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Jehu Jones Junior, 1786-1852, was the first African-American in the United States to become an ordained minister. He was originally a part of the Episcopal Church, but was drawn into Lutheranism by the minister of St. John’s Lutheran Church, John Bachman. St. John’s Lutheran Church had an interest in ordaining and preaching Lutheranism to Charleston’s freedmen society. Jones was ordained and started his own church in Philadelphia, because he could not start his own church in Charleston. When Jones returned to Charleston he was briefly imprisoned, because of a law that stated that once a freedman left their state they could not return. Jehu Jones Junior’s, father, Jehu Jones Senior, was originally born a slave and he was trained as a tailor. After a period of time, he was able to acquire enough money to purchase his own freedom and his wife’s freedom. Jehu Jones Senior purchased a house on Broad Street, and started his own upscale hotel. People would come from all over the world, to see this anomaly, an African American that own a world-class hotel right in the middle of Charleston.

St-John-Lutheran
Posted on August 31, 2015

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