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by Sloan S. Mason

Rev. James J. RHODES

James J. RHODES, was born 26 August 1808 in Jones County, N.C. He was the son of James RHODES; his mother is unknown. His father was a prominent farmer, they lived in the Tuckahoe area of Jones Co.; which is in the western area of the county. (Tuckahoe was a plant, eaten by the Indians)
He became a Baptist minister.


The following record was contributed by the late Walter "Pete" RHODES of Jacksonville, N.C. A dedicated family historian, who will be greatly missed.

James J. RHODES, F.W.B. Minister. He was well known in the Jones & Lenoir Co. areas. Records indicate he married numerous couples. He was instrumental in the forming of the Tuckahoe F.W. B. Church & then holding together the Baptist during the split of that church. The clerk of the church at that time wrote of him in a record book, after the split, as he began preaching in private homes in 1862, "God had been with him, for his labors had been blessed even beyond his expectations." In 1865 he proposed to a few of his scattered sheep of the old flock that was without a shepard, along with a few lambs he had gathered that they meet at Pleasant Hill Meeting House; which they did & constituted on 11 Sept. 1865, The Pleasant Hill F.W.B. Church. He became the first pastor, & was re-elected time and again. He represented the Church in the Baptist Association for years. Afterwards, he led the church in an attempt to obtain a building at Tuckahoe crossroads which is believed to be what is now Great Branch F.W.B. Church or Whaley's Chapel. Although I have not been able to find out who his 1st wife was; it is family tradition that she was Indian. It has been passed down the family by word of mouth, and now and then it shows up within his descendants. It has only showed up throught the descendants of his first born: Levi Jackson RHODES. It was said she was Cherokee, but my belief is she was Tuscarora.
Source-Pete RHODES.

Source:"Baptist Records", Wake Forest University
Historical Sektch-Piney Grove Baptist Church of Pollocksville, N.C.-In 1850 at Bear Marsh Church, Piney Grove was represented by J. E. BENDER and J. J. RHODES who reported a total membership of 60.

At 1854 at Heulay Church, Sampson Co., J. E. BENDER, James RHODES and J. H. WHITTY reported 31 white members, 15 colored, total 46.

From the "Minutes of the Association which met at Beaver Dam, Duplin Co in 1859, a letter from Piney Grove, Jones Co., was on motion taken up and moved that a Presbytery be sent to Piney Grove Church to examine into the qualification of Brother J. J. RHODES, and if found worthy, to ordain him to the ministry. George W. WALLACE, E. A. BEST and G. W. HUFFMAN were chosen for the Presbytery. No records can be found in the minutes stating whether or not Brother RHODES was ever ordained. (This statement is incorrect, as I have found in the "Eastern Baptist Association Minutes" that James J. RHODES was an Ordained Minister) At the Association in 1873 which met at Union Church, Lenoir Co, B. F. DILLAHUNT. J. WILLIAMS, and W. H. BISHOP represented Piney Grove. They reported same pastor and clerk and a membership of 47. They also reported the death of J. J. RHODES of Tuckahoe.

"Biblical Recorder"
Distitution in Jones County
Dear Brother James,
I am a licentiate living in the lower part of Jones County, and am the only missionary preacher in the county that I know of, and at this time I have no horse to ride, having lost my horse a few weeks ago. I feel concerned for the welfare of souls, but it seems that I have to stay in my neighborhood. I think Missionary Baptist preaching much needed in Jones, Onslow and Carteret Counties. I think an ordained itinerant would do much good in this (Jones) county. Some two years ago I preached at a place int he upper part of Carteret Co. and after continuing the meeting some days, I asked if there were any one wished to become members of the church to which I belonged; saying to them that I would try to get some ordeained preacher to hear their experience and baptize them. Four came forward. I endeavored to get one of our ordained ministers to meet me there; he failed to go. One of these moved int he neighborhood of our church at Piney Grove and became a member; the rest are yet unbaptized so far as I know. These things I relate that you may encourage, if you please, some of our preachers to itinerate in this section. We have no pastor at Piney Grove at this time.
Your brother in the Lord,
Jones County, April 25, 1859

Source-"Eastern Baptist Association Minutes, 1872", p. 13
"Your committee on Obituaries report that since last session, our esteemed brother, Elder J. J. RHODES, a member of Tuckahoe Church, who for many years had been actively engaged in the work of the ministry, has been called from the toils of earth, as we trust to his reward in heaven. As the annual letter from the church, of which was an exemplary christian and faithful and zealous minister of the gospel of Christ."
His address was Kinston, N.C. (BHC Staff)


As said before, James J. RHODES was married twice. His first wife was unknown. In the 1940's-50's my mother researched the family, when many of his grandchildren were still alive. She recorded in notes that his first wife may have been a Josephine SHAW; but this had not been proven.
The children of his 1st wife are below:
  • Levi Jackson RHODES-b. 14 Oct. 1828
  • Susan Carolina RHODES, b. 25 Feb. 1830
  • Brantley Felix RHODES, b. 20 April 1834

    His 2nd wife was Winifred NOBLE, b. 10 April 1810. She was the daughter of George NOBLES and Patsy DAVIS of Jones County, N.C. She was known as "Winnie". Winnie NOBLES was born 10 April 1810 in Jones Co., N.C.

    James J. RHODES and Winnie NOBLES, married sometime before 1838 in Jones Co., N.C. They had the following children:
  • George Washington RHODES, b. 18 April 1839
  • Benjamin Franklin RHODES, b. 18 May 1840
  • James William W. RHODES, b. 5 Feb. 1842
  • Richard Hatch RHODES, b. 25 Oct. 1843
  • John Henry Clay RHODES, b. 28 Dec. 1844
  • Irving Lewis RHODES, b. 25 Aug. 1847
  • Dock Oliver RHODES, b. 14 March 1849
  • Mary Winifred RHODES, b. 4 Oct. 1851
  • Mary Elizabeth James RHODES, b. 20 July 1853

    Below is a "possible" picture of James J. RHODES and his wife Winnie Nobles RHODES

    Passed down in the family of Sharon JONES and the late William Rhodes JONES, Jr.

    Several DEEDS are recorded in Jones Co., N.C. by James J. RHODES. Go to DEEDS.

    By 1870, James J. RHODES and his wife Winny had moved to the Pink Hill area of Lenoir Co., N.C. All his living children were grown and married. He was still preaching until his death which is said to have been sometime in March of 1872. Winnie RHODES is said to have died in April of 1872. Their grave location is unknown.

    Also please see the RHODES BIBLE RECORDS, If you have a RHODES Bible record to contribute please send to Sloan Mason.



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