May 10, 1885

Captain Tom Ryman

Captain Thomas Green Ryman

Bit of Ryman history for you today – on Sunday, May 10, 1885 the Rev. Sam Jones spoke to a crowd of 10,000 Nashvillians as part of his touring tent revivals.

According to legend, Ryman and a few of his friends went to Jones’ revival to raise a ruckus. But, something in Jones’ speech affected Ryman so deeply that he repented his sins and vowed to build Jones a great tabernacle so that he would never have to preach under a tent again.

Rev. Sam Jones

The Reverend Sam Jones

That building was the Union Gospel Tabernacle which would later become the Ryman Auditorium.

The name was modified at Captain Ryman’s funeral in December 1904. His longtime friend, Rev. Jones asked the solemn crowd to rise if they agreed the name of the building should be modified to honor Captain Ryman.

According to newspaper accounts, more than 4,000 people in attendance rose to their feet. The Union Gospel Tabernacle was, from that day forward, known as the Ryman Auditorium.


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