III. MISSIONARY WORK. EASTERN SOCIETIES
1. FOREIGN MISSIONS
The interest in Foreign Missions continued to increase during this decade. The total contributions as reported in the Missionary Magazine, were $5760.15. The last three years was over $1000 each; 1884 the most of any, $1742.70. The aggregate membership run from 2090 in 1876 to 4016 in 1886. The percentage of gain in membership was a scant 97 per cent; that of contributions over 1100 per cent. What caused this? (1) We had some new men, whose sympathies were with this subject, and they awakened some of us. (2) Foreign mission literature was being circulated more freely and missionary intelligence was beginning to have its influence. (3) The visit of the District Secretary of the Missionary Union, Dr. Tolman, in 1884 aroused interest, and though he did not stay long, his presence and teaching gave a stimulus to the movement. (4) Some of our own pastors almost went wild on the subject. But good effects were produced as the increased contributions testify. (5) The Women's movement, started in 1876, by Mrs. Chandler, Mrs. Bailey, Mrs. Pierce, Mrs. Baker, and a score of others, almost, if not completely revolutionized the missionary action among the Baptists of Oregon, if not on the entire North coast. (6) The sending Miss Minnie Buzzell as a Missionary to China, raised the missionary fire to its highest pitch, and when her letters came back, so graphically describing her work, its encouragement, its difficulties and hindrances, the enthusiasm grew to fever heat, and nearly all were ready to respond heartily.
The official reports and resolutions of the Convention and of the Associations, were substantially the same as before, except that they were becoming more and more intensified. In 1880, an amendment to the Constitution of the State Convention was offered, providing for a standing committee on Foreign Missions. This was the first Constitutional amendment ever offered in Oregon before any Baptist Association or Convention, and it now became one of the standard objects for which contributions were to be solicited. The denomination was thus committed officially to the encouragement and prosecution of this line of labor, while the circulation of Foreign Mission literature became a part of our regular work. Yet in 1886, Rev. T. G. Brownson said that not half of the churches were contributing for the work. Even if this was true, (which is fairly questionable), it was still encouraging, as compared with the past. The interest was increasing and growing; there was more system; more preaching on the subject; and substantially all recommended it. The Central Association had been considered as one of the conservative Associations of the State, and the following report on Foreign Missions in 1883, which will very nearly express the position of the Baptist Associations on the coast, clearly shows its position on Foreign Missions.
"The prayerful consideration of this Association is invoked in behalf of the following suggestions:
"1. The great command of Christ, Matthew 28:19 makes our duty to devote ourselves zealously to the work of Foreign Missions an imperative one.
"2. The missionary spirit is one of the essential features of the Gospel; hence it follows:
"3. That Gospel religion will always be missionary religion. That
"4. A man is truly religious only in so far as he is missionary in his spirit. That
"5. The missionary spirit is not a ghost, but something that will find embodiment in practical deeds.
"6. That our faith, concerning Foreign Missions, 'if it hath not works is dead, being alone.'
"7. That a Christian can justify himself for giving nothing to spread the Gospel in pagan lands, only when he is able to satisfy his conscience before God that he has nothing to give."
But it may be said, if these early Baptists were not anti-missionary, why were they so long in understanding these obligations? There were several reasons. Not mentioning the imperative needs of the most of the brethren, for that has already been alluded to. (1) Their distance from centers, with little or no communication with the outside world, would almost make them feel they were themselves foreign. And with the pressing calls for aid from every side, if they had any ardor at first, it is not strange that it should cool until they should recuperate. (2) The greed for gold from the mines was not calculated to cultivate a mission spirit, and it is not strange that they became indifferent until aroused. Even endorsing resolutions in accordance with previous training and education. they scarcely felt their import. And if early education was unfavorable to missions, the case was worse. (3) Possibly in some cases, prejudice against some class or people. (4) A lack of system was to some extent a drawback. As a response to all this, it need be said, and facts demonstrate it, that all the followers of Christ need is the spread of intelligence, and a sense of obligation to Christ. This is all that has been necessary in Oregon.
2. WOMEN'S BAPTIST FOREIGN MISSION SOCIETY OF OREGON
The Women's Foreign Mission Society for the Pacific Coast was organized in October. 1874, with headquarters in San Francisco, California. In 1875, Mrs. D .J. Pierce, whose husband was then pastor of the First church of Portland, Oregon, interested herself in the work of the organization for the Pacific Coast, and a temporary Society in Oregon was effected. Mrs. Pierce was elected President, Mrs. Mark Bailey was elected Secretary, Mrs. N. E. Mitchell. of Portland, Mrs. A. W. Kinney, of Salem, Mrs. A. N. Brayton, of Oregon City, Mrs. E. Russ, of McMinnville, and Mrs. E. Fisher, of Albany consented to interest themselves in the matter. Only one Circle was formed; that in Portland. In May, 1876, Mrs. J. C. Baker received an appointment from the Executive Board of the Pacific Coast Society to visit Oregon.
She came early in June. The day before her departure from California for Oregon, a few ladies met in Oakland with Mrs. Baker, to pray that the Holy Spirit accompany her in her journeyings and awaken an interest in the hearts of the Baptist women of Oregon to the great needs of the perishing women of heathen lands. The same afternoon, in McMinnville, Oregon, two sisters, without the knowledge of each other, read an article in the Chicago Standard, on "Women's Work for Women in Foreign Fields," which so impressed them that they spent many hours of the afternoon in the secrecy of their own closets, asking God to open the way in their own State for this precious work of sending the Gospel to heathen women. Thus, in answer to prayer, the work was begun. Mrs. Baker sailed the next day after these memorable prayer services, empty handed, but trusting in the Master whom she served to care for His own. She found in Oregon ready helpers in Mrs. Bailey, Mrs. Huff, Mrs. Chandler, Mrs. Boardman, Mrs. Warren, and other women whose sympathies and prayers were already enlisted in this work. From one gathering to another she went, even where the anti-mission spirit was very strong, presenting clearly and forcibly the great need of that work. The meetings were full of interest, and resulted in the formation of several Circles.
"Resolved: That Mrs. J. C. Baker, the representative of the Women's Baptist Missionary Society for the Pacific coast is cordially welcomed in our midst, and it is our hope that the Baptist women of Oregon will respond heartily to the work which she represents and identify themselves with the Baptist women of America in the great work of foreign missions." (Willamette Association, 1877.)
Also, the same year the Yamhill and Mount Olive churches made an effort with a fair prospect of success, to raise funds sufficient to sustain at least one Bible woman in foreign lands, as contemplated by the W. B. F. M. Society, and it was hoped that the other churches would follow their example.
Also, the Central Association contributed $21.25 for the same object, that year.
A very interesting meeting was held October 26, at McMinnville. During the fall, meetings were held at Portland and other places, and much zeal was awakened. The interest was revived in Portland, and Circles were formed in Eugene, McMinnville, Pilot Rock, Pendleton, The Dalles, Amity, Albany, Salem, Oregon City, and Victoria, B. C. There were already Circles at Olympia and Seattle. At Seattle and McMinnville were little girls' Bands. Mrs. Como, the Secretary, in her Report March 5, 1878, said: "Oregon is the banner State this year, and could they know the encouragement and zeal inspired by their efforts, they would feel that a double blessing rests on the cheerful giver." In June, 1878, the Willamette Association declared that "the work of the Women's Missionary Societies in giving the Gospel to heathen women has been auspiciously begun on our field, and we hope all our churches will soon be represented in the general work of the Society, not only by prayers but by liberal contributions." This band of Oregon sisters, with homes widely separated, desiring to develop wider interest in foreign missions in the State, after weeks of prayer for divine guidance, met, a few of them, at Salem, June 24, 1878, and temporarily organized a State Society to cooperate with the W. B. F. M. Society of the Pacific coast. At this meeting officers were elected. viz.: Mrs. Mark Bailey, President; Mrs. Henry Warren, Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. A. S. Coats, Treasurer. A program was prepared consisting of essays and addresses showing the necessity of planting the banners of the Cross among the perishing millions, and the Society adjourned to hold its first regular meeting in connection with the State Convention at Oregon City. During the summer the Corvallis, Central and Willamette Associations were visited in behalf of the Women's work. Much encouragement was given by the brethren, and the contributions were liberal. Hearts were awakened to the full import-of the "Great Commission."
The first regularly organized sessions of the W. B. F. M. Society for Oregon was held at Oregon City, Nov. 2, 1878. The officers elected in June were continued. Interesting letters from three Circles were read; able essays were presented by Sisters F. O. McCown, L. M. Mitchell, and Henry Warren, and addresses made by Sisters W. J. Laughary and J. C. Baker. A total of $152.50 had been collected since June, which was doing remarkably well, considering all the circumstances.In March, 1879, the work was not so encouraging. At some places the monthly meetings were being abandoned; at other places the interest was kept up. At McMinnville, the boys and girls organized a mission band called "The Cheerful Workers." The annual meeting was held at Portland, November 5, when but five Circles were reported. There were four mission bands. The work was growing; the Sisters zealous, earnest, and active. They visited the different Associations, and the brethren caught their enthusiasm, and liberal collections followed. Then the work was completely systematized, rendering their efforts more effectual; though disappointed in results, the spirit of missions was aroused among the churches; Mission Circles and Bands were organized, and throughout the State the, work received an impetus. It was at first slow work, but by liberally circulating the "Helping Hand" and by persistent labor, mingled with strong faith and earnest prayers, their work began to tell and the interest to increase.
The second annual session was held at Salem, October 30, 1880. Circles represented, seven; Mission Bands, four. Resolutions were passed recommending a "thorough consecration of ourselves to Christ," asking pastors to urge the observance of the monthly concert of prayer for missions; also recommending the "Helping Hand" and the "Missionary Magazine" as means of information; Revs. A. J. Hunsaker, J. L. Blitch, and E. P. Waltz were highly appreciated for their zeal in assisting and commending the work. A collection of $22 was taken. Mrs. Henry Warren presented an able "Essay on Foreign Mission Work in the Sunday Schools." This Essay was a masterpiece. After urging the responsibility resting upon parents and teachers of the Sunday Schools, she says: "Introduce frequently into these lessons the necessity of giving. The childish hearts can be easily impressed that giving for the salvation of the heathen is a noble deed, and not only a noble deed but a delightful act of worship." Then the lessons learned. "Self-sacrifice," "Christian culture," and others, until they grow into a habit; a "self-denying, life long desire to give the Gospel to every creature." Stories of Paul, and a suitable missionary literature was recommended, that by this means, a general intelligence might be diffused and made agencies to advance the cause, and result in many souls being brought to Christ. And these souls, "full of Christian love and grace, and a spirit of missions, might work hand in hand, going step by step, leading little ones in their tender, trusting years, developing all their Christian possibilities, simply and lovingly; and when maturity is reached, a grand type of Christian manhood and womanhood will be attained." Miss Hattie Baker read an essay on "Children's work in Missions." Mrs. J. E. Magers read a missionary poem. A letter was read of touching consecration to the cause from Mrs. Ezra Fisher, a widow of one of the first Baptist Missionaries on the coast. The letter was accompanied by a quilt pieced by Mrs. Fisher, who was now more than three score and ten years of age. She requested that it be sold and the proceeds devoted to the Women's Foreign Mission work. Eleven dollars was realized from its sale.
Some extracts from the Annual Report are given:
" A Circle was formed under very interesting circumstances a few months ago at Forest Grove. A few of our sisters will remember that at our annual meeting last year, Sister Chandler related her hopes in regard to inaugurating an interest in the Foreign mission cause at Forest Grove. She, with two other Baptist sisters, one Methodist, and one Congregationalist sister, had for several months held a weekly prayer meeting. After prayerful consideration, Sister Chandler proposed introducing the study of Foreign Missions once a month into their prayer circle. The proposal was received with hesitation, and they decided to make the trial. Each sister would, in her turn, lead, and bring items of interest from the foreign fields of her own denomination. So much interesting intelligence was obtained that these five Christian women have continued their study and prayers. A Circle numbering six was organized by Sister Huff, and public meetings are held quarterly, with good results and liberal collections."
"Dear Mrs. Warren: I am 12 years old today, and send $3 as a birthday gift to the W. B. F. M. Society. I hope to be able to send $3 more by my next birthday." In a more recent letter, she writes of circulating copies of the Helping Hand among her schoolmates, telling them the story of the degraded heathen who can be elevated to the ranks of Christianity, and has collected from a few dimes to $1.50. In all my correspondence, no letter that I have received has cheered me more than the few lines from this dear little girl. God grant that she may live to see many birthdays, and give her life to the service of the great Redeemer. Other gifts could be recorded here; gifts coming wrapped in love for the Savior. They are recorded in God's book of remembrance, and when He comes to make up His jewels, can we not forsee that these consecrated, self-denying souls will shine in His crown as gems of sparkling radiance?"
Mrs. Warren thus speaks of the necessity of this organization:
"The missionary circles connected with the various churches in Oregon, for the purpose of doing a more effective work, are organized into a State Society. The necessity for this arose from the fact that, owing to the immense distance between the workers here and the board and officers in and about San Francisco, we could not be represented at any annual meeting except by letters. So a Society was organized, which, while auxiliary to the Society of the Pacific Coast, yet by its annual and other meetings calls together the women of Oregon; and by free interchange of thought and the mingling of earnest prayers for a common cause, new zeal is stirred, and the work we hope, in some degree advanced. Far away from the helps that in the East are accepted as a matter of course, trying in the face of difficulties that sometimes seem insurmountable to do pioneer work in this cause who can need more than we your sympathies and prayers?"
