaunted courage. Like Billy
Sunday, his preaching was to be received because it would be
on the level of the people. He demonstrated unusual ability
at memorizing Scripture and recitation. For months he had
made speeches at the Sunday School, displaying great knowl-
edge of the Bible. At age twelve he was appointed Sunday
School superintendent at this Methodist church at Brannon’s
Stand. Being something of a child prodigy, he would gather
children of the neighborhood and preach to them. One day he
caught some older folk hiding behind the trees, listening to
what was going on. From this point on his father began to
take a deep interest in his oratorical powers, clipping sig-
nificant pieces from newspapers and asking young Jones to
commit them to memory. When he reached 13 years of age, he
built a brush arbor (outside shelter of brush, lattice work,
trees, etc.) and out of this meeting place, two miles from
home, came a church of 54 members where he preached for about
a year (age 14). His mother died that year also.
        By age 15 he was licensed and ordained by the Alabama
Conference. At age 16 he headed a circuit of five churches,
including the little church he had started. He would often
walk miles just for the opportunity of having a chance to
preach. He received $25 a month for this ministry. More than
400 came into the churches by profession of faith that first
year. Bob was now preaching all over southeast Alabama.
        He finished his formal education, which was dis-
jointed in his earlier years, at Kinsey (Alabama) High
School, 13 miles away from home. He worked his way through
school, living in the home of the principal, J.C. Hammett.
Graduated in 1899, the year his father died, young Jones en-
tered Southern University (later Birmingham Southern) at
Greensboro, Alabama, in 1901 where he attended until 1904. He
studied Latin, math and science, continued his preaching and
was ordained by Methodists in 1903, from whom he withdrew in
later years because of their drift from the fundamentals of
the faith.
        While in college he kept on preaching, first every
weekend somewhere, with good results, then campaigns, holding
weekend revivals during school and full-time meetings in the
summer. For three summers he held meetings in the State of
Louisiana. Fearing a man they couldn’t control, the Method-
ists passed a rule that no Methodist layman or preacher could
preach or hold a religious service within the boundary of a
Methodist pastor’s circuit without that pastor’s permission.
This of course did not stop such as Bob Jones or his prede-
cessor in those days, Sam Jones.
        Bob was stirring up the entire state of Alabama as a
young man when he discovered his throat was bothering him
more and more. It was diagnosed as “tuberculosis of the
throat.” He also had double pneumonia, was malaria prone, and
was told he could not live ten years.
        He went west where he did recover, being healed by
the Lord of this difficulty. This was when he was 21. The
following year, on October 24, 1905, he married Bernice Shef-
field, only to have her die ten months later in August, 1906,
of tuberculosis. Somewhere around January, 1907, in Union-
town, Alabama, he met Mary Gaston Stollenwerck, who was con-
verted in his meeting. On June 17, 1908, they were married.
Their only child, Bob Jones, Jr., was born October 19, 1911.
Marriage and family did not change his life style, as Mrs.
Jones traveled with him, taking a maid along to care for the
child until he was six years old, when he entered school in
Montgomery.
        Following the death of Sam Jones and during the hey-
day of the Billy Sunday meetings, Bob Jones was raising a
storm throughout the country himself. In 1908, now 25 years
old, he held a crusade in his home town of Dothan, where some
city officials, several of whom had been converted, called a
meeting of the City Council and closed the dispensary, elimi-
nating intoxicating liquor. It was also in 1908 that he wit-
nessed two outstanding conversions: In Abbeyville, Alabama, a
Robert Reynolds was converted. This was his father’s buddy in
battle, for whom Jones was named. Then, in Ozark, Alabama, he
led a Dr. Dick Reynolds to the Lord. This was the doctor who
attended his birth.
        Several states were utilizing his services in the
next couple of years–Texas, California, Missouri, New York,
Georgia. By age 30, he had preached in 25 states. In 1911 he
was greatly used in Atlanta, Georgia, which had two notable
services–a “Women Only” service at the Forsyth Theater on
June 2 and a large gathering of “Men Only” at the city audi-
torium on his last Sunday afternoon. People were long talking
about his sermon, The Secret Sins of Men. In 1915, great cru-
sades were held in two small Indiana towns. Crawfordsville
had merchants closing their stores during the hours of the
services. They later commented that it was easier to collect
for bills, and preachers found it easier to get people to
come to church. Over 4,000 women gathered to hear his famous
sermon for them, The Modern Woman.
