Christian History Timeline: E. Stanley Jones

[E. Stanley Jones in Lucknow Parsonage—courtesy of Anne Mathews-Younes]

1869 The Women’s Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS) of the Methodist Episcopal Church forms and sends Isabella Thoburn to India as its first missionary.

1878 Mabel Lossing is born in Clayton, Iowa.

1884 Eli Stanley Jones is born in Clarksville, Maryland.

1896 Sherwood Eddy begins working as a missionary in India; he will eventually befriend and mentor Stanley Jones.

1901 Stanley Jones is converted in his local church.

1904 Mabel Lossing is commissioned and sails to India as a missionary with the WFMS.

1905 While a college student, Jones is involved in a powerful revival in Wilmore, Kentucky.

1907 Jones graduates from Asbury College and goes to India under the auspices of the Board of Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

1911 Jones marries Lossing.

1912 Stanley and Mabel Jones are assigned to Sitapur; Mabel founds a boys’ school and introduces female teachers for the first time in India.

1914 Eunice Jones, Stanley and Mabel’s only child, is born in Sitapur.

1916 Stanley Jones, exhausted, goes to the United States on furlough. While there he becomes friends with Toyohiko Kagawa, who is attending Princeton Theological Seminary.

1917 The Joneses return to India, and Stanley has a profound spiritual experience that will shape the rest of his life. The first Protestant Christian ashram is held in India.

1919 Stanley Jones meets Gandhi for the first time; a cholera epidemic strikes India, killing 40 boys in Mabel Jones’s school.

1923 Stanley Jones begins attending a variety of ashrams, including Gandhi’s; a flood causes damage to the Sitapur mission compound.

1924 Ralph Diffendorfer, who will supervise the Joneses’ work for many years, begins working for the Methodist Board of Missions.

1925 Stanley Jones publishes The Christ of the Indian Road.

1928 Stanley Jones is elected a bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church but declines the election after a night of prayer.

1930 Along with Western missionary Ethel Turner and Indian preacher Yunas Sinha, Stanley Jones founds a Christian ashram at Sat Tal. Gandhi leads the Salt March as an act of civil disobedience against the British government.

1935 Stanley Jones founds a year-round ashram at Lucknow. 

1937 Eunice Jones graduates from Washington University and prepares to travel with her father as his secretary. She will eventually serve as an editor for 25 of his books.

1939 World War II begins in Europe. Eunice Jones meets Methodist missionary James (Jim) Mathews.

1940 Eunice Jones marries Jim Mathews. Stanley Jones launches the ashram movement in the United States; Britain denies him a visa to return to India because of his support for Indian independence. Jay Holmes Smith, Jones’s successor at the Lucknow Ashram, is expelled from India for agitating for independence.

1941 Stanley Jones, encouraged by Kagawa, serves as an unofficial envoy between Roosevelt and Japanese officials in Washington in an attempt to prevent war; the United States enters World War II.

1946 Stanley is allowed to return to India; Mabel Jones comes home from India permanently, settling in Orlando, Florida, where she continues to raise funds for the Sitapur school; Stanley continues to travel and attempts to broker a settlement between the Muslim League and the Indian National Congress.

1947 British India achieves independence and is partitioned into India (Hindu) and Pakistan (Muslim).

1948 A Hindu nationalist assassinates Gandhi. Stanley Jones publishes a tribute to his friend; it will later inspire Martin Luther King Jr.

1949 Friends and colleagues of the Joneses begin the Foundation for Evangelism to promote the cause of Christ within Methodism.

1950 Stanley Jones provides funds for India’s first Christian psychiatric center and clinic, Nur Manzil; Mary Webster is converted under Jones’s preaching and will later become an active evangelist.

1954 Stanley and Mabel Jones retire from active missionary service, but Stanley continues to travel.

1956 Stanley Jones’s long-time friend Bhimrao Ambedkar, whom Jones had hoped to convert to Christianity, becomes a Buddhist.

1957 Stanley Jones and colleagues incorporate the American Christian Ashrams, now the United Christian Ashrams, in the United States.

1960 Jim Mathews is elected a bishop in the Methodist Church.

1962 Stanley Jones is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

1963 Jim Mathews participates in Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington; Stanley Jones is nominated again for the Nobel Peace Prize and is given the Gandhi Peace Award.

1968 Stanley Jones publishes a spiritual memoir, Song of Ascents.

1971 Stanley Jones suffers a stroke, but begins The Divine Yes; it will be published after his death.

1973 Stanley Jones dies in Bareilly, India.

1978 Mabel Jones dies in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

By the editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #136 in 2020]

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