Millsaps-Wilson Library Digital Archives: J. B. Cain Archives of Mississippi Methodism
Rev. John Harry Graham (1915-1994), a clergy member of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church, was a pastor, educator, author and historian. He was admitted to the former Upper Mississippi Conference in 1932 and served pastorates in Mississippi prior to joining the faculty of Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta. He also taught at Rust College and served on the staff of the General Board of Missions/Global Ministries until his retirement in 1977 after 45 years of service.
Dr. Graham wrote Black Methodists: Retrospect and Prospect and Mississippi Circuit Riders 1865-1965, important books about the history of the Mississippi Conference and its antecedents. He bequeathed his collection of Upper Mississippi Conference, Mississippi Conference (MEC), and Central Jurisdictional Conference Journals to the J.B. Cain Archives upon his death in 1994. Included in that gift was a Mississippi Mission Conference Journal of 1867.
In 2013, the J.H. Graham Papers were donated by his children Patricia Graham Johnson and Rev. James A. Graham, significantly increasing our resources on the history of Black Mississippi Methodists. They include papers from his years of pastoral ministry in Mississippi (1941-1950), service as Gulfside Assembly trustee (1950-60), participant in the study of the dissolution of the Central Jurisdiction(1952-1975), chairperson of Upper Mississippi Conference Board of Ministry (1952-1957), and as student and faculty member.
The collection includes papers and photographs on Gulfside Assembly and about Bishop Robert N. Brooks, who was presiding bishop of the Upper Mississippi Conference 1944-1952. Included in the papers are photographs, sermons, autobiographical writings, essays by preachers’ wives, biographical sketches of several ministers, Graham’s reflections on segregation of churches, a collection of programs from presentation and speeches given by Graham, and notes from a workshop on American Methodism led by Graham, and sociological studies of churches, among other topics.
The digital exhibit highlights a few of the materials from the J. H. Graham Papers and includes an inventory of the entire collection. For more information, visit the Millsaps College Archives website or contact Millsaps College Archivist, Debra McIntosh.