        One of the most amazing stories of revival in history
took place in Hartford City, Indiana, a town of 7,000. Before
the meeting, the church membership was 1,500; after the meet-
ings the churches had almost 4,000 members. On the last Sun-
day of the meetings, 1,600 joined the churches. Some 100 per
night accepted Christ. Sunday movies were closed and the city
voted dry and put out of business 16 saloons within two
months of his campaign there. Some 4,000 had attended his
last service–in a town of 7,000 population.
        In 1916 Jones had good meetings in Joplin, Missouri.
Going east, he was in a small New York town, Gloversville,
beginning April 8th. The headlines of the April 13th newspa-
per said, “Bob Jones Launches Savage Attack Against Saloons
and Liquor Traffic.” Jones had simply talked on the topic,
Some Problems of Home, to some 3,500 who had gathered. The
next night he preached to 4,500 on The Sins of Gloversville.
The six-week crusade held at the Tabernacle on Temple Street
was sponsored by 12 churches. The total attendance was
175,000 with 1,780 deciding for Christ.
        He closed the year out with a large tent crusade in
New York City. He was front-page copy for the New York Herald
for more than a week. The tent, located on West 12th Street,
was the scene of many victories.
        Another outstanding revival that had been conducted
earlier that year was at the City Auditorium in Lynchburg,
Virginia.
        The following year, 1917, found him in Quincy, Illi-
nois, then in a good Zanesville, Ohio, crusade from February
18 to April 1. Seventeen churches participated. Total attend-
ance was 266,000 with 3,284 signed convert cards. His closing
day attendance was 18,000. A large tabernacle had been
erected which seated 5,000. Bob pounded the altar so hard
while preaching that he broke it. Noon shop meetings, meet-
ings with students and women’s meetings were all a part of
this crusade.
        One of his greatest crusades was the one that fol-
lowed in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Some 1,000 met him at the
train, and some 10,000 gathered on the parade route while the
procession went to the tabernacle, where such as Mayor Tilma
officially welcomed him. Some 15,000 attended the opening
service, and 568 walked the “sawdust trail” in response to
the first invitation given the next day. Schools closed early
so that children might attend special sessions for them at 3
p.m. A Sunday School parade had 2,500 participants. Over
5,000 converts were made during his ministry there.
        In July of 1919 a good crusade was held in Columbus,
Ohio. Meetings were held under the Big Tent. In 1920 he was
in Anniston, Alabama, at the Lyric Theater. On Sunday, August
29, 1920, Jones and William Jennings Bryan were featured in a
great rally at Winona Lake (Indiana) Bible Conference. In
1921 Jones crusaded at Steubenville, Ohio. Seventeen preach-
ers who sponsored the meeting early in the year attested to
the good results at the large tabernacle erected near the
business center of the city. The newspapers gave great cover-
age. More than 4,000 marched in the Sunday School parade.
        His greatest crusade in his own opinion was that of
the Montgomery, Alabama, meeting in 1921. The meetings began
on May 22; the headlines the next day tell the story: “More
Than Five Thousand Held Spellbound by Eloquence of Splendid
Evangelist: Hundreds Turned Away at Each Sunday Service; Ser-
mons Not Sensational.” His Sins of Men address to 5,000 men
was perhaps his greatest individual meeting ever held, by his
own assessment. At the close of the service over 2,000 men
started a great rush to the front to shake hands with him so
that he was forced to rush back to the platform and appeal to
the men not to create a panic, but to respond to the proposi-
tion to live right by holding up their hands. Meetings were
held at a large wooden tabernacle erected near the business
center, which seated over 5,000. The building was crowded to
capacity every night, and many times there were hundreds
standing around the outside of the tabernacle. It is esti-
mated some 12,000 heard him the closing Sunday night in June.
Average crowds were 10,000 nightly, in a medium-sized town
with a total population of 40,000.
        Bob Jones received an honorary D.D. degree by Mus-
kingum College during this year. In the late fall of 1921 he
held a large campaign in St. Petersburg, Florida. The taber-
nacle seated 5,000 and sometimes it was necessary to have two
services in order to accommodate the crowds.
        In 1927 (the year the Bob Jones college was founded),
Jones held two large crusades. One was in McKeesport, Penn-
sylvania, and the other in Andalusia, Alabama. Jones’ meet-
ings continued with great success into the 1930s and 1940s.
