Jones's fondness for gospel music is well documented. In the 1989 documentary Same Ole Me, Jones recalls that he learned how to play the guitar at the church where his mother Clara, a devout woman, played piano. The church was run by Brother Burl Stephens (with whom Jones would credit as co-writer of several songs on Country Church Time) and Sister Annie, who George remembered "taught me my first chords on the guitar, like C, G, and D and things like that, and I started hangin' out over there more often. She'd get her guitar and we'd pick and sing together...We used to do all the really old gospel songs." Jones's love of gospel music actually predated his exposure to country music, which he would not hear until his family acquired their first radio.
Country Church Time was Jones first album on Mercury Records. Nearly all the songs were written or co-written by the singer, who was emerging as one of country music's biggest stars at the time. Jones would continue to record gospel albums throughout his career, including Homecoming In Heaven (1962), Old Brush Arbors (1965), In A Gospel Way (1974) and The Gospel Collection (2003). In 2011, Country Church Time was reissued with bonus tracks but did not contain "My Soul's Been Satisfied" from the original LP, the liner notes' curious explanation being that "we were unable to find a good enough quality copy of the closing track."
Richie Unterberger of AllMusic writes that "if the lyrical scope might be more limited than his usual early efforts, sonically they're well in line with his approach as he started to reach his honky tonk prime, and anyone who likes late-'50s Jones should enjoy the plaintive performances here." Amazon.com writes of the album: "Poignant church going gems perfect for Sunday morning worship plus just as many tunes for hungover reminiscing of what could have, would have or might have been. From early morning pulpit prayer to late night whiskey-soaked tales of regret, a fine collection of Jones at his most melancholy. All this from a man who rode his lawnmower to the bar when his wife hid his car keys. Genius! Righteous."