The Fourth Period
Marshalling The Forces--From 1876 to 1886
The general awakening of the brethren and churches of Oregon to the question of Gospel extension during the last period still continued with increasing vigor. But it was at first largely limited to church action and individual efforts. The Lacreole church tried to improve the Convention plan by having the missionary report directly to the churches, and sent Rev. F. M. Long on a mission to Prineville and vicinity. He was gone two months and reported 1862 miles traveled, collections from the church and the field, $146.47; expenses, $47; baptisms, five, and some minor items. This church also called Rev. C. C. Riley from Los Angeles, California, to spend the summer as missionary in the Willamette Valley, for which he was paid about $340. And the church afterwards sought cooperation with some of the other churches for a missionary in the Central Association west of the Willamette river, offering to pay one-fourth of the expense. But this effort failed. The pastor, however had two or three mission points within reach of the church which it saw were supplied. And when the agent of the State Convention called on the church, it gave him a good collection and a hearty "God bless you."
The Yamhill church mourned the death of Rev. Richard Miller, a member since 1847, and in its letter to the Association regrets that so little effort was being made to carry on mission work, and earnestly inquired if some plan could not be devised for taking the Gospel to the destitute, and urged the Association to pray and work for this end. It kept up a mission and Sunday School, two devoted sisters being very active in this work. It also licensed and ordained Brother Soper to the ministry.
The Oregon City church made arrangements for its pastor, (Rev. J. T. Huff) to also preach in the country, giving two Sundays in each month to two mission stations, and pledges were circulated to reach all the members and to engage them in this work; and the deacons were instructed to push the same to its best possible results; also to look after the sick and the needy. The church says:
"Oregon City church has been blessed with a pastor who has not only ministered to its spiritual wants nearly every Sunday during the past year, but has visited many destitute places, where the Lord has blessed his labors, and much good has been done in the conversion of sinners, and in the building up of churches. We are pursuing our way with a good degree of harmony and brotherly love, our financial condition and arrangements are better than ever before. We have contributed something during the year to all the great departments of Christian activity, and hope to be able to do more in the future. We are looking and praying for the time when, the Lord of the harvest shall cause the good seed sown by our pastor to spring up and grow in the hearts of the unconverted. Pray for us that the Spirit may be poured out with consuming power."
To assist its pastor in the good work, the French Prairie church built a parsonage for him, worth about $700, and then one evening enticed him away, and when he returned found that "burglars" had taken possession and loaded his table with good things, among which was a purse containing $66.50. The "burglars" were not molested, and Brother Wells was much encouraged by this manifestation of the love of his brethren.
Rev. C. W. Rees was pastor of the Eugene Baptist church until 1878, and during his pastorate an extensive revival arose in which a number of young people were converted. The church was also trying to educate a Chinese brother, Sam Bo, for the ministry among his people. Brother Rees thought that no field in Oregon outside of Portland was more important at that time than this; and it was generally so thought by brethren throughout the State. The State University, with over 200 students was here, and the city had 2000 population. Rev. S. C. Price succeeded Brother Rees, being aided by the H. M. Society. The church was hopeful, the expectations fair, the congregations good, the covenant meetings well attended, and the prospects all encouraging. At a protracted meeting a large number were converted from the Sunday Schools; Brother Price baptized thirty-eight; ten from his own Sunday School class. He hoped others were converted. More than fifty young people belonged to the church, a Young People's prayer meeting was established and well attended, and full of life and interest. This was the most wide spread revival that had yet blessed the church; its happy influence gave it largely increased strength and courage, and it changed its Sunday evening service into a praise meeting, and a large growth in spirituality resulted. The church now numbered 120, but about 50 of these were non-resident. On September 1, 1880, Brother Price having resigned, Rev. B. S. McLafferty, lately from California, was chosen pastor. Among the membership were two ordained ministers besides the pastor, and two of the young members were studying for the ministry. The church was contributing liberally for missions and other work, and using every effort to develop and bring out the talent of the young members for usefulness. It had a flourishing Sunday School under the efficient management of Brother B. F. Dorris, and was an active church, zealous of good works. In September, 1881, Brethren C. M. Hill and C. A. Wooddy were licensed to preach. In January, 1882, Brethren W. C. Taylor, George W. Hill, and J. M. Neville were licensed. All five of these graduated at the Oregon State University, and also at Rochester Theological Seminary, except Brother Neville, who was called to a heavenly field before he had finished his studies. The other brethren have all filled very important positions; Brother C. M. Hill, pastor at Eugene, and afterwards general missionary of the State Convention, and at present the pastor of an important church at Oakland, California; Brother Taylor in the city missionary work in Buffalo, New York; and afterwards pastor and in other important work at the South; Brother G. M. Hill pastor at Portland and Albany, Oregon, and later, missionary to China and Japan; and Brother Wooddy, the editor of the Pacific Baptist. Brother McLafferty resigned at Eugene in July, 1883, and after this the church had only occasional preaching by Brother Richardson arid brethren passing, until July, 1884, when Brother C. M. Hill was chosen pastor, being ordained October 29, 1884, and served the church about six years, being aided by the A. B. H. M. Society after August, 1884.
The Providence church employed Rev. D. A. Lynch to preach in the forks of the Santiam, in the destitute places, and in Jordan valley, about ten miles distant, he baptized 21. The church also had a revival under its pastor, Rev. J. W. Osborn, Jr., aided by Revs. D. A. Lynch, A. J. Hunsaker, J. D. South, and Sterling Hill, when 66 were baptized. The church kept up its missions until its membership increased to over 400, and then it began to dismiss to organize other churches in different directions. Early in this period the church at Brownsville had a series of revivals, with Rev. C. C. Sperry as pastor, he being aided by Rev. F. W. Spanswick, in which about 140 conversions were claimed, and 51 were baptized, and a Young People's Christian Association was organized with 100 members. It also had one or two mission stations the most of the time. The editor of the Baptist Beacon thus speaks of the church at that time:
"The church is one of the strongest in the State. She has in her membership and congregations many of the best families in the community; especially among the young people is her great hope. Probably no church in the State has a larger or better class of Christians among the young people than we find here. Many of them had been converted during a meeting the year before and had been organized into a Young People's Association, which they had kept up all the year with marked interest. We learn that Brother Sperry does not design continuing their pastor another year. The church needs a man to preach to her every Sabbath; a good strong man. She is abundantly able to support such a man. She ought to be made one of the strongest and most influential churches in the State, and we believe the brethren are pre- pared for a forward movement."
Early in 1883, the church had another most unusual awakening spiritually, the entire community being aroused and all classes deeply moved. The pastor was helped by Dr. R. C. Hill. Work at the mission stations was resumed, prayer meetings were full of interest, especially those of the young people, and continued so for two or three years. The Sunday School was one of the best in the State, averaged about 120 in regular attendance, was well officered, and well conducted; Deacon A. W. Stanard, Superintendent. assisted by a full corps of live, wide awake teachers. Deacon Claiborne Hill, one of the constituent members in 1853, and always an earnest worker for its interests, died in 1886. This was a heavy loss to the church and to the community.
The Union church also had some previous revivals. At one of them there were twenty additions. An incident connected with the settlement of a pastor for this church is worthy of note. It was to be "once-a-month" preaching. The pastor was engaged for all his time with another church, at $800 a year, but this church was willing to release him for one-fourth of his time, provided Union church would pay one-fourth his salary. The members of Union church declared that it was impossible, but insisted that he should make them a visit, which he did, and after preaching on Saturday, went home with one of the prominent members, who willingly told him that every body enjoyed the sermon and insisted that he must preach for them. But we can't raise the $200 that is required. The minister had made the discovery that this brother, and many other members of the church were inveterate users of tobacco. So he kindly remarked, "If you will give me as much money monthly as you and your congregation spend for tobacco, I will furnish you as good a preacher as I am."--"I can afford to do that and more."--" All right. The amount of your tobacco money is enough. How much is it?"--"About $12 or $15; but I will subscribe $20," said the brother.--"You must be careful," said the brother's wife, "You will find that it will be much more than $20. Don't you remember that six months ago you promised to give me a dollar for every dollar that you spent for tobacco?"--"Yes. How much is it?" She counted it up, and found that he had spent at least a dollar a week on the average, for himself and other members of the family. He was astonished at the facts, and after a season of prayer, he resolved to quit its use, and vowed to give his tobacco money unto the Lord. He went before his church the next morning, and after the sermon, said he would pay one-fourth of the salary for the preacher, and the entire amount was raised in less time than it takes to write this account. And the best of the story is, that the brother is still living (1905) nearly four score years of age, and he has strictly kept his vow. And better still, when, awhile afterwards, Rev. G. J. Burchett went to Union church to see what they could do for McMinnville college, this brother, a country farmer, found that he could give $1000 to the endowment fund, and then encouraged his wife and the brethren to give another $1000 to the same object.
The principles upon which the church acted were (1) "that it believed missions were taught in the word of God. (2) That it would pray the Lord of missions to bless both the home and foreign work. (3) That each member should annually contribute to both the home and foreign mission work."
Early in 1880 Rev. J. C. Richardson held a protracted meeting in the neighborhood of the Palestine church, resulting in several conversions. The meeting was one of more than ordinary interest, and the entire community was thoroughly aroused, but being in the bounds of the Palestine church, and owing to hard feelings of long standing between parties in the church and parties in the neighborhood where the meetings were held, the converts did not feel disposed to come into the church until that difficulty was settled. Nor was it expedient to organize another church. It was eight miles to Eugene and they did not wish to go there. So Brother Richardson asked the editor of the Baptist Beacon, Rev. W. J. Crawford, to help him out of his difficulty. He also asked this question: "Should any feel that he cannot go into either church and wishes to be baptized, what should I do in that case?" For reply the editor quoted approvingly from the "Journal and Messenger" as follows:
"Under ordinary circumstances ministers should not baptize without the voice of the church. For ministers to go about the neighborhood where there is a regular church and baptize people without the action of the church would be a high-handed and disorganizing business. It may be said that the ordination of a minister gives him the authority of the church. This is true only as touching all cases that may come before him where there is no church."
In December 1881, Rev. J. I. Taylor was chosen pastor, but nothing shows how long he served the church. It was represented three or four years in the Association, but finally about 1884 or 1885, from deaths, removals, neglect and indifference, it became nearly extinct. In 1886, while nominally alive it was practically dead.
One of the constituent members, a main helper and pillar of the First Baptist church of Portland, Deacon Josiah Failing, died August 14, 1877. His loss was most deeply felt, but the church continued to push its local missions with zeal and energy, but did not confine itself strictly to local missions. Temperance and the Prohibition question called for much attention. In 1878 prayer meetings were established in East Portland and North Portland, and an effort made to devise some means for a deeper work of Grace in the church. An interesting revival season was in progress. Among the baptisms was a Jew being educated for a Rabbi, who would study for the ministry, and his wife, a converted Catholic. Deacon Josiah Failing had left $2000, the interest to be devoted to missions within this mission district, and this was being given to what were then considered the most needy places at the time of the grant. The church also built a mission chapel for the Chinese, costing over $1000; the Chinese paying $450. The Sunday Schools and other Societies were all prosperous, and growing in numbers and interest and extra meetings were held during the winters. But Brother Coats resigned, and in 1884, Rev. J. Q. A. Henry, from Sacramento succeeded him. Late in 1884, steps were taken to employ a city missionary to help meet the increasing demands for Christian activity. During the latter part of 1884, and all of 1885, there were from one to ten accessions at every meeting. Early in January one of the city papers reports:
"A most remarkable state of affairs has existed in the Baptist church for the last four weeks. More than fifty have professed faith in Christ. New inquirers are presenting themselves at every meeting. Most of the converts are men. The meetings are to continue."
And in February , Brother Henry said:
"For nine weeks these special Gospel services have been in progress constantly. For five weeks it has been expected that they would close each succeeding Friday night, but the interest has been so remarkable that as yet no place has been reached where it would be little less than criminal to call a halt. Since these meetings began more than one hundred have taken new steps in the Christian career. The number includes backsliders who have been reclaimed, careless and unknown Baptists who have been awakened and brought to light, and recent converts from sin and Satan unto God and His Gospel. Of this number 45 have been received thus far into our own church, with many more to follow, while a few have already gone to other churches, and others will find a church home in other folds. There are from 40 to 50 who have not located their responsibility in a church life. The most of them will soon do so. At the present writing the interest seems unabated, so far as human wisdom can discern. The question of closing the meeting. though constantly recurring, is as frequently postponed. While those who have been most faithful are worn and weary, nevertheless. they dare not assume the responsibility of closing them; so they continue through the coming week every night except Saturday."
Every Sunday evening especially, the large audience room was densely packed. In March, Brother Henry continues:
"For thirteen weeks the meetings continued every night except Saturday. They were full of interest. As a matter of fact, up to this writing, there has been no cessation in the general interest. Every one seems ready, willing, and in many cases even anxious to talk about the great salvation. A spirit of general religious inquiry is abroad. If all the churches and pastors of this city would set themselves to save souls, just now, it would be impossible to calculate the results of such consecrated endeavor. In all this winter's work, the pastor has had no help, except such as he found in a loyal and devoted church. Almost without exception, the resident membership have taken some part in these special services. The work has been a quiet one--without mere show of sentiment or outburst of feeling--the appeal constantly being made to the conscience, judgment and common sense. The responses have been clear, cool, and decisive. The experiences, as related, have been remarkably thorough, intelligent, and eminently satisfactory. It has been, and still is, God's work and not man's. Hence, to Him shall be all the glory. As a church, we have been greatly quickened and elevated in our spiritual life, increased in our efficiency to save souls and do all his commandments."
The meetings continued sixteen weeks. Meanwhile the church had employed a city missionary, although no help had been obtained from the A. B. H. M. Society. And as the result of these labors. the church reported to the Association in June, 1885, 133 additions, of which 88 were by baptism. In May, Brother Henry in summing up his year's work, said:
"In all the year there has been no clash of opinion nor conflict of plans; no bickering nor backbiting; no carping nor criticisms. This unity of the Spirit and deep-toned spirituality, has been the secret of our large and excellent prayer meetings, and the Master's abiding presence. Work done in the name of the Lord is not in vain; hence, the year has been one of great joy and rich blessing, with large and interested congregations, frequent baptisms and additions to our membership; progress and effectiveness in the organization of our Sunday School work; increased attendance upon, and efficiency in our Sunday School work; it is easy to see why there should be joy in the congregation of the Lord. For all these past blessings we should be supremely grateful. This work has been wrought of our God, and to him shall be all the praise."