In 1947, he held good crusades in Spartanburg, South Caro-
lina, and Asheville, North Carolina. As many as 100 per night
were saved in the former, with scores coming forward each
night at the latter as well. In 1949, at Presque Isle, Maine,
a town of 10,000, between 50 and 200 were saved each night.
In June of that year he returned to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,
for a 15-day crusade. The chairman of the sponsoring commit-
tee was his convert from a Pittsburgh revival 25 years
earlier.
        Bob Jones’ friendship with John R. Rice was a mutual
help to both men, with Bob Jones often appearing at Sword of
the Lord conferences and then making the Sword of the Lord
required reading amonst the preacher boys at the college.
        Concerning evangelism, Jones once said:

{BQT}I never had a goal as most men set up goals. My only
goal was to do the job at hand, and then to begin another. I
never started out to be a big evangelist, a little evange-
list, or any other kind of evangelist. I just started out to
do the job the Lord had for me at the time.
{EQT}
        Some 30 nations of the world were to hear him preach
as well.
        In 1952, at age 69, and 1959, at age 76, Bob Jones
made round-the-world missionary tours. Then again, in 1964,
in connection with his 80th birthday, the Joneses were sent
on a goodwill tour around the world, visiting 14 countries.
By this time 850 missionaries in 90 countries had received
their education at the school he started.
        Perhaps he has been an evangelist longer than anyone
in the history of the Christian Church. He was preaching at
age 13 and continued well into his 80s, which would give him
over 65 years in this chosen field. He averaged some 40,000
miles of travel per year. His decisions for Christ ran into
the hundreds of thousands, with one report stating his great-
est single service response being 6,000 decisions.
        As years went by Jones was beginning to get another
burden–that of starting a Christian college for the common
people with whom he worked every day. Many were the sad sto-
ries of sending children off to college and seeing them re-
turn with agnostic views. Sitting in a drug store in Kissim-
mee, Florida, in 1927, the idea hit him hard. “I’m going to
start a school!” he told his wife. A site was picked, seven
miles out of Panama City, Florida, on St. Andrews Bay. This
site itself would have a name–College Point, Florida.
        On December 1, 1926, ground was broken. Jones de-
scribed the naming of the school:

{BQT}I was averse to calling our school the Bob Jones Col-
lege. My friends overcame my aversion with the argument that
the school would be called by that name because of my connec-
tion with it, and to attempt to give it any other name would
confuse the people.
{EQT}
        Jones from the beginning, like other noble evange-
lists, poured his own large income from evangelism right back
into the work of the college, and for years the operating ex-
penses of the school were always current because of this gen-
erosity. Whitefield and his orphanage, Moody and his schools,
are notable examples of this kind of dedication.
        On September 12-14, 1927, the school opened with 88
students. The financial crash of 1929 hit Florida especially
hard, and assets of $500,000.00 were wiped out. Enrollment
was limited to 300 at this Florida campus. A site in Cleve-
land, Tennessee, appealed because of a better geographic po-
sition. Old Centenary College (Methodist Girls’ School) had
been closed for years, and the move was made to Cleveland,
Tennessee, on June 1, 1933. Formal opening was September 1,
and a new school year was to begin.
        In 1934 Jones took a prolonged absence to preach in
such places as Ireland, Poland, and several engagements in
Michigan. During this time Bob Jones, Jr., got some good ex-
perience in running the school.
        A great benefactor in those early days was John
Sephus Mack, who died on September 27, 1940. He contributed
much financial assistance in the development of the college.
He was the head of the Murphy stores and first met Jones at a
revival in his home town, McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Coming
late to the meeting, he was seated on the platform. Here he
witnessed Jones’ lips moving, and he was able to read his
lips: “Help me get ahold of this crowd.” Being a conservative
Presbyterian, this kind of praying seemed a bit informal to
him, but since then Mack also talked to Jesus in this fash-
ion. He also told the evangelist if he ever made any money,
he would give it to Jones if he needed it. Approximately
$150,000.00 for the building program subsequently followed.
By 1946 the school had expanded as much as it could in Cleve-
land. Additional property needed to expand was next to impos-
sible to obtain.
        The Church of God was greatly interested in the prop-
erty, and so it was sold to them for $1,500,000.00. Much
business needed to be done, and Jones was constantly travel-
ing, tying up loose ends and preaching. He missed the Wine-
coff Hotel fire in Atlanta in 1946 by one night, having
checked out of the ill-fated hotel one day earlier than an-
ticipated. Some 120 died in that inferno.