The third annual session was held at Eugene, October 28, 1881. At this meeting the Society voted to withdraw from the Pacific Coast Society, and Mrs. F. O. McCown and Mrs. Henry Warren were appointed a committee to confer with the Missionary Union with reference to being recognized as an independent Society for the North Pacific coast. Several interesting letters and essays were presented. $4.85 was realized for a tidy presented by Mrs. A. S. Coats, of Rochester, N. Y.; also a quilt made by an aged sister, Mrs. Martha Hicklin, since deceased, was first sent to the Central Association and sold for $13.75 ; then sent to the Willamette Association and sold for $10; then sent to the Convention where $ 7.10 was realized. After this collections were quite frequent. The Mt. Pleasant Association earnestly entreated our sisters to awaken to the responsibilities of this work, and to organize Mission Circles in each church as soon as practicable." In the Rogue River Association, Mrs. S. A. Farnham, the Corresponding Secretary for that Association, presented a stirring appeal, and reported liberal contributions. In her annual Report, Mrs. Warren says that, whilst the progress has been slow, there was a little progress." Four new Circles, and one new Mission Band had been organized, and the receipts were $52.40 in excess of those of the previous year. Circles reported in Oregon, 8; in Washington, 2; in B. C. I. Six mission bands were actively at work, In her appeal she says:
"Giving begets love and a deeper prayerfulness, and many a little gift comes enveloped in the words, 'We send this with our prayers.' The most precious offering of the year is the earnest, consecrated young lady who has heard the message, 'The Master is come and calleth for thee,' and is panting to do service for Christ in the foreign field. Realizing that she is not her own, but is bought with a price, she is ready to give her life with all its bright prospects for usefulness to the service of the Master. With a heart glowing with love for Jesus, she has responded, 'Here am I, Lord, send me: After a year or two of necessary preparation, she will be willing to lay aside every earthly love, and put every hallowed association upon the altar of Christ, and go to labor to gather lost souls into His fold. The little girl who last year sent $3, this year sent $6 through a Circle as a birthday gift. We can foresee a rich reward awaiting this dear young sister for her loving and giving."
In alluding to some of the difficulties of the work, Mrs. Warren speaks of the Carlton church, where fathers, and mothers, and children had united and organized a missionary band, meeting every Sunday afternoon, many of them traveling 8 or 10 miles, often through storms and over bad roads to perform faithful service for the dear Savior. In conclusion, she counts up the receipts for the year and makes a most stirring appeal for further aid.
The following letter received by the treasurer speaks for itself:
- January 23, 1882.
- "Mrs. A. W. Kinney: Very Dear Sister:
"Enclosed find money order for the largest subscription yet sent down from this field. Not largest as regards amount, but perhaps in the sight of Heaven, for it nearly equals the widow's mite, the $5 being sent for a family which has all they can do to meet absolute expenses, the husband being very unwell, suffering from asthma for two years past. Their crops this year were mortgaged in the spring, and this fall, being unable to meet a note due, they were sued for it. The bill, including expenses, amounted to $160; only $40 of which could possibly be raised; leaving still $120 to meet. They pledged at the Association $10 I believe; one half of which is now sent. The other party pledged $2.50; making with the other $5, $7.50 sent. He is a young married man lately converted, and united with us. While at work on a thrasher last summer, his hand got into the machine and was fearfully mangled, so it became necessary to amputate it, and now, after three or four months of sickness, he is able to be around. His doctor bill was nearly $300, the farm which he had bought had to be sold to meet the expenses, and this is a part of it. I thought these items of sacrifice would interest you. I am Yours, most truly.
The fourth annual meeting was held at McMinnville, October 27, 1882. Reports were presented from 12 Circles, and 2 Mission Bands in Oregon, and one Circle (Colfax) in Washington. The Circles on Puget Sound were not represented. This year, the formal vote was taken to connect the Society directly with the Missionary Union of Boston, thus withdrawing from the W. B. F. M. Society of the Pacific Coast. In this there was no thought of rivalry or desire to take any sisters work out of her hands, but to awaken new interest, secure more work, and make it tell to the best advantage. It was gratefully acknowledged that much of the work had been fruit bearing. Receipts of money had been increased, and pastors were lending their sympathy and influence in churches not otherwise reached. The Society had abundant reason for encouragement and continuance. Several churches had identified themselves with the Society. About 50 ladies and 16 delegates were present at the meeting. The year's efforts had been almost wholly confined to Oregon, and exceeded all that had been accomplished in any former year in the united work of the North coast. Juvenile Societies were prompt in their labor, and in some localities were taking the lead. Several children of heathen families had been placed in school, and thus removed from heathen influences to a great extent. They receive the full benefit of a secular education, and thorough instruction in the Christian religion, and in this there is evidence of much good being accomplished. In conclusion Mrs. Warren says:
"To the churches I would say, If you have no Circles or cannot sustain them, meet often to pray for the missionaries and the missionary workers. If you cannot give money, give your sympathies and prayers, remembering the Master committed into our hands the labor of teaching all nations. Every soldier of the Cross should seek the conquest of the world for Christ. We will need more devotion, more longing for souls, and a love for our cause that will sanctify our service. The Lord of the vineyard will not reckon with us as churches, or Societies, but individually must we respond to the inquiry, 'What hast thou done for me?'"
Subsequently she said:
"The Christianization of women and children in heathen lands is the single object of our work. This labor pre-eminently belongs to the women of Christian lands. The organization is pledged not to engage in any other work but the diffusion of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in heathen lands. Women's work for women must be kept sacred as an appointed, comprehensive, and protracted labor for heathen women."
The circulation of "The Helping Hand" was very strongly urged.
The fifth annual meeting was held at Brownsville, October 25, 1883. Present 40 ladies, 16 messengers. The treasurer's Report showed an increase over the previous year of about $150. An executive Board of 12 was appointed. A letter from Miss L. L. West was read, declining to go as a representative of the Society to China. Mrs. Warren and Mrs. Baker gave interesting addresses. The sisters of Washington having organized themselves into an independent Society at Spokane Falls in June, the Secretary, Mrs. W. J. Crawford, in her Report recommended that the Constitution be changed so as to make the jurisdiction of the Society conform to State lines, and that in the future the work be prosecuted on this field only. She had done a vast amount of work, in which she had been assisted by Mrs. Warren. Mrs. B. S. McLafferty, in the Corvallis Association; Mrs. A. W. Stanard of the Central Association; and Mrs. P. W. Chandler in the Willamette Association; had done good work. Miss A. M. Field, of Swatow, China, had visited Oregon and inspired confidence and enthusiasm in the hearts of the sisters: Fresh from the scenes mingled with loving labor and weary trials, she could scarcely fail to awaken interest in a work precious to the lovers of missions. Mrs. Crawford says:
"We have, through Miss Field, made arrangements through the A. B. M. U. to choose a lady for us to accompany Miss Field when she returns to China. We are called upon to raise $1000 by next September. We have already secured a part of this, and there will be no difficulty in raising the balance within the specified time. The money is to pay her passage, furnish her outfit, and leave something for incidental expenses, besides paying the first quarter of her salary."
In conclusion, she asks for some live Christian woman in each community to gather the missionary element, organize a Circle, and distribute reading matter. The Lord had raised up a few such, but more workers of the same kind were needed. Another need was a plan of missionary contributions which should bring into the treasury the funds necessary to carry on the work, without making renewed special appeals. Something like a missionary box was needed at home, into which, regularly, spare pennies might fall.
In the fall of 1883, Miss Minnie A, Buzzell, of Juniata, Nebraska, but then a student at Chicago, was recommended to Miss Field as a young lady of deep piety and fine ability; and as one who had all the necessary qualifications for a foreign missionary, Miss Field said that she had made most diligent inquiry concerning Miss Buzzell, had seen her and talked with her and that she had seen no lady whom she would rather have go with her to China as her associate. Miss Buzzell was also very highly recommended by Mrs. A. M. Bacon, Corresponding Secretary of the W. B. F. M. Society of the West. Miss Buzzell's letter of acceptance reads:
- "Dundee, Ill., Dec. 22, 1883.
- "Mrs. Henry Warren:
"My Dear Sister: Your letter of 15th inst. was received a few days ago. Permit me to say that the words of sympathy and love which it contains make me feel, even now, very near to the sisters of Oregon. I wish I could see and talk with those who so willingly and kindly make me their representative to tell the precious story of the Savior's love to the heathen women in China. I gratefully accept the offer, and, in so doing, shall try with God's help to make myself worthy of the prayers and support of your Society. When I gave my heart to Christ, after having stood for over a year at the very gates of skepticism, I gave myself, all that I was, all that I ever hoped to be, to His service. Soon after my conversion, I felt impressed with the desire to go and teach the heathen, and yet I fought against this desire and tried to shake it off, feeling I was not fit, that I was not worthy for such work. But every appeal which I heard or read in behalf of foreign missions thrilled me through and through. I seemed to see, as it were, those across the ocean stretching forth yearning hands, and lifting pleading eyes, calling to some one, 'Come! Come! and tell us of a Savior's love;' and I seemed to hear my Heavenly Father saying, 'Go! Go!' I could resist no longer, and finally, a little over two years ago, gave myself up. On my knees before God I pledged myself to foreign missions. After then, I not only thought that He had called me to the work, but I knew it. Ever since that time I have been trying to prepare myself for this work, and the way God has led me step by step, has proved to me very plainly that 'we are not our own.' As to the sacrifice, that is a matter which I laid upon the Master's altar some time ago. I do not longer hesitate to give up home and friends, dear though they are to me. If I may be only the means of sending the rays of God's love into some of those darkened homes, I shall be content to live and even die on a foreign soil. My prayer is, 'God fit me for the work, God make me strong; and my spirit nerve for the stern hour of strife.' Yes I will glady unite with you in 'bringing in sheaves for the Master's garner.' Supported by your love, sympathy, prayers, and money, I shall try to scatter the seed here, the seed there, which shall help save a lost world. As I look out over the fields ripe and ready for harvest, I am anxious to enter the ranks of active workers. I have not made my decision hastily, but thoughtfully, and prayerfully. May God ever bless you.
Immediately on the reception of this letter, Mrs. Warren issued an appeal for increased effort, and labor, and aid in the work. And as Miss Buzzell was to leave for China in September, it was expected that she would stop a few days in Oregon on her way, and the sisters were busy in planning so as to make her visit a happy one and to send her off with loving memories and a rejoicing heart. This is equivalent to saying that they accomplished their purpose. Miss Buzzell was cordially received, and her receptions at several of our largest cities were but a series of grand successes. In a few days she left for China, arriving at Swatow, and in due time, a letter was received, in which she graphically set forth her first impressions of the strange scenes and circumstances that surrounded her, and of the longing which these gave her to speedily enter upon her work. The heathen were an incentive to her and God was with her.
- "Lovingly Yours,
- "MINNIE A. BUZZELL. "University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois."
The sixth annual meeting was held at Springfield, November 1, 1884. A letter of greeting from the W. B. F. M. Society of the West was read, asking the Oregon Society to work as an auxiliary. The Corresponding Secretary was instructed to correspond with Rev. Dr. Murdock, asking advice in regard to the matter; after which, the action was to be submitted to the Circles and reported on at the next annual meeting. Dr. Murdock, after giving some reasons for it said, "If the union can be consummated, I think it would be a good thing." The vote however was against the union. The marvelous success attending the labors of these sisters in Christ, may be attributed largely to the labors of the Executive Board, a part of whose duties was to devise means for diffusing missionary intelligence among the women of the churches, in order to awaken a deeper interest in the special work of the Society. Leaflets and tracts, and even some larger works were plentifully circulated and had a most telling effect. Might not brethren of the Convention take lessons from this? At this meeting the Society mourned the loss of two active members; Mrs. E. T. Conner, of Albany, and Mrs. Lenora Nelson, of McMinnville. Their memories are left as precious legacies, fragrant with kindly ministries, radiant with brave, true service for the Master. Among the present active workers are Miss Mima Harlow of the Corvallis. Mrs. S. A. Famham of the Rogue River, Mrs. W. J. Crawford of the Central, Mrs. Ella S. Latourette of the Willamette, and Mrs. Perlina Estes of the Grand Ronde Association; besides the main, true stand-bys which have so frequently been mentioned. Pastors also helped in various ways, and often their letters of cheer, saying, "I am praying for you," gave new inspiration to attempt greater things. Three new Circles had been organized; total number, 14. During the year, Mrs. Warren, the Secretary, had written 980 pages of appeals, articles for the Beacon, and letters in behalf of the Society. She had sent out for free distribution 3000 pages of missionary literature. She had visited and held meetings at two Associations. and organized one Society. Her Report closes:
"Jesus looks to us for faithfulness in our labors. May we look to each other for the same? Ever seeking to build larger foundations and more perfect work, which can only be done by a more thorough consecration and devotion to the cause, constantly remembering the Savior's last grand commission. We may not always see successes crowning our work. Let us not watch for success, but bring our energies to this service as coworkers with Christ, seeking nought but His glory and honor and the advancement of His Kingdom."