The church now numbered 417 members; 101 non-resident. In May and June 51 members were dropped for non-attendance. In February, 1886, the Board of Missions was incorporated, and in March they bought a lot in South Portland (Meade Street Mission) and built a chapel, costing about $1200 when finished. In April, 1886, after spending $100 in the effort, the church said of the meetings held by an evangelist, that only "about 15 per cent of the professed converts will find their way into the churches;" and ''as a church, we feel that our winter's work has been frittered away in union meetings." What a contrast between this, and the meetings of the winter previous. The benefits to Baptists in union meetings are nearly always---? And the results of their carrying on their own work themselves, are seldom otherwise than satisfactory. Still in 1886 there were evident tokens of prosperity along all the lines of church work. The following criticisms of Dr. Henry, are from the Oregonian:
"Of Dr. Henry's manner and style of pulpit address, it is difficult to speak. He is very youthful in appearance, looking much younger than he is. Some one remarked whilst he was pastor in Portland that the Lord had made him without any brakes. So intense is his nature that he must wear himself out. He speaks rapidly, has a good command of language, and is most convincing in his arguments, because of the manifest sincerity and earnestness of the man. The Rochester (N. Y.) Sentinel says of his lectures there: 'He is a forceful orator of the Chicago rapid-transit style, and seems to be possessed of an inexhaustible fountain of lofty sentiment and brilliant logic.' Another newspaper says: 'He is a decendent of Patrick Henry, of Revolutionary fame, and possesses a burning eloquence that thrills and inspires.' In his evangelical efforts, he uses no clap-trap methods, but preaches a sound doctrine, appeals to the reason and experience of his hearers, and carries the Gospel home to the heart."
The Highland church is in part a re-organization of the Clear Creek church, which had lain dormant for fifteen years; the reorganization being by Rev. J. B. Jones with five members, November 11, 1876. It at once established two mission stations and Brother Jones preached for all three, as he was able. In December the brethren wished the pastor to hold a protracted meeting with them, but he did not have the time. Soon after, he met with a severe accident, in which one limb was broken and an ankle dislocated. Awhile after this he wrote, '"Tomorrow the brethren will carry me about ten miles to hold a protracted meeting in a new field. I am to preach at a good brother's house, and stay with him, and he is to bring me back." The result of this meeting was 22 baptisms; and 6 received by experience. Brother Huff, of Oregon City, went and assisted Brother Jones, and did the baptizing. He thus wrote: "We had a glorious time. The power of God was manifest among us, and as a result the brethren are greatly encouraged. Brother Jones is still suffering greatly, but is getting about among his people doing a good work." The Willamette Association, from the Failing Fund, applied $50 to this work the first year, and $250 the second year, as Brother Jones' churches were poor and could do little. In April, 1878, an arm was extended to another point about eight miles distant; in short, Brother Jones wanted to take in all "the regions beyond," and in June, 1880, the church allowed him to receive members at two or three of these stations. About this time a regular monthly prayer meeting for missions was established. In the fall Brother Jones resigned to go to Eastern Oregon, and in January, 1881, Brother D. L. McClain, a licentiate from Damascus church, was chosen pastor. In July the church asked aid for him of the Home Mission Board, and also requested the Damascus church to have him ordained, which was done. He continued to preach for the church, and in 1883 it had three weekly prayer meetings with good attendance, within the bounds of the membership. In 1883-4 the church extended another arm or two and had preaching stations at these points. A protracted meeting was held in the fall of 1883--12 additions. In January, 1885, Rev. P. H. Harper was chosen pastor. In May the question of a new Association was agitated, and in June the church asked to be dismissed from the Willamette Association for this purpose, but that body "looked with disapproval upon the formation of another Association within our bounds." The new Association, called "The Columbia River Association," was organized within a month. In October, 1885, Brother A. D. Crane, a licentiate, lately from Michigan, was chosen pastor, and on May 9, 1886, he was ordained.
The North Palestine church had several revivals during this period. One first was under the leadership of Rev. J. Bowersox, Evangelical; a union meeting, with forty-two conversions; about equally divided between the two denominations. In 1881, Rev. G. W. Black, R. C. Hill and F. M. Long held a meeting with sixteen baptisms; and in 1884, Revs. J. W. Osborn and T. G. Brownson held a meeting with thirteen baptisms. The Amity church had a Chinese Sunday School with eleven pupils. In 1884, the Dallas church baptized twenty-two from a meeting held by Rev. J. M. Gallahorn, a traveling evangelist. Rev. J. C. Baker was pastor of the First Baptist church of Salem, and reported a higher development of spirituality, better tone, and higher type of life in the church. The members were more knit together, with good congregations, and well attended and interesting prayer meeting, Sunday School growing in interest and numbers, and in the earnest study of God's word. A Chinese mission school had been started and was prosperous and encouraging. The different Societies were doing a good work for the church improvements, and all were officered by some of the best workers in the church, and were being efficiently prosecuted. The contributions for all purposes in 1877, averaged $24.39 per member. In January, 1878, Rev. J. C. Richardson and T. W. Spanswick assisted Brother Baker in a revival meeting resulting in several additions. To show the appreciation of Brother Baker and his work, on the evening of March 21, the church and friends made him a donation visit when, including cash and other items, over $110 was added to the support of his family; for all of which, and the other remembrances, they thanked God, and their friends, and took courage.
In June, 1879, the church reports itself prosperous. Of twenty-three baptisms reported at that time, fifteen were from the Sunday School. The Chinese class had organized a Christian Association of thirteen members. In September Rev. Baker preached his second anniversary sermon, giving an outline of the work done by the church during his pastorate. The plan followed was a "freewill offering," all offerings being voluntary. The pastor had no fixed salary. The collections after the service each Sabbath morning was all that was promised. If this was liberal, he had a liberal support; otherwise not. The family voted to live within the income. Under this plan it was expected that every member would give something. Besides some freewill offerings, sixteen families now contributed regularly. Brother A. W. Kinney was Superintendent of the Sunday School, assisted by an able body of teachers and other officers. The Ladies Social Union had for its object sociability, and the raising of funds for church purposes. For foreign missions there was a Woman's mission circle and a Girl's mission band. The total contributions for all purposes was an average of $21.50 for each member per year. The prosperity was such that the church had to enlarge its meeting house. The meetings were well attended, and it was alive and active. Early in the summer of 1880 it had a revival under Rev. B. S. McLafferty, in which 150 conversions were reported, and the church baptized 24. It was a union meeting under a new name, "Cooperative." Among others some Chinese converts were baptized this year. A plan to systematize the church work was adopted. For finance and expenses the envelope system was used; an advisory committee was to bring business before the church; for missions and mission work, quarterly collections; the first quarter for the A. B. P. Society; the second and fourth quarter for home mission work; and the third quarter for the foreign mission work; the pastor to present these topics on the second Sabbath of each quarter. Each department of work was under the supervision of a standing committee of five who were to look after the matter, take the collection, solicit funds, and make quarterly reports to the church. They were also to furnish and distribute such papers and documents as might be necessary to an intelligent understanding by the membership of each department of the work. There was a committee to welcome strangers, and inquire after families and new comers to the city; especially Baptists. It was also recommended that the officers and teachers of the Sunday School be requested to hold meetings and arrange some plan by which the older members could be brought into the school and participate in it. Also a plan to look after absentees. And further, a plan to bring in new scholars. And still further, to arrange a monthly or quarterly Sunday School service. In 1883. the church created a benevolent fund to aid its needy members, and took collections and paid their pastor weekly, and endeavored to see that every member contributed something. Rev. A. R. Medbury was pastor in 1886.
On January 1, 1881, the church sustained a severe loss in the death of Deacon A. W. Kinney; perhaps the most serious of any since its organization, unless it was that of his lamented father, Deacon R. C. Kinney. Brother Kinney was careful, judicious, liberal, and thoroughly interested in all the church work. Possessing ample means, he could devise, and also execute. And more, he could interest others. About a year later, Deacon J. C. Berry also died, and thus the church lost another efficient worker. Brother Baker resigned in 1882, but his resignation was not accepted until April following.
The Lookingglass church was practically dead but the desire to spread the Gospel led Revs. S. S. Martin and C. P. Bailey, in February, 1879, to make another effort at this place, and the result was twenty-four baptisms, and these with ten of the old members were thought sufficient to start again, and from this time the church grew and additions were frequently brought into the church, and it prospered during all of this period, and finally became one of the important churches of the Umpqua valley.
In Eastern Oregon the same desire for the spread of the Gospel prevailed. The Weston church had two or three out-stations for Rev. W. H. Pruett to supply, and in the Grande Ronde valley the Cove and LaGrande churches sought to cultivate the entire field. Brother John Koger and Rev. L. J. Boothe, and later, Revs. G. T. Ellis and E. P. Waltz tried to supply all Union and Baker counties. Brother Boothe said, "An industrious missionary could probably be supported by the field, if not too extravagant." He himself was superannuated and too feeble. The brethren at Cove usually gave from $50 to $75 a year for missionary work, and were always ready to do all they could.
The church at Damascus was also nearly dead; had had no meetings for two years or more, when the missionary spirit moved Rev. J. T. Huff and W. C. Johnson to visit it. Brother Huff preached, and by looking around for a week found a half dozen of the old members, revived the church, induced five more to unite by letter, baptized four, and put matters in good working. order. A month later, he went back and baptized five more; and soon after, Rev. Jesse B. Jones, who was laboring in that section of the country as an evangelist under the A. B. H. M. Society, was chosen pastor. He was young, zealous, and active, and built up and strengthened the church very much. In 1879 he wrote that the prospects were bright, the congregations large and attentive, often numbering from 200 to 300, and that great interest was being manifested. His field covered a share of the east part of Multnomah and Clackamas counties. He was assisted in his support to the extent of $50 from the Failing Fund. He had preaching stations scattered well nigh over his field. An arm of the church was extended to Powell's valley, and another to Eagle Creek, each place being 12 or 15 miles distant in different directions. In May, 1880, he resigned.
The life of the Baptist church at The Dalles has been rather checkered. The death of Rev. Ezra Fisher, the paralysis of Rev. G. C. Chandler, and their often only temporary supplies, has made its active life as a church somewhat difficult. In 1878, Rev. C. W. Rees came, under the auspices of the A. B. H. M. Society. In February, 1881, he said: "When I came here I found a church with no Sunday School, no prayer meeting, no preaching, and a meeting house unseated. Now we have our house newly repaired, seated, carpeted, and furnished at a cost of nearly $1000. We have large congregations, prayer meetings, Sunday Schools, and an influence in the community." In fact, it was the largest and most attractive place of worship in the city. The prayer meetings were well attended, the Sunday School prosperous, and peace and harmony predominated. There was a little discouragement however in the fact that the members were scattered over a distance of one hundred and thirty miles. But Brother Rees resigned, and for awhile preaching was at intervals, but the prayer meetings and Sunday School were kept up regularly, as well as the Women's Aid Society, and the church was in a healthy, working condition. In December, 1881, Rev. O. D. Taylor came, under the auspices of the H. M. Society, and was the pastor in 1886. In the summer of 1884, the church sold its property for $4250, and bought in a more desirable part of the city and built a new meeting house, which was dedicated August 10, 1884; the A. B. H. M. Society donating $350, and loaning $500; otherwise, all paid for. In 1885 the church was dismissed from the Willamette Association, "on account of the great distance," and since then has not been represented in any Association.
Rev. G. T. Ellis, at LaGrande was the missionary for that field. He was very active in building the meeting house at that place, and deserves great credit for his energy and perseverance, though as a Baptist, he believes in the "perseverance of the saints." He also secured a fine organ and a bell for the church costing $200. He said that his field took in Surnmerville and Indian Creek churches, and 500 square miles of thickly settled country, but not content with this, he wanted to take in the Wallowa valley, about 75 miles distant, and fully as large a field. Work enough for four or five men. Some of our pioneer preachers were never satisfied unless they could include in their field all that joined them. But in 1885, being aided by the A. B. H. M. Society, he settled in LaGrande, and the church prospered, and every department of its work was prosecuted with increased energy. Brother Ellis came from Midland, Michigan, in 1883.
In 1878 the Oak Creek church built a good substantial meeting house, which was dedicated June 23, 1878, Rev. A.J. Hunsaker preaching the sermon, and a collection of $400 was taken which cleared the church of indebtedness; and before the brethren separated a number of subscribers for the Baptist Beacon was secured. Because of their assistance, the Methodists were allowed the use of the house one Sunday in each month; but the church was opposed to the use of instrumental music in a house of worship, The report of the dedication in the Baptist Beacon said:
"The house is a Baptist house; the church is composed of sound Landmark Baptists, and all are disposed to take hold freely and liberally of every good work. The building is as neat and substantial a country meeting house as can be found anywhere."
In the letter to the Association this year, the church utters the following note of warning:
"Brethren: In looking over the field, which is the world, we see many elements of opposition to the kingdom of Christ, among which we mention some of the most common and formidable, such as ritualism, formalism, and false liberalism, coming in disguise, courting the affections of the Bride of Christ with the music of their favorite lullabies of peace and union, whilst their principles and pernicious ways are in direct antagonism and deadly hostility to the principles and commands of the Bridegroom. Our exhortation to our brethren everywhere is to stand firm upon God's eternal truth, being rooted and grounded in the same."
In September the church endorsed the appointment of Rev. D. A. Lynch as the Associational missionary, and raised $1 for each member to aid his work. It also did the same in 1879, saying that the church was falling short of the measure of its obligations to the dear Savior unless it aided in sending the Gospel to "the regions beyond." At this time it had preaching two Sundays in each month; (Rev. F. M. Long one Sunday and the Saturday preceding, and Revs. Silas Williams and C. H. Mattoon another Sunday), and said that it was looking forward to the time when it could have preaching every Sunday. In 1880 it showed its appreciation of Brother Long by giving him a settled home, one Brother giving him twenty acres of land; another, a house; and many others helped in various ways. In 1881 the church contributed $54.60 to help the Corvallis church in building, and at a revival meeting about the same time thirty were baptized.
The Umpqua valley was much in the same condition as the Rogue river valley; a half dozen or so of poor, feeble churches and three or four preachers. Little or no help could be obtained from abroad. Revs. C. P. Bailey, W, G. Miller and S. S. Martin, with perhaps two or three licentiates, were their main dependence. The church at Roberts Creek had a hard time, but perhaps but little, if any worse than some others. The population was unsettled. Two or three times the church was broken up by removals, till only one or two remained. Then some others would move in, and it would take another start. Once or twice it had quite a revival with several additions, and it would be greatly encouraged, but its prosperity was of short duration, for the want of prudent counsel, and of wise leadership, and matters were in a deplorable condition.
