Charlotte Digges "Lottie" Moon"
(December 12, 1840 – December 24, 1912) was a Southern Baptist missionary to China with the Foreign Mission Board who spent nearly forty years (1873–1912) living and working in China. As a teacher and evangelist she laid a foundation for traditionally solid support for missions among Baptists in America.
A spirited and outspoken girl, Lottie was indifferent to her Christian upbringing until her early teens. She underwent a spiritual awakening after a series of revival meetings on the college campus. John Broadus, one of the founders of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, led the revival meeting in 1858 where Moon experienced this awakening.
Although educated females in the mid-19th century generally had few career opportunities, her older sister Orianna became a physician and served as a Confederate Army doctor during the American Civil War. Lottie helped her mother maintain the family estate during the war, and afterward began a teaching career. She taught at female academies, first inDanville, Kentucky. In Cartersville, Georgia, Moon and her friend, Anna Safford, opened Cartersville Female High School in 1871. Moon also joined the First Baptist Church and ministered to the impoverished families of Bartow County, Georgia.
To the family's surprise, Lottie's younger sister Edmonia accepted a call to go to North China as a missionary in 1872. By this time the Southern Baptist Convention had relaxed its policy against sending single women into the mission field, and Lottie soon felt called to follow her sister to China. On July 7, 1873, the Foreign Mission Board officially appointed 33-year old Lottie as a missionary to China.
Samuel Porter Jones
(October 16, 1847 – October 15, 1906) was one of the most celebrated revivalists of his day, at the close of the 19th century. Famous for his wry wit and masterful story-telling, he is credited as a principal influence on Will Rogers.
Jones is particularly connected with the history of The Union Gospel Tabernacle, later named Ryman Auditorium. Riverboat captain Thomas Green Rymanwas converted after hearing Jones on May 10, 1885 at a meeting which he and friends attended with the intention of heckling the preacher. According to the legend, Ryman decided on that day to build a tabernacle in which to hold revival meetings in Nashville, Tennessee (the building was home to the Grand Ole Opry for many years), and he soon approached Jones with the idea.
Sam Jones was born on October 16, 1847 in Oak Bowery, Alabama, the son of lawyer and real estate entrepreneur John Jones and homemaker Queenie Jones, the grandson of Methodist preacher Samuel Gamble Jones, and nephew of four additional Methodist ministers. In 1857, when Sam was ten years old, the family moved to Cartersville, Georgia, where John's parents had made their home. Jones ended up living there for most of his life. Sam had hoped to attend college, but he purportedly suffered from an unspecified medical condition (his eyes or his stomach, depending on circumstance) and began drinking heavily. Eventually, despite his Methodist heritage which included seven Methodist ministers, Jones decided to become a lawyer. He was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1868. At the age of twenty-one, Sam trekked to Kentucky to claim his bride to be, Laura McElwain (whom he had befriended during the Civil War). Though his reputation as a drunkard had preceded him to Kentucky, and Laura’s father refused to attend the wedding, Laura’s mother convinced her to keep her promise to Sam Jones—the two were wed and became lifetime companions.
Sam Jones did not stay a lawyer for long and, in spite of his hopes that marriage would save him from himself, he continued to drink heavily and destroyed his career. By 1872 Jones was stoking furnaces and driving freight wagons for a living. The death of his infant daughter sobered him for a time, before he fell off the wagon yet again. Then, in 1872, Jones was called to his father's deathbed where his father pleaded with him to quit drinking—Sam promised he would. A week later Samuel P. Jones walked down the aisle of his grandfather’s church, made his confession to God, and became a Christian.