In his book Offbeat Kentuckians, Keven McQueen tells the story of Leonard Jones, known as “Live Forever Jones.” When his fiancé broke off their engagement, his mental state declined. He joined, in succession, the United Brethren, the Shakers, the Mormons and the Quakers. Then in 1835, he met a preacher who convinced him that if one lived right, fasted often and had enough faith, he never would die. Jones was convinced.

The two planned a city where there would be no death, no coffins and no graveyards. They couldn’t agree on who would rule the city, then the original believer died, leaving only “Live Forever Jones.” He formed a political party (The High Moral Party), but he was the only member of it. He declared himself governor of Kentucky. For 20 years, he was a candidate for president; and every time he failed, he sued. He attended every church in Louisville, Ky., sitting on the front pew and often interrupting the preacher. He died on Aug. 30, 1868, at the age of 71.

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About The Author

A third generation preacher, Mike Shannon is Professor of Preaching at Cincinnati Bible Seminary of Cincinnati Christian University. He has served as a preaching minister, church planter, and college professor. His most recent preaching ministry was at the historic First Christian Church of Johnson City, Tennessee. In his nearly two decades at Cincinnati Christian University, Mike has served as both professor and Dean of the Seminary. He has also been an adjunct professor at Milligan College and Northern Kentucky University. Mike is the author or co-author of several books.

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