A few words may not be out of place to give the reader a clear idea of the difficulties, labors and prospects of the churches of the Grande Ronde Association in 1876. Baker, Union and Malheur counties, Oregon, are geographically separated from the balance of the State by the Blue mountains, rising a mile or more above the valleys. Each county contained, in 1876, from 3000 to 4000 inhabitants; an industrious, enterprising, intelligent people. From Baker City to Indian valley is about 100 miles, and to visit the five Baptist churches in this distance and return, would require a travel in round numbers, of 250 miles, or nearly that distance. The aggregate membership at that time was less than 100, and the most of them were poor. There were four ordained ministers; two of them quite aged, and owing to these circumstances, Rev. E. P. Waltz was the only one who gave any considerable time to the ministry. He was from near Paris, Mo., and a carpenter by trade, as well as an ordained minister. He was pastor at Baker City for about ten years, and the church prospered under his ministrations. He then resigned, against the wishes of many, to have all his entire time that he could spare to the work in other parts of the valley. But having a family to support, and the churches being able to do but little, he was obliged to work at his trade. For quite a while it was seldom that the churches had preaching. In some localities, Baptist preaching was never heard. Baker City was the largest town, and the church there the most promising. Brother Waltz and Deacons H. W. Estes and D. D. Stephenson were the main strength of the church at that time all earnest workers. Dr. Stephenson wrote to the Beacon in 1878, that he was about to organize three Sunday schools, and thus assist in disseminating truth. Brother Waltz said they were striving against fearful odds for the advancement of the Master's cause, but they expected to be victorious. At the Grande Ronde Association this year the missionary spirit seemed to take possession of all, and about $200 was pledged for the mission work, which was very liberal at that time. This was hoped to be the beginning of prosperous times, and the brethren agreed to do all they could towards supporting the state missionary, if he would visit them, even for a few months. The appeal was renewed in 1879, and in April Brother Huff visited that section and spent a week with the brethren at Baker City. In June a Woman's Foreign Mission Circle was organized. Brother Huff soon left, and in 1881 Brother Waltz wrote that he himself was the only Baptist ministers in the county, and only two in the Association; and but one of them doing pastoral laboring, and no meeting house, but Baker City would try to build. Some of the churches must have help, or they could not hold what they had. He was doing all he could, but could give only about 100 days in the year to the work. In the spring of 1882, Brother Waltz and a Methodist minister held a protracted meeting; 22 united with the Baptist churches at Baker City and Wingville; the Methodists received as many more, or more. In April, application was made to the A. B. H. M. Society for aid so that Brother Waltz could give all his time to the work. About the last of April, Rev. A. J. Hunsaker, the general missionary, visited the church, and during the meeting held, the pastor baptized two deaf mutes into the church; also during the meeting the general missionary laid plans for building the meeting house at Baker City. In May, 1883, the A. B. H. M. Society gave $200 to Brother Waltz to give his entire time to Baker City, Wingville and Bethel churches. Meanwhile, the comer stone of a meeting house was laid at Baker City, June 28th, and all were full of hope for the future. The work, however, progressed slowly, and it was not until December 2, 1883, that the new house was occupied; which was not completed and dedicated until November 15, 1885. Because they aided in building, the Presbyterians were allowed the use of the house one Sunday in each month. In June, 1886, Brother Waltz resigned, and for about a year the church had no pastor, but regular meetings were kept up.
The Baptist church at Bethel, in Coos county thought it best to disband and reorganize at Coquille City. Brother Bailey thought the prospects encouraging. The interest was deepening, and Brother Beaven was doing good work there. The Baptist cause was looking up in Coos county, and the indications were that a Baptist church would soon be organized in Marshfield. At a protracted meeting held soon after there were some additions, which strengthened them somewhat, and increased their prospects. But in 1880, Brother Bailey resigned, the interest diminished, some dissension arose, and it was decided to again disband in 1881. But in 1882, a few of them again reorganized, and prospered so that in 1884, the church established two mission stations. It also got an appointment from the H. M. Society for Rev. J. C. Canterbury as a general missionary for Coos county. But it never represented in the Association after 1885, because of a difficulty with some of the other churches about cooperation, which led to its again disbanding in 1888. In January, 1888, Brother Canterbury's preaching in that locality was attended with much difficulty and hard labor. He says that he often traveled on foot 115 miles, in going and coming to his appointments, and this over mountain trails, steep and rough. Such is pioneer work.
But not all of our churches were alike active, or alike favored. Many others had a more varied experience. Some were not able to branch out to such an extent in active mission work, or were not so blessed in their own growth. Some had adverse circumstances with which to contend; or difficulties to overcome; or the main strength on which they had depended was taken away; or in other ways they were disappointed; and thus their hopes and expectations were brought to naught, or for a time at least, seriously retarded. Some of the new churches organized made little or no progress and withered; some of the older churches died; some grew careless and indifferent; and the love of some waxed cold. But others prospered and grew; slowly, perhaps, but none the less symmetrical and true, an honor to their builders and an honor to God.
The West Union Baptist church, the first Baptist church organized on the Pacific Coast, reported only until 1878.
Except at long intervals, there are no records after 1874. Rev. E. Russ was pastor until June, 1878. The same year the church was represented in the Willamette Association, reporting 23 members who were "much rejoicing over their spiritual prosperity, and the general reviving influence felt among the members." After this date the name of the West Union church disappears from the Minutes of the Association, and elsewhere, nor is any reason assigned for it. But how "23 rejoicing members" should all die at once is a mystery. The only record is that in March, 1879, David Lenox (son of David T. Lenox) and his family were given letters of dismissal, and five members, who were all of one family, and also all the other members present at that meeting; gave themselves letters, pronounced the church extinct, and moved away. But Brother Zena Wood, who was also one of the trustees, and his family, with some other members, who were not at that meeting, declare that the church is not extinct, and that they are yet members of it, but they have not yet called another church meeting for business. Preachers of other denominations, and sometimes a Baptist man comes along and preaches in the house, as they see fit, but by what authority is unknown. The latest talk is that the few Baptists there are intending to get together, if possible, call a preacher, and make another effort to live. A few years ago the building was raised on a good stone foundation, and still gives excellent accommodations for worship; so that the property is well worth looking after.
During this period, the Oregon City church lost by death two of its most valued workers, Mrs. Eliza S. Johnson, widow of Rev. Hezekiah Johnson, and Deacon L. D. C. Latourette, one of the earliest members, always ready, at every call of the church, in all its darkest hours he could be surely relied upon. He was wise and prudent in counsel, careful and correct in execution and faithful and true in his adherence. Honorable and upright, devoted and consecrated, his loss was deeply felt by all. The French Prairie church mourned the death of Rev. James Magers, who had helped to carry the church through many a hard struggle. At times he was its pastor and baptized several into its fellowship, but the most of his preaching was as a temporary supply, or preaching in destitute places as he had opportunity. He was universally respected, and died regretted. The Shiloh church also lost two old standbys; Brother Jacob Foreman, one always ready to help. He was one of its first members. Slow, deliberate, but sure. He died from a cancer on the lip. The other brother was Deacon R. R. Eubanks, of whom a sketch is given in another place.
The First Baptist church of Corvallis had become extinct, but our early Baptists were not willing to give up the struggle, and in December, 1876, Rev. A. J. Hunsaker gathered up what Baptists he could find and organized a second church of 19 members. But being unable to support a pastor, and no help could be obtained outside, the church could only hold meetings on Sunday. Its business meetings were very irregular. In April, 1878, Rev. J. I. Taylor, lately from Virginia, settled near Corvallis, and preached for the church a year or two. He also preached in the destitute sections within his reach, but his age, poor health and the cares of his family, interfered much with his preaching. Rev. J. C. Baker gave them some hymn books, and Sister Linda Goldson established a flourishing Sunday school. Rev. T. W. Spanswick, a traveling evangelist, held a meeting with the church with eight accessions. In February, 1880, Sister Goldson wrote that the church was very much discouraged, and wished to unite with the North Palestine church in calling an under-shepherd, and was laboring for that end. Rev. A. J. Hunsaker, the general missionary at that time, says the brethren were willing to contribute beyond their means for that purpose, and that a good, active, energetic man, willing to work, could arouse a good interest and obtain a support. In March, 1880, Rev. F. P. Davidson, a talented young minister from Missouri, came in and was chosen pastor for both churches. He at once commenced to agitate the question of building a meeting house. He was young and single and agreed to preach and labor for the church for his board and clothes, and allow all other contributions to go towards the meeting house. So in August, trustees were chosen and the work fairly inaugurated. In October, Brother Davidson published a most stirring appeal for help. He had secured $670 in cash and subscriptions, but the church had strained itself to the utmost, and if it succeeded help must come from abroad. The A. B. H. M. Society helped to sustain Brother Davidson for six months from November, 1880. He worked faithfully and well; some of the surrounding churches assisting, and $757 was received. And as his labor was arduous, he took a lamb from his flock to assist him. Brother Davidson wrote:
"We are making a strenuous effort to build a house of worship, but unless the brethren of this state help, it cannot be done. We cannot hope to attain great things unless we have a house. With $500 more we can build it. Can we, as Baptists, afford to give up this important point when such a small sum will save it? Can brethren sacrifice one of the strongest points in Oregon for $500?"
But his appeal was in vain. Some expectations were not realized, and this threw a damper on the enterprise. The North Palestine church raised $42 more, but this was the last. Finally, early in 1881, Brother Davidson resigned the pastorate of both churches, much to their grief and astonishment, for he was well beloved by all. Rev. D. A. Lynch succeeded Brother Davidson at North Palestine, but his other duties did not allow him to serve Corvallis. A few months later, Rev. G. W. Black arrived from Missouri, and there being a fair prospect of his supplying the two churches, Brother Lynch resigned at North Palestine, and Brother Black took the field by the voice of both churches under an appointment from the A. B. H. M. Society. He labored hard to secure the money to finish the meeting house at Corvallis, but not succeeding as well as he expected, he resigned his pastorate in July, 1882, and the building enterprise was entirely abandoned. In December, 1882, Deacon W. H. Elliott died, and as he was one of the main pillars of the church, it never recovered from the loss. It had no pastor after Brother Black left, and was last represented in the Association (by letter only) in 1884. Every member, except a sister or two, either died or moved away from Corvallis, and it was practically extinct. The trustees had bought a lot, 75 x 100 feet, in a desirable part of the city for $288.50, and laid a brick foundation for the house at a cost of $64. They also held a note for $27.50 for money collected. Brother Black returned $40 to the contributors. There was $29.80 on hand. These items taken from the treasurer's book, are given to satisfy numerous inquiries as to what has become of the money contributed. They include only cash collections, not unpaid pledges. Brother Black's account is, collected, $883.60; subscribed, $458; paid for lots, $290; paid for laying foundation, $54; cash on hand, $137.60; subscriptions on hand for building house, $458. The lots were held for the use of a regular Baptist church in Corvallis. In January, 1883, the trustees were authorized to sell the property, but as the matter was optional with them, they thought it advisable not to sell. Up to 1886 no effort was made to revive the Baptist cause in Corvallis, as too much sacrifice and hard work were required to make it a success--more than could be secured at that time.
In 1877, Rev. E. Russ was chosen pastor of the Forest Grove church and matters began to brighten up a little. Brother Russ is just the man to put life into almost anything. It complained of being poor and scattered; yet it paid Brother Russ $100 a year for preaching once a month, and contributed regularly for all the Baptist interests, with a membership of 14, and only about half of these near enough to be available. But it said, "if we could have help from the mission board, we could occupy the most important points in the county; but without help we fear this cannot be accomplished." It is a fact that few of the churches on the entire northwest coast are as willing to do as this feeble church. It was few. It was poor. The most of the members had a hard struggle to supply their family needs, but they were all workers. That tells the story. True, Brother Chandler, and after his paralytic stroke, Sister Chandler was a thorough systemizer, and both were able leaders and directors; and the result of their labor was, that the church slowly grew and their hopes brightened. In February, 1880, Brother Russ resigned, but Rev. J. T. Huff had moved to Forest Grove, and filled his place. The church not only paid his salary, ($100) but raised over $ 3 per member for mission work, and had a small beginning towards a Chinese mission school with four regular attendants. It had regular solicitors for funds to carry on its work, and was still holding the fort, and doing all it could. Says Mrs. Chandler:
"Our little church here in accordance with the Willamette Association, and the Convention at Eugene, had requested Brothel Russ to preach on the subject of mission work on the second Sabbath in December, (which is the only Sabbath we have any service of our own) and take up a collection; but before that time came, Brother Russ was shut up at his own home with a case of smallpox in the house. We were greatly disappointed, and hardly knew what to do. Brother Huff was away, and no Baptist minister could be had, and indeed none of any other denomination to conduct the services for us. But we obtained for the morning, Captain Wilkinson, who gave us some earnest talk, though not directly on the subject we had hoped to have before us. I feared, as did others, that our collection would be a failure, but to our joyful surprise, our collection in the morning was $25, and in the evening, (services conducted by a lay brother, and it was very stormy,) the collection was $4. You may not be aware that our church is small, only 21 names on the roll, and of these, about one-third live at such a distance that they are seldom with us."
In 1881, Brother Huff resigned, but they say, "We are few in numbers, and weak in resources, yet we are trying to keep the light shining. We are interested in all the great work given us; would be glad to help sustain a man in our county." And in 1882, they say: "Although we are not increasing in numbers, we are 'holding the fort' and are as desirous as ever for the advancement of the Lord's Kingdom. Our needs for help are as pressing as ever. We have contributed $74 the past year for mission work." Rev. E. Russ succeeded Brother Huff until May, 1883, when he was followed by Rev. C. W. Rees. Early in 1884, the church obtained $400 from the mission board for Brother Rees to labor in the county. This gave new life and courage to the feeble band, and called forth increased activities. In August, 1885, Brother Rees resigned and the church was without a pastor until November, 1886, when Brother W. H. Black, a licentiate, was called, at about $75 a year, and soon after ordained. He was young, zealous and earnest and the church prospered. He had several preaching points in the vicinity, and was very active, with the full confidence of the community. He had been baptized into the Carlton church in 1871, and licensed by the Mount Olivet church in 1884, and was now doing a good work.
In 1884, the Eugene church lost a valuable member in the death of Rev. Sterling Hill. He was of a family of active, wide awake Baptists, and was mourned by his family, his church, the community and the denomination. In the spring of 1886, Rev. A. P. Graves held a meeting with the church, at which a large number of converts were reported, and thirty-eight were received into the church. A prominent member of the church wrote: "Our pastor is having great and increasing influence on the young people, particularly the students. I am sure he is doing permanent work, for he is building on the Rock, Christ Jesus."
The Table Rock church sustained a mission station for awhile, but the church was feeble, and the death of one of its active members, Brother W. H. Merriman, was a severe blow on its activity. The lapsing of Rev. S. S. Martin into Swedenborgianism was a severe shock, that for a little time interrupted some of the work in some localities of Southern Oregon.
In the Pleasant Butte (Brownsville) church the subject of missions was considerably agitated in 1877. In December, Brother Hunsaker wrote to the Baptist Beacon, "Our meetings are so interesting I have concluded to remain a few days and work for Jesus. We cannot accommodate the people for want of room." The church was alive and awake. But in the winter of 1881, the church met a heavy loss in the death of Sister Cynthia Cochran, who had been an active, influential member from its organization in 1853. Her first husband was Rev. William Sperry, the first pastor of the church.
The Pilgrim's Home church had died, but Rev. J. C. Richardson went back and held a protracted meeting in the neighborhood, at which there was a large awakening. Christians were revived, and Christ was honored in the conversion of souls. Hence, he reorganized the church with seven members, on December 8, 1878. A Sunday school was organized, and Brother E. E. Selph was licensed. and recommended as a ministerial student at McMinnville College. A correspondent of the Baptist Beacon said that his first public effort had two good features. "He offered no apology at the beginning, and when he got through he quit." But in December Brother Richardson resigned, and having no pastor, the church dwindled until all but one had moved away.
In 1879 Rev. G. J. Burchett accompanied Brother Hunsaker to one of his appointments at Union church, and urged the claims of McMinnville college so strongly that he secured $2000 in pledges for that Institution; one brother giving $1000 on the endowment fund, and a good sister giving $100 towards endowing a theological chair.
