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Richmond's Famous Negro Preacher Passes Away at the Age of Ninety Years
New York Times, 1901.


     RICHMOND, Va., March 30 - The Rev. John Jasper, the famous colored advocate of the "Sun do move" theory, died at his home here to-day, aged ninety years. He had for many years been pastor of the Sixth Mount Zion Church, and was held in high esteem by the people of his race. He was once taken on a tour of the North, delivering his "Sun Do Move" lecture or sermon.

      He preached the sermon hundreds of times, and up to the time of his death the bare announcement that he would preach from the old familiar text "The Lord is a Man of War" was sufficient to fill the church to overflowing.

     Jasper was a typical negro from the top of his retreating forehead to the soles of his ample feet. It is doubtful if any sketch has been written of him that gave a true-to-life picture of him. Newspaper reporters have made him out as wholly illiterate and grotesque and biographers of his own race were prone to picture him as a Doctor Divinity. He was neither. He did not speak in the negro dialect, but his efforts to "talk proper" and his grandiloquent misuse of big words made his speeches quaintly absurd. But there was such an evidence of native dignity and honesty of purpose about him, even when he was presenting his novel theory of the "sun do move" problem, that the tendency of mirth was subdued in the exhibition of his sublime faith in the literal interpetation of the Scriptures.


[From New York Times Archives, March 31, 1901, Page 7. Document from Google. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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