In April 1885, owing to the severe and continued illness of Brother Warren, Mrs. Warren was compelled to resign her position as Secretary, and at the quarterly meeting of the Executive Board Mrs. S. C. Roberts was chosen in her place. In her Report at the annual meeting at Portland in October 1885, Mrs. Roberts speaks of a steady increase of interest in the cause of foreign missions among the women of the churches, at least over a part of the field. Miss Mima Harlow is spoken of as an energetic worker who does not give up to ordinary discouragements, as is shown by her taking time from the care of a large family and an invalid mother, to travel on her pony for miles, visiting from house to house, collecting the dollars, selling the missionary literature, or lending her own where they have not the means to buy. Mrs. E. S. Latourette, Mrs. Brownson, and Mrs. Farnham all reported encouragingly. Several baby bands have been organized. These were the names of babies, for each of whom the mothers paid ten cents a year. Other bands, with different names, but mostly composed of children or young people, were also organized. In fact, nearly all the churches which had a Circle, had also a band of young people, with some suggestive name, and all these gave life and stimulus to the work. Encouraging letters were frequently received from Miss Buzzell, in which she vividly portrayed her life with its labors and surroundings in China. She is a fine writer, and her pen-pictures life-like and instructive, gave renewed strength, courage, and zeal to the noble band of sisters who were sustaining her. The different Associations began to notice the work more extensively, and at least three or four of them gave it a place in their regular order of business. In her Report at the Rogue River Association, Mrs. Farnham utters a truth that it would be well to ponder in all our denominational work. "We have noted this fact, that the more intelligent people are, and the more they read and inform themselves, the more freely they give, and the more heartily they work. In other words, scatter information to produce grand results. Apropos to this, the Mount Pleasant Association in 1886 urged the circulation of Foreign Mission literature, and that the pastor and some sister of each church, be a committee to solicit and collect, regularly, contributions from each member; and that we, as churches, support to the utmost, our Branch of the Women's Foreign and Home Mission Societies. Miss Buzzell was still supported, and her letters were regularly received. Her salary and expense in 1886 were $700.
The regular annual meeting was held at Salem, October 21, 1886. The Secretary's Report said: "The one great hindrance to our cause all over the State, is lack of information on missionary subjects. The weakness and poverty of many was another cause, but many of these were trying to do a little." Mrs. H. W. Estes was trying to look after matters in the Grande Ronde Association; Mrs. J. M. Walker in the Mount Pleasant; Miss Adelia Snelling in the Eastern, or more specially at Lakeview and about Goose Lake; Mrs. S. E. Farnham in the Rogue River; and Miss Mima Harlow in the Corvallis. Mrs. Brownson reported for the Central; and Mrs. A. M. Porter for the Willamette. Every church in the latter had a Circle. All these were working earnestly and faithfully, and one of their best instrumentalities was the judicious distribution of missionary literature.
Their entire collections to October, 1886, were $4604.87. (See tables for itemized statements).
3. HOME MISSIONS. A. B. H. M. SOCIETY
The work of the A. B. H, M. Society in 1876 had dwindled in Oregon until but two men remained in its employ, and the outlook for help was not the most encouraging. In alluding to this condition, the Society says:
"The set time to favor this part of the nation does not yet seem to come. As yet, it is a day of small things. The remoteness of this section from the most of our country, and that sense of distance, if not isolation from the stirring centers of the East, which is found to oppress many and thus make them desire to return, will be removed at no distant day. Meanwhile the noble band of faithful men who cling to their post and bear the toil for Christ's sake are laying strong foundations for permanence. The Society hopes, as it deeply desires, to strengthen the things which remain the coming year."
In 1877 Rev. S. C. Price took Brother Reese's place at Eugene, and Brother Reese went to The Dalles, and Rev. James Wells was stationed at Gervais, (French Prairie); all under appointment from the H. M. Society. And the State Convention."Resolved: That we are grateful for all that the American Baptist Home Mission Society has done, and is now doing, on this vast field, and that we respectfully urge the brethren of the Executive Board to extend their work on the North Pacific coast as rapidly as possible, believing that in no part of their field is their help more needed, or encouragement for expenditure of money greater."
In 1879 Brother Wells writes that he is in the strongest Catholic community in the State, though there were many Protestants and unbelievers on his field, and many of the people were anxious for the Gospel. He regarded Oregon as the most hopeful mission field in the Union, and that well directed labor would bring large returns. He had a church of 30 members, to whom he preached every Sunday morning, and had a mission station at Silverton, 12 miles distant, for the afternoon. He was well pleased with his work and its prospects, and thought the outlook good all about him, in other parts of the State. Four missionaries were on the field, and all working with much zeal and success. The gain in contributions almost trebled that of the year before. And the Chinese work, under Rev. Dong Gong was prospering and the truth taking a hold on that people. At the evening services, the house was usually full; strange faces were often seen; the best attention given, and all seemed loth to depart at the close. Fuller details are given in the history of the work in Portland.
In 1880, the Society commissioned nine men; one as general missionary for the Convention; one as general missionary for the Chinese; seven as pastors of churches. Their aggregate time for the year was five years. The Society also this year proposed a plan of cooperation with the Convention, which was approved by the Convention. (See Convention work). Contributions for the work this year were from 38 churches, and five Sunday Schools. In 1881, the Society had 14 men on the field; all of whom were pastors of churches, except the general missionary of the Convention. and a general missionary for the Scandinavians. The aggregate time of all was 9 years and 21 weeks. In speaking of our work this year, Rev. A. J. Hunsaker says: "During the 12 months from April 7, 1881, to March 31, 1882, we raised for mission purposes, including the Jubilee offering, $2862.74; for Foreign Missions, $379.95; for new college building at McMinnville, $20,000;" and the W. B. F. M. Society raised $379.10. And the President of the Mission Board said that "in proportion to their wealth and numbers, no district in North America was doing more in the way of raising money for all purposes than this field." And of the results of the Chinese effort, and labor on this coast, Rev. D. J. Pierce thus sums it up:
"It is sadly inconsistent to pray for the conversion of China, and at the same time make war on the Chinese whom God has placed among us to receive impressions of Christian civilization.
"November 13, 1874, a Chinese mission was opened at Portland, Oregon, which has proved one of the most remarkable movements on the Pacific coast.
"In six months from the opening of the school ten converts were baptized one of whom is studying for a missionary in Kalamazoo College, four are managing a Christian Chinese mercantile business in Portland, and all but one are leading earnest Christian lives.
"In six years, over 60 have been baptized, only one of whom has receded from his Christian faith.
"The Chinese have given over $1000 the past year (besides paying their teachers $1 each per month) for the erection of a chapel and the support of a missionary in China."
And yet, with all these contributions, and with all these encouraging results, the calls for aid came pouring in, and some of them so pressing, and so important, that it appeared almost a sin not to heed them, but a lack of means forbade. Two or three are named:
The Dalles; the gateway of Eastern Oregon and Washington. Its growing commercial importance cannot be overestimated. Substantially, all the trade of that vast section had to pass through it. Rev. C. W. Reese's time expired, and his commission could not be renewed. Here, in the midst of large and growing grazing and agricultural interests, and an already tremendous commercial interests, with a good house of worship, a good membership, and plenty of material to work upon, they plead for a strong man, but plead in vain.
Astoria was anxiously waiting. Near the mouth of the Columbia, the outlet to the sea, a center of business, through which the resources of this great country must largely pass to the marts of the world; the place where some of the greatest salmon fisheries of the world are located; and, as the country developed, must grow in population and wealth. Astoria was looking and begging for a pastor. Here was a house of worship, no debt, and an open field. The church itself was somewhat scattered, and therefore the more pressing the call. For two years an effort had been made to settle a man at this place, and we sometimes thought he had been secured, but so far it was a failure.
McMinnville. A county seat, well located, backed by a well-to-do farming population, it was an ideal town. Like Mount Zion, it was "beautiful for situation." Our Baptist College is there, and we were about to put up a $20,000 building for it. Every prospect indicated that the talent, the brains, and the elite of the denomination of Oregon at least would center there. It was very nearly, if not quite, the most important field for Baptists. It had a wide-awake membership, but no house of worship. It worshipped in the College chapel. It ought to build, but was not able according to its immediate demand, to say nothing of prospective growth; and it needed help. The church was willing, but dared not venture. It needed a strong, cultivated man of God, to lead its work. But the answer was not yet.
Nor were these all. Loud, urgent calls came from all parts of the field, but not all could be supplied. Of the work on the field, Rev. C. P. Bailey wrote most encouragingly from Coos county. He had built a meeting house at Sumner, and was maturing to build at Marshfield, where the church had more than doubled under his labors. He had organized one church, and had revivals in several places. He wanted another man to help him. But there was neither man nor means. This shows some of the demands made upon the Society for help. Truly there was sufficient opening to call for its most liberal munificence.
And our numerical strength at that time, as reported, was less than 3000 members, all told. And whilst this small company of faithful believers, of whom nearly all were at their best, only in very moderate circumstances, were thus straining every nerve to its utmost to meet these demands, some of our later men, doubtless ignorant, but none the less mistaken, were publishing us as anti-rnissionary. The following sample is from one of the most prominent of these men who make such mistakes:
"The man who has lived in Oregon for ten years, never under any circumstances shows a particle of enthusiasm in any phase of Christian work. Whether it be the building of a house of worship, the ordinary church work, the establishment of a denominational paper, or the founding of a college, the work must go on from start to finish with a dead lift, and no man cheering his brother with a single enthusiastic utterance." This is published as Baptist history.
It might do to advise those who have such conceptions of our early work, to examine the records and authorities, and possibly they might get some faint conception of what they were writing about.
In 1881 the Society extended the workings of the Church Edifice Fund to aid in building a meeting house, to Oregon; a Benevolent Fund being added to the Loan Fund. The first aid in Oregon, was a donation of $500 to the Pendleton church. As this matter is of considerable importance to Oregon Baptists, an outline of some of its more important features, principles, and rules, taken from the Reports, are here presented:
Churches must help themselves as much as possible, and aid will be given to points with best prospects of immediate returns, and the aid not to exceed one-half the value of the house when completed, and $500 the usual limit. Aid may be by installments. Money is loaned or donated, or both, but before it is paid over, churches must furnish proper vouchers for the legality and correctness of papers and documents, setting forth the organization, incorporation, titles, plans, modifications, the sum needed to complete the building, the time necessary for completion, and its probable value when completed. If loaned, interest is at 7 per cent per annum, payable semi-annually, in N. Y. The Board will not abate interest nor principal, nor change terms. The note is to be paid in full at the end of a stipulated time. The fund is not used to pay debts, to repair houses, to build parsonages, to pay pastors' salaries, to pay current expenses, nor to aid churches not in cooperation with the Society. If the money is a donation, a conditional mortgage is required to cover it, if the property ceases to be used for the purposes of a Baptist church, or is alienated from the Baptist denomination. When it is loaned it must be secured, (1) By a mortgage on the property, with all stays and appraisements waived. (2) By a personal bond acceptable to the Board for the interest. (3) Whether loaned or donated, an insurance policy from a responsible company, approved by the Society, and legally assigned as collateral security for the loan; loss, if any, payable to the Society for their claim; to be renewed if necessary , and receipt sent to the Society. (4) A certificate from a responsible attorney, living in the vicinity, that all papers are legal, and in due form. After this the application must be approved by the general missionary of the State Convention, and the church must also agree to take and send to the Society an annual collection for its benefit. For further details, and advice as to how, when, where, and what kind of a house to build, consult the H. M. Monthly, or write to the A. B. H. M. Society, 312 Fourth Avenue, New York, N. Y.
From the close of 1881 to about the close of 1885 the H. M. Society, each year had about 15 or 16 missionaries commissioned in Oregon; some times for a year, but if renewed, it was often for a shorter time; so that the aggregate average of time per year was from 9 to 10 years. Rev. J. C. Baker was appointed as Superintendent of Missions for the Pacific Coast, by the Society in June 1882, and filled that position till about the close of 1886. Rev. A. J. Hunsaker was the General Missionary of the Convention until 1884, when Rev. C. M. Hill followed him until the close of 1886. Rev. O. Okerson was a General Missionary for the Scandinavians. In 1882 Rev. Fung Chak sent $85 as a Jubilee offering to the Society from the Chinese of Portland, and writing for more help, says:
"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 be 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."
Rev. A. J. Hunsaker said of the work.
"I am truly glad, yes, rejoiced, that you, though at a great distance from us, have so grand views of the field you are so liberally aiding. We, on this field. think there is not another like it in all North America. It is capable of furnishing homes for 25,000,000 of people, and as rapidly increasing in population, and developing in resources. We have several fields waiting and wanting pastors."
And Rev. S. C. Price says the cooperation has been of the most harmonious character, and of immense advantage to us, making possible the very gratifying enlargement of our work as shown in our Reports. The Convention also recommends its continuance. The liberal offer of $2 from the Society to $1 from the field, was manifest in the increased contributions, and was a healthy stimulant to our people. The Central Association in 1883 most heartily recommended the work as it was being prosecuted, and that an effort be made to raise at least $1 per member for this object during the year. It also recommended the monthly concert of prayer for missions, and the taking of the Home Mission Monthly.
But the Society had become embarrassed, and there was some talk of retrenchment. The 15 localities being cultivated were all imperatively needing help. Of course, there were protests. Brother Baker made a stirring appeal, and hinted that if retrenchment must come, it should be in some of the interior States, less important, (as he looked at it); but the Society said "Not a dollar less there, but thousands more (must be raised) for the further Northwest. And Rev. E. P. Waltz, after describing his field, thus writes:
"The cry comes continually from the other four churches, 'Come and spend a Sabbath with us.' Some of them have not heard a sermon for six months, and none of them have regular preaching. Hundreds are sending the cry from all parts of the two counties. 'Bring the Bread of Life to us.' Many, and some of them Baptists too, have not heard a Gospel sermon for two or three, and even ten years. One man came to hear me preach, some time ago, who had not heard a sermon for seven years, and although unconverted, and living 12 miles away, he willingly gave me $25 for our meetinghouse. The people are anxious for the Gospel, and hear it as readily as any people in the United States; but who is to preach to them? Scattered over a country 80x150 miles, and in perhaps 100 different neighborhoods, it would take more than half a dozen ministers to reach them, and what can one lone man do among so many? But we are praying for more laborers in the vineyard."
