Evan Jones was born on this day in 1789. We don’t have any information on when he was born again. In 1821, after he moved from England to this country, he and his wife began a ministry as missionaries to the Cherokee Indians in North Carolina. For ten years prior to the Cherokee’s “Trail of Tears,” when they and other tribes were forced by the government to move to Oklahoma, God blessed the Jones’ ministry with nearly constant revival. Sometimes there were ten or more converts baptized on several successive Sundays, and on one day there were thirty-six. On the eve of their departure, sixty-five baptisms were reported. These numbers caused many people in the missionary’s supporting churches to question the validity of the people’s salvation, but as they and Brother Jones endured their forced exile in 1838, the reality of the people’s conversions became more and more obvious.

After months of travel, when everyone arrived in the new Indian Territory, Brother Jones and Pastor Jesse Bushyhead started reestablishing the earlier churches, erecting buildings and even printing gospel tracts and the Cherokee Messenger, the first newspaper in Oklahoma. Once again, the Lord’s blessings began to fall, and within two years 130 new converts were baptized and received into the churches.

In 1855, Evan’s son, John Buttrick Jones, joined in the work, assisting his father until the elder Jones’ death at the age of eighty-four. J.B. Jones moved the center of their ministry to Tahlequah, the Cherokee capital, and he served the Lord there for another three years before he also died. In all, the Jones family worked for the evangelism of the Cherokee for more than fifty years.