|Ijames (far left) waits with a group of other|
Peoples Temple members while a plane is refueled
on their first trip to Jonestown.
On October 8, 1973, the board of directors of the California-based Peoples Temple passed a resolution establishing a “Branch Church and Agricultural Mission” in Guyana. The settlement would come to be known as Jonestown, and church assistant pastor Archie Ijames was one of six authorized to help establish the mission.
Born in Davie County in 1913, Ijames first met Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones at an event in Indianapolis. Originally skeptical about joining Jones’s church, Ijames was persuaded by Jones’s humility and honesty, and by the Peoples Temple’s commitment to transcended racial divides. Ijames’s family was embraced by Jones’s church, and Ijames eventually rose to become Jones’s associate pastor.