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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 >>

Jones considered too liberal to pastor First Presbyterian

A local store owner was among those who criticized Jones for allowing black students to attend First Presbyterian Church. They took his stance on integration as one example of why he was too liberal; the other had to do with his lack of belief in the Presbyterian confession of faith.

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

JOHN EGERTON:
And let it go. You said earlier that you had blacks who came to your church.
CHARLES M. JONES:
Not many.
JOHN EGERTON:
Would that have been back before this time? I mean, in the '40s did you ever have anybody black come to your congregation?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yeah, before that I had some students from Payne College, which was black, come up and sing. was playing the organ.
DORCAS JONES:
How about Brevard?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Oh yeah, Brevard. And she was playing the organ, and one of the men in town who ran a store objected. He didn't want those "niggers" sitting up there with Miss Lillian. But he was an awfully good friend of ours.
JOHN EGERTON:
But by the time this incident came up, underneath all of the formal complaints of the Presbytery people, was some feeling that you were too liberal on the racial thing?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Yeah, but I would have to say now that they just differed with me. I would hesitate to say that that was the prevailing reason. See, because after all I did not . . .
JOHN EGERTON:
They had other axes to grind with you?
CHARLES M. JONES:
Oh yeah, the confession of faith. I had majored in physics and minored in chemistry, and anybody who had to think like that, you know it can't be true. But you know why it was true, because at that point in time, they were trying to figure the best they could what things were. And you have to, in a sense, respect them for that because they haven't done what I call spade work.