In 1884 six new men were sent to Oregon. Aid was obtained in building 3 meeting houses; $1400 donation; $900 loaned; churches aided 3; Marshfield, Albany, and Portland Scandinavian. In the Home Mission Monthly for 1884, page 292 is found the following:
"There is no success in a Union house, and no aid can be obtained in any form from the Home Mission Society toward building such a house. We should own the house that it may preach for us; and in all cases, we can if we will."
There was a falling off in 1885. Only 9 missionaries employed; but some others filled out the balance of time on their commissions. In April it was found that retrenchment was necessary from lack of funds. The Oregon Board "Resolved, after prayerful discussion, to carry the men on the fields with their present salaries, until the Convention met, but to open no more fields." The number of men dropping out, made this possible, and would not embarrass the Convention. During the year, 6 churches were aided. in building; $2500 donation; $500 loan. Rev. C. A. Wooddy thus speaks for his field:
"To the west of us are two very interesting fields where work is needed very much. I can hardly make it plain to you, yet it is 90 miles from me to the west, country almost all taken, before there is a church of our faith where there is preaching, and there only once a month. Twenty-two miles northwest of me is a village of about 150 people, surrounded by a farming country, where there is no church of any kind, save seventh day Adventists, and they number 7. There are, to my knowledge 15 Baptists there or there about. They want me to come and organize a church. Two different men have offered lots for a church building, and I think $800 or $1000 can be secured to build. I have preached there a few times. I fear to begin, for I know of no one to carry on the work if begun. About 15 miles from that point I have been repeatedly asked to visit a neighborhood and organize a church. A list of 16 names has been sent me who will go into a church, with the assurance that there are others also, and all these within a radius of six miles. There is a licentiate there, who thinks he can care for the church if organized. I hope to visit the place soon."
When one considers the trouble in 1885, which severed cooperation between the A. B. H. M. Society and the Oregon Convention, and ultimately compelled Brother Baker's resignation, he need not be surprised that the work in Oregon suffered serious injury, and in some localities, almost, if not complete disaster. No doubt many brethren were impulsively led away by the clamor. With more careful investigation and cooler deliberation, the results would have been very different. Whilst many doubters regarded the office of Superintendent of Missions as unnecessary, and that its work could easily have been looked after by the general missionary, yet as long as their private views on disputed points were respected, and their rights as individuals and as churches were not invoked, they were indifferent, and hence, were almost unconsciously driven to acts, which many afterwards deeply regretted. Brother Baker's management was very generally acceptable to the churches as a whole; and for tact, skill, energy, consecration to the cause, and a just reward for all, and for general efficiency, he was fully equal to any who have labored in Oregon. He gives a very fair presentation of the condition of the work in 1885. His statements are
"1. That the generous aid granted by the Society, both in the support of missionaries and in the erection of houses of worship, is everywhere acknowledged and appreciated, and the embarrassment of the Society lamented and grieved over for want of ability to aid in relieving the same.
"2. That the enlargement of the work on this field has been a necessity. The Board could have done nothing less. Four new men have been put on as many important points; (Oregon only) all county seats; population as follows: Roseburg, 1200; Eugene, 1500, with State University; Albany, 2000; Pendleton, 1500, with Indian reservation adjoining; and two other men at points not less important; Lagrande with 1200, and East Portland with 6000 population. To have left these fields unoccupied, and not to have brought these 6 men to this country, who were ready to come, and each of whom could have settled in the East upon as large, or larger salary, would have been the greatest stupidity, and both your agent and the Board itself would have subjected themselves to the severest criticism by the Society and the denomination, upon failure to possess, by occupancy, these fields.
"3. That Astoria, population 7000, county seat, with from 1000 to 2000 Chinese population, now has its house closed for want of a pastor. Corvallis, 2000 population, another county seat, with lots, and a foundation for a house laid, is without a man to take up the work. Empire City, a county seat with 900 population, with the largest lumber mill on the coast, has no man. Yaquina, at the terminus of a railroad and a good harbor on the Pacific ocean; no man. The Portland Scandinavian Mission and the German population; with neither of them a man."
How the matter was regarded by the Society is told in the Report for 1887:
"Rev. J. C. Baker, whose services as Superintendent of Missions for the North Pacific Coast have contributed largely to the development of our interests there, retires from this position, (and)--leaves the work in excellent condition and with credit to himself."
Aggregates, from 1876 to 1886. From A. B. H. M. Society Reports. Men commissioned, 35; several commissions renewed; fields occupied, 35; time of labor, 61 years, 44 weeks; paid on salaries, $24,934.42; paid on meetinghouses, gifts, $3700; loans, $2275; total aid in building, $5975; total aid for all purposes, $30,910.42. Collected on the fields by the Missionaries for benevolent purposes, $9595.93.
4. WOMEN'S BAPTIST HOME MISSION SOCIETIES
The early work of the W. B. H. M. Society in Oregon, like that of the W. B. F. M. Society, was altogether individual effort outside of organization, unless it was a simple local Circle. The first record is in the Report of the Society at Chicago, for 1881-82, which says, "One bright link at Portland binds us to the Pacific coast; may the near future see it multiplied into scores." In 1882-83 Mrs. B. F. McLafferty reported an interest in the work at Springfield and Eugene. At the latter place the Young Ladies' Band had been particularly active during the past year with good results. Mrs. McLafferty says: "The work here is different from what it is in the East. For some time at least, it must be an unreportable work, which only she who attempts it may know. Foundations, you know, are out of sight." But Oregon is credited this year with "Goods, $37.10." Again, the Report in 1884 says: "Our coworkers in Oregon have reported activity in industrial school work, and have sent much needed supplies to our missionaries in the Southern field." Yet Mrs. J. Q. A. Henry in "Tidings" of December, 1884, reported the organization of a Young Ladies' Home Mission Society, which she supposed was the only one that exists in the state. The same year, Rev. J. C. Baker appeals to the women for both Foreign and Home Missions, as follows:
"I beg leave to call the attention of the sisters in our churches to the noble effort being so successfully made in the department of Foreign Mission work by the Foreign Mission Societies, on our field and the amount they are able to develop for carrying forward a work of so great importance and which lies so near our hearts. I would earnestly ask our sisters to consider the necessity of organizing the Women's Home Mission work on this great field, giving it the same wise, earnest, prayerful, and financial help, they are now lending to the Foreign work. It seems to me that this is much needed in the interest of Foreign work as well. Strong churches must be built up at home, or the Foreign work will suffer in the end. So there is a distinctive work for women in Home Missions on our field, so nearly allied to the Foreign work that it can not be left undone, except that it suffer too. I refer to the work among the Chinese families, and the Scandinavian and Russian Finn families. Here is a great field open, and the Convention is powerless to touch it; so at the present, is the Home Mission Society. Indeed we are in great danger of having to dismiss missionaries already under employ. Will not our Sisters come to our aid?"
In 1884-85, 4 branches and bands were reported. and the Report of Mrs. J. C. Baker says: "Our work is just beginning in Oregon, and whilst there is as yet but little to report, this represents the precious "first fruits" and is an earnest of more to follow. We have a small, but capable and faithful band of workers, and with Mrs. Baker at their head, Mrs. Henry at Portland, and others worthy of mention ready to cooperate, we expect a much larger in gathering next year. Be of good cheer, Oregon, 'Large streams from little fountains flow,' and already the waters have gushed forth." And the Report, besides statistics, names one life member, Mrs. R. Williams. In 1885-86 Mrs. Baker reports 2 Associational directors 5 branches and bands, $30 cash, and $11 goods distributed. The Report says:
"Oregon forms no exception to her sister States on the frontier, in her own great need and in the paucity of earnest Christians and money to organize and carry on religious institutions and work. But there is a remnant who are faithful and they are 'holding on.' We believe they are among those who will be faithful to the end and receive the reward of fidelity. Mrs. Baker has been hindered much of the year by ill health, but expresses deep interest in the cause of Home Missions, and says, in tendering her resignation, that if she cannot give personal, official labor, she will give sincere sympathy and hearty prayers. She attended and presented the work at the Central and Willamette Associations, but since that time has been laid aside by sickness. Mrs. Davis reports nearly $100 cash as raised by the various branches and bands in Oregon City and Portland. But little of this money has come into our treasury, more than one-half of it having been used in the work of the State Convention. Besides this money there have been donations in goods. We have often been cheered by the enthusiastic interest and successful efforts of Mrs. Henry, of Portland. She believes in beginning a missionary education early, and reports 127 little folks in the Baby Bands. Let this education continue and we will have many good workers in Oregon by and by."
In the Report of Mrs. S. P. Davis, the Vice President for 1886-87, she says:
"During the greater portion of the year Oregon was without a Vice President, Mrs. Baker's health compelled her resignation. Mrs. Davis received her appointment February 7, and although heavily burdened with other work, very kindly consented to serve the Society in this capacity. The needs of Oregon are great and for some time her contributions to Home Mission work outside of her own boundaries may not appear large, but there are noble Christian women in the State and they are doing what they can to lead out the missionary spirit of the sisters. Mrs. Davis thinks the interest is increasing. Three out of the four Branches reported are using the Home Mission Lessons. There are several Baby Bands in the State which have contributed $13.20. As these little folks grow in stature, they will grow in knowledge, and there will be a proportionate increase in their gifts. Mrs. J. Q. A. Henry has been untiring in her sacrifice, and Celeste continues to send in recruits for Baby Bands."
5. AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY
When in 1866, Brother A. M. Cornelius was appointed a Colporteur for the North Pacific coast, he, as well as Brother W. J. Laughary. and Rev. S. E. Stearns, who succeeded him for substantially the same field, gave Oregon considerable attention until 1877, and the brethren patronized them largely and contributed quite liberally for their support. The sale of books was encouraging, and many books, Bibles, Testaments, Tracts, etc., were donated, and the Colporteur was always welcomed, and they did a vast amount of good, in organizing and aiding Sunday Schools, and in other missionary work. But after 1877, the Society did little colporteur work in Oregon. Colporteurs were in Washington and Idaho, but in Oregon, they only made an occasional visit along the borders, and it was not until Rev. E. G. Wheeler was made a Colporteur and Sunday School missionary, in 1886, that much attention was given to Oregon. Since 1877, Brother Stearns had given 61 days and Rev. T. CIay Neece had given 170 days in 1882-3. Rev. W. E. M. James had also given a little time along the Columbia. (For itemized statements see tables).
Whilst little direct colporteur work was done by the Society , it by no means follows that Oregon was forgotten or abandoned by it. In 1880, it transferred to the N. P. C. Convention Board of Missions $1772.40 worth of books, (largely S.S. books), for which the Board engaged the Society 4 years of faithful colporteur work on this field. This was given, but the greater part of the work was in Washington. The American Bible Union also gave the Convention books valued at $106 But the Society sent $468.93; more than was expected, making the grant $2241.33. The stock went fast; in 1883, only $570.48 was left, but the donations to Sunday Schools, churches, and individuals were $286.23. In 1883, the Convention of the N. P. C. sent a collection, and made a very glowing Report commending the Society. In 1884, the Sunday School of the First Church of Portland sent $100 to aid Brother McMichael in his colporteur work. During this decade, the Society gave in colporteur work, 1 year, 231 days; miles traveled, 546; value of sales, $162.02; donated 11 books; organized one church, and three Sunday Schools. Grants, from Bible department, 2055 copies, worth $327.99; collections for the Society, $73.65; from the Missionary department, grants, 42; value $502.58; receipts $1493.53; book department, grants, 9; value $46.59; total; grants 2106; value $877.16; receipts, $1567.18. Add grant to Convention, $2347.33; total $3224.49.
IV. EDUCATIONAL WORK
The Educational work of the Baptists of Oregon is simply the history of McMinnville College. The year 1877 was not a very encouraging one for that Institution. Rev. Sterling Hill was traveling for it as financial agent at $50 a month, and paying his own expenses. Brother J. E. Magers, who had charge of the school, resigned and Rev. E. Russ and Miss Lizzie Baker kept it up during the summer, but the prospects were gloomy. Some were attending on scholarships with the interest unpaid, and $267 to be borrowed to pay the teachers. The liabilities were $2205.62, of this, $1551.96 was due the teachers. Yet Willamette Association said, "We cannot estimate the good already done for the churches from this school. The young men and women who have gone there have caught the spirit of Christ and carried it to their homes, and have done much in uniting the Baptists of Oregon. We earnestly desire to see this college the leading school of the State, where our children may learn of Jesus, as well as receive the highest education." In support of this, it may be said that several of the students were professors of religion, and kept up a weekly prayer meeting, and were active and zealous in Christian work.
The Presidency was offered to two or three men but was not accepted. In December Brother Hill resigned, and Brother David Hurst was appointed financial agent. To secure the debt, Deacon J. Beezley subscribed $300, and Brethren Henry Warren and E. Russ $50 each, provided all was secured.
