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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Charles M. Jones, July 21, 1990. Interview A-0335. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Frank Porter Graham's support for Jones makes him a loyal friend

Frank Porter Graham was one of the most supportive officers in First Presbyterian Church while Charles Jones was pastor, even though he eventually stayed with the church rather than leave with Jones. Jones and his wife Dorcas remember Graham as a loyal, patient, and influential man who eventually influenced the world through the United Nations.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Charles M. Jones, July 21, 1990. Interview A-0335. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

DORCAS JONES:
But finally the Presbytery took all the power away from your officers . And Dr. Frank Graham was one of them on the board at the time [laughter] , president of the University.
JOHN EGERTON:
Yeah, I wanted to ask about him. He was a member of your church.
DORCAS JONES:
Yes, one of the officers.
JOHN EGERTON:
Was he a stalwart? He hung in there with you through all this or not?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yes. But when it comes——as they say in the mountains——between a rock and a hard rock, when it came to that, he wasthrough and through.
JOHN EGERTON:
So he had to go with the body?
CHARLES M. JONES:
He came to me and talked to me about it.
JOHN EGERTON:
Was this an agonizing choice for him, do you think?
CHARLES M. JONES:
No, I don't think so. He hated to do it but . . . He had no doubts. He knew what he had to do.
DORCAS JONES:
He did everything in his power to help Charles.
JOHN EGERTON:
When he finally decided that he had to stay with the denomination rather than with the individual, was that a disappointment to you?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Oh no.
JOHN EGERTON:
No. You pretty much understood that?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Oh yeah. He and I had travelled quite often. Once, we went to Sweet Briar. I went to Sweet Briar and he went to Hollins, two girls' colleges. I took him because he'd never drove a car.
JOHN EGERTON:
He didn't drive?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Never had a car.
JOHN EGERTON:
How in the world did the man get around?
CHARLES M. JONES:
He had a black fellow who drove him or if I was going, he rode with me.
JOHN EGERTON:
Did you like him a lot?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Oh, yes.
JOHN EGERTON:
You know, everybody I've talked to, I have yet to meet anybody who didn't just love that man.
DORCAS JONES:
He was wonderful.
JOHN EGERTON:
And here you're telling me that he was an officer in your church, and, push came to shove, and your denomination was cutting you off at the knees, and he went with the denomination. And you thought so much of him that you understood that and accepted that.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yeah, and [to Dorcas] you did too.
DORCAS JONES:
Yes, Charles wrote to all of his members. I don't remember just what he said, but letting them know that, because they were real Presbyterians, he felt that they should stay. Charles understood that completely.
JOHN EGERTON:
Well, his reputation has stood the test of time, you know. It's amazing to me. I've talked to people who maybe disagreed with him on a lot of things or maybe they were a lot more conservative than he was, but they all just think he was the greatest.
DORCAS JONES:
He was so fair. You couldn't think otherwise.
CHARLES M. JONES:
He went to the United Nations and mediated between India, Ghandi as a matter of fact.
JOHN EGERTON:
He made quite a reputation for himself after he left the University and the Senate.