REVEREND JOSHUA H. JONES
born at Pine Plains, South Carolina, June 15, 1856. He professed religion at ten years of age and joined the Shady Grove A. M. E. Church of the Bull Swamp Circuit, South Carolina. At the age of fourteen he was made Sunday School teacher, and at the age of sixteen Sunday School superintendent. By the time he was eighteen he had served in all the local spiritual offices of the church, and was then licensed as a local preacher by the quarterly conference of said circuit. The pastors soon discovered his usefulness and aid to them. He was a diligent student and an ardent churchman, and acquired education rapidly. At the age of twenty-one years he entered the Normal Department of Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina, and in 1880 finished the Normal and College Preparatory Courses. He then taught and preached one year, after which he returned to Claflin University, and in 1885 graduated with the degree at A. B. Not daunted nor yet satisfied with his attainments he came north, studied awhile at Howard University, Washington, D. C., thence to Wilberforce University, in 1887 he graduated from the Theological Course with the degree of B. D. In 1893 Wilberforce University conferred upon him the degree of D. D. in recognition of his superior worth and ability. In June, 1900, he was elected President of Wilberforce University, and a year later Claflin University conferred upon him the degree of M. A.
As a minister of the Gospel he has been pastor in charge of Williams Chapel, Orangeburg, South Carolina; Branchville Circuit, South Carolina; Fort Motte Circuit, South Carolina; Wheeling, West Virginia; The Holy Trinity Church, Wilberforce, Ohio; Lynn, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; Columbus, Ohio; and Presiding Elder of the Columbus District, Ohio Conference; Pastor at Zanesville, Ohio. In all an unbroken period of thirty-six years of church work and twenty-eight years in the ministry he has never known a failure. His labors have been indefatigable and his ministrations clean and inspiring.
In his public services he has been an inspiration to the race. For fourteen years he has been a Trustee of Wilberforce University, five years Trustee and Secretary of the Normal and Industrial Department at Wilberforce, and a constant and ardent helper in the establishment and development of the same. For six consecutive years he was elected and served as member of the Columbus Board of Education, and through his efforts six colored teachers were put into the mixed schools of Columbus, Ohio, as teachers.
In private affairs he has been industrious, frugal, economical and administrative. He has accumulated a comfortable estate and stands well with the banking and business circles of Columbus, Ohio, and pays taxes on a tax valuation of $10,000.
He has always been an ardent lover of his race, of his church, of his country and his God, and has always been a striking figure in the circles of men wherever his lot has fallen. Fifteen years ago he was elected Dean of Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina; eight years ago Professor of Theology in Payne Theological Seminary, neither of which he was able to accept because of heavy demands upon his energy elsewhere. In 1890 he was elected delegate to the Methodist Ecumenical Conference and has been several times delegate to the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church, and in 1900 was a strong candidate for the Bishopric, receiving fifty or more votes on the first ballot. In his present position he bids fair to give the church good service.