In April, 1878, Brother Hunsaker wrote to the Baptist Beacon' "The College debt is provided for." Brother Hurst had secured it all but about $300 in pledges payable when the entire amount was raised, and the Executive Board had pledged the $300. "This opens the way to secure a President, and we will begin the year with a good, live man in the chair." So on May 7, 1878, Rev. G. J. Burchett was elected President at $1000 a year. But in July it was agreed that President Burchett should travel awhile for the school, it being suspended from April until fall. Brother D. C. Latourette was chosen professor of Mathematics at $800 a year; Miss Lizzie Baker, Assistant. These appointments were all well received by the denomination.
Of the appointees, Brother Burchett was a graduate of William Jewell College, Mo., and had spent two years in a Theological course at Chicago, Illinois. He was a preacher of more than ordinary ability, a successful pastor, and possessed many qualities that eminently fitted him for his position. He was about 30 years of age, of strong physical constitution, and had been on the coast long enough to be thoroughly identified with our denominational interests. His wife was an accomplished lady, an Academic graduate, a music teacher, and a valuable helper. Brother Latourette was the son of Deacon Latourette of Oregon City, a graduate of Pacific University, at Forest Grove. and one of the promising young men of Oregon. As such, he could take hold of the work with an interest and appreciation acquired only from personal identification with it from boyhood. The prospects of the College were brightening, and brethren gained courage. Brother Burchett thus spoke of his work:
"In accepting the Presidency of this College. I have accepted a fearful work; to fail in the work before me would be terrible; to succeed would be enough for one man in a long, useful life time. I have constantly refused for days, this call, because I did not deem my ability sufficient for such a task; but now, just what I am, I lay myself upon God's altar in trust, and will see what He will bring out of it. I bring to this work no long experience, no great gifts, no great qualifications, no great means; only a life that may be used to lay the foundations for a great work to be done. I must sincerely hope that the people will lose sight of me in their denominational work of Education as we are now undertaking it."
The new President entered upon his work in June, 1878, and began traveling, visiting churches and Associations, trying to inspire confidence among the brethren, and secure students for the opening of the school in the fall. He had to contend with obstacles almost insurmountable. The college building was old, and becoming dilapidated and more than unsuitable. He met every where the discouragements of the past. Any previous mistake or failure was used as a reason for doing nothing now. Many were unwilling to have their children go to such a school when there were other good schools in the State in better buildings. There was a small library, no apparatus, and no place to put such things if possessed. McMinnville was a village of about 700 inhabitants, with no railroad, and a former failure to secure one, made the prospect doubtful for the future. There were a few students, and a few willing to send students. Many would befriend the college if it succeeded; there were a few never failing friends; these were true and tried; the same in the dark as in the light. In meeting these difficulties, and stirring up the people from their lethargy and indifference, if not hostility, more opposition was inevitable. Brother Burchett urged, and sometimes even scolded; nor is this a matter of surprise; an older man would have felt the burden heavily; should less be expected from a man young and inexperienced?
The school opened in September with an encouraging attendance. The enrollment for the year was 94. This brought a ray of hope. During the college year there was not a discord. In the fall three young men began a course in Theology in connection with their other studies. The students formed a literary Society that bid fair to be a great help. The Treasurer's Report showed notes and cash on hand; principal, $22,698.83; interest, $3398.38. On the whole, every thing was encouraging; the school was as much a success as circumstances would admit, and brethren were urged to work unitedly for it, and make it more and more successful. In March 1879, the first regular catalogue was published; the one or two published previous to these being irregular and far apart. Brother Burchett's salary was raised to $1200, but of this, he gave $100 a year on a scholarship. He also secured a few contributions as the beginning of a library for the college; a Greek Lexicon and a set of Hebrew books from Mrs. A. W. Kinney, of Salem; over 120 Nos. of the Atlantic Monthly from Hon. W. S. Caldwell; of Portland; and some Bibles and singing books from the A. B. P. Society, per Rev. J. C. Baker. Professor Latourette was also remembered. He was allowed, in addition to his salary, two rooms, wood for one of them, and $100 to apply on a scholarship each year, and to be available when a half scholarship was paid. Rev. A. J. Hunsaker was made financial agent; the church giving him a vacation of two months for that purpose.
At the Board meeting at the close of the first school year, their attention was called to the condition of the old college building. After much deliberation, it was decided to make an effort to build. President Burchett had been very urgent and sanguine about this, and the Board requested him to spend his vacation in working up the matter, and he undertook it with all the alacrity of a schoolboy. and at his own expense, and without renumeration (sic) except his wages as teacher. Thus he "rested" during his vacation. During his school year he had done the work of three men, teaching from early morn until night after night, and classes from the English Spelling book to Greek and Latin; besides preaching once or twice nearly every Sunday, often riding from 5 to 15 miles to his appointment. Well, perhaps this was "rest;" but if a slang phrase is allowable, it looks more like "riding a free horse to death." But it was his own voluntary work.
The first call for money was at the Central Association, where, on June 6th., he delivered the Educational address and awakened such enthusiasm that in a few minutes he secured pledges for the new building for $1375. The doubtful brethren began to take courage, because that which had seemed too good to be true now appeared almost in sight, and the Educational Report was heartily adopted giving co-operation to the movement. But it was not all smooth sailing. The new building was estimated to cost from $20,000 to $25,000, and "No debt was to be incurred." So Brother David Hurst was appointed to canvass Yamhill county, where the college was located; his salary $3 a day, to be taken from the funds received. The salary of the financial agent, Brother Hunsaker, was set at $900 a year and traveling expenses for the time actually given; also paid from the funds received. But Brother Hunsaker was at that time employed by the Home Mission Board, and traveled a short time with the consent of that Board. Some questions diverted a little attention, (changing the location was one,) and some desired to wait and see "how it would turn out." Brother Burchett secured $825 in pledges at the Corvallis Association, and $865 at the Willamette Association. But he saw with sorrow and mortification that it was a foregone conclusion that but little more could be secured that season. The brethren must have time to debate the new questions. The most that could be done would be to pacify their feelings and try to increase their confidence in the movement. At this aspect of things some of the friends of the college began to tremble, but the true ones stood firm.
But Brother Burchett can tell his own story. In a letter recently written for the college, and published in the Telephone Register of McMinnville he thus speaks of his labors:
"Much time, and great pains should be given to produce a letter equal to this occasion. A calm, and dignified history should be written of the times and events covering that period mentioned to me for reviewing. I regret to say that I really have not the time. I probably could not command the adequate ability, nor have I the material at hand without much searching through old records with which to compile such a history. Now, therefore, I shall crave your indulgence while I recite a few events just as they then appeared to me. Kindly bear that point in mind: "Just as they then appeared to me." I do not assume that I saw them rightly, nor dealt with them wisely.
To begin with, my acceptance of the Presidency of McMinnville College was a strange event. I could not have been made to believe twenty four hours before it took place that I would ever consent to it. I did not prepare for teaching during my college course; I never sought academic honors such as College men ought to have. I sought the preparation of a preacher pure and simple, believing that to be my calling. Then, moreover, I saw no special hope for the college at that day. In fact the board of trustees told me frankly that they were not hopeful, but they did not believe that it ought to be given up without sacrificing at least some man in trying to establish it, and I might as well be sacrificed as anyone else." That is the situation I accepted. And I did so with three important churches pressing me to accept their calls to the pastorate. Now, upon accepting the Presidency, and looking about to see what was to be done, it seemed to me that there were important points that must be met immediately.
1st, we must get students. Unless we could get students there could be no possible inducement to talk about doing college work. The Board of Trustees, therefore, sent me out through the vacation period to find a college to teach. We had no school to teach, I must find one. Fortunately for me, that my work with the institution began during the vacation season, so that I could go over the country, visit associations and procure a school to teach. At every point inquiring eyes were upon me, and sharp questions pushed forward mercilessly. The import of them all was this, "What have you to offer to the students who may go to McMinnville?" That was a most embarrassing question. There was that old building, any man runs the risk of veracity who at this day tries to describe it. That building would not keep out water when it rained; nor wind when it blew, nor cold when it froze--and worst of all, it would not burn when it took fire. Well do I remember standing one day upon the campus with Henry Warren of hallowed memory. We were viewing the old building; I often made rash speeches in those days; I made one on that occasion; I said, "Bro. Warren, why is it that this old building will not burn?" He looked shocked and gravely said, "You ought not to have made that remark, if the building should bum, and that remark should get to the insurance men you would be liable for the insurance." I said, "Yes, but the fact is, it simply will not burn." The whole structure was little else than a tinder box made of pitchy Oregon fir. The second story rooms were largely ceiled with cloth. The students for want of a better gymnasium had performed the circus act of leaping through the hoop until the cloth hung from the rafters in great strips and flaps. It hung in full reach of every kerosene lamp, candle or match. Often it did actually take fire, but it would not burn. I recall now, that on one occasion a student had set his ash box in the upper hall; he had left live coals in it; they burned through the box, and far in the night, the fire took hold upon the fir floor. That unlucky student chanced to smell the smoke, got up, went to the well down stairs, filled his old cow hide boot with water, and poured it upon the blaze and extinguished it. All the engines in town could not have saved any other building under similar circumstances. Imagine a room with a shell-like connection with every other room! We had three in all for recitations--and whatever was done in one room sounded more or less in all the other rooms. This was what we had to offer to the prospective students.
"As to apparatus: Well, as I recall it, we had an old apple box full of broken Leyden jars. We had an ancient air-pump into which you might put a mouse, and then pump all day, and he would sit there in perfect comfort and smile at you. We had about as many books for a library as a generous old maid could carry in her large white apron. And we had an old time mounted spherical geography. I sincerely hope that I am not thought to be speaking lightly of any of these things--certainly not of that old globe-like geography. It was a world of comfort to me. I used to keep it dose to my desk, and I would revolve it round and round and be reminded that the world was moving. Well, these were the accommodations that we could offer to the prospective student. Now, let it be remembered that our loyal Oregon brethren did send about one hundred of their children to that college under those circumstances. That seems to settle the first question, as to whether we could get students, (whether we could obtain the real college to teach.)
At the close of the year, or near it I pressed the question heavily upon the Board, of a place to put the school, a suitable building. I felt that we could not hope to hold very many students for any length of time in such a structure. And if the school should again begin to run down, then we were gone. I pushed my question, "Shall we have a suitable building?"
"I succeeded in getting a meeting of the Board (to come together) to consider the advisability of making an effort to raise funds for a new building. I soon discovered that the one man whom I had to convert to that scheme was A. W. Kinney, of Salem, Oregon. A better man and a better friend the college never had. I feel the touch of his kind hand, and the pulse of his great heart to this very hour. But he was business, not impulsive like myself. He wanted to take time enough to do the thing right. What was the use of being led into trouble by a young, inexperienced enthusiast like myself? That was all considerate. Bro. Kinney had a way of explaining all my difficulties with the building. I took him into the structure; the winds were beating Yankee doodle in the sharp Spring winds; I called his attention to the sounds of the students who walked over head during our visit. I told him the worst things I could about it. He saw that I was making the old structure appear at its worst. He said that a reasonable sum of money judiciously used would make that structure suitable for at least a few years, and then we could have a chance to get on our feet, and not be swamped with a debt. I had not done my best yet; I took Bro. Kinney into the east room, I had intentionally had a broad board removed so that the foundations could be seen. The sills rested on large irregularly shaped boulders: The sills were slipping off of these outwardly and leaving the floors behind. The students when they were weary and did not think they had room enough on the floor for the exercise of their restless limbs could thrust them under the floor. I told Bro. Kinney that it would require the raising of the entire building, and then a large sum of money to put clamps enough on to hold that old hull together. That settled the point in his mind. He raised not another objection to trying for a new building.
"The old, grand, ever to be remembered Central Association met that year with the Oak Creek Baptist church. There I made my first plea for money to erect a new building. The brethren at that association have the honor of subscribing the first fifteen hundred dollars for the blessed work. I came to the Willamette Association which met that year at Amity. I thought I was going to carry things with high hand. Alas, for my hopes. Here was sprung a third question which was not in the ritual, never had been in the program before. Some one had gotten it into his mind that there might be a better place for the College than McMinnville. That some other city might offer more money for the buildings and endowments. I fought hard to crush the thing, I saw what the effects would be if that thing got headway. But I was beaten, and beaten badly. Propositions were to be received for a new location: That meant that I was to wait for results. And waiting under the circumstances was bad business. Of course no one would give money for an Institution which was afloat. In process of time it was evident that there was no city any more generous than our own McMinnville. So the third point was settled, and we took up the second one again, and went on with raising the money to met (sic) that imperative need.
"That was not an easy task. We had few brethren who were rich. The country was new; there were not very many Baptists in the whole state and surrounding territories where we might hope to obtain aid. I made a thorough canvass of the state, visited associations, churches, brethren, any body from whom I hoped to obtain a few dollars. The incidents which I have recorded during those days would fill a good sized volume. I shall confine myself to a very few: rail road facilities were not so good then as now. I wanted to take a boat at Dayton to reach some point on the side of the Willamette. The distance to walk was seven miles. I worked hard all forenoon on a hot day, getting home affairs arranged. My salary was about $80 a month, while many thought this a large sum, it actually did not allow me to hire help in the house, nor to get my wood sawed. I sawed wood, helped to wash, and did all the various kinds of work needful to keep a home going on rightly.