In the fall of 1877 the First Baptist church of Albany called Rev. W. J. Crawford, a young graduate of Shurtleff college. Upper Alton, Illinois, to the pastorate, but he did not arrive until December, 1878. His salary at first was $800, but in 1880 he made considerable reduction. Yet he did good work. He resigned in 1881. The mission work, the Sunday School, and the church work were well organized and efficient. There had been quite a number of additions by experience and baptism. The church had no pastor from 1881 to 1884, though Rev. G. W. Black supplied it at irregular intervals. The winter of 1882 was so severe that the foundation of the meeting house was cracked so as to endanger the building, and it was lowered at a cost of $150. Also, in 1881, in consequence of a complication of circumstances, a crisis arose in the church of so serious a character that it threatened its very existence. It was unable to support a pastor without aid; there was a lack of harmony among its membership; the general missionary hesitated about recommending asking aid; and the A. B. H. M. Society was not inclined to grant aid without his endorsement. Rumor said there was even private talk among some of the prominent members of selling the church property. The general missionary hesitated about recommending aid unless the work was placed upon a basis that would guarantee its permanency, and recommended to the State Board to appeal to the H. M. Society to take hold of the Albany work both in supporting a pastor, and also in completing the house, which action was so taken. The Board certified to the Society that it was of no use to spend money there, unless it was with the view of carrying the church until it could walk alone, and through this earnest appeal, the Society was induced to take hold of the work, and Rev. T. G. Brownson was called as pastor, and on the recommendation of the Oregon Board, commissioned at a salary of $1000; the church paying $300, and the Society, $700. The church was largely aided, and the danger averted, through the active efforts of three Baptists not members of the Albany church. Brother John Conner and his family, though members of the First Baptist church of Portland, were its friends, living in Albany. Brother Conner had given $500 towards the building, and his wife had mostly seated it, and gave it a nice Communion set, and from one or both it had received many handsome donations. In fact, for a time, they contributed nearly half its support. And Brother H. F. Merrill, a nephew of Brother Conner, well acquainted personally in. New York City, wrote to Brethren William Phelps, J. F. Elder, D. D., H. G. Weston, D. D., and others, appealing for help, and finally Brethren Conner and Merrill guaranteed that the quota of the church should be met, and this aid was secured from the Society, and in July 1883, Rev. T. G. Brownson, of Three Rivers, Michigan, was called, and reached Albany in March, 1884. Of the three pastors about this time, Brother Crawford's work was preparatory, Brother Brownson's the unification of parties, and Brother Trumbull's the development of the talent of the church; and neither could so well have performed the work of the other. The new house was dedicated April 27, 1884. Early in 1886 nearly one-third of the resident members removed, which crippled the church very much. In May it rescinded its rule against receiving the immersions of other denominations as valid baptism. Brother Brownson was pastor in 1886, and the outlook was encouraging.
In January, 1877, Rev. A. J. Hunsaker was chosen pastor of the McMinnville church, and aid was asked of the A. B. H. M. Society for one half his salary, so as to secure his entire time. But it was not obtained. The church was seriously considering the question of sustaining preaching every Sabbath, and in 1878 Rev. Burchett was asked to preach for it once a month. In the fall it was quite active in trying to extend the circulation of the Baptist Beacon, which Rev. J. C. Baker had just commenced to publish. In March, 1879, the Sunday School commenced taking monthly collections for Rev, W. E. M. James, the Sunday School missionary of the Convention; and a monthly concert of prayer for missions was established. The church reported a regular attendance at all its stated meetings. and a steady growth in spiritual life. The sisters had their mission Circle, and the children their band of "Cheerful Workers," and all were active, zealous, and earnest. In the fall of 1879 the church lost a valuable worker in the death of Sister Mary Reed, who had been a Baptist and a devoted Christian for nearly 60 years. and was ready to testify her love for God, and to praise Him for His tender mercy until He called her home.
McMinnville church was a wide awake church. In 1880 much interest was manifested. and Rev. G. J. Burchett protracted the meetings and Mrs. Henry Warren thus speaks of him:
"Besides the time devoted to the school, (Brother Burchett was then the college president), he preaches wonderful sermons, conducts prayer meetings, and does other Christian work with faithfulness not to be surpassed. Four students have been converted, and six are asking for prayers."
And in April she said:
"Not having observed the week of prayer at the usual time, our church appointed one week in February to hold prayer meeting. New laborers were developed and came up nobly to the work, doing all for the glory of God. The interest grew from night to night, and sometimes our chapel could not seat all who came. The meetings were continued three weeks, during which time there were 17 conversions and 13 baptisms. Many others requested prayers, and there is still a good interest, although we are holding only our usual services. One peculiar feature of this meeting was that there was no preaching except on Sunday; only a simple, unpretending, home-like prayer meeting; but the Savior was with us; the Divine Spirit smiled upon us; and God added His blessing. Nearly all the conversions were among the students; one husband and wife gave their hearts to the Lord Jesus and were baptized together; 19 additions were made to the church. And although this effort has closed, we feel that the work will go on, and on, and many souls will come to the Savior as the result of the late labor. Our pastor labored earnestly and prayerfully, and has been a power in the Divine hands in leading sinners to the cross of Christ."
On the evening of the fourth Sabbath in May the Children's Mission Band gave a concert and collected $8 for missions. The church gave one Sabbath in each month to mission work, taking collections quarterly for home or foreign work as the church directed. These meetings were well attended, and the interest increasing. Meanwhile. Brother Hunsaker had resigned the pastorate to go into the general missionary work of the Convention. The church then extended a call to Rev. G. J. Burchett, who promised all the time he could spare from his other labors, at a small compensation. Collections were still taken for Brother James. The different Societies and Bands held very interesting meetings every month. They were zealous and active and evidently accomplishing much good. Brother Burchett continued to preach until early in 1881, when he went to the Eastern States in the interests of McMinnville college. After this, preaching was irregular, though Revs. E. C. Anderson, E. Russ and A. J. Hunsaker preached for the .church occasionally. Thus it worked along as best it could until September, 1882, when Rev. W. J. Crawford was chosen pastor, being assisted by the A. B. H. M. Society. In November, an arm was extended to Dayton, a village about seven miles distant, and the pastor preached there once a month. At the same time Revs. Hunsaker and Crawford held a protracted meeting there, and several at that place united with the McMinnville church. During Brother Crawford's pastorate, in the summer of 1883, he secured pledges and nearly completed a meeting house at McMinnville, which was dedicated December 2nd, of the same year. (Prior to this time the church had met in the old college chapel). Also the envelope system for collections was adopted. Brother Crawford resigned to accept a professorship in the college. Rev. G. J. Burchett followed him as pastor. In January, 1885, with no aid outside of his church, the pastor commenced a series of meetings lasting six weeks. The Holy Spirit was present. The work was deep and general. A debt of about $600 having hung over the church since its dedication, a good brother, O. B. Skinner, who had already given liberally, now proposed to give $100 of this debt, if the balance could be secured at once. This was done in a few days. As Brother Skinner was a poor man; making the support of himself and a large family by hard labor, this was a most liberal proposition. During the year, an arm of the church was extended to Wheatland, about 10 miles distant, and the meeting at Dayton was also kept up; but in June, 1885, eleven members were dismissed to organize a church at the latter place. In September, 1885, the church sustained a heavy loss in the death of Hon. Henry Warren. He was a wise counselor, a prudent manager, a ready helper, and truly a pillar in the church. There was probably no member whose loss would have been more severely felt. In February, 1886, revival meetings were conducted by Rev. A. P. Graves, and these meetings were followed up and resulted in thirty-five additions to the church. But many of the students of the college who united, afterwards left for their homes, so that the net gain was not so large as might at first appear. Brother Burchett was pastor in 1886, at $800 a year.
The Carlton church (first called North Yamhill church) almost from its first organization, had two or three missionary stations and its pastor, under the direction of the church, gave half his time to these missions, and other destitute places, reporting the results. In 1877 it agreed to unite with "the Christian denomination" in building a meeting house on the following conditions: (1) It was to be a good common house. (2) The time was to be equally divided; each church having a week at a time, beginning at the middle of the week. (3) That there be six trustees; three from each church: who should control the house. (4) In case of dissatisfaction, the dissatisfied shall put a price on the property, and the other church shall give or take the price, the party paying the price taking the property. (5) The agreement to be legally drawn up and recorded in the county clerk's office, at Lafayette, Yamhill county, Oregon. This agreement proved satisfactory until both churches were able to build, when the Baptists bought out the other.
In 1879 Brother McCutcheon was licensed, and soon after called to the pastorate, though not ordained until January 15, 1881. During the year before Rev. A. J. Hunsaker had infused much zeal and activity into the membership, and helped to establish system into the efforts of the church so that more effective work could be accomplished, until at last nearly all the members became active and zealous in the Vineyard of the Lord. In January, 1880, the church lost one of its best workers in the death of Miss Martha Cooper; a young girl about eighteen years of age. She professed religion in 1875. Her conversion was bright, and her life a consecration. Her entire labor was trying to bring her associates to Christ. A dozen or more of her Sunday School class were thus brought into the church. Just before her death she was blessed with a glorious vision of the future joys of the righteous. She was a living monument of the Spirit's work, and a standing rebuke to the infidelity abounding in the vicinity, and her triumphant death for a time completely silenced the voice of infidelity and soul-sleeping in that part of the country. The church and the community could hardly have sustained a greater loss than in the death of that dear Sister. She was a strength to the church, an inspiration to the pastor, and a joy to all.
Rev. C. M. Hill has stated in one of our papers that the Carlton Baptist church was "a model church" and Brother McCutcheon "a model pastor." It may not be out of place therefore, to note some of its peculiarities, if it has any. First, Brother McCutcheon is an ordinary farmer, with a fair common school education, which he has much improved by home study, until he has mastered several of the higher studies. He is a close critic, especially in language and logical studies, and has a fair understanding of the Greek. All obtained at home, with but little aid from teachers. He also has excellent judgment, and sound common sense. He does his own thinking, and when a truth is once established, is not easily wavered. He is very retiring, never crowds himself forward, and is very diffident, and brethren accuse him of much underrating his talents and abilities.
In looking at this church and its field at this time, several items deserve mention. (1) A large portion of the membership was composed of people of different nationalities, and Brother McCutcheon was a full American. All could speak and understand the English language, but Brother McCutcheon had to harmonize and unite their different ideas brought from "the old country." (2) The field extended from Lafayette to Tillamook Bay; about 75 miles, and about 20 miles in width, all heavily settled, except a few miles over the coast mountains; and with no Baptist preaching. And all this the Carlton church was trying to cultivate without asking help. (3) The church had two young members preparing for the ministry, and was all the time calling out the talent of the church for more, and these were all put to work at these mission stations as far as possible. (4) Other denominations were making some efforts, and the public sympathies were decidedly against the Baptists all over the field. Infidelity, soul-sleeping and adventism were rampant. (5) Except in the Union Sunday School, (and that was only in name), the attitude of the church was uncompromising. No unionism nor affiliation in any way, no encouragement to traveling, unknown evangelists. It investigated everything before endorsing it, and was missionary to the core, encouraging every benevolent enterprise, even borrowing money to do this; at the same time giving no money to festivals, sociables, church fairs, or other questionable devices for raising funds for church work. It had asked no aid outside of the church, nor, until this time had it received any from abroad. Nearly all were farmers in moderate circumstances, and there were few of them; nearly one-half non-resident: but nearly all the resident members were active, earnest workers, and Brother McCutcheon is one of the best executive leaders that the denomination has in Oregon. In June, 1880, the members agreed to pay ten cents each per month into the treasury, and declared it to be the indispensable duty of the church to support the ministry. In January, 1882, the church directed that all money for the benefit of the church should go into the general fund under the control of the deacons, and be drawn out only on the order of the church, and used according to its directions, unless otherwise ordered by contributors. It also asked and secured help from the Mission Board, so as to have Brother McCutcheon give his entire time to the work; his appointment dating in January, 1882. He was to preach for the church and also at its mission stations. In a letter to the Baptist Beacon he says his field is hard to cultivate, and he gets discouraged because he cannot see the cause prosper as he would like. Still he thinks there is a little gain. The mission band of the church was in a flourishing condition, and the talents of the young members were being developed and brought out. In November the church called Brother McCutcheon for one-half his time, but he would not accept for a part of his time, and in December it called him for all his time, and directed that half his time be given to the out-stations; one at North Yamhill, about three and a half miles distant, and another at Chehalem valley, about ten miles distant. In 1884, the church says that its mission band, Sunday School, and weekly prayer meetings were all prosperous, but that it had not made the progress during the year that it desired, partly from a lack of spirituality among its members, and partly from the difficulties of the field, arising from infidelity, and a kind of don't care, or do-nothingism. Anti-mission, and seventh-day adventism had also hindered the work somewhat. It was however in full sympathy with every benevolent work. Brother McCutcheon's work still continued through 1886. In February the meeting was protracted with thirteen additions, and a general reviving of the church. In February, 1886, Rev. A. J. Hunsaker assisted in a protracted meeting in Chehalem valley with seventeen additions, and the work becoming too heavy for Brother McCutcheon, an advisory committee of seven was appointed to assist him. In October twenty-three letters were given to organize a church in Chehalem valley, and assistance sent, with a promise of further assistance if necessary.
Rev. G. W. Warmouth kept three or four little feeble churches alive in the southern part of Linn county, which are now healthy, thriving churches. One of these is Halsey, and Prairie precinct was until removals broke it up. He was also often a great help to Pleasant Butte (now Brownsville). But his age and many infirmities often interfered with his preaching. He died January 19, 1886. He was a wise and safe counselor, and stood very high, both in the church and the general community. The churches in Southern Oregon, especially in the Rogue river valley, had to get along as best they could. None of them were able to sustain a pastor, and there were but two or three preachers, and they mostly traveled as itinerants, where there was the greatest call; though they usually tried to take one or two churches in their round.
Being all poor men, they had to give some of their time to secular labor for the support of their families. Sometimes they would, get a little aid from the A. B. H. M. Society, but this only gave them a little more time to preach the Word. The harvest was ripe, but where was the loudest call, was often a serious question.
The Indian troubles in Eastern Oregon in 1877-8 seriously disturbed the church at Pilot Rock. Some houses were burnt about eight or ten miles distant. The brethren were unsettled about remaining, and everything was uncertain, But at length, the Indians being subdued, matters became quiet, and confidence was again restored. Prospects grew brighter and the church resumed its work. The Sunday school was revived, and the outlook was encouraging. Rev. W. H. Pruett was pastor, but his increasing labors compelled him to resign in 1878. Rev. D. P. Brooks succeeded him and was pastor for three years. In 1879, Brother J. L. Wilson was licensed, and in 1880 was ordained, but he soon moved away. Then for two years the church had no pastor, and dwindled. Rev. C. B. Bristow tried to revive it again, but owing to deaths and removals it died, and was not represented again after 1885. The church was often called the Pilot Rock church, but its name was Pioneer.
The Stayton church was dormant until 1880, when it began to show some activity in mission work. In March, Rev. A. J. Hunsaker assisted in a protracted meeting with ten additions. The church was revived, the community awakened and the brethren encouraged. In 1885, Brother J. D. Darby was licensed. In 1886, Rev. D. A. Lynch assisted in a protracted meeting with about a dozen additions, and the health of Rev. William Jeter being very poor, he resigned as pastor and Brother Lynch succeeded him. During the summer the church built a meeting house, which was dedicated free from debt, and with no begging on the day of dedication.
