Samuel Jordan: An Educator & Gospel Preacher In South Alabama In The 19th & 20th Centuries
Obituary Of Samuel Jordan
Samuel Jordan, the last of the pioneer preachers of this section, passed to his reward Sunday morning, August 27, 1933. Brother Jordan was born at Fort Deposit, Ala., March 17, 1847. Before he was sixteen years of age he volunteered for service in the Confederate Army in the War Between the States. He served in Tennessee and Kentucky as a member of the Tenth Regiment of Confederate Cavalry. He was captured in 1863, and remained a prisoner in a Federal detention camp until the end of the war. While in prison he spent much of his time in reading the New Testament, while others were playing cards and using their time in various frivolities. Soon after he returned home after the war he heard J. M. Barnes preach. He was at once impressed. While the preaching was different from what he had been accustomed to hear, he knew that it was the truth from the knowledge of the Bible that he had acquired while he was in prison. He obeyed the gospel, and soon thereafter began to preach. He preached the gospel for about sixty-five years. He preached at Highland Home, his home congregation, two weeks before his passing. One person at the funeral remarked: Brother Jordan baptized me sixty-one years ago. On September 4, 1872, he married Miss Mary Barnes, sister of J. M. Barnes. To this union twelve children were born, ten of whom survive. There are two strong preachers among the sons-in-law, C. W. Landers, of Anniston, and I. L. Boles, of Montgomery. Mrs. Jordan herself was a strong and capable teacher of the Bible in private. She died in 1924. She came from a family that had long been leaders in the business and religious life of this section. He father was a large land and slave owner before the war. About 1871 Brother Jordan joined the teaching staff of the Strata Academy, conducted by his brother-in-law, J. M. Barnes, with another brother-in-law, Col. L. M. Kirkpatrick. They later transferred the school in order to get a more healthful location, and established a school village which they named Highland Home, and the school they called Highland Home College. Brother Jordan continued his connection with this school until it ceased to exist, being president much of the time. Brother Jordan maintained a commodious and hospitable home at Highland Home, which at times resembled a small summer resort, there being so many visitors from various sections, and in later years it became a mecca for preachers passing this way. He was revered as a great educator and preacher by thousands in South Alabama. He gave much time to establishing the church in Montgomery. He was scholarly, dignified, and unassuming in manner, with a firm conviction of the importance of the charge of Paul to Timothy: Preach the word. He not only preached himself, but gave liberally of his means to assist others to preach the gospel. He maintained a high standard of excellency in all his undertakings, even to the minutest details. An unusually large crowd attended his funeral. Services were conducted by W. T. Grider, of Troy, Ala., and the writer of these lines.
-Guy I. Renfro, Gospel Advocate, September 7, 1933, page 864.
Directions To The Grave Of Samuel Jordan
Samuel Jordan is buried in the Fair Prospect Cemetery in southern Montgomery County, Alabama. If heading south on I-65 proceed past the I-85 interchange and take Exit 168 (Hwy.80) and go east (left if traveling south). Signs on this exit will also direct you toward Hwy 331. Go east about one mile and turn south on Hwy 331. Travel 28 miles south to mile marker 77. You will come up on County Road 68 (Naftel Rd.) on the left. Don't turn there. Less than 100 yards past the Naftel Rd. turn off on the right hand side is a driveway. The mailbox numbers showed 24730 & 24680, Hwy. 331. Note a little dirt road that heads back north up into a wooded area. At the end is the Fair Prospect Cemetery. In the middle of the cemetery you will find the grave of Thomas J. Golson.
Also buried at Fair Prospect: Thomas J. Golson, Bartlet Hilliard, W.J. Haynes, J.V. Davis, Col. M.L. Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick, along with J.M. Barnes and Samuel Jordan started a school together in 1881 called, Highland Home College. Kilpatrick was the brother-in-law of J.M. Barnes and co-proprietor in the college for a period of time. It was a school that served the brotherhood for many years. See more on this school HERE!
or D.d. 32.011251, -86.289185
Special thanks are extended to C. Wayne Kilpatrick and Tom L. Childers. In March, 2010 while visiting in Montgomery, Alabama, a day trip was taken to visit some of the restoration related sites in south Alabama. The end of the trip involved a visit to Fair Prospect Cemetery in southern Montgomery County. The photos you see on this page were taken by them and your web editor.