Alonzo T. Jones

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A.[lonzo] T.[révier] Jones (1850–1923) was a Seventh-day Adventist known for his impact on the theology of the church, along with friend and associate Ellet J. Waggoner.


Jones was born in Rock Hill in Lawrence County, Ohio in 1850. When he was 20 years old, he joined the United States Army, serving until 1873. While serving in the armed forces Jones spent his spare time poring over historical works, primarily of ancient history. Applying the knowledge thus gained to the prophecies of the Bible, Jones later wrote four large volumes dealing with the subject of Bible prophecy (The Two Republics, 1891; and The Great Empires of Prophecy, 1898; Ecclesiastical Empire, 1901; The Empires of the Bible, 1897).

Upon discharge from the army, Jones became a baptized member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and began preaching in California. His proclivity for writing led him to connect with the editor of Signs of the Times magazine, an evangelistic periodical published by the church. In May 1885, he became assistant editor of that publication. A few months later, he and Dr. E. J. Waggoner became co-editors; Jones held this position until 1889.

In addition to this position, together with E.J. Waggoner, in 1887 Jones also became editor of the American Sentinel, the official organ of the religious liberty department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (later known as the Sentinel of Liberty, and finally simply Liberty magazine). Jones served as editor of this publication until 1896. In 1897 Jones was voted into the General Conference Committee, serving until 1899. Also in 1897, he was appointed editor of the church’s flagship publication, Review and Herald magazine (now the Adventist Review), where he served until 1901 with Uriah Smith as his associate editor.

Jones’s most significant contributions were his sermons on Christ and His righteousness presented at the 1888 Minneapolis General Conference session, as well as General Conference sessions in 1893 and 1895. He is also known for later writings on that subject, and his work in preserving the liberty of conscience guaranteed under the First Amendment.

In 1889, A.T. Jones spoke before a United States Congressional subcommittee; the topic of discussion was the “Breckinridge Bill” which proposed the compulsion of Sunday observance in the Washington, D.C. environs. Jones’s testimony helped to defeat this bill, and Jones became known for his abilities in defense of and knowledge regarding freedom of religion. In 1892, he was again called to speak before the U.S. Congress regarding the Sunday closure of the Chicago World’s Fair, known as “The Columbia Exposition”.

From 1901 to 1903, Jones served as president of the California Conference of the church. Leaving this position, he accepted an invitation to work with Dr. John Harvey Kellogg at the Battle Creek Sanitarium at Battle Creek, Michigan, which was under Kellogg’s directorship. Because Kellogg was at that time in conflict with the leadership of the church, Jones was counseled not to pursue this course. Coupled with tensions arising from theological opposition that had dogged him since the 1888 General Conference session, Jones’s association with Kellogg soon soured his allegiance to the Church and ceased his denominational employment and fellowship.

Though separated from fellowship, A.T. Jones remained loyal to the doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church until his death in 1923.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • National Sunday Law, The Argument of Alonzo T. Jones before the United States Senate Committee on Education and Labor Dec. 13, 1888.


  • R.W. Schwartz. Light Bearers to the Remnant (Boise, Idaho: Pacific Press, 1979).
  • Robert J. Wieland. 1888 Re-Examined (Uniontown, Ohio: Glad Tidings Publishers, 1987).
  • George R. Knight. From 1888 to Apostasy (Hagerstown, Maryland: Review and Herald, 1987).
  • ____________. Seventh-day Adventist Commentary Reference, vol. 10 (Hagerstown, Maryland: Review and Herald, 1996).
Preceded by
Uriah Smith
Editor of the Adventist Review
1897 – 1901
Succeeded by
Uriah Smith