Arrangements. The entire work gives a full outline of Baptist labor in Oregon, and is divided into five periods.
Part I. Laying Foundations
All hail the sturdy, resolute pioneers! Who,unterrified by danger, undismayed by hardships, undeterred by difficulties, unfaltering under sacrifices, yet laid solid and lasting foundations which posterity are glad to build upon.
The First Period. Commences with the first organization of a Baptist church in Oregon, in 1844, and continues until 1856, when occurred the first division of the Association. This was the exploring period, in which beginnings were made, and foundations laid for future work.
The Second Period. 1856 to 1866. "Lights and Shadows." This might be called the troublous period, when the churches and Associations were more or less disturbed by the slavery and war issues. End of Part I.
Part II. Restoring Harmony
The Third Period. 1866 to 1876. "Burying the Hatchet." This period was largely employed in effecting reconciliations, and in correcting the evils resulting from the war and slavery troubles.
The Fourth Period. 1876 to 1886. "Marshalling the Forces." For expansion in missionary work, and for increased activity in building up the Redeemer's Kingdom in Oregon. End of Part II.
Part III. Enlargement
The Fifth Period. 1886 to 1900. Extending the Stakes and Lengthening the Lines. Or, the history of the later missionary work in Oregon, and the marvelous advancement made along every line of denominational activity. It was also a period of drawing lines: First, In the organization of new Associations and Conventions; and Secondly, From divisions caused by differences in belief or practice. (For sub-divisions see Contents).
Sundry Items. 1. At the organization of a church, the minister first named was pastor until otherwise stated, and anyone named as pastor is to be so regarded until a change is mentioned. The terms "licensed" and "ordained" in this book always refer to the ministry unless stated otherwise. By our early Baptists, "Elder" was the term commonly applied to our ministry; Except at short intervals, as a supply, the "Year" was usually the Association or Convention year.
2. Common customs, and ordinary routine work are seldom alluded to, being uniform, and taken for granted.
3. "Landmark" and "Anti-Landmark" Baptists are terms applied to the two principal parties into which the missionary Baptists of the North Pacific Coast were nearly equally divided. "Alien Immersion" is a term applied to the immersions of other denominations; this the Landmark Baptists will not recognize as valid baptism, under any circumstances. Anti-Landmarkers will receive such immersions as valid baptism, provided the candidate is satisfied, and the church is also satisfied that the candidate was truly regenerated before the immersion, and that he understood the proper design of the ordinance. These terms are used because:--1st, They are fully understood on this coast. and, 2d, Any other terms would be misleading unless qualified by objectionable explanations.
Statistics. 4. In general missionary work, statistics are often in aggregates, though widely scattered, but not itemized. Blanks simply indicate "No Reports," not an absence of labor or results.
5. The annual totals of churches or Associations are always counted in the aggregates until dropped or have become extinct, without regard to the Minutes. When dropped or extinct, the last reported membership is counted a loss, in the aggregate.
6. After the First period, Periodic statistics are considered sufficient.
7. When there are two tables of statistics for the same church or Association for the same year, (as in case of two sessions, or a division or a new organization of an Association) the later tables are always taken and the others reconciled to them.
8. Except legacies or endowment funds, individual contributions are usually credited to the churches unless specially requested otherwise. Collections of any and every kind not specified or itemized are put in the "Sundry" column whether it be expense or benevolence. Especially is this the case with many collections for Sunday School, church improvement, etc.
9. The "Minister's" column in the church statistics shows the number ordained or licensed; in the Associational column it shows the entire preaching force. In the church column some may be duplicated, i. e. licensed and ordained.
10. Signs, initials, abbreviations, etc., always have the same signification in similar tables. The most of them are recognized a few are given: 1/1 is always gain, - loss, and applies to membership unless connected with ch, when it means churches. Org, is the number of members first corning into a church or an Association.
11. With the Eastern Societies, the Fiscal year, commencing April 1, is counted. In other places, the context shows whether Calendar, Associational, or Conventional year.
12. A missionary or a field of the H. M. Society, if in italics, shows the termination of work for either.
13. The post office address is same as the church, or the post office is in italics.
14. Discrepancies in Minutes are accounted for by---Errors of clerks in counting changes, Clerical errors in footing, Typographical oversights, Memoranda lost and supplied from memory, Change of clerks with unrecorded matter between, Church not representing for two or more years, and clerk reporting "Changes for the last year ," and perhaps other causes.
15. The aggregate labor and results of any missionary or on any field can be found by taking the sum of the figures in the tables of the different periods in which the name of the missionary or number of the church or field is found.