James Robinson Graves

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J.R. Graves

James Robinson Graves (April 10, 1820-June 26, 1893) was a US Baptist preacher, publisher, evangelist, debater, author, and editor. He was born in Chester, Vermont, the son of Z. C. Graves, and died in Memphis, Tennessee. His remains are interred in Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis.

Engraving illustrating the caning of J.R. Graves by an ex-congressman in front of Scovel's drug store in Nashville for alleged slander.

Though raised in a Congregational background, he joined a Baptist church at age 15. He is recognized[by whom?] as one of the most influential[peacock term] men in the Southern Baptist Convention in the 19th century, and the chief promulgator of the Landmark movement. Graves was one of the Convention's most gifted[peacock term] speakers. Thomas Treadwell Eaton wrote, "We have seen him hold a congregation packed uncomfortably, for three hours and a half without any sign of weariness on their part. This was not done once or twice, but scores of times." Denominational leader J. B. Gambrell described one of Graves' sermons at a small church in Mississippi as "The Greatest Sermon I Ever Heard."

Works by Graves[edit]

  • The Desire of All Nations
  • The Watchman's Reply
  • The Trilemma
  • The First Baptist Church in America
  • The Great Iron Wheel
  • The Little Iron Wheel
  • The Bible Doctrine of the Middle Life
  • Exposition of Modern Spiritism
  • The Little Seraph (song book)
  • Old Landmarkism, What Is It?
  • The Work of Christ in Seven Dispensations
  • Intercommunion Inconsistent, Unscriptural, and Productive of Evil
  • What Is It To Eat and Drink Unworthily?
  • John's Baptism: Was It From Moses or Christ?

Resources[edit]

  • Burnett, J .J., Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers
  • George, Timothy, Baptist theologians
  • Hailey, O. L., J. R. Graves, life, times and teachings