        It was finally agreed to move the college campus to
Greenville, South Carolina, where, on Thanksgiving Day, No-
vember 27, 1947, it was dedicated. At this point the school
changed its name to Bob Jones University, and Bob Jones, Jr.,
assumed the presidency of the same, with Bob Jones, Sr., be-
coming chairman of the board. Some 2,900 students were now
attending.
        Through the years, the school continued to grow, with
Bob Jones, Sr., playing an active role until his resignation
as chairman of the board of trustees in April, 1964. Cur-
rently the school handles 4,000 to 5,000 students annually–
one-third of this number being ministerial students. Over 30
countries are represented in the student body. The school has
excelled in film teaching and production. Shakespearean drama
productions are held annually. The university has amassed one
of the finest collections of religious paintings in North
America. The $40 to $50 million assets with 180 some acres
made the modern facilities and beautiful campus a legend
among Christian schools.
        Refusing to compromise in any way, shape or form the
Bible principles established in the very beginning, the
school has been coerced and criticized. The discipline and
dramatics program have been misunderstood and derided. Be-
cause of its refusal to become a part of the Southern Associ-
ation of Colleges and Secondary Schools, some have felt it to
be unscholarly. Because of the monitoring of dates and the
“six-inch rule” between the opposite sexes, some have felt
the school antiquated.
        Because of the school’s refusal to back the Billy
Graham New York Crusade in 1957, an attempt to discredit the
school’s leadership was made. The conclusion of all this is
that Bob Jones the man and Bob Jones the school were just not
going to change their stand. In the early days of Youth for
Christ and the National Association of Evangelicals, Jones
was a prime supporter. Once, at an alumni meeting of his
school, he asked all present to sign a pledge that they would
use their influence to have the school closed if it ever de-
veloped modernistic leanings. Both the man and the school he
started continued to prosper, and history will likely show
that a greater combination evangelisteducator never lived.
When he was on campus, one of his main jobs was his “chapel
talks,” where students received character training and pur-
pose. He left the Methodist Church in 1939.
        Jones will be remembered as the man who was one of
the first to take the unpopular stand in those days of oppos-
ing the policies of Billy Graham. So much has been blown out
of proportion, but the simple facts are these: When Graham
began to insist upon the total support of a city, as he did
in the famous 1957 New York crusade, Jones would not put
aside convictions of a lifetime and ignore something he felt
was harmful. Hence he, John R. Rice, and others decided the
truths of II John 9-11 should be adhered to. It was not a
personality clash as some would like to think. It was not a
matter of jealousy, for Jones promoted and supported Billy
Graham until the fraternization with liberals started. The
ecumenicity of Graham’s new sponsorship, resulting in the
practice of returning converts to unscriptural churches and
false teachers as well as sound churches and good teachers,
clashed with Dr. Bob’s philosophy. “It is not right to do
wrong to get a chance to do right.”
        So the polarization of new evangelicals and fundamen-
talists did start for the most part in 1957, as this policy
developed. Of course, the right kind of fundamentalist will
rejoice in souls won by Graham or anyone else, as the issue
is not a man–but a Biblical principle. Bob Jones and John R.
Rice sponsored a historic meeting in Chicago on December 26,
1958, where some 150 prominent evangelists gathered to form
resolutions backing historic Christian premises in the field
of evangelism.
        Muskingum College gave him a D.D. degree in 1921, and
John Brown University granted Jones an LL.D. degree in 1941.
A plaque in his honor was unveiled in Dothan, Alabama, on Oc-
tober 18, 1962, marking his birthplace. The Christian Hall of
Fame at the Canton (Ohio) Baptist Temple honored him in 1966
as the only living entry in their portrait gallery of greats.
The last two years of his life, he was in the school hospi-
tal. His last words, on January 16, 1968, were, “Mary Gaston,
get my shoes; I must go to preach.” He was buried on campus
in a beautiful little island in a fountain of cascading
pools, just across the street from the Rodeheaver Auditorium.
An excellent biography of his life is the book Builder of
Bridges by his friend of many years, R.K. Johnson.

