Scope and Contents
This collection contains sermons and documentation of the life and work of a prominent Congregational minister in Connecticut who was active from 1940 to 1978. Substantial and comprehensive texts of sermons preached primarily in Wethersfield, CT provide an overview of issues and concerns of mainline American churches in the mid 20th century. These papers complement other collections of Congregational clergy held by the Divinity Library, including the Henry David Gray papers.
Series I consists of a chronological sequence of sermons dating from 1941, shortly after Jones' graduation from Yale Divinity School, until his retirement in 1978. There are full texts for nearly all weeks during that span, including Sunday sermons and special services. The finding aid lists the first and last titles of the sermons in the date span contained in each folder. The sermons address both spiritual and societal concerns and shed light on the issues that a suburban church in Connecticut faced throughout this era.
Series II contains documentation related to the two churches where Jones served, Whitneyville Congregational Church in Hamden (1940-1943) and First Church of Christ in Wethersfield, CT (1943-1978). Besides acquiring a new parsonage for the Wethersfield church, Jones led three different building campaigns, two of them for additional parish buildings and one to renovate the interior of the 1761 meeting house. The church-related documentation in this series is supplemented by scrapbooks in Series III. Also included in the series are materials related to work in the larger Congregational and Connecticut scene, including with the Hartford Association of Congregational Christian Churches and Greater Hartford Council of Churches, and in connection with the merger that created the United Church of Christ in 1957.
Series III contains biographical documentation about Jones, his family, and his work. Notable are a set of circular letters and announcements that were sent to friends and family, primarily holiday letters but with other milestones documented as well. These provide a good overview of Jones' activities. Also available in this series is a set of correspondence with Julian Norris Hartt, a fellow graduate of Garrett and Yale, who was a lifelong friend and co-owner of a vacation property on Cape Cod. Scrapbooks in this series document activities at the churches where Jones worked.
Series IV, Collected Material, includes pamphlets and sermons by others that Jones collected as resources. Series V includes extensive audio tapes, primarily of sermons by Jones, as well as an array of family and church-related photographs.
- 1896 - 2007
- Majority of material found within 1920 - 2002
Conditions Governing Access
The material is open for research.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of the Keith M. Jones family, 2021
The collection is arranged in five series:
I. Sermons, 1941-1998
II. Career Documentation, 1939-1975
III. Biographical and Personal Documentation, 1920-2007
IV. Collected Material, 1916-1960
V. Audio-Visual Materials, 1920-2002
20 Linear Feet (49 boxes)
Language of Materials
This collection contains sermons and documentation of the life and work of a prominent Congregational minister in Connecticut who was active from 1940 to 1978. Substantial and comprehensive texts of sermons preached primarily in Wethersfield, CT provide an overview of issues and concerns of mainline American churches in the mid 20th century.
Biographical / Historical
Keith Merwin Jones was born December 4, 1910, near Syracuse, Indiana, the son of Emeral Benton Jones and Maude Cory Jones. He received a B.A. from Manchester College in North Manchester, IN in 1932 and taught high school for two years in Wells County, IN before entering Garrett Theological Seminary, from which he received a B.D. in 1937. From 1937 to 1940 Jones completed the course work for his PhD at Yale University in philosophy and theology but did not finish the degree. After serving three and a half years as pastor of the Whitneyville Congregational Church in Hamden, CT he was called in 1943 to be minister of the First Church of Christ in Wethersfield where he served as senior minister until his retirement in June 1978. Jones was a prominent Congregational minister in Connecticut and was involved in the formation of the United Church of Christ in 1957, a merger of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches. Jones was chaplain to the Connecticut House of Representatives during 1961-1962. Jones married Lydia Marie Fox and they had three children: Wanda, Marcia, and Keith M., Jr.
- Guide to the Keith M. Jones Papers
- Divinity Library Staff
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Part of the Yale Divinity Library Repository
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New Haven CT 06511 US