Preacher focus of historical presentation

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WALLA WALLA - The story of Sgt. Alonzo Trevier "A.T." Jones will be told by Walla Walla University affiliates Alex and Heather Salzman as part of the Fort Walla Walla Museum's Living History performance at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Jones was a complex, charismatic, intelligent, forceful, extremist and consequently controversial man. His many facets of service included U.S. Army soldier, Seventh-day Adventist preacher, evangelist, teacher, professor, administrator, historian, author, editor and religious liberty advocate.

Jones would eventually rise to become one of the most influential preachers in the history of the church, and one of the most successful religious liberty advocates in the United States.

Jones was born in Rockhill, Ohio, in 1850. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1870, and rose to the rank of sergeant. He participated in the Modoc War of 1873, and was part of the federal force that re-opened Fort Walla Walla in Washington Territory in 1873.

Jones was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1874, and spent the next year studying history and Bible prophecy in his spare time. He was given a license to preach by the church.

When he was discharged from military service, he entered into full-time service in the church and helped establish congregations in Walla Walla, Milton and Dayton before moving to the more populous Willamette Valley. It was during this time that Jones met his wife, Frances E. Patten. They married in 1877.

By October, 1888 Jones had become one of the most prominent preachers within the denomination's General Conference session because of his advocation of righteousness by faith. He went on to lead a delegation to Congress to argue against two bills that would have amended the Constitution.

The museum is at 755 Myra Road. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission is free to members and children under 6, $3 for children ages 6-12, $6 for seniors 62 and older and students and $7 general admission. For more information, call 509-525-7703, email info@fortwallawallamuseum.org or go to fortwallawallamuseum.org.

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