The Prineville church labored under considerable difficulty in carrying on its work. For nine years after its organization it had no pastor. All its preaching was from occasional visits by brethren from abroad. Dr. R. C. Hill visited it in 1879 and held a meeting with eleven additions, but the distance was so great and over high mountains, that the church did not represent in any Association, and no reports appear until 1881. Rev. C. C. Sperry then visited the church and found it in a healthy condition, and the brethren somewhat discouraged from the lack of ministerial help. In 1881 a Union meeting house was built. Rev. F. M. Long visited the church, and was chosen pastor in 1889, and served the church two years. He was the first regular pastor the church had. Rev. T. Clay Neece followed him. In 1884, the church dismissed thirteen members, who lived forty miles distant, that they might organize a church at Bridge Creek, in their vicinity. In the fall, Rev. T. J. Harper assisted Brother Neece in a protracted meeting with seventeen conversions. Rev. G. B. Douglass was pastor in 1886.
In 1878, the place of meeting of the Blue Mountain church was moved to Heppner, and the name changed to the First Baptist church of Heppner. A liberal subscription was secured and trustees chosen, but the Indian outbreak interfered somewhat with their plans. Rev. W. H. Pruett. their pastor, thus describes the situation late in 1878.
"I had not visited the church since the Indian outbreak until last week. from the fact of there still being hostilities in the country towards Camas Prairie and at the headwaters at Willow and Butter Creeks. When I met our brethren there, I found them still holding the fort for our Blessed Master, not discouraged, as I feared they would be. We intend going on and building our house of worship this fall. During the Indian troubles the mill had to suspend business entirely, hence we shall be detained in securing our finishing lumber until late. The trustees thought we could commence on the house by the first of October. We have nearly $1200 subscribed; don't fear any financial embarrassments. Had a good service there on the Sabbath. Left the brethren and sisters much encouraged. Spent yesterday in collecting money for the church here in Pendleton."
Deacon Claiborne Hill says: "We have only six male members, and but two of these have much property, though we get considerable help outside." But there was delay, and the house was not ready for dedication until July 25. 1880, when Revs. W. H. Pruett and A. J. Hunsaker conducted the services. An interesting episode occurred as the church was making its last struggles for means to finish the work. The president and suite of the Northern Pacific Railroad passed through Heppner, and seeing the house without doors or windows, inquired the cause, and was told that the trustees lacked the means to get them; whereupon, three of the company gave $60 for that purpose. Being strangers, and having no special interest in the town, as it was far from their line of survey, this was generous and well worthy of remembrance. With this help the house was completed at once. Rev. C. C. Sperry was pastor then, and served the church about a year when he returned to the Willamette valley, and the church was two years without a pastor. Rev. C. W. Rees was next chosen and stayed a year, being aided by the A. B. H. M. Society. Then again the church was without a pastor until the spring of 1886, when Rev. C. P. Bailey was chosen and served it two years, when he left to take charge of the church at Dayton, Washington.
In the winter of 1877-8. Rev. W. H. Pruett, the pastor of the Pendleton church. together with Revs. S. E. Steams and D. P. Brooks held a protracted meeting--14 conversions and several backsliders reclaimed. The church felt so encouraged that it commenced building a meeting house. August 11. 1878,. Brother D. W. C. Britt was ordained. The Indian troubles interfered with the plans of the church. Pendleton sustained greater damage than any other point in the county, unless it was Pilot Rock. Matters were very gloomy for awhile, but at length the Indians were subdued, business was resumed and the church renewed its efforts to build. In 1878, an unsuccessful effort was made to obtain $500 assistance from the A. B. H. M. Society. The soliciting and collecting were mostly done by Rev. W. H. Pruett, and the house was completed and the first sermon preached in it January 26, 1879, by Rev. J. L. Blitch, D. D. The church owned two lots, each 50x100 feet, and all was enclosed by a neat fence. Brethren Pruett and Blitch held a protracted meeting in the house at once, resulting in 20 conversions. The debt ($600) was a source of trouble, and to assist in paying it, the house was rented for a private school. Yet the church built a snug little parsonage, 18x26 feet, one-and-a-half stories high, and costing $600; completing and paying for it in February, 1881, and then valued the entire property at $4000. Brother Pruett now resigned to take charge of the churches at Weston and Mountain Valley. He had preached occasionally in Pendleton for two years prior to the organization of the church, then occasionally for three years, and then twice a month for two years. In June Rev. J. T. Huff was called to the pastorate, and $200 aid per year secured from the A. B. H. M. Society. He was to preach three Sundays each month at Pendleton, and one Sunday at Pleasant Valley church about a year, and then resigned on account of his wife's health. He was an excellent pastor, and his wife was said to have been better than he. In October, 1881, the church received a donation of $500 from the Church Edifice Fund, which paid the debt. On January 8, 1882, the house was formally dedicated. The sermon was by Rev. D. J. Pierce. After Brother Huff's resignation, the church was awhile without a pastor, but kept up its meetings with more or less regularity until June, 1884, when Brother C. A. Woody was chosen. He was ordained October 3rd by a council of 15 brethren, Rev. S. C. Bahr, Moderator; Rev. W. H. Pruett, Clerk. He soon after received an appointment from the A. B. H. M. Society, which was renewed in 1885. He served the church until June 1886. In the winter of 1885, Rev. A. P . Graves, D. D., held a series of meetings with the church resulting in eight baptisms. Until November, 1885, the church was supplied by Revs. L. L. Shearer and L. S. Livermore, when Brother Livermore was chosen pastor, and was the pastor in 1886.
In July, 1877, the Mount Olivet church commenced taking regular missionary collections. In August it licensed Brother Harswell. In June, 1878, it also licensed Brother J. C. Canterbury. That fall the church commenced to build a meeting house at Sumner, and had it enclosed and a floor laid in it when it was blown down in a storm in the winter of 1878-9. This discouraged the brethren for awhile. Brother Canterbury was ordained June 8, 1879. October 8, 1879, Brother S. W. Beaven was ordained. In 1880, the church built another meeting house. Brother Bailey, who had preached for the church from its beginning for about $50 to $100 a year, now agreed not only to preach for the church for another year for nothing, but also help pay for the meeting house. It must be remembered that he was a poor man with a family dependent upon his daily labor for a support. In the winter of 1879-80, Rev. A. J. Hunsaker visited that section, and he and Brother Bailey held a protracted meeting resulting in several conversions and a general reviving of the church. The next fall it united with the Marshfield church and secured an appointment for Brother Bailey from the A. B. H. M. Society, dating from January, 1881. This was a great help, and the brethren declared they were not discouraged but were trusting in God. In February, 1883, the appointment of Rev. F. P. Davidson at Marshfield released Brother Bailey somewhat, thus enabling him to give more time to the destitute sections. Mount Olivet church united with the Pleasant Hill and Pioneer churches in asking further aid for him in this work, and secured him an appointment in November as general missionary for Coos county. In July, 1884, Brother F. E. Scofield was ordained by the Dora church, and the same year Rev. Joseph Ritter moved into Coos county, thus increasing the preaching force by two earnest, devoted men. This was a great encouragement to Brother Bailey, and a help to the churches. In June, 1885, Brother W. H. Black was licensed. In August, Brother Bailey resigned and moved to Middle Oregon; Rev. F. E. Scofield succeeding him in the pastorate of the Mount Olivet church for the next three years.
Rev. D. A. Lynch was pastor of this church until 1880. In 1877, the church partially completed a meeting house, but being unable to finish, and in danger of losing their property, in 1878 it made an appeal to the Central Association for help, and $34 was secured. Help also came from other sources, and the brethren worked along as means were obtained, but would not run in debt. Though the weather and other causes prevented Brother Lynch from attending every meeting. the church had services every Sabbath, and a Bible class was conducted by one of the members. In the fall of 1879. the house was completed. The brethren say "It is a Baptist house with no 'Union' in it." The church tried to pay its pastor $25 each quarter, but they were all very poor, and it required much sacrifice. Sometimes they fell a little short. The Sunday school was first organized in 1878, and has been kept up since then. Rev. W. E. McCutcheon followed Brother Lynch as pastor and preached for the church three years. In 1882 Brother McCutcheon was aided by the A. B. H. M. Society in his work for Carlton and vicinity, which included Mount Olive church. The church was in full sympathy with every denominational work, and Brother McCutcheon succeeded in reducing matters to a system so that every department of work belonging to the church was provided for. The contributions were usually small but regular. In the fall of 1883, Brother McCutcheon resigned and the church was without a pastor for a year. Then Brother Lynch was again chosen for a year, to be again followed by Brother McCutcheon, In 1886. the church says it feels that the once-a-month system is inadequate to meet the demands of the field, and believes that it should be discontinued. The church sustained a severe loss this year in the death of Sister Nicodemus, one of its most energetic workers.
Rev. Joseph Ritter served the church at Ashland as pastor for three years. In 1878, it had a flourishing Sunday school. and came into the Rogue River Association. It was weak, both numerically and financially, and needed a house of worship. Brother Ritter was forced to give a part of his time to secular pursuits for the support of his family. Rev. A. Brown lived at Ashland, but his poor health prevented him from preaching regularly. December 30, 1881, Rev. A. M. Russell, from Dayton, Washington, arrived at Ashland under appointment of the A. B. H. M. Society. His first work was to secure lots for a meeting house. He was well pleased with the situation. Often denominations were well established and a Baptist meeting house was a necessity. In 1882 he had the lots paid for and was pushing the building enterprise. In 1883, he held a protracted meeting a few miles distant, which resulted in five conversions. He says: "These were the first conversions ever known in the neighborhood, although the settlement was 30 years old; and though thickly settled, only five persons could be found at the beginning of the meeting who would confess Christ." But the public sentiment, which had previously been infidel, now was much changed, and many came over to the side of Christianity.
In this meeting several of the brethren and sisters of Ashland helped him. there are many similar places on the Pacific Coast at the present time. Meanwhile, the church had secured about $700 for a meeting house, which was the limit of their ability, and they appealed to the brethren and churches for help. The A. B. H. M. Society loaned the church $500, which was afterwards made a donation. Finally, funds were obtained, the house was paid for and dedicated February 15, 1885, Rev. J. C. Baker preaching the sermon. To show the labor that it cost, it may be well to state that Brother Russell commenced in January, 1882, with 26 resident members, and 18 of these moved away before the house was finished. There were ten additions, and seven of these moved away. Two or three non-residents had moved in, so that in all, there were I7 resident members in February 1885. All were poor, except two, and these two were in moderate circumstances. Four members were superannuated. Only three had a property income, and two of the three were heavily in debt. Of the absentees, only one contributed to the current expenses of the churches. Perhaps they were not able. Members of other denominations contributed $110. Such were the difficulties. Sister Russell organized a "Ladies' Society," which raised over $300 for the work, besides helping largely to create sentiment in its favor. Deacon Horace Root and his wife, of the Wagner's Creek church, helped nobly. He was a whole-souled Baptist, and showed his faith by his works. The meeting at the dedication was protracted. The church was greatly strengthened. A Sunday school and prayer meeting were provided for and the outlook was more encouraging. The next month the sisters secured $17.50 for a bell. In August, 1886, Brother Russell said the work was steadily increasing. The Sunday school was one of the best in Southern Oregon. Deacon Root, having moved into the town, became the Superintendent. The bell had been secured, and better still, some thorough Baptists had moved in. Brother Russell served the church five years.
In May, 1887, Rev. G. J. Burchett arrived from California, and was chosen pastor of the church at Astoria. He at once went to work to build a meeting house. Brother Marshall Kinney, a whole-souled Baptist, and a worthy son of a noble father, paid $600 for a lot, besides helping munificently otherwise. Miss Georgia Parker, a school teacher, gave $200 besides helping to pay the pastor and other expenses. Such was the liberality and zeal of the brothers and sisters, that on September 23, 1877, they entered their house of worship. But it required hard labor to overcome the obstacles. One difficulty was the instability of the population. Brother Burchett doubled his membership the first year, but not more than a dozen remained. Again, 1877 was one of the most disastrous seasons known to the fishing business, and Brother Kinney, who was financially the main stay of the church, had the most of his means invested in a cannery. But the house was built and paid for, and on May 19, 1878, it was dedicated; just one year from the time that Brother Burchett preached his first sermon in Astoria. The entire cost, $2500, was raised from the church and friends in Astoria. Brother Burchett having tendered his resignation to accept the presidency of McMinnville College, Rev. J. L. Carmichael, a late graduate of William Jewell College, Missouri, was chosen as his successor, but did not accept. The church was represented in the Willamette Association in 1877-8, and in March, 1879, Rev. R. C. White visited the place and found three young converts, the fruit of the Sunday school. He spent a few Sabbaths there, baptizing four. He says, "At the present time there are advantages here which we should not lose. We have a good house of worship, free from debt, and a suitable man would have the ear and command the respect of the people. I trust that God will so order it that a suitable man may be obtained for this important sphere of ministerial labor."
After Brother Burchett left, for several years the church had no settled pastor, and was not represented in the Association. It kept up its Sunday school and prayer meeting for about a year, and was occasionally visited by passing brethren. Rev. Winfield Scott, chaplain at Fort Canby, preached for it as his duties permitted. In 1885, Rev. B. S. McLafferty was called to the pastorate and served the church about eight months. From March, 1884, to June 1, 1887, it had no pastor.
Soon after its organization, the Fair Oaks church established a Sunday school and two prayer meetings a week, and appointed a solicitor for missions. Sometimes the church had a pastor; sometimes not, but its Sunday school and mission work was kept up all the time. It had a few good revivals; one with thirteen additions; another with twenty-eight additions; twenty-five baptisms. In 1882 it built a meeting house. Rev. J. C. Richardson was pastor in 1886. The Mountain Valley church was very poor, but it built a meeting house at once, and for about six years paid Rev. W. H. Pruett about $50 a year for preaching, until Rev. Henry March, from St. Johns, N. B., came and settled near them, and Brother Pruett turned the church over to him, and it prospered under his ministry until he died in September, 1891.
Pioneer church (2) was first called Bear Creek. The location was moved about six miles and the name changed also. At the organization it licensed one of its members, Thomas Bradford. Rev. S. S. Martin visited it and helped it very much. It sent out solicitors for mission work. Its Sunday school was prosperous. It soon licensed more of its members, established a mission station or two, and set its licentiates at work. Having a revival with seventeen additions, the church felt able to build a meeting house, and it did. In 1882, it dismissed several members to organize at Fishtrap, some six or seven miles away, but this was not a success, though Rev. F. E. Scofield preached for it a year or two, and Revs. C. P. Bailey and J. C. Canterbury preached for it awhile, keeping it up for four or five years, but the members were careless, neglecting to look after absentees, and it died out. Deacon W. L. Hayter worked very hard for it but in vain. His anxiety can be appreciated when it is stated that he had lived thirteen years on the Coquille before he heard a Baptist sermon. He made strong efforts for the Baptist cause in that section. In 1883, the Pioneer church raised $1 per member for local missions, and united with the other churches in asking aid from the H. M. Board to the extent of $300 for Rev. C. P. Bailey as missionary for Coos county, the church pledging $112.50. Brother Bailey had served them faithfully, often traveling through severe storms, over mountain trails or climbing deep canyons, crossing dangerous streams and perilous places to be at his appointments. In this way he had built them up in the Spirit and in the truth. In this work he had an efficient helper in Deacon K. D. Gorham, who was ever ready to help, even beyond his means. Rev. Joseph Ritter followed Brother Bailey. He was a most worthy successor; a veteran of experience and deep piety , who had for forty years held aloft the standard of the Cross and proclaimed to dying men a Savior's love. Rev. F. E. Scofield was the pastor in 1886.