"Faint from hard work and heat I started for Dayton about 1 p. m. When about half way I fainted; I lay for two or three hours in a fence corner, hoping that some friendly team might come along. None came. By walking a few hundred yards at a time, and resting by the fences, I managed to get to a farm house, and get some water. Refreshed from this I continued walking and resting till I reached the house of Bro. Alderman. I reached his place about 8 o'clock. I had spent nearly eight hours walking seven miles. After a night's rest I was able to go on my way rejoicing. Another incident which I shall never forget took place at that same Dayton. Brother A. J. Hunsaker and myself came up the river on a boat from the North Pacific Coast Convention, which met that year in Oregon City. The boat was delayed and it was just daylight when we reached town. Going to the hotel we sat in the reception room. There were a number of rough men sitting there, and talking. Bro. Hunsaker and myself sat down, drew our coats about us, and rested. Those men chanced to drift into a discussion of the Bible and its teachings. They had many hard things to say about it. Their jests were very rude. Neither Bro. Hunsaker nor myself felt it worth while to offer a word to such a company.
"But while we sat there Brother Hunsaker had his Bible under his arm, and for some reason allowed it to slip out, and it rolled down over his knee, and out upon the floor in plain view. It at once attracted the attention of those jesting men. They saw what it was. It was the very book they had been reviling; it had come right out there in an unexpected manner. Brother Hunsaker carefully picked up the book and placed it back under his arm. But not another jest, nor unbecoming word escaped those men. Brethren, don't forget this hour in your recollections of other days; it was men like Brother Hunsaker who carried the Bible under their arms, near their hearts who made McMinnville College possible. Now, by the spring of 1881 we had secured the $20,000 for which we began, or so nearly to it that we counted it a safe proposition. Then a question of another teacher was raised. Our teaching force was in no way adequate to our needs. Then still another question was before us, our needs for furnishing the new building which would soon be begun; and apparatus sufficient at least for a start, together with additions to our library. I had gotten it into my mind that our Eastern brethren would help us, that if only those men of vast means once knew what a heroic struggle our brethren had made they would at least help to furnish the building, and assist in putting in scientific furnishings. So I hurried off East to see what could be done. The Board had asked me to recommend another teacher for the College. At the great May meeting that year in Indianapolis, Ind., I met Rev. E. C. Anderson, D. D., who wanted to come West. His testimonials were so good that I at once forwarded a recommendation of him to the board. The board elected him as a teacher at once, and he came on. I spent about two and a half months in the East visiting men and churches. I soon found that I had made a gigantic mistake. The moneyed men in summer time are invariably off at the fashionable watering places, or in Europe. They cannot be reached. Then on July 2d President James A. Garfield was assassinated; this gave an unsteady turn to things. I saw that I might gain any amount of good and useful information, but money was simply out of the question. Late in August, 1881, I made up my mind that if one should visit the East at the right time, say between October and March assistance for the college might be obtained. With this effort my work with the College terminated, and Dr. E. C. Anderson was elected as the next President. Brother Hunsaker generously suggests that I write a brief sketch of the administration of Dr. Anderson. My heart would respond most readily to this, but I have already drawn out these rambelings too far; and besides, that administration ought to have much more extended notice than it could possibly have here, even if I were the one to attempt it. Dr. Anderson was the high toned Christian gentleman. He was preeminently a scholar; he was among the most cultured men of our schools; he was classic, erudite, refined and genial. He was a student both of men and books. His thorough scholarship gave dignity and standing to our College. His personal worth and merits will undoubtedly continue to live as an unseen presence, though potent in the halls of that building he consecrated with his last earthly efforts for the higher education. His declining health by which he was rendered unable to meet the demands of the school, particularly the loss of an eye by accident; his patience and Christian endurance, and the sad closing hours, all minister to set his magnificent character and manhood in the fairest light. He had been pastor of the First Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon. The Failings had properly appreciated his genuine worth. They showed this by endowing a chair in the College in his honor. This is a part of that living memorial which is due to his saintly and scholarly life. No doubt at a fitting time some one who can do it will present a fitting memorial of the life, character and toils of the beloved Dr. Anderson.
"Now, I fear that I have largely missed that which was expected of me in this communication; but J shall not miss it by saying that I have labored in large cities, and among various classes of people since I left McMinnville, and no people I have met have gotten hold upon my heart as those of Oregon. I think of McMinnville, how she responded to our calls again and again in our efforts to secure the means for the College, and for students to fill our class rooms. That town often comes before me, and I have embedded her in my memory as the most endearing spot of earth. Those Oregon Baptists. They have grown upon my affections with the departing years. They were faithful beyond our thought, and a more genial, loving and loyal people have not come into view. That College, the result of so many prayers and tears is destined, through all the years, to reflect credit upon the builders, and bring much glory to God in the higher education of the youth for whom it was buildt. With sincere prayers for the same I am sincerely,
G. J. BURCHETT ."
The Convention at Brownsville heartily endorsed the movement, and the effect of these vexing questions was only temporary.
It was a matter of great joy that, in September, the school opened with an increase of students, showing that the confidence of the people at home and abroad was much strengthened. The question of location became settled; those about McMinnville who had become alarmed and indignant at the effort to take away their college, became satisfied that there was no danger, and the friends were multiplied. Some influential men in the State who had been standing aloof, rallied to the support of the school. The year passed off prosperously. The President was untiring. The press was often called upon to carry stirring appeals to the brethren, and the Beacon seldom came without an article on the work. The work of the schoolroom was fast becoming a problem. January, 1880, found about 80 students enrolled. Before the school year closed, the number had run up to nearly 100. How were two teachers to carry the classes? Brother Burchett's diary tells:
"Rose at half past three this morning; began work and study. I am compelled to begin teaching now at 8. a m., and to teach until dark; for in addition to my other work, I am teaching a class in theology; students for the ministry. Mrs. Burchett renders very valuable aid in the primary department. March. I am now exceedingly busy; all my class work on hand; the duties of the Presidency; and in addition to all this, I have a revival meeting in progress. I have been holding two services a day for some time; many of the students are being converted. I hold prayer meeting at 12:30 every day; preach at the evening service; and conduct the inquiry meeting. Today I baptized 10 hopeful converts."
The reports of these meetings went abroad. People were glad to send their children to a school with good religious impressions. More than this, the Baptists of the State saw that the principles sacred to them would be maintained here. All these things gave a strong impulse to the college work. The well informed, those who knew, were glad. Efforts were now made to raise the rest of the money for the new building. During the vacation the time was spent in pushing the needed amount to completion. And in order to systematize the work, and secure the greatest possible results in the shortest time, the Board divided the field where the money was to be raised into 15 districts and appointed a man to canvass each district for a certain sum. The subscriptions were to be paid in three installments; one-third each October, in 1880, '81, and '82, and all subscriptions to be void unless $20,000 was secured. Rev. J. C. Baker was to visit Washington and Eastern Oregon, and Revs. A. J. Hunsaker and G. J. Burchett the Corvallis Association and Southern Oregon, arrange for the work, and develop interest. The trustees were divided into three classes and elected for three years, as follows: First Class, 3 years; J. C. Baker, E. Russ, David Hurst, A. J. Hunsaker, J. E. Magers, T. W. Boardman. Second Class, 2 years; J. Beezley, R. C. Hill, A. C. Davis, A. W. Kinney, W. J. Crawford, Robert Foster. Third Class, 1 year; J. H. Teale, John Rhodes, A. S. Coates, George C. Bell, F. M. Long, Henry Warren.
Associations and churches were visited and liberal subscriptions taken. The Central Association pledged $2570.80. It was reported in the fall that only about $3000 remained to be secured. The School opened in September with G.J. Burchett, President; J. A. C. Freund, Professor of Mathematics, and Miss Clara Skinner and Annetta Hatch. Assistants. The first. second, and third terms averaged 54; the largest enrollment 81. But unforseen troubles and difficulties had to be met. Some large verbal promises for the building were much cut down, but by persistant effort the amount was again secured. The death of Deacon A. W. Kinney, January 1, 1881, was another severe loss. He was one of the tried friends of the college, and possessing ample resources, often came to its aid in perilous times. The other friends stood firm. In January, 1881, as a site for the new building and college campus was needed, Deacon Samuel Cozine and wife donated for this purpose 20 acres of land adjoining the city; Mrs. P. W. Chandler gave 5 acres adjoining this, for a Theological Seminary; and afterwards 5 acres were purchased of Brother Cozine. In March, the plan of the new building was adopted. In May Brother Baker, who had been appointed to complete the subscriptions, said that over $ 16,000 was subscribed, but all would be void by the terms of the subscription unless the $20,000 was secured before October 31, 1881, and made a strong appeal for help. On June 2, 1881, the old college campus was put on sale, for not less than $3000, reserving the old building and its use until the new one was ready. The new building was to be of brick, and to be completed free of debt. In July, Brother Baker said the subscription for the college building was completed. The $20,000 was secured. This was a large sum for only about 4000 Baptists. But friends about McMinnville, not Baptists, responded liberally, and some $2500 was thus realized.
Brother Baker urged the brethren to pay up at once, or to put their subscriptions in such shape that money could be realized on them, as by so doing, at least 20 per cent could be saved. Meanwhile the college needed further endowment. The teaching force was altogether too small. Its increase was an absolute necessity in order to promise a reasonable degree of success, and it was agreed that the President should have another teacher the coming year. A library and apparatus were also necessities. But the people had already been taxed to the utmost. How were these wants to be supplied? At last, after much deliberation, it was decided by the Board that some man must go East and solicit aid from brethren there. The man selected was President Burchett. He was to make the trip, take all the responsibility of success, and if he failed to secure any means, he was to be at all the expense. The Board assumed no financial responsibility. His salary as teacher continued; that was all. His trip resulted in his securing a small amount of money, and a donation of some valuable books (71 volumes) to the library. His expenses were $429.50; his collections, $451; there was due him on salary, $965.41, for which orders on the treasurer were given.
Brother Burchett resigned in 1881 and Rev. E. C. Anderson, D. D., formerly in the Facuity of Kalamazoo College, Michigan, and also in the University of Michigan, and a man of ripe scholarship and experience, was chosen President. In 1881-2 62 pupils were enrolled, and it was understood that 4 of those intended studying for the ministry. In March, 1882, the contract for the new building was let at $18,500; the cost of the stone and brick not being included; but all was expected to come within the $20,000. Brethren were urged to send in their pledges, or money would have to be borrowed at interest. B. F. Anderson, a son of the President, was chosen Professor at $700 a year, and the treasurer was instructed to borrow whatever was necessary to carry on the new building.
On May 31, 1882, the corner stone was laid with becoming and impressive ceremonies. Hon. J. N. Dolph delivered the address; a fine one on the general theme of Education. Hon. W. Carey Johnson, LL.D., wielded the trowel successfully, if not artistically, and delivered an address which proved conclusively that he understood that part of the business. The new building was to be 106x79 feet; 4 stories high, including the basement, which was to be used as a boarding department; the other stories were for school purposes, the President's rooms, and a large number of rooms for students. Seeing that the building was a sure success, the friends rallied, and by October 16th, over 130 subscribers had paid up in full, and nearly all the others had set the time to pay early in November. The Board also ordered the endowment fund collected; all interest in cash, because it was needed to pay current expenses and keep the college free from debt; and all notes to be paid in full, or renewed and endorsed or otherwise secured, because, being scattered over a large territory, more or less were lost every year by change of circumstances, removals, deaths, etc. The Board insisted on collections, believing this to be based on the most lenient rules possible with the safety of the trust committed to their charge.
Up to January, 1883, about 80 pupils had been enrolled, and the prospects of the school were flattering. By April 15th over 100 had been enrolled, and during the year 105. These pupils were studying almost every department of literature; English, Latin, German, and French; Mathematics, Metaphysics, Natural Science, and Belles Letters. The school was fairly booming. Among the Reports and notices of the school by the different Associations, the Central Association, after a long laudatory Report, urging parents to patronize the school, also recommended the organization of an Educational Society to aid ministerial students in preparing for their future duties.
At the Annual Meeting in 1883, 11 of the 18 trustees were present. Brother Warren had sold the old college property for $4050 and applied the proceeds to the building fund. The new building was reported as complete and accepted, and the only claims unadjusted amounted to $464.68. Dr. Anderson was allowed three rooms in the new building, known as the President's rooms in addition to his salary of $800 a year. He was also made ex officio a member of the Board of Trustees with all rights except voting. The time to occupy the new building having arrived, it was thought best to have an additional Professor. Accordingly, Rev. W. J. Crawford was elected Principal of the Academic department, and Professor of Mathematics. Professor Crawford is a graduate of Shurtleff College, Illinois; had filled the pastoral office at Albany, Oregon, and also at McMinnville; and was well known to the denomination. Mrs. E. V. H. Ruegg was elected teacher of the Preparatory department at $380 a year, and Miss Laura Goltra was chosen teacher of Music without a salary from the Board. Dr. Anderson was appointed agent to try to endow a Theological chair. Prof. E. P. Anderson in June resigned his position as Professor of Modern Languages and Literature.
