“Old Jones Chapel”

 

“Old” Jones Chapel Missionary Baptist Church was located on Buford Ellington Rd of what is now the Ames Plantation located on the county lines between Fayette and  Hardeman Counties in southwestern Tennessee.  The church is the family’s ancestral church home and burial ground.  At one time a school also stood on the grounds. The church building is empty now as the church moved to a new location but the cemetery behind the church is still there and burials continue today.  The school building was demolished years ago.  You wonder, how did African-American, ex-slaves and sharecroppers, come to own this valuable piece of property?

Sometime after the Civil War, Caleb Baker Jones, son of John Walker Jones donated 1 acre of his land to his workers for purposes of erecting the church, school and cemetery.  A review of Fayette County land records in 1870 show the small parcel of Caleb’s property as owned by the Jones Chapel Church. Caleb had been a Confederate soldier during the war (pictured below in Confederate uniform).  According to census records, he owned several hundred acres of farm land and 33 slaves prior to the war.   One wonders about his motivation for giving the land to his field “workers”.  One (1) acre of land was not much to him and his family but still…

Thanks Caleb, you ol’ Reb!

The cornerstone from the church building shows the building was dedicated in 1870.  The Deacons inscribed on the cornerstone are Spencer Govan who was married to Martha Lambert, Louis Harvey who married Martha’s  sister Alice Lambert, Nelson Turner (my great-great uncle) and Robert Waddell.

Cornerstone of Old Jones Chapel Church

Below, is a picture of the old school building circa 1920.

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Many of our ancestors worshiped and learned to read and write in these buildings.  Many are resting eternally in the cemetery behind the church.  We praise them all.

AMEN.

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Find A Grave

Click on link below to see the listed grave sites for the Old Jones Chapel Cemetery on Findagrave.com.

Click Here to See Jones Chapel Cemetery Memorials

Jones Chapel Cemetery
Old Jones Chapel Cemetery, Source: Turner Family Collection

 

 

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