In March 1879, Revs. W. H. Pruett and D. P. Brooks organized a church with seven members near Helix, in Umatilla county, calling it Pleasant Valley Baptist church. Brother Pruett also secured two lots in Helix, had trustees appointed, and raised a subscription of between $400 and $500 for a meeting house. Poor health prevented his visiting the church regularly. Several members moved away. The church became discouraged, and disbanded to allow such as desired to unite with the church at Centerville (now Athena). [NOTE: A flourishing Baptist church with a fine house has since been built at Helix.] Had Brother Pruett's health allowed, he would have built the meeting house, and created a Baptist interest there. The church came into the Mount Pleasant Association in 1879.
By referring to the history of the First Baptist church of Portland, it will be seen that in the fall of 1872, that church established a mission Sunday school in East Portland, and, with various changes kept it up until on the petition of several brethren and sisters of East Portland, letters of dismission were granted, and the First Baptist church of East Portland was organized. Rev. R. C. White was chosen pastor, but he stayed only a few months. The church made an unsuccessful application to the A. B. H. M. Society for aid. In May, 1880, Rev. S. C. Price accepted the pastorate, and the Willamette Association assisted the church $100 from the Failing Fund. It came into the Association in June, and in September, 1880, Rev. Price received an appointment from the A. B. H. M. Society. A series of preambles and resolutions relative to its benevolent work were adopted, and it agreed to take four annual collections for the same. Efforts to build a meeting house were commenced at the first, but the work was hindered, and it was not until May, 1881, that the house was dedicated. Cash and pledges were secured at the time sufficient to free the house from debt, and Rev. Price reported the prospects encouraging. The congregations had doubled, and all were hopeful. In December the church voted to give one evening in each month to prayer for missions. In June, 1882, Rev. Price resigned and was succeeded by Rev. J. G. Burchett. A basis of action was agreed upon, in which, after expressing its belief in certain fundamental principles of cooperation between church and pastor, the church among several other things, declared that
"1. The church in its every member is bound by ties of redemptive love to support the pastor in his ministerial labors.
"2. It is the duty of every member of the church to be present at every meeting of the church, unless providentially hindered. That the church is as truly called to listen to the preaching and obey the truth as the minister is to preach; and that the practice of gadding about from one denomination to another for self-gratification is highly demoralizing."
In September Rev. Burchett had a call to the pastorate at McMinnville, but East Portland would not release him. Yet in October, the church accepted his resignation, and he moved to McMinnville as pastor of that church, and also assumed the editorship of the Baptist Beacon. From January, 1888,
Rev. A. J. Hunsaker, as general missionary, filled the pulpit a few months. At this time the envelope system for collections was adopted. April 17, 1884. Rev. C. H. Hobart accepted the pastorate, and in 1885, general prosperity prevailed. The attendance was increasing, and the church was having accessions at nearly every meeting. Early in the year Rev. Hobart reports some very interesting revival meetings both at East Portland and Mount Tabor. In twelve weeks 76 members were received at East Portland and the church was joyful in consequence. In June it became self-sustaining and returned a vote of thanks to the A. B. H. M. Society for previous help. In 1886, Rev. Hobart resigned and moved to California.
Rev. S. W. Beaven had previously preached some in the neighborhood of Marshfield, but Brother Bailey did the first baptizing in Coos Bay. In the protracted meeting held here, Brother S. S. Martin assisted Brother Bailey and says of him: "He was one of the best workers ever in Coos County. The mud was never so deep, nor the waters so high as to stop him. He never failed to come." During the summer of 1880 Brother Bailey reports a live prayer meeting, a prosperous Sunday School, and encouraging prospects for an ingathering of souls. In February, 1881, he received a commission from the A. B. H. M. Society. In the spring of 1882 Rev. F. P. Davidson visited Marshfield and assisted Brother Bailey in a revival meeting resulting in several conversions and a general awakening. They also secured two lots and some pledges for a meeting house. In February Brother Davidson returned to Marshfield with a commission from the A. B. H. M. Society, but stayed only until fall, and in December was succeeded by Rev. G. W. Black; also under appointment by the Society for Marshfield and vicinity. He took up the work of the meeting house with such zeal and determination, that the house was built and dedicated August 17, 1884. A new plan of missionary work for Coos County was adopted and prospects were encouraging. Brother Black served the church about a year and a half, when he moved to Gardiner, and Rev. R. J. C. Campbell was the supply for about a year, but with no stipulated compensation. In August, 1885, the church and in fact the entire county, suffered a severe loss in the removal of Rev. C. P. Bailey to Eastern Oregon. There was not a man on the entire field so much needed as he. In March, 1886, Rev. J. C. Canterbury was appointed by the A. B. H. M. Society for Marshfield and vicinity, and served nine months.
Having held a protracted meeting with seventeen baptisms, and others awaiting baptism, Rev. W. G. Miller thought it was proper to organize a Baptist church at Myrtle Creek with twenty members in February, 1881. Rev. J. I. G. Stark was pastor for about five years, when he left. He was too poor to give his entire time to the ministry without aid, and the church was also poor, so that it was hard work for it to live. From removals, deaths, and perhaps other causes, the church dwindled to five members, and appeared to be practically extinct, or at least its prospects were not flattering in 1886.
Feeling the need of some religious influences in the neighborhood, about ten brethren and sisters organized a Baptist Sunday School at Moro, which culminated in 1881 into a church, called Friendship, with eight members, and T. Clay Neece, a young licentiate was chosen pastor, and soon after ordained. In 1883 the church helped organize the Middle Oregon Association. But Brother Neece moved to Prineville, and for two or three years the church had no pastor. Rev. T. J. Harper visited it occasionally. It kept up its Sunday School and its prayer meetings. Its meeting house, partially completed, blew down, and in 1886 it was struggling for life.
Revs. C. P. Bailey and J. C. Canterbury held protracted meetings with several baptisms, and finally organized a Baptist church at Dora, in Coos county, and also licensed Brother F. E. Scofield, who was called to the pastorate, and in 1884 he was ordained. He came to Oregon In 1878 and settled in Coos county. He was a Methodist, but changing his views, was baptized by Brother Bailey in 1881. He was an earnest, devoted man, a good worker, with a fair education, and able to handle his subjects with profit. He was chosen pastor of the church as soon as ordained. A Sunday School was started with Mrs. Scofield as superintendent. The church became very feeble, owing to removals, and in 1888, Brother Scofield moved to Marshfield, under appointment of the A. B. H. M. Society, and it became extinct.
In the Minutes of the Eastern Association of Oregon and California for 1881, it is stated that the First Baptist church of Lakeview was organized with six members, March 18, 1881, and that Rev. L. E. Henderson was pastor. It was not represented after that year until 1885, and the records then state that Rev. W. E. Adams, the missionary of the Eastern Association, came to Lakeview and gathering together the few Baptists that he could find, assisted by Rev. J. D. Bonner and H. M. Henderson, organized the First Baptist church of Lakeview with eight members, January 22, 1885. The church soon commenced building a meeting house, and committees were appointed to look after the Sunday School, the prayer meetings, and the sick. In June it came into the Eastern Association. In 1886 Rev. A. M. Russell visited the church, and speaks highly of the members as Christian workers. He says that he did not visit a Baptist family that was not taking a Baptist newspaper, and that a warmer hearted, more generous and hospitable people never lived. The same year the church established a mission station at High Point, a place on the opposite side of Goose lake, and maintained it until January, 1888, when a Baptist church was organized at that place.
During this period about fifty new churches were organized; but Indian Creek and Peaceful Home consolidated to organize the Baptist church at Elgin. At Meadows, Rev. C. A. Wooddy said there were about twenty Baptists but he could see no way of supplying them. Schuttler's Flat had a revival in 1884 with twenty-four additions, and pledged $101.25 for missions. A prosperous church was building up at Hillsboro, and that church and Forest Grove had got some aid from the H. M. Society. Several churches had built meeting houses. Rev. C. P. Bailey went to Gardiner, at the mouth of the Umpqua river, where no Baptist sermon had ever been preached, nor any denomination had made any special effort, held a meeting, baptized six, reclaimed several backsliders, and organized a church on November 16, 1883. At the same time, he secured lots for a meeting house, started a subscription, and some not Baptists pushed the work with such vigor, that soon $500 was secured. Brother Bailey and Rev. G. W. Black preached for the church until January, 1884, when Brother Black was called to the pastorate, and served the church until September, 1886, preaching also for Elkton, twenty miles up the river. A flourishing Sunday School was established. Rev. W. M. Wells from Carthage, Missouri, was pastor in 1886, and everything was prosperous.
Dayton (Oregon) Baptist church built the first brick meeting house for Baptists in Oregon. It was dedicated November 28, 1886.Owing to the great distance on the one side and the rough mountains on the other side, the churches in Klamath county were not associated in 1886. The pastor at Lost River Gap, Rev. J. B. Griffith was the only Baptist minister within 100 miles, except Rev. Floyd Farrar, and his poor health did not allow him to do much. Yet Brother Griffith said the prospects were encouraging. He was born in Georgia in 1853, converted in 1870, and ordained in Texas in 1879. He came to Oregon in 1884; settled in Klamath, county, organized the church at Lost River Gap soon after his arrival, and has been preaching there ever since. He is earnest, zealous, consecrated; and the only Baptist minister able to labor within 100 miles of his residence. He is poor, and has a family, and cannot give himself entirely to the work, without help from outside of his field, which is hard to secure. The church in Langell's valley, at Haynesville, is the next church organized by Brother Griffith. When Brother J. K. Haynes came to that place in the fall of 1885, and found neither church nor Sunday School, he organized the latter, and began to talk about obtaining a minister to preach to them. A preacher came, and the house was too small for the audience. This was said to have been the first sermon in Langell's valley. People twenty-five and thirty years old were there who had never heard a sermon. He was invited to come again, and the church was the result. But the progress of the church was slow. It could have preaching only once a month; Brother Griffith was the only Baptist minister within reach, and he was pressed by calls on every side. It built a meeting house in 1888. Because of the great distance and expense, they could not meet Association or Conventions. Brother Haynes said. "We have a fair prospect of doing a great and noble work for Christ."
The Prineville church had a mission station on Bridge creek, forty miles away. Revs. C. P. Bailey and T. Clay Neese held a meeting there, baptized thirteen into the Prineville church, and immediately dismissed them (several Prineville brethren were present) to organize at Bridge creek. Rev. Stephen Raey continued the meeting and baptized twelve more, and Brother Bailey still continued it and baptized fifteen, and the church licensed Brother J. M. Mansfield to preach, and all were rejoicing at the prospect in 1886.
Of the later churches organized during this period, that at Grant's Pass was the first Baptist church in Oregon to have a formal Council of Recognition to decide on the regularity of the proceedings, with other formal services. Such a course was never before heard of by the early Baptists of Oregon, and would generally have been disapproved of as unnecessary at least, and as squinting too much towards formalism. The customary procedure was to invite some neighboring ministers to be present to assist; if they came all right; if not, the church organized itself. At the next meeting of the Association, an account of the organization and some of the Articles of Faith adopted was presented, and by a direct vote of the Association the church was received unless there was some special objection, and that was all there was of it. The William's Creek church immediately built a meeting house, and the church was so intensely Landmark, that one condition of its subscription was, that if the church ever became anti-Landmark, its property was to be forfeited and sold, and its proceeds go to the Southern Baptist Convention. Yet it got its subscription, built the house, the prospects were encouraging, and the church prospered under the pastorate of Rev. Andrew Brown.
At a protracted meeting held by Rev. W. E. McCutcheon and A. J. Hunsaker at Chehalem valley, a mission station of the Carlton church, at which seventeen members were baptized, these with six more, dismissed from Carlton, were organized as the Chehalem Valley Baptist church. Rev. W. E. McCutcheon was pastor. The prospects were all hopeful. Resolutions were adopted, agreeing to support preaching according to their ability; each member to contribute statedly for the leading objects of Christian benevolence; to encourage education and Bible study; against intoxicating beverages; attending theaters and similar places as detrimental to personal piety and pernicious in its influence on others; and to discourage dancing, revelry and card playing, as harmful to godliness, and their association and tendencies are an offense to brethren whom we should not willingly grieve.
I A. CHINESE MISSION WORKI. BAPTIST CHINESE MISSION OF PORTLAND. 1874 (See The Third Period, 1 A. The Chinese Work)
Whatever may be said as to missions, either at home or abroad, the duty of Christians toward those immediately about them is unmistakable. God has sent the Chinese here and their conversion should be a matter of serious consideration. In the winning of souls neither race nor nationality are distinctive elements. The birth and early training are inseparable accidents; the capacity for conversion and becoming earnest Christians is a demonstrable fact among the Chinese. They are here, a great field of labor is open, and Christians are responsible to God for this field. It opens one of the finest avenues for Christian labor in the world. Rev. J. Q. A. Henry, in an eloquent appeal urging these principles, says:
"To one coming from a distance, the sight of a heathen community with all of its disgusting features, in the very heart of this otherwise lovely city, if an object of wonder and surprise calling for the deepest pity. Walking up certain thoroughfares, one is actually transferred to the streets of Hong Kong or Swatow. Right before your eyes are Gods made of wood and stone which your fellow mortals fall down and worship. 'Am I my brother's keeper?' you ask. Certainly you are. 'Where is thy brother?' Church members may puzzle themselves whether Chinamen have souls, but Christians will accept the fact as settled, and labor for their conversion. Deepest regret will some day fill the souls of many for their slowness in improving the precious opportunity, once given, for gathering gems for the Kingdom. And the reason why we should be alive to our grand opportunities, is, because of the invaluable assistance they can give to the work of Foreign missions. For years we have sent men and money to China to convert the heathen there. The work has ever been subject to numerous drawbacks, but the severest of these has doubtless been the almost insurmountable obstacles encountered in learning the language, and becoming accustomed to that peculiar people. Hence the work has moved slowly. The missionary world now clearly recognizes that if the heathen are to be brought to Christ, the main part of the work of evangelization must be done by native helpers. Which is easier then, to send men and means yearly in the face of obstacles to do the work in an unknown world, or to labor for the conversion of heathen who come in our midst, and send them back as heralds of salvation? Perhaps at no distant day we will recognize the Divine purpose in bringing these people to our shores."
These thoughts and extracts are offered as a partial justification of the time, labor and expense attendant upon the Portland Chinese mission. Rev. G. S. Abbott, D. D., Editor of the Herald of Truth, Oakland, California, also confirms these facts.
"I have had the pleasure of baptizing many Chinamen, and I am prepared to say that for constancy and steadfastness of Christian life, and average piety, every one of the Chinamen converted in Oakland, and baptized by me, bears a most favorable comparison with respect to these qualities with any other conversions on the Pacific coast with which I am acquainted."
And Mrs. Bradway, of Oakland, California, after five years labor among the Chinese, says:
"I have never known more faithful, earnest, working Christians than the Chinese brethren."