The new building was dedicated June 12, 1883. This was a great day for the Baptists of Oregon. They gathered from all over the land to witness the important services, It was a day of victory. Dr. Anderson preached at 11 a. m. and Rev. G. J. Burchett preached the Dedicatory sermon in the evening. Other prominent men took part in the exercises. The event marked an epoch in Baptist progress in Oregon. A lasting way mark had been set up, and the future of denominational work was assured. The school opened in September with between 50 and 60 pupils, and the prospects of a large attendance the following winter were flattering. During the year 106 were enrolled. But five teachers were insufficient, and the trustees were unable to employ more. This threw heavy burdens on the few, who had already more than they could easily bear. The trustees were unable to pay but a small fraction of the small salaries of those employed, and finally the treasurer was authorized to borrow money to pay the deficiencies. To remove, if possible, these insurmountable difficulties, during the summer vacation, Dr. Anderson tried to raise an endowment of $15,000 for another Professorship. He secured about half the amount, on condition that all should be raised by January 1, 1885. It was not raised. There was a relaxation of effort among the people. There were some who fancied that when the new building was completed there would be no more needs to supply; that calls for money would cease; and they seemed somewhat annoyed when asked for more. It looked as if some wished to make it appear that the hard times and the depleted treasuries of the Societies were because of the new college building. At some of the meetings, this was a theme for some of the brethren, to harp upon. Of course the building was grand enough for a shelter, but was their action wise? Hence, the endowment of another Professorship, as well as some other important matters had to wait; and the college struggled on as best it could, till the denomination could recover from its financial weakness.
The first graduate of McMinnville college received his diploma June 10, 1884. This was J. H. Smith, a grandson of Hon. R. C. Kinney, and a nephew of Deacon A. W. Kinney, both of whom were strong friends of the college. Mr. Smith passed a thorough examination, with a high standing of scholarship. In the evening, Rev. J. Q. A. Henry, of Portland, held a large audience spell-bound for an hour to listen to an eloquent address on "The Polished Shaft." The same day the trustees conferred the title of D. D. on Rev. E. K. Chandler, an honored son of the first President of the college.
In September, 1884, the Baptists of Oregon were astonished to learn that the college was indebted for the completion of the building $4,550. This was for money borrowed on unpaid subscriptions, and it was announced that on some of these subscriptions nothing could be raised, and it was feared that but little could be gotten from the rest. To add to the embarrassment, $1500 had been left by the will of Deacon A. W. Kinney, to be paid as soon as its payment would free the institution from debt; and $3200 had to be raised by December 10,1885, as the time was thus limited by the will. Rev. A. J. Hunsaker was immediately appointed financial agent, and put into the field to collect the money, and a stirring appeal was made to the brethren for contributions. But the condition of affairs continued to grow worse. Brother Hunsaker's collections were not equal to his expectations. In consequence of overwork and other discouraging circumstances, Professor Crawford was prostrated by sickness, and it was some weeks before he could resume his duties. President Anderson, for the same cause, together with intense study by lamplight, lost one of his eyes.
During the vacation, Dr. Anderson made another effort to endow the additional Professorship and succeeded in including several who had subscribed previously on condition that the $15,000 be secured, to give good negotiable notes only on condition that the interest be added to the principal until the aggregate amounted to $15,000. In this way $7000 was secured. On September 13, 1885, the college lost one of its best and most energetic friends in the death of Hon. Henry Warren. He had been closely identified with the school from its first inception, being a trustee all the time, except two years. His wise and prudent counsels, as well as his liberal hand were ever welcomed. Literally and truly, he had always been one of the pillars of the institution. On December 1, 1885, W. C. Johnson, J. C. Baker, J. E. Magers, J. Q. A. Henry, Joseph Craven, A. J. Hunsaker, E. C. Anderson, Joseph Beezley, E. Russ, A. C. Davis, and R. C. Hill individually assumed the debt of the building fund, they to have all subscriptions, pledges, dues, cash, etc., belonging to said fund. Brother Hunsaker had been unable to secure the entire amount, and by this means the money left by Brother Kinney was made available. A revival of religion occurred in the winter and 15 of the students were converted, but 5 who had had the Gospel ministry in view were compelled to leave because of the lack of means to continue their studies.
For several years there had been a deficit in the current expenses and this had increased each year, in spite of every effort to retrench. It had now reached the startling sum of $3,669.31, besides interest. At the meeting in June, 1886, the Board agreed to make an effort to raise an annual fund of $1000 in shares of $5 each to meet this difficulty. The Central Association pledged $302.50, and the Willamette Association $110 on this proposition. And to meet the liabilities already incurred, and to provide for the ensuing year, Professor Crawford was put into the field during the vacation to raise $600; unless this could be secured, the Executive Board was instructed to close the college, so far as responsibility for the teachers' salaries was concerned. The order was, "No more debt, even if the school closes." To summarize the condition, it may be well to state that in 1881 the endowment fund reported was $24,190.75, but some of the notes were insolvent, and but $17,000 was reported in 1882. Collections, however, were vigorously pushed, and new collections taken so that in 1886 $13,797.26 had been collected, and notes were due the college for $14,693.61; besides notes outlawed and payable at discretion, amounting to $7572.89. Meanwhile, what was known as "The Failing Fund" to endow another Professorship had been started and now amounted to $7122.50. This was named after Deacon Josiah Failing, and was to be kept at interest and not used until the aggregate amounted to $15,000. The trustees in June voted that the college grounds should be used exclusively for college purposes. Also, to raise an annual fund of $1000, in shares of $5 each, for running expenses, and not to open the school unless $600 was raised in 60 days, and by hard work, Professor Crawford secured it, and a little more. The title of D. D., was conferred on Rev. J. F. Ellis of Pacific University; of B. S. on J. Lindsey Hill, M. D., of Albany; and LL. D. on Hon. W. Carey Johnson of Oregon City.
VI. PERSONAL SKETCHES
*VALENTINE H. CALDWELL AND WIFE. 1852
Deacon V. H. Caldwell came from Franklin county, Missouri, to Oregon in 1852. He came as a Baptist from the DuBois church, and united with the Sublimity church. In Oregon he was regarded as a reliable member who could be depended upon in any effort at church activity which he sanctioned, but always preferred for other brethren to take the lead. In 1863 he married Miss Sarah Grier, who also came in 1852, and she was converted in 1867, at a protracted meeting held at Sublimity by Rev. D. S. Stayton, being baptized by him, and uniting with that church. Soon after this, Brother Caldwell bought a farm about 5 miles southwest of Albany, where he has lived ever since, rearing a large and very interesting family, who are a blessing to their parents and an honor to the community. Sister Caldwell died October 4, 1904.
Brother Caldwell and his wife were ever ready to aid in every commendable religious work, and to encourage Christian effort along all lines of church activity. Hence, when the Riverside Baptist church was organized, both most heartily took hold of the effort, and all their energies and labor were most heartily given to it. In fact, his farm being quite a source of income, he and his family met nearly all the expenses, pastor's salary and all. The credit, however is mostly due to Sister Caldwell, who kept everything in proper activity, Sunday School, Young People's work, and every other live Christian effort. She was the main pillar, and it was her energy and persistency which kept the church active for the cause of Christ.
Brother Caldwell and his wife took an active interest in preserving the history of our Baptist work in Oregon. and manifested this interest by contributing more than three fourths of the expenses for publishing the present work. Had it not been for the liberality of Brother Caldwell and the publishers, the book could not have been published at all. Brother Caldwell is one of those quiet, unassuming, sure, reliable men who can always be counted on as a certain standby when any important Baptist work that meets his approval calls for help; a man that any church may be proud to have among its membership. At a ripe old age, happy among his children, with little or nothing to disturb his tranquillity, he is calmly and patiently waiting for the voice of his Savior to call him to his reward for faithful service.
*NOTE. This Sketch belonged with those of the first period but cuts were not received in time.
75. REV. G. J. BURCHETT. 1877
Rev. G. J. Burchett was born of Baptist parents in Virginia in 1847. He graduated at William Jewell College, Mo., in 1874. and then spent two years in a Theological course in Chicago. He was converted and united with the Baptist church at Austin, Mo., in 1867; licensed in 1869 by the same church; and ordained in I 874 by the Second Baptist church of Liberty, Mo. During his time at school he preached for some small churches, and held revival meetings during vacations. In 1876 he went to California and preached at different places for a year; then moved to Astoria, Oregon, and preached for a year, building a meeting house. In 1878 he was chosen President of McMinnville college, and by his energy , enthusiasm, and ability , gave increased impetus to the college work. He is a magnetic preacher and teacher, and a good scholar, In 1881 he was sent East to secure aid to supply the pressing needs of the college. He secured a little, but resigned in 1881. A fuller account of his college work is given in the history of that institution. After a year in California. he accepted the pastorate of the East Portland church for a year; then was called to the McMinnville church until the fall of 1887. when he resigned to become the missionary of the State Convention, in which work he continued until January 1, 1890, and then accepted the pastorate of the First Baptist church at Seattle. He was at Seattle for several years. when he resigned at the call of one of the suburban churches of Philadelphia, Pa., where he still resides.
76. REV. WILLIAM E. McCUTCHEON. 1865-1878
Rev. W. E. McCutcheon was born in Indiana in 1849. His ancestry and connections were all Pedobaptists. He had only common school advantages, but he studied at home, until he was no tyro in many of the higher branches; even including the Greek and other classical studies. He was converted in Iowa in 1864, but put off his baptism until 1870, when he was baptized into the North Yamhill (Carlton) church by Rev. D. A. Lynch. The same church licensed him to preach in 1878, and ordained him, January 15, 1881. He was immediately chosen pastor, and served the church and its mission stations for several years. He is earnest, active, zealous, preaching without notes, and one of the best systematizers of church work in the denomination in Oregon. For efficient work, his churches were, and are model churches. Two of the mission stations have been organized into active, prosperous churches; one with 50 members; and Brother McCutcheon is the life of every movement, and he has trained his members to be workers also; all working together. His very poor health compelled him to resign the work at Carlton in 1902, but he has continued to preach at the mission stations, and other outside places, as health and opportunity permitted, struggling along as best he could. He has occasionally been aided a little by the Mission Board, but most of the time he has had only the contributions of his churches, and they are poor like himself. He is a hard student, and well posted in denominational matters. But his strength lies in his earnestness and consecration to the service of Christ.
77. REV. H. M. HENDERSON. 1877
Rev. H. M. Henderson was born in Maryland in 1815; moved to Missouri in 1836; professed religion in 1842; united with the Trenton church in Grundy county, and was ordained by it to the ministry in 1843. He preached in Missouri until 1850, started for California, but wintered at Salt Lake, reaching Sacramento in 1851. He preached at various places in California until 1877, then moved to Goose Lake valley, and preached for most of the churches of the Eastern Association of California and Oregon, and was occasionally the missionary of that body. When 73 years old he had appointments ranging from 25 to 100 miles apart, which he filled regularly, making his journeys on horseback. He expected "to keep going whilst his strength lasted." for "there is no discharge in this war," and his whole soul was enlisted in the work.
78. REV. WILLIAM J. CRAWFORD. 1878
Rev. W. J. Crawford was born of Baptist parents in, Macoupin county, Illinois. December 12, 1849. He went to Shurtleff college, Illinois, without money, and without friends, and worked his way through the Collegiate and the Theological departments. He is a close student, a fine scholar, a good preacher, an earnest, devoted, reliable man. He is withal, an excellent singer, and sometimes teaches vocal music. He experienced religion in his native country in 1867, and united with the Mount Pleasant church. He was licensed and ordained by the Pleasant Point church, the latter event in 1875. During his studies he preached for several churches within reach, but his first pastorate was the First Baptist church of Albany, Oregon, which place he reached December 11, 1878, and served the church very acceptably about two years and a half, baptizing 42 converts, and then resigned to return to Illinois on business. From December, 1879 to April, 1881 , he edited the Baptist Beacon with rare ability and skill, giving it a high tone, and making it pay expenses. What he lacked in age, and experience, he made up in wide-awake energy, solid sense, and hard work. In 1882 he returned to Oregon. and was chosen pastor of the McMinnville church for one year, building its first meeting house. He was then elected Professor of Mathematics in McMinnvilIe College, and held this position until June, 1888, when he resigned, and took charge of the city school at McMinnville. He has since taught the most of the time, having had the charge of city schools in Albany, Salem, and several other of the important towns of Oregon. He has usually had some preaching stations in the country round about, and is doing all he can for the advancement of the Redeemer's Kingdom. He is zealous, earnest, and active, and has the confidence of the entire community wherever known.
Mary B. Crawford, his wife, is a true helper, and by her cheerful ways adds much to the pleasures of home. She has been active in the W. B. F. M. work of the State, and for some time was the missionary Secretary of that Body in the Central Association.
79. DEACON H. M. CLINTON. 1878
Deacon H. M. Clinton was born in New York City in 1836; came to the Pacific coast in 1874; to Oregon in 1878, and died March 22, 1901. He was converted and joined a Baptist church in California. He succeeded Deacon D. W. Williams as deacon of the First Baptist church of Portland in 1882, and served that church until his death. He was faithful, godly, and efficient. He was President of the Oregon Baptist State Convention for several years; also of its Board of Managers. He would sacrifice business or pleasure to attend the business of his church, and in denominational Sunday School he was a specialist, and gave a great deal of service to the Y. M. C. A. In 1898 he was the candidate for Governor, on the Prohibition ticket. He left a wife and three daughters, and a host of friends and churches to mourn his loss.
80. REV. OLAUS OKERSON. 1880
Rev. Olaus Okerson was born in Sweden, February 12, 1836. He was converted early in life, and soon entered the ministry. He was married in 1862, and came to the United States in 1864 in a sailing vessel; was shipwrecked, but escaped, and came to Minnesota, where he entered the missionary work among the Scandinavians of Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota. He came to Oregon in 1880, and preached to the Scandinavians of Oregon and Washington, and organized churches in Portland, Seattle, and Tacoma; also building meeting houses in each of these places. He moved to McMinnville in 1887. He was an earnest Bible student, having clear conceptions of its truths, and died as he lived, August 29, 1901, with an abiding faith in Jesus as his perfect Savior. His pioneer life among his people has been lasting and abiding.
