Samuel Porter Jones
1847-1906. Evangelist and Prohibitionist. Born in Alabama, he grew up and graduated from high school in Cartersville, Georgia. Chronic nervous indigestion kept him from college, and alcoholism soon ended a law career he began in 1868. After promising his dying father to reform, he was converted under his Methodist grandfather's preaching and became a circuit rider for the North Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1872. Eminently successful in winning converts in Georgia before 1880 and in raising funds as agent for the Methodist Orphanage Home, Decatur, Georgia, “Sam” was thereafter invited to conduct revival meetings in major southern cities and became after 1885 an evangelist of national prominence. His meetings, characterized by controversial, vernacular oratory, often produced organized efforts to enforce local blue laws and helped stimulate the national Prohibition movement. The Sam P. Jones Lectureship at Emory University perpetuates his memory.