Robert Reynolds Jones  by R.K. Johnson

  Robert Reynolds Jones BORN: October 30, 1883 Shipperville, Alabama
DIED: January 16, 1968 Greenville, South Carolina LIFE SPAN: 84 years,
2 months, 18 days FUNDAMENTALISM’S GREATEST FORTRESS of the faith for
years was Bob Jones University. “Preacher boys” trained there have
fanned over the world with a zeal seldom matched anywhere. The fabulous
growth has put it in the top spot as far as enrollment is concerned
among Christian colleges. Some 5,000 take training there annually. What
produces such a school? Many things, but the indefatigable work of the
founder, Bob Jones, Sr., surely can be considered as the key
ingredient. One of the great evangelists of all time–a man who
preached in 30 countries–Dr. Bob’s contribution to Bible Christianity
has seldom been matched. By age 40 he had preached 12,000 sermons to
some 15,000,000 people, with 300,000 converts. Jones was the son of
William Alexander and Georgia (Cree) Jones. The parents were farmers of
Calvinistic convictions. He was the eleventh of twelve children,
having eight sisters and three brothers. The family moved to the
Dothan, Alabama, area shortly after his birth. Christian convictions
were instilled in him by his parents and hard work on the farm gave him
a challenge early in life to work. He was converted at age eleven in a
country Methodist church outside Dothan. The preacher was 80 years of
age and the young lad was the first to go forward. Since age six he had
desired to get this matter settled. From the time of his conversion he
began preaching publicly and was known as “the boy preacher.” He
preached to anyone who would listen. He became a good debater. He
developed strong convictions and undaunted courage. Like Billy
Sunday, his preaching was to be received because it would be on the
level of the people. He demonstrated unusual ability at memorizing
Scripture and recitation. For months he had made speeches at the Sunday
School, displaying great knowledge of the Bible. At age twelve he was
appointed Sunday School superintendent at this Methodist church at
Brannon’s Stand. Being something of a child prodigy, he would gather
children of the neighborhood and preach to them. One day he caught some
older folk hiding behind the trees, listening to what was going on.
From this point on his father began to take a deep interest in his
oratorical powers, clipping significant pieces from newspapers and
asking young Jones to commit them to memory. When he reached 13 years
of age, he built a brush arbor (outside shelter of brush, lattice work,
trees, etc.) and out of this meeting place, two miles from home, came a
church of 54 members where he preached for about a year (age 14). His
mother died that year also. By age 15 he was licensed and ordained by
the Alabama Conference. At age 16 he headed a circuit of five churches,
including the little church he had started. He would often walk miles
just for the opportunity of having a chance to preach. He received $25
a month for this ministry. More than 400 came into the churches by
profession of faith that first year. Bob was now preaching all over
southeast Alabama. He finished his formal education, which was dis-
jointed in his earlier years, at Kinsey (Alabama) High School, 13 miles
away from home. He worked his way through school, living in the home of
the principal, J.C. Hammett. Graduated in 1899, the year his father
died, young Jones entered Southern University (later Birmingham
Southern) at Greensboro, Alabama, in 1901 where he attended until 1904.
He studied Latin, math and science, continued his preaching and was
ordained by Methodists in 1903, from whom he withdrew in later years
because of their drift from the fundamentals of the faith. While in
college he kept on preaching, first every weekend somewhere, with good
results, then campaigns, holding weekend revivals during school and
full-time meetings in the summer. For three summers he held meetings in
the State of Louisiana. Fearing a man they couldn’t control, the
Methodists passed a rule that no Methodist layman or preacher could
preach or hold a religious service within the boundary of a Methodist
pastor’s circuit without that pastor’s permission. This of course did
not stop such as Bob Jones or his predecessor in those days, Sam
Jones. Bob was stirring up the entire state of Alabama as a young man
when he discovered his throat was bothering him more and more. It was
diagnosed as “tuberculosis of the throat.” He also had double
pneumonia, was malaria prone, and was told he could not live ten years.
He went west where he did recover, being healed by the Lord of this
difficulty. This was when he was 21. The following year, on October 24,
1905, he married Bernice Sheffield, only to have her die ten months
later in August, 1906, of tuberculosis. Somewhere around January, 1907,
in Uniontown, Alabama, he met Mary Gaston Stollenwerck, who was con-
verted in his meeting. On June 17, 1908, they were married. Their only
child, Bob Jones, Jr., was born October 19, 1911. Marriage and family
did not change his life style, as Mrs. Jones traveled with him, taking
a maid along to care for the child until he was six years old, when he
entered school in Montgomery. Following the death of Sam Jones and
during the heyday of the Billy Sunday meetings, Bob Jones was raising
a storm throughout the country himself. In 1908, now 25 years old, he
held a crusade in his home town of Dothan, where some city officials,
several of whom had been converted, called a meeting of the City
Council and closed the dispensary, eliminating intoxicating liquor.