81. REV. W. E. THORNTON. 1865-1881
Rev. W. E. Thornton is one of the main pillars and strong men of the church in his locality. He was born in Missouri and came to Oregon in 1865 and settled in the Umpqua Valley, and professed religion in 1871, uniting with the Deer Creek Baptist church. He was ordained a deacon by the Looking Glass church in 1881; moved to Mayville, in Eastern Oregon in 1883, and has ever been an active worker for Baptist interests. He is prudent in counsel, wise in advice, and has the confidence of all the brethren. He was the Moderator of the Middle Oregon Association at every session to 1888, except at its organization. He was ordained March 30, 1890, by a Council called by the Mayville church. Soon after, he moved to Palouse City, Washington, where he now resides.
82. REV. J. A. SLOVER. 1881
Rev. J. A. Slover came to Oregon in 1881 and located in Jackson county. He was originally from Tennessee; for five and a half years was a missionary among the Cherokees. He was 11 years in California. For about two years after coming to Oregon he was pastor of Table Rock and New Hope churches, and in 1884 an effort was made to sustain him as a missionary of the Rogue River Association but it failed for the want of funds. For the same reason a like effort failed in the Middle Oregon Association in 1887. Yet he preaches considerably in destitute places, at his own charges. But being poor, with a family to support, his preaching is much limited. He is a solid, doctrinal preacher with ultra Landmark proclivities.
83. REV. A. M. RUSSELL. 1881
Rev. A. M. Russell was born in 1837. His early life was marked by intense wickedness, but he was also subject to early religious impressions, dating these chiefly from a text learned in the Sunday School. He was converted in 1857 after 7 weeks of deep conviction, unknown to anyone but himself; but his change was very marked; like transporting one from midnight gloom to the noonday sun. The genuineness of this conversion he has never doubted, though he has sometimes feared that he has fallen away, but that bright day has often strengthened his Christian life. He united with the Baptist church at Batesville, Arkansas. In secret prayer, soon after his conversion, he was deeply impressed that it was his duty to preach. But he stifled his convictions, and kept his secret, suffering much in consequence, until his suffering became so intolerable, that he feared becoming insane, and at last was driven through fear of the wrath of God, to begin a work that he should have begun years before. He was licensed by the New Hope church, Lawrence county, Arkansas, in 1868, and ordained by the West Point church, November 4, 1857. He commenced preaching at once, and was pastor of several churches in Arkansas, in which he had reason to believe that his "labor was not in vain in the Lord;" and he was greatly blest in his own soul, in the discharge of duty. In 11 years he baptized about 225. In 1878, he accepted the pastorate of the Baptist church at Dayton, Washington, until December, 1881, when he accepted a call to the First Baptist church at Ashland, Oregon, under appointment of the A. B. H. M. Society, N. Y. He did a good work at Ashland and vicinity. He visited the churches, stirred up the dilatory, aroused the active ones, and gave new life to the cause in every direction. In 1887 he resigned and moved to California.
84. REV. GEORGE W. BLACK. 1881
Rev. George W. Black was born of Methodist parents in Missouri in 1852. He was educated at Mountain Dell Academy, and also studied one year at William Jewell College, Mo. He was converted in 1869, uniting with the Mountain View Baptist church in Benton county, and was both licensed and ordained by that church, the latter event in 1872. He preached in Missouri a year or two, and came to Oregon in 1881. He was appointed by the Mission Board to the Corvallis and North Palestine churches, and for nearly a year tried to push forward and complete the work begun by Brother Davidson, of building a meeting house at Corvallis. He was next at Brownsville and Halsey for a year; then at Marshfield, Coos county, for about a year and a half; then at Gardiner; Douglas county, three years; then, for a time, he was missionary of the Rogue River Association; and then was pastor at Grants Pass; at all of these places receiving more or less aid from the Board. His next move was to Ashland for a year or two, when he went to Burns, in Harney county, where he reports a most excellent work, and he now resides at Burns, still in the employ of the A. B. H. M. Society.
Brother Black is an earnest, active worker, very enthusiastic, full of fire, and always on the go. He cannot keep placed. His special work, that in which he excells, is that of a general evangelist, as it allows him to be on the move. His sermons are extempore, and he is a fluent speaker, ready and apt in seizing on passing events for illustrations. He has usually been quite successful, and possesses the elements to make himself acceptable to the general community. His wife is a daughter of Rev. Joseph Ritter, one of our pioneer ministers; and she is truly a helpmeet for Brother Black in his arduous labors.
85. REV. GEORGE W. PEWTHERER. 1874-1881
Rev. George W. Pewtherer was born of Baptist parents in Illinois, in 1847. He came to Oregon in 1874, was converted in 1877, and united with the Lacreole church, by which he was also licensed and ordained to preach; the latter event being on January 9, 1881. He preached at the out-stations of the Lacreole church until November, 1882, when he was chosen pastor, serving the church two years; then resigned, but kept up his preaching at the out-stations. July 2, 1887, he organized a church at Perrydale, Polk county, preaching for it two or three years. He was one of the principal movers for the Western Association, in 1889, and has been a general missionary of that Association the most of the time since its organization, when it had any general missionary at all. Being a poor man, and his pay for preaching scanty, he has sometimes been compelled to suspend his preaching for awhile, to provide for his large family by secular labor. But as soon as possible, he is again at his favorite employment of preaching the Cross. In his preaching, he is doctrinal and practical, a good reasoner, sometimes quite emotional, and can interest an audience. He is quiet, unassuming, and quite backward, yet very tenacious of his opinions. His manners are courteous and cordial, and he is a man of considerable influence on the community.
86. REV. GEORGE T. ELLIS. 1884
Rev. George T. Ellis was born in Vermont in 1851; professed religion in New Jersey in 1866, uniting with the Vineland church; was licensed to preach in Pennsylvania in 1870, and ordained in Michigan in 1874. He was educated at Lewisburg (now Bucknell) University, Pa. He came to the Grande Ronde Valley in 1884, under appointment of the A. B. H. M. Society, as pastor of the LaGrande church, but spread himself all over Union county as "vicinity," and even made a tour into the Wallowa valley; but afterwards confined his labors more particularly to LaGrande, and its immediate surroundings. Here he built a meeting house, which, furnishings and all, cost about $3500; raising all the money from the church and friends, excepting $400 borrowed from the A. B. H. M. Society. Early in 1888 he held a series of meetings resulting in about 50 additions; nearly doubling the membership of the church; and it decided that from that time forward it could become self-sustaining. In 1890, he resigned at LaGrande, to accept a call at Baker City, where success still continued to follow him, and he has built up a strong, prosperous church, and he is still its under-shepherd. Brother Ellis is a systematic worker, as his Sunday School and prayer meetings testify; and one of the most successful and efficient workers in all Eastern Oregon; probably because his whole soul is in his work.
87. REV. M. L. RUGG. 1884
Rev. M. L. Rugg was born in Vermont in 1849; educated at Hamilton, N. Y.; ordained in 1880; came to Oregon, from Grosvenor, N. Y., in 1884. He was pastor of the Salem church for about three years at about $1000 a year and the use of the parsonage. He had a very extensive revival the winter of 1885-6, when 76 were baptized and several came in by experience. The meeting lasted about 8 weeks, and was conducted mostly by the pastor, aided by his church, and the revival extended also to the other city churches which were holding meetings at the same time. When Brother Rugg came to Oregon, there were only three churches on the entire Northwest coast, that were having preaching every Sunday from an unaided pastor. And on all the Northwest coast, only 37 men were employed to give their entire time to the ministry. These men cost $20,000 a year, and the churches raised but $13,000 of it, speaking in round numbers. How is it now? (1900). More money is now raised yearly in Oregon alone for missionary work, than was raised in all Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia. Early in 1887 Brother Rugg resigned, his membership at Salem having more than doubled, 100 of whom he had baptized. He found 112; he left 225. He went to Astoria, to reorganize the work there for the A. B. H. M. Society. He found three of the old members, and left them six months afterwards with 20 members and a settled pastor. From Astoria, he went to Victoria, B. C.; where he did a grand work; and from there to Seattle, adding 50 to the membership. In the fall of 1893 he returned to Salem, remaining 16 months, baptizing 16, and receiving 34 by letter. His last pastorate in Oregon was at Oregon City, beginning in March, 1895, and ending November 27, 1898; he then leaving for Urbana, Illinois. His last work here was most pleasant and prosperous, as he baptized 100 and received 60 by letter. Rev. Robert Whitaker thus sums up Brother Rugg's labors here:
"Brother Rugg held many positions of trust and responsibility, and held no more only because of his time being fully taken up. He has been on the board of managers and of the executive committee of our State convention ever since his return from British Columbia, and for several years he has been President of the Board of Trustees of McMinnville college. During all this time Brother Rugg has enjoyed the confidence and respect of his brethren to the fullest extent, and there is universal regret at his departure. He has often been styled 'The Student Preacher.' His mind delights to revel among the great principles of the higher realms of thought from which he gathers generalizations for sermons. He applies himself with great assiduity to his work of teacher and pastor. He preaches as a man who has a message from God to his fellow man. He is a very companionable spirit with a large fund of wit and humor, a man with lively sympathies for those in distress and sorrow, an earnest, faithful, beloved minister of the Gospel, he goes into another field. Here his 14 years of service have been fruitful of large results in the conversion of hundreds, and in the up building of believers who have been fed on the strong meat of the word of God. The loving thoughts and prayers of many friends will follow him to his new field that he may there be loved by his brethren, and honored of God."
88. REV. CLAIBORNE MILTON HILL. 1884.
Rev. C. M. Hill, son of Rev. Sterling Hill, and grandson of Deacon Claiborne Hill, of whom sketches have been given, was born in California in 1857. He studied two years at McMinnville College, and five years at the Oregon State University, graduating in 1881. He then took a three-year course in the Rochester Theological Seminary, N. Y., graduating in 1884. He was converted and baptized by his father into the Dalles City church in 1874. After graduating at Rochester he was called to the pastorate of the Eugene church and was ordained by that church October 29, 1884. About two months later he took "an help-meet" so as to be thoroughly equipped for his work. He was pastor at Eugene until 1890, and very acceptable to both church and people. He baptized about fifty into the church and built its second meeting house for it, which cost about $4533. He was for several years secretary of the State Convention. In 1890 he was made general missionary of the State Convention, which office he filled with wonderful ability for four years, when he resigned to accept the pastorate of the Tenth Avenue Church, Oakland, California, where he still resides. Brother Hill is most kindly remembered by a host of Oregon Baptists, to whom he endeared himself while with us. An able preacher, a safe counselor, a peacemaker, conservative in his views, generous in his impulses, a Californian by birth, an Oregonian largely by education, and a coast-wide Baptist by service and sympathy, the Baptists of Oregon deeply regretted his departure.
89. REV. CLAIBORNE ALPHONSO WOODDY, D. D. 1884.
Rev. C. A. Wooddy is also a grandson of Deacon Claiborne Hill, born in Oregon; converted, baptized, ordained and has done his church work largely in this state. He graduated at the State University of Oregon, and at the Rochester Theological Seminary, at the same time as his cousin, Rev. C. M. Hill. He was ordained by the Pendleton church, October 3, 1884. He was pastor at Pendleton two years, at Weston and Adams one year; taught a few months in the Indian training school at Salem, and then went to the Amity church until the summer of 1890, when he was chosen as editor of the Pacific Baptist, which position he holds at the present time, (1900). He has been the Moderator of the Willamette Association, President and also General Missionary of the State Convention, and is now the District Secretary of the A. B. H. M. Society of New York, for the Pacific coast, his territory comprising some half a dozen or more states and territories. Both he and his cousin, Rev. C. M. Hill, have always labored under appointment of the A. B. H. M. Society, whilst in the work of the ministry in Oregon.
90. REV. S. P. DAVIS. 1885
Rev. S. P. Davis was born in Illinois in 1852, educated at Rochester N. Y.; ordained at Arcola, Illinois, in 1879; went to Arizona under appointment of the A. B. H. M. Society, and came to take charge of the Oregon City church in 1886, preaching for the church until January 30, 1887. In March, 1886, he took charge of the North Pacific Baptist, (formerly the Baptist Beacon) a monthly; resigning his pastorate to have more time to give the paper, although he preached awhile for the church at Mt. Tabor, the H. M. Society assisting. He enlarged the paper, dropped the "North" from its title and in January 1887, began to issue it as a semi-monthly. In 1889 he made it a weekly. He was very industrious in gathering everything possible that would be of interest to the Baptists of the Northwest coast. He held the paper until Brother Wooddy took it in 1890, and soon after, Brother Davis moved to California.
91. REV. E. G. WHEELER. 1885
Rev. Edwin G. Wheeler was born in New York in 1853. He came to Oregon from Minnesota in 1885, a licentiate and General Sunday School Missionary and financial agent of the A. B. P. Society for the North Pacific coast. He and his wife traveled together, were both wide awake, full of vim and snap, and usually woke up everybody with whom they came in contact. They were intensely devoted to their work, well mated, and pulled well in harness, with never a balk. They were emphatically live workers, understood their business thoroughly, and never failed to arouse the highest enthusiasm in Sunday School work wherever they went. It is doubtful which was most successful. Brother Wheeler was ordained to the ministry by the First Baptist Church of Portland, April, 17, 1889. He was put in charge of the Chapel Car Evangel; the first car