Biography of John Wesley Gaines

GAINES, Wesley John, A.M.E. bishop, was born in Wilkes county, Ga., Oct. 4, 1840. His parents, William and Louisa Gaines, were slaves, and he was himself brought up a slave. He was licensed to preach in 1865, was admitted to the South Carolina conference in 1866, was ordained a deacon and then elder in 1867, and was assigned to the Florence Mission, Ga. He was stationed at various places in Georgia, and on May 19, 1888, was elected bishop, being ordained May 24, at Indianapolis, Ind. He was book steward of the North Georgia conference; a member of the A.M.E. financial board for which he raised over $500,000; the founder, a trustee, superintendent and treasurer of Morris Brown college, Atlanta, Ga.; and vice president of the board of trustees of Payne theological seminary. Augusta, Ga., and of Wilberforce university. Wilberforce conferred upon him the honorary degree of D.D. in 1883. He publisbed: African Methodism in the South (1890), and The Negro and the White Man (1897).

The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Volume X. Rossiter Johnson, ed., Boston: The Biographical Society, 1904.

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