It was also in 1908 that he witnessed two outstanding conversions: In
Abbeyville, Alabama, a Robert Reynolds was converted. This was his
father’s buddy in battle, for whom Jones was named. Then, in Ozark,
Alabama, he led a Dr. Dick Reynolds to the Lord. This was the doctor
who attended his birth. Several states were utilizing his services in
the next couple of years–Texas, California, Missouri, New York,
Georgia. By age 30, he had preached in 25 states. In 1911 he was
greatly used in Atlanta, Georgia, which had two notable services–a
“Women Only” service at the Forsyth Theater on June 2 and a large
gathering of “Men Only” at the city auditorium on his last Sunday
afternoon. People were long talking about his sermon, The Secret Sins
of Men. In 1915, great crusades were held in two small Indiana towns.
Crawfordsville had merchants closing their stores during the hours of
the services. They later commented that it was easier to collect for
bills, and preachers found it easier to get people to come to church.
Over 4,000 women gathered to hear his famous sermon for them, The
Modern Woman. One of the most amazing stories of revival in history
took place in Hartford City, Indiana, a town of 7,000. Before the
meeting, the church membership was 1,500; after the meetings the
churches had almost 4,000 members. On the last Sunday of the
meetings, 1,600 joined the churches. Some 100 per night accepted
Christ. Sunday movies were closed and the city voted dry and put out of
business 16 saloons within two months of his campaign there. Some 4,000
had attended his last service–in a town of 7,000 population. In 1916
Jones had good meetings in Joplin, Missouri. Going east, he was in a
small New York town, Gloversville, beginning April 8th. The headlines
of the April 13th newspaper said, “Bob Jones Launches Savage Attack
Against Saloons and Liquor Traffic.” Jones had simply talked on the
topic, Some Problems of Home, to some 3,500 who had gathered. The next
night he preached to 4,500 on The Sins of Gloversville. The six-week
crusade held at the Tabernacle on Temple Street was sponsored by 12
churches. The total attendance was 175,000 with 1,780 deciding for
Christ. He closed the year out with a large tent crusade in New York
City. He was front-page copy for the New York Herald for more than a
week. The tent, located on West 12th Street, was the scene of many
victories. Another outstanding revival that had been conducted earlier
that year was at the City Auditorium in Lynchburg, Virginia. The
following year, 1917, found him in Quincy, Illinois, then in a good
Zanesville, Ohio, crusade from February 18 to April 1. Seventeen
churches participated. Total attendance was 266,000 with 3,284 signed
convert cards. His closing day attendance was 18,000. A large
tabernacle had been erected which seated 5,000. Bob pounded the altar
so hard while preaching that he broke it. Noon shop meetings, meet-
ings with students and women’s meetings were all a part of this
crusade. One of his greatest crusades was the one that followed in
Grand Rapids, Michigan. Some 1,000 met him at the train, and some
10,000 gathered on the parade route while the procession went to the
tabernacle, where such as Mayor Tilma officially welcomed him. Some
15,000 attended the opening service, and 568 walked the “sawdust trail”
in response to the first invitation given the next day. Schools closed
early so that children might attend special sessions for them at 3 p.m.
A Sunday School parade had 2,500 participants. Over 5,000 converts were
made during his ministry there. In July of 1919 a good crusade was held
in Columbus, Ohio. Meetings were held under the Big Tent. In 1920 he
was in Anniston, Alabama, at the Lyric Theater. On Sunday, August 29,
1920, Jones and William Jennings Bryan were featured in a great rally
at Winona Lake (Indiana) Bible Conference. In 1921 Jones crusaded at
Steubenville, Ohio. Seventeen preachers who sponsored the meeting
early in the year attested to the good results at the large tabernacle
erected near the business center of the city. The newspapers gave great
coverage. More than 4,000 marched in the Sunday School parade. His
greatest crusade in his own opinion was that of the Montgomery,
Alabama, meeting in 1921. The meetings began on May 22; the headlines
the next day tell the story: “More Than Five Thousand Held Spellbound
by Eloquence of Splendid Evangelist: Hundreds Turned Away at Each
Sunday Service; Sermons Not Sensational.” His Sins of Men address to
5,000 men was perhaps his greatest individual meeting ever held, by his
own assessment. At the close of the service over 2,000 men started a
great rush to the front to shake hands with him so that he was forced
to rush back to the platform and appeal to the men not to create a
panic, but to respond to the proposition to live right by holding up
their hands. Meetings were held at a large wooden tabernacle erected
near the business center, which seated over 5,000. The building was
crowded to capacity every night, and many times there were hundreds
standing around the outside of the tabernacle. It is estimated some
12,000 heard him the closing Sunday night in June. Average crowds were
10,000 nightly, in a medium-sized town with a total population of
40,000. Bob Jones received an honorary D.D. degree by Muskingum
College during this year. In the late fall of 1921 he held a large
campaign in St. Petersburg, Florida. The tabernacle seated 5,000 and
sometimes it was necessary to have two services in order to accommodate
the crowds. In 1927 (the year the Bob Jones college was founded), Jones
held two large crusades. One was in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and the
other in Andalusia, Alabama. Jones’ meetings continued with great
success into the 1930s and 1940s. In 1947, he held good crusades in
Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Asheville, North Carolina. As many
as 100 per night were saved in the former, with scores coming forward
each night at the latter as well. In 1949, at Presque Isle, Maine, a
town of 10,000, between 50 and 200 were saved each night. In June of
that year he returned to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, for a 15-day crusade.