The quarterly report of the Superintendent, dated February 24, 1877, gives an average attendance of 43, with 9 regular teachers, and some temporary assistance from others. During the week of prayer a great deal of interest was evinced by the pupils, and five desired to unite with the church. There were others anxious to join, but the missionary, Dong Gong, did not believe in urging them until he was positive that the change was genuine. The signs of hope for the permanent success of the mission continued to increase very rapidly. The attendance was equal to the capacity, and suggestions were being considered with reference to enlarging the room. Recitations by classes had been introduced to some extent, and was working well by securing more thorough study, superior drill, and stimulating more enthusiasm in the pupils, The pupils were also assisting in the expense of adding comforts and conveniences to the school. Much of this was ascribed to the lively interest taken by the young lady teachers, some of whom were making great sacrifices to attend regularly upon their classes. The pupils had also sent $60 to assist a Chinese mission near Canton, China. In January, 1878, the A. B. H. M. Society gave $250 to aid this work, and continued this aid for several years; but for a time, Brother Dong Gong was to give one half his time to the Chinese in Washington. Yet all was not smooth sailing. Many of the Chinese were opposed to the movement, and much persecution was practiced towards those who became converts. Brother Cheng St. Ying was brutally murdered. Rev. Dong Gong was assaulted on the street by four of his countrymen, and only escaped by his activity and spirited resistance. He was hated for his having embraced Christianity, and for his opposition to their system of slavery toward their women. He was also an interpreter in a case where a Chinese girl had been stolen from her husband; but she was recovered and restored. All this only intensified their animosity.
The Annual Report for 1878 said that when the opposition from without was considered, the prosperity for the year was beyond expectation. The lives of those attending had for months been threatened, at one time making the continued existence of the mission doubtful, but those who loved the Lord Jesus were bound in closer union, and were laboring more earnestly in behalf of their benighted fellow men. The average attendance had been above that of former years, notwithstanding a serious secession, about the close of the last year, caused by the high Christian ground taken in relation to the treatment of Chinese women. In all the work, everything was made subservient to the teaching of Christian truth, thereby upbuilding the converts in a noble and outspoken manhood. During the summer preaching was conducted by Rev. Dong Gong and the Christian brethren. The numbers attending were large, respectful, and attentive. By this means a large class was reached, and furnished with subjects for thought and conversation. One result of these street meetings was to educate an intelligent and powerful minority of the heathen Chinese, and to bring them into sympathy with the Christians. Singing Christian songs was found to be one of the best ways of teaching Christian truth. Much time was given to this part of the work, which was ably conducted by Miss L. A. Mitchell and Miss Kate Kingsley. The Sunday School was doing a grand work, and the prayer meetings were well attended. The regular Sabbath services by Rev. Dong Gong took a deeper hold on the Chinese people than formerly. At the evening service the house was generally full; strange faces often seen; the best attention given; and all seemed loth to depart at the close. Baptisms during the year, one; deaths. two.
The aim of those in charge was, generally, to teach the pupils the duty of voluntary giving to sustain Christian work. The success of this training can best be seen in the statistical tables. Besides giving liberally at the ordinary church collections, they also paid nearly all the expenses of the sickness and funeral of the two who died. All this, be it remembered, was from those who three years before would not have given a dime in aid of any Christian work whatever. The different departments of work were so linked together that it was almost impossible to separate them. Under God's blessing, the credit is due to the untiring, self-denying missionary, Rev. Dong Gong, to Dr. Barber and his self-sacrificing band of teachers in the Bible school, and to the Chinese Christian brethren. There had been some additions to the teachers, and some changes. They now numbered eleven. The expenses of the church for the mission during the year were about $750.
In June, 1879, the church reported five baptisms from the mission for the year. The same year it built a chapel for the mission, costing $1200, which was dedicated September 15, 1879. A Chinese brother, Jeung Gwoon Jeu, thus writes of this matter:
"That night a good many American and Chinese Christian brothers and sisters and friends were there. We had a very pleasant, and happy, and joyful time, singing beautiful songs of thanksgiving. Brother Dong Gong made a report of the Chinese mission in this city. Brother Coats and some other Christian ministers and friends talked good and comforting words to us. After this we had singing and prayer. So we closed with joy. The school commenced on September 18. This year the attendance is very large. We have seventeen teachers and about eighty scholars, and each prayer meeting in the mission room has almost the same number. I think the school room large enough for our use now. God's grace to this mission. I hope you will remember us, and pray for this mission, and for me, and I will pray for you. I feel very glad for this mission. I thank God for letting me see this new chapel for the Chinese. Chinese Baptist missions were started in America many years ago, but we have not had a chapel building before this. I hope a Baptist church will be built for the Chinese wherever they are."
A synopsis of the Annual Report for 1879 gives the average evening attendance for the year as seventy. The pupils were very studious, giving close and careful attention. Physical science, Christian ethics, and the moral condition of mankind, and relative subjects were most sought after by the advanced pupils, and it had been the plan of those in charge to use these advanced students as assistants and interpreters. The rapid and correct understanding of our language and the Christian spirit that pervaded the mission were due to this system. The Sunday School had a high average attendance considering the difficulty of obtaining teachers, and the fact that only religious instruction was given. The studies were confined to the New Testament. The story of Jesus and His love had a wonderful effect on the minds of the pupils, and the answers to the questions of the lessons showed that many of them had made it a subject of deep study. Much care was taken to make every subject plain. Rev. Dong Gong was interpreter. This carefulness accounts for the correctness and extent of the knowledge the school possessed of the New Testament teachings.
Rev. Dong Gong's services were well attended, especially on Sabbath evenings. Thursday evening prayer meetings were engaged in by the Christian students, and often a part was taken by others, who came in to see what was going on. Street preaching to the Chinese was kept up during the summer months. Much mission work was done outside of Portland by Brother Dong Gong. He showed himself at all times a faithful and willing workman. Some questions relative to Chinese women threatened trouble for a time, and caused much anxiety, but a kind Providence overruled these disturbing elements. Three women sought the protection of the mission; after carefully examining each case, two were provided for. The other was shot on the street while attempting the second time to escape from the degrading life she was compelled to lead. It is worthy of remark that many Chinese in the city, who were not members of the school, contributed cheerfully towards I the building of the new chapel.
Brother Fung Chak, for fourteen years a Chinese Christian, and who had worked in Canton, China, as a teacher or missionary, came to California, and thence to Oregon in the fall of 1879. With his experience, he proved a valuable assistant to the work at Portland. For the next year or two the reports were substantially repetitions of those already given except in statistics. Baptisms reported, four. November 3, 1880, Rev. Dong Gong resigned to visit his people in China, and Brother Fung Chak was his successor. In 1881 the church said: "The Chinese mission still continues the center of an active effort to Christianize the Chinese." On June 21, a Council was called to ordain Brother Fung Chak to the ministry. Revs. J. C. Baker, S. C. Price, John A. Gray, J. H. Teale, M. Bailey and A. J. Hunsaker taking part in the services. In his charge to the people, Brother Baker said:1. "I charge that you receive him as a Christian minister. 2. That you treat him as a Christian brother. 3. That you aid him as a Christian worker. 4. That you sympathize with him in his specific calling, namely: The giving of the Gospel to his countrymen."
Brother Fung Chak was well taught in the Word and a most useful man. He had the entire confidence of the church at Portland, and of all who knew him and his work. In May, 1882, he wrote that he had just baptized four Chinese converts, and several Chinese are seeking Christ. The school was doing well. Brother Dean was still Superintendent. "The brethren like him very much. We pray the Lord may bless him and give him a great reward for his work." He also says: "We are all working together to help the Gospel that it may become a large church in the future. Every indication showed intense earnestness and aggressiveness on the part of the Chinese brethren, and their appreciation of the work of the A. B. H. M. Society was manifested by a "Thank-offering" of $85. They had fifty resident members; twelve non- resident; all comparatively poor. But matters were so well systematized and understood that practically, except the night school, they were a separate organization, though nominally under the watch care of the First Baptist church, and were aided, and often directed by it in their important work. They were assisting to support a Chinese missionary near Canton, China, and in all, contributing over $500 a year for the various objects of benevolent work; including $240 as one half of their pastor's salary. But they desired to do more. Fung Chak made a stirring appeal in the Home Mission Monthly for aid. He set forth that the Chinese were willing to hear, but the laborers were so few and the labor so vast, that little could be done without help; and then he spoke of local needs, alluding to the Salem mission, the effort at Astoria, and the wants of Eastern and Western Washington and Idaho, and trusted that the Board would in the future find it possible to improve more fully this needy and important field. The future was uncertain. Yet the Society agreed that what had been gained must be kept, and that it was a duty to sustain the Chinese mission here.
The Annual Report of 1882 set forth the far reaching influences of the mission, and pointed to letters from distant parts, and the personal observations of American friends who had visited China, who stated that the Chinese Christians who had returned home were doing much to teach and preach the Gospel to their fellow men. Many of the pupils who were not Christians by open profession, but who were in sympathy with its grand principles, were active workers in the same direction. A missionary in the Black Hills, Wyoming, in 1884 spoke of two pupils of the school (converts) who were exerting an influence in that locality. Again Fung Chak wrote:
"God has in many ways blessed the mission work, but especially so in the steadfast walk and conversation of the converts. Many have left us, but we have abundant evidence by letters and direct statements of those who have come in direct contact with them in China, Japan, England, and the States and Territories of our own land, bearing testimony to the Christian character and work of those who have gone out from this mission. Every where they go, they preach, teach and testify in the name of Jesus. So you will see that the aid so willingly given by the Home Mission Society, without which this mission could not have lived, has not been as water spilled on the ground. Of over 60 baptized, only one has receded from his Christian faith.
"If the society could possibly extend its work on this coast, and establish some means of educating Chinese ministers, the result would be grand. In the midst of all the turmoil and strife raised by the 'Chinese Question', there is being laid foundation work in the midst of the Chinese population that in the near future is going to revolutionize and shake from circumference to center the hoary empire from whence they came; and if we Baptists want to plant a pure Gospel all over that then rejuvenated empire, now and here is the time and place to begin and work."
And again he makes the appeal:
"Oh, is there no money for the Chinese; however much there may be for others? Must they be despised and also the salvation of their souls utterly ignored? The Chinese are generally willing to hear the Gospel and will gather and listen attentively to its preaching. It can hardly be realized in the East what a strong arm of the work in China is the work on this coast."
The pastor of the Portland church thus speaks of Fung Chak and the mission:
"Fung Chak is an eloquent, devoted man, and his labors are meeting with marked success. During the eight years of their mission work, there has been but one apostate, and he was received without due knowledge of his antecedents. The members are devoted, earnest, intelligent Christians. This is the finest mission work among the Chinese on the Pacific coast, and the results have exceeded the most sanguine anticipation.
"Who knows but the conversion of these Chinese, many of whom will return to their own country with the precious Gospel is not one of the mighty instrumentalities that God is employing to bring multitudes of that people to the knowledge of Jesus?"
The Annual Report in December 31, 1882, gives the average attendance for the year as 60; a slight decrease, arising probably from the fact that the M. E. Church had also started a mission. The results however were further reaching, and having a deeper hold on the Chinese mind, from the plan of having the advanced pupils (nearly all Christians) act as interpreters and assistants to the teachers of the various classes. Often strangers were present at the Thursday evening prayer meetings; twelve had been baptized, and four received by letter during the year. Rev. Fung Chak had returned to China for his family. In 1883 he wrote that he found his family well, and was preaching the Lord's Gospel at Canton, China, and that the Chinese brethren there were supporting him. He says: "I wish to come back to Portland very much, but the brethren do not permit me to come, and want me to be their minister. I hope you will pray for me that I may be able to do His work and be faithful for Christ." In 1884 Rev. J. B. Hartwell, D. D., of San Francisco, was appointed by the A. B. H. M. Society as Superintendent of missions to the Chinese on the Pacific coast. and the plan was to awaken interest in this work in various ways; and where there were Chinese to organize Sunday Schools, missions, and other agencies as the requirements and circumstances would render advisable. Brother William Hahn succeeded Brother Dean as Superintendent of the mission in 1884-5. In 1885 the converts numbered eighty , but the membership, resident and non-resident, numbered only 72. These were still counted as part of the membership of the First Church, although they worshipped in their own chapel with their own native pastor, at that time Brother Tong Tsin Cheung. The average attendance at the school was 34; 47 the most at any one time during the year. Brother J. N. Pearcy was Superintendent of the night school; the average attendance from 25 to 40. A falling away because. (1) The Chinese population was but little more than half that of two or three years before. (2) Several other schools had been started and the patronage was divided. (3) The novelty of the work was past. And (4) Christian sentiment and convictions concerning Chinese evangelization had changed somewhat. Yet, as a whole. the work was encouraging and gratifying.
Whether a Chinaman is a proper subject for mission work is not a question for Christians. If we believe him human, and endowed with reasoning powers, he is certainly within reach of Salvation by Jesus Christ. He is here; one of us. He meets all the vices, and very little of the virtues of our people. He sees the worst side of all classes, and but little of the better side. We have converts here; also in China. This shows that he can be reached by the Gospel. Many also have heard the Gospel through this mission, and whilst not open Christians, yet fixed impressions have been made, and ideas introduced which will never be forgotten. Still, we can reach but few. Hence. we need more missionaries for them, and the points already occupied should not be allowed to flag. The following letter from Fung Chak to Rev. G. S. Abbott, D. D., tells its own story:
"My Dear Brother: It is good news to inform you that two more Chinese were converted last week and will be baptized tonight. I humbly thank the Heavenly Father, who hath brought them out of the darkness to come to Christ, and revealed these good things unto them. I hope you will pray for us, that God will cause His Gospel to spread out to the Chinese, and one by one they may come to be converted in the future time. We have received by baptism twelve, and four by letter the last year; total membership 65; we raised for Foreign missions, $100.75; Home missions, Jubilee offering, $85; Walla Walla college, $40; McMinnville college, $115; Benevolence, $20; Incidentals, $247.25; and by a Concert, $53. Besides this the scholars pay their teachers something, and Sabbath subscription. This is all from our Chinese mission church. 'Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.' Good Bye. I am very truly yours. FUNG CHAK."
Rev. D. J. Pierce says that the first year after the mission started he baptized 16; the second year, 10. In 1884, there were over 60 converts; and they were workers. They paid over $1000 on their chapel. They supported a Chinese missionary in Canton, and made large individual gifts for the support of the Gospel. He also says that in 1884, they gave $56 for the Bible cause; and gave him $40 for Colfax Academy, when he expected only $5.
As an illustration of the influence of this work, the following incident is taken from the Home Mission Monthly for October, 1884, Page 255.
"I had noticed among my hearers, one Sunday morning, two Chinamen, whose fixed attention was a perfect inspiration to me while preaching, and my soul went out to reach them. In the evening these two brought 13 more Chinamen. These 15 sat in a solid group in the rear of the congregation.
