16 September 2012

John Jasper Presentation By Benjamin Ross

I would encourage readers to take the time to view the presentation in the video below. The speaker is Mr. Benjamin Ross. Benjamin and I collaborated on the historical marker which marks John Jasper's birthplace in Fluvanna County, Virginia. He is also the church historian for the church founded by Jasper, Sixth Mount Zion Baptist in Richmond, and maintains the small museum at the church which houses many artifacts dating to Jasper's time as pastor. I had the honor of "bringing greetings" at Sixth Mount Zion several years ago on the church's annual "John Jasper" day. Afterwards, my daughter and I, along with some friends, enjoyed a traditional "dinner on the grounds" at the church. It is one of my fondest and most privileged memories.

Jasper marker dedication ~ 4 July 2001
Benjamin was also kind enough to loan me Jasper's original communion set for a presentation I gave at Liberty University's Civil War seminar several years ago. I have somewhat of a familial "connection" to John Jasper. In March 1865, one of my Confederate ancestors, John Meredith Crutchfield, was a patient at Chimborazo Hospital. He died there. It was during that same time frame that Jasper - though still a slave - had gone to local officials and requested permission to minister to the wounded Confederates at Chimborazo. Whether or not Jasper ever spoke with my ancestor, I can't say for sure, but both were at Chimborazo during that time.

Jasper is one of my heroes and his life story is one of the most amazing you'll ever hear. Jasper shares a distinction with two other Virginians from his time period - Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson: all three men were buried twice.

 Benjamin is an extremely nice gentleman and the most knowledgeable man alive when it comes to Jasper. I would also encourage you visit Sixth Mount Zion if ever in Richmond.

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