The chairman of the sponsoring committee was his convert from a
Pittsburgh revival 25 years earlier. Bob Jones’ friendship with John R.
Rice was a mutual help to both men, with Bob Jones often appearing at
Sword of the Lord conferences and then making the Sword of the Lord
required reading amonst the preacher boys at the college. Concerning
evangelism, Jones once said:

  I never had a goal as most men set up goals. My only goal was
to do the job at hand, and then to begin another. I never started out
to be a big evangelist, a little evangelist, or any other kind of
evangelist. I just started out to do the job the Lord had for me at the
time.

  Some 30 nations of the world were to hear him preach as
well. In 1952, at age 69, and 1959, at age 76, Bob Jones made
round-the-world missionary tours. Then again, in 1964, in connection
with his 80th birthday, the Joneses were sent on a goodwill tour around
the world, visiting 14 countries. By this time 850 missionaries in 90
countries had received their education at the school he started.
Perhaps he has been an evangelist longer than anyone in the history of
the Christian Church. He was preaching at age 13 and continued well
into his 80s, which would give him over 65 years in this chosen field.
He averaged some 40,000 miles of travel per year. His decisions for
Christ ran into the hundreds of thousands, with one report stating his
greatest single service response being 6,000 decisions. As years went
by Jones was beginning to get another burden–that of starting a
Christian college for the common people with whom he worked every day.
Many were the sad stories of sending children off to college and
seeing them return with agnostic views. Sitting in a drug store in
Kissimmee, Florida, in 1927, the idea hit him hard. “I’m going to
start a school!” he told his wife. A site was picked, seven miles out
of Panama City, Florida, on St. Andrews Bay. This site itself would
have a name–College Point, Florida. On December 1, 1926, ground was
broken. Jones described the naming of the school:

  I was averse to calling our school the Bob Jones College. My
friends overcame my aversion with the argument that the school would be
called by that name because of my connection with it, and to attempt
to give it any other name would confuse the people.

  Jones from the beginning, like other noble evangelists, poured his own
large income from evangelism right back into the work of the college, and
for years the operating expenses of the school were always current
because of this generosity. Whitefield and his orphanage, Moody and
his schools, are notable examples of this kind of dedication. On
September 12-14, 1927, the school opened with 88 students. The
financial crash of 1929 hit Florida especially hard, and assets of
$500,000.00 were wiped out. Enrollment was limited to 300 at this
Florida campus. A site in Cleveland, Tennessee, appealed because of a
better geographic position. Old Centenary College (Methodist Girls’
School) had been closed for years, and the move was made to Cleveland,
Tennessee, on June 1, 1933. Formal opening was September 1, and a new
school year was to begin. In 1934 Jones took a prolonged absence to
preach in such places as Ireland, Poland, and several engagements in
Michigan. During this time Bob Jones, Jr., got some good experience
in running the school. A great benefactor in those early days was John
Sephus Mack, who died on September 27, 1940. He contributed much
financial assistance in the development of the college. He was the head
of the Murphy stores and first met Jones at a revival in his home town,
McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Coming late to the meeting, he was seated on
the platform. Here he witnessed Jones’ lips moving, and he was able to
read his lips: “Help me get ahold of this crowd.” Being a conservative
Presbyterian, this kind of praying seemed a bit informal to him, but
since then Mack also talked to Jesus in this fashion. He also told
the evangelist if he ever made any money, he would give it to Jones if
he needed it. Approximately $150,000.00 for the building program
subsequently followed. By 1946 the school had expanded as much as it
could in Cleveland. Additional property needed to expand was next to
impossible to obtain. The Church of God was greatly interested in the
property, and so it was sold to them for $1,500,000.00. Much business
needed to be done, and Jones was constantly traveling, tying up loose
ends and preaching. He missed the Winecoff Hotel fire in Atlanta in
1946 by one night, having checked out of the ill-fated hotel one day
earlier than anticipated. Some 120 died in that inferno. It was