"The interest they manifested determined me to take the earliest opportunity to learn more of them. Yesterday was my opportunity. The first two had been eight years in our missions on the Pacific coast. I could not quite understand them, but my interpreter said Effa Tang and Chin Youee were converted in the Baptist Missions on the Pacific Coast. It was Effa Tang and Chin Youee that I saw in the morning congregation, and who brought with them 13 more to the evening service. It is said there are 160 Chinese in the Black Hills. Most all of them gather in the temple of their heathen worship, which they maintain right before our face and eyes here. Now, if our Home Mission Society cannot send one who can preach in their language, yet we have a leverage against this heathen temple in the two precious trophies taken or won by our Chinese Missions on the Pacific Coast. Brother Dexter, a good Baptist from Boston, is about to start a night school. There Effa Tang and Chin Youee will lead in their countrymen, all of whom are anxious to learn English, and thus we will have the English Bible to our help by and by among the Chinese of the Black Hills. So you see our Baptist missions on the Pacific Coast reach farther in their instrumentality than is generally known, and enable us to 'catch on' here in efforts to rescue and save the Chinese from heathenism, which they practice in the Black Hills. D. L."
Their card of invitation taken from the Baptist Beacon of April, 1885, shows one of their methods of work. On the opposite side was the same card in their own language. The editor speaks of the mission work under the direction of Deacon Hahn as one of the most praiseworthy in our country."Where is the way where light dwelleth? Job XXXVIII, 19. Where is the good way? Jeremiah VI, 16. "You are cordially invited to attend the devotional meetings of the Chinese Baptist Mission, to be held at their chapel on Fifth street, near Alder. Preaching every Sunday at 11 a. m. and 7:45 p. m. Sunday school at 6:30 p. m. Prayer meeting every Thursday at 7:30 p. m. TONG TSIN CHEUNG. "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all, 1 John 1, 5. Jesus saith unto him 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life.' John XIV.6"
In 1885, occurred a series of Chinese outrages upon the Pacific Coast, that were a disgrace to civilized people. True, they were usually led and controlled by "a hoodlum element," composed mainly of the dregs of society. The entire movement was lawless, criminal, and in violation of every principle of right, yet by many Christian people it was winked at. The work at Portland suffered severely from these causes. In 1886 the school was exceedingly small, and it was impossible to forecast the result.
2. SALEM BAPTIST CHINESE MISSION. 1876
Early in the fall of 1877, several members of the Salem church began to consider the feasibility of establishing a Chinese mission in Salem under the general supervision of the First Baptist church of that city. On October 6th, this culminated in the appointment of Mrs. J. C. Baker, Mrs. A. W. Kinney, Rose Townsend, J. W. Morrill and A. T. Yeaton, as a board of managers to have the oversight of said mission. Mrs. A. W. Kinney was made superintendent. The managers fitted up a room, the Chinese themselves taking hold with much enthusiasm. In April, 1878, the first Chinese addition to the church occurred in the reception of Brother Jeung Gwoon Jeu, by letter of dismission from the First Baptist church of Oakland, California, and in August, the board was authorized to employ Brother Gwoon Jeu as a Chinese city missionary "so long as he can be sustained." In May, Brother J. C. Baker said:
"This mission is new, only having been run about seven months. It is under the care of and supported by the Baptist church. Though not as large as the Portland Baptist mission, yet it is doing a good work, and is in a very prosperous condition. The work is largely performed by ladies, and is all gratuitous. The school is taught four evenings in each week, besides the Sunday school on each Sunday afternoon, and devoted to Bible study. The object is to give these men a knowledge of the true God. To do this, it is necessary to teach them to read. Hence, the night school, where reading, writing, arithmetic and geography are taught. Doubtless, the object of the pupil is to learn the language for personal and pecuniary benefit, but this is a means of introducing much religious instruction. The school is opened with singing and prayer, and closed by repeating the Lord's prayer with the pupils. Mrs. A. W. Kinney is the efficient superintendent, with Mrs. J. C. Baker, assistant, and Mrs. J. W. Morrell, secretary. These are aided in the work by other ladies and girls no less devoted. Mr. A. T. Yeaton renders valuable service in teaching the school to sing. Tuition at night school is $1 , a month. A good organ was paid for and all expenses met through the efforts of those devoted workers: the Chinese themselves being large contributors. Pupils, 20; quite a number of whom were deeply interested in the Bible. All have ceased their idol worship. The school has now an important assistant in the person of Rev. Kun Chin, an earnest Christian, an efficient exponent of the Bible in the Chinese language. He is doing good service for the mission. and with the blessing of God, converts are expected before long.
During the meeting of the Willamette Association at Salem in 1878, upon the request of the church, a council consisting of the ministers and brethren of the Association met June 24th and ordained Brother Jeung Gwoon Jeu to the work of the ministry. To this time the expenses of the school had amounted to $240.15. A visitor to the school about this time makes the following reflections:
"1. Six months ago, several of these Chinese knew nothing, or but little. even of our language, now they are weekly reciting from one or two verses to an entire psalm or half a chapter of the New Testament, and who can estimate the rich harvest that may yet result from this sowing of the good seed of the word of God.
"2. As Baptists, we have been very careless and indifferent in our foreign mission work. Now the heathen are brought to our very doors to prompt us to duty. Who knows but that the conversion of these Chinese and sending them back to their own country with the precious Gospel, is not one of the mighty instrumentalities that God will employ to bring multitudes of that people to the knowledge of Jesus?
"3. When we consider how directly antagonistic all the education, early training, and prejudices of the Chinese are to our customs and beliefs, I cannot but regard the genuine conversion of a Chinaman to Christianity as one of the most stupendous miracles of modem times; How cheering and encouraging that the grace of God can overcome all.
"4. What an incentive to Christian activity! If any brother or sister feels indifferent or careless in regard to the mission work, let him visit one of these mission schools, and his Christian desires will receive an impetus most wonderful.
"5. The importance of women's work in the cause of missions. This mission appears to be mostly, if not altogether, under the charge of the sisters. And a glorious work it is! And grand in its results! These gathered in Salem. More in Portland and elsewhere. What will the end be? Surely sheaves of rejoicing."
In 1879, the school greatly increased in interest and attendance. There had been connected with it at different times about 40 pupils; average monthly attendance, 14. The expenses for the year were $407.35. Brother Jeung Gwoon Jeu was prosecuting his work most successfully. He had established in Salem a Chinese Christian Association of 13 members. Had visited Albany and Corvallis, and was full of energy and zeal. He reported two or three fit subjects for baptism, but his health failing, he was obliged to give up us labor and return to China. In November, the church received its first Chinese convert, and six were baptized in November and December. Brother Jeung Gwoon Jeu was put to work in China, and in his letters speaks of his work and of the conversion of his wife, and of other matters connected with the mission there; but at length his health failed him there, and he died in the triumphs of a living faith. In May, Brother Baker relates the following incident:
"An occasion of rare occurrence was that enjoyed by the Baptist church of this city at their last Thursday evening prayer meeting. After the meeting was well under way several Christian Chinese came in, accompanied by a large, fine looking companion, who took a seat with them. Embracing the opportunity at the first pause in the meeting, he arose, walked deliberately down the aisle, extended his hand to the pastor and said "I be a Christian and came to be baptized.' Returning to his seat the pastor recognized him as one of the old mission scholars, who had been away for more than a year, and had now performed a journey of about I70 miles to follow the Lord Jesus in baptism. He was examined by the church, and on Sabbath morning was buried with Christ by baptism. On Wednesday he started on his return trip, having promised the family he was serving to return within ten days. He left us a happy man. The workers in the mission, the mission scholars, and indeed, all of us rejoice with him. The mission school is now taking a vacation, and the Sunday school is being kept up by the teachers, and a weekly prayer meeting is being held by the Chinese and mission scholars."
The mission was continued during the summer of 1881, but the death of Deacon A. W. Kinney on January, 1, 1881, and Sister Baker's calls to other duties took her attention so much from school, and so much increased care was thrown upon Sister Kinney, that the school dwindled and was finally abandoned. But during its existence nine converts were baptized. It was carried on altogether by the church with no help from any organized society.
3. ALBANY CHINESE MISSION
In the fall of 1879, during the pastorate of W. J. Crawford, an effort was made to organize a Chinese class preparatory to establishing a mission. Mrs. W. J. Crawford succeeded in gathering a number of Chinese boys together, who came to her residence twice a week to learn the songs of Zion and to read the New Testament. Gee Lee was doubtless converted and asked to be admitted to the church but was refused on the ground that being a heathen he lacked sincerity. The boys continued to attend Sunday school and the twice-a-week night school throughout 1880; in fact, till the end of the above pastorate, April, 1881. This work was quiet and nonconspicuous, but was of a genuine character. Some of the members of the church had scruples about such work, but these have outgrown their exclusiveness in great measure, and God has been glorified in the salvation of some of the heathen.
I. B. GERMAN WORK
I. THE FIRST GERMAN BAPTIST CHURCH OF BETHANY. 1877. (Cedar Mills)
Located first at Cedar Mills and afterwards at Bethany, about 10 miles northwest of Portland.
At the session of the Willamette Association held at Portland, June 22, 1877, the Cedar Mills church reported itself through its interpreter, Rev. J. Wichser, as a Swiss colony which had studied the Bible in their own language, and by so doing had adopted Baptist principles independent of Baptist influences. As Baptists, they desired to know whether the churches of the Association baptized any who did not give good evidence of conversion. It was unanimously decided by a rising vote, that Baptists still adhere, as they always have done, to the primitive doctrines of a converted church membership. The church was received into the Association reporting an aggregate of 25 members, six of whom had been received since the organization. Rev. J. C. Baker, in the Baptist Beacon, says: "They are Baptists through and through, as their examination shows." Brother John Graf, their pastor, was a licentiate, but was ordained to the ministry on September 12, 1877, by the same council that ordained Brother A. S. Coats for the Portland church. But the Cedar Mills church was never again represented in the Association.
In about two years Brother Graf left the Baptists and became a "free church" man, (somewhat similar to the Freewill Baptists) taking seven of the church with him. But the meetings of the others were kept up by Deacon Isaac Eggiman. The church sent for Rev. F. M. Schaelike, of San Francisco, who came and reorganized the church with 18 members, June 22, 1879. The organization took the name of the First German Baptist Church of Bethany, and adopted the Articles of Faith as published in Pendleton's Manual. Rev. Schaelike served the church one year. Meanwhile, it had made application to the "Mission Society of the Western Conference of the German Baptists of America" for one of the students of the Theological Seminary of Rochester, New York, and after earnest prayer for direction, Brother Vincent Farnkopf, a young licentiate, concluded to come. This brother was from Germany to the United States in 1870, and was ordained to the ministry just previous to starting for Oregon, by the German Baptist church at Folsomdale, New York. He reached his field in July, 1880, and served the church three years. His salary was $250. The first year the church paid $50; after that it paid $150. The A. B. H. M. Society paid the balance. The church had 31 members. Regular meetings were kept up at private houses, and also a weekly prayer meeting. In 1880, it had a flourishing Sunday school with 25 pupils, kept up the year round, with four conversions from the school during the year. Rev. Farnkopf was an earnest, active worker, with frequent baptisms as a reward of his labors. During the summer of 1881, the church built a chapel costing about $300. Of this, $67.60 was obtained from other churches. The balance was from the members, for they made it a church work, asking no help from the community. The house was dedicated December 25, 1881, and was the first meeting house of the German Baptists on the Pacific Coast In 1882, a mission station was established in Clackamas county, and eight members baptized there, and Rev. Farnkopf reported a good prospect for more soon. In 1883, Rev. Farnkopf left, and Rev. John Croenl succeeded him, also under appointment of the A. B. H. M. Society. He was about 50 years of age, with a large family; was born near the line between France and Germany, converted and baptized in the old country at the age of 20, and ordained in Chicago in 1874. He is a hard, earnest worker, and a sound Baptist. Has a salary of $500. The church for two years paid $300; then it paid $350; the balance by the A. B. H. M. Society. The church makes its application direct to the New York Board, and does not operate through the Oregon Convention, nor is it represented in any Association. The annual statistical exhibit is not published.
I. C. SCANDINAVIAN WORK
1. FIRST SCANDINAVIAN BAPTIST CHURCH OF PORTLAND. 1884
Located on 11th street between Flanders and Glisan, Portland, 1884.
The record of any movement amongst the Scandinavians of the North Pacific Coast is found in the Minutes of the Willamette Association for 1875, in which the First church of Portland says: "Brother Landstone has charge of the Scandinavian mission and his labors have been blessed. Six have confessed their faith in Jesus by baptism." There is nothing further until January, 1881, when Rev. Olaus Okerson, a Baptist minister from Sweden, came to Portland under the auspices of the A. B. H. M. Society, as an itinerant missionary for Oregon and Washington. That Rev. Okerson came to work is evident from the first quarterly report. He had supplied 15 stations, held 20 prayer meetings, visited 129 families, collected $67, and traveled about 1500 miles, mostly on foot. In 1882, he had built three meeting houses, one in Portland, one in Seattle and one in Tacoma, and had gathered, but not organized, the nucleus of a Baptist church at each place. About this time he went East to collect money to assist in his building, and Rev. G. Liljeroth, also a Swedish minister under the A. B. H. M. Society, succeeded him at Portland in 1883. Mean- while, the First Baptist church of Portland had kept up a Sunday school among the Scandinavians, and on January 1, 1884, Rev. G. Liljeroth, L. W. Hayhurst and D. W. Williams organized the First Scandinavian Baptist church of Portland with 12 members. Their meeting house, an old building repaired, proved too small and was sold for $1400, the proceeds being applied to a new meeting house and lot, which was dedicated August 21, 1887. The property was then worth $3347.33. Rev. N. Hayland, a Swedish minister, who had come to Seattle from Nebraska in 1884. succeeded Rev. Liljeroth in Portland in 1885; he also being under appointment of the A. B. H. M. Society. The church was represented once in the Baptist Convention of the North Pacific Coast (1885). It has not been represented at any other time in any other Convention or Association, except among its own people. Hence, the statistics are scanty. The church was in a prosperous condition in 1886.
[Note. In July, 1885, Rev. Knut Nelson organized the Scandinavian Baptist church of Nehalem Valley in that locality, in Clatsop county. In 1886, it was said that he church still kept up its meetings. The membership in 1888 was reported as 10. No other records or statistics available.
Also, in October, 1885, Rev. Knut Nelson organized a Scandinavian Baptist church of seven members, near the Columbia river, about 50 miles from Portland, and 16 miles from Westport, calling it Vesper. No records available.]
The history of the several Baptist churches of Oregon to the time of the meeting of the different Associations in 1886, is now completed. In all, not counting reorganizations, nor change of names, nor mere ephemeral efforts, there had been organized about 125 churches, about 50 during this period; there being a few, the records of which have not been available. Of these churches several had become extinct, disbanded, or united, or consolidated with other churches. Several had changed their names; some several times; because of reorganization, or a change of locality. So that at the meetings of the Associations in 1886, only about 100 churches were known to be in existence. This includes the Chinese Missions at Portland and at Salem as separate organizations, although really a part of the First Baptist church at each place, and nearly all of these were contributing more or less for mission work. The number of ministers, counting licentiates, was about 100; of these 31 ordained ministers had come from some other state, and 106 had been licensed, or ordained, or both, in Oregon; the difference showing the number who had died, left the state, or in some way become separated from the denomination. The number enrolled in the Baptist Sunday schools was estimated at between 2500 and 3000, but none to exceed ten per cent of the schools had reported. The growth and development of the churches can be more fully appreciated, as well as a more complete understanding of the labor bestowed upon them, can be obtained by a careful study of the statistical tables.