finally agreed to move the college campus to Greenville, South
Carolina, where, on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1947, it was
dedicated. At this point the school changed its name to Bob Jones
University, and Bob Jones, Jr., assumed the presidency of the same,
with Bob Jones, Sr., becoming chairman of the board. Some 2,900
students were now attending. Through the years, the school continued to
grow, with Bob Jones, Sr., playing an active role until his resignation
as chairman of the board of trustees in April, 1964. Currently the
school handles 4,000 to 5,000 students annually-one-third of this
number being ministerial students. Over 30 countries are represented in
the student body. The school has excelled in film teaching and
production. Shakespearean drama productions are held annually. The
university has amassed one of the finest collections of religious
paintings in North America. The $40 to $50 million assets with 180 some
acres made the modern facilities and beautiful campus a legend among
Christian schools. Refusing to compromise in any way, shape or form the
Bible principles established in the very beginning, the school has been
coerced and criticized. The discipline and dramatics program have been
misunderstood and derided. Because of its refusal to become a part of
the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, some have
felt it to be unscholarly. Because of the monitoring of dates and the
“six-inch rule” between the opposite sexes, some have felt the school
antiquated. Because of the school’s refusal to back the Billy Graham
New York Crusade in 1957, an attempt to discredit the school’s
leadership was made. The conclusion of all this is that Bob Jones the
man and Bob Jones the school were just not going to change their stand.
In the early days of Youth for Christ and the National Association of
Evangelicals, Jones was a prime supporter. Once, at an alumni meeting
of his school, he asked all present to sign a pledge that they would
use their influence to have the school closed if it ever developed
modernistic leanings. Both the man and the school he started continued
to prosper, and history will likely show that a greater combination
evangelisteducator never lived. When he was on campus, one of his main
jobs was his “chapel talks,” where students received character training
and purpose. He left the Methodist Church in 1939. Jones will be
remembered as the man who was one of the first to take the unpopular
stand in those days of opposing the policies of Billy Graham. So much
has been blown out of proportion, but the simple facts are these: When
Graham began to insist upon the total support of a city, as he did in
the famous 1957 New York crusade, Jones would not put aside convictions
of a lifetime and ignore something he felt was harmful. Hence he, John
R. Rice, and others decided the truths of II John 9-11 should be
adhered to. It was not a personality clash as some would like to think.
It was not a matter of jealousy, for Jones promoted and supported Billy
Graham until the fraternization with liberals started. The ecumenicity
of Graham’s new sponsorship, resulting in the practice of returning
converts to unscriptural churches and false teachers as well as sound
churches and good teachers, clashed with Dr. Bob’s philosophy. “It is
not right to do wrong to get a chance to do right.” So the polarization
of new evangelicals and fundamentalists did start for the most part
in 1957, as this policy developed. Of course, the right kind of
fundamentalist will rejoice in souls won by Graham or anyone else, as
the issue is not a man–but a Biblical principle. Bob Jones and John R.
Rice sponsored a historic meeting in Chicago on December 26, 1958,
where some 150 prominent evangelists gathered to form resolutions
backing historic Christian premises in the field of evangelism.
Muskingum College gave him a D.D. degree in 1921, and John Brown
University granted Jones an LL.D. degree in 1941. A plaque in his honor
was unveiled in Dothan, Alabama, on October 18, 1962, marking his
birthplace. The Christian Hall of Fame at the Canton (Ohio) Baptist
Temple honored him in 1966 as the only living entry in their portrait
gallery of greats. The last two years of his life, he was in the school
hospital. His last words, on January 16, 1968, were, “Mary Gaston,
get my shoes; I must go to preach.” He was buried on campus in a
beautiful little island in a fountain of cascading pools, just across
the street from the Rodeheaver Auditorium. An excellent biography of
his life is the book Builder of Bridges by his friend of many years,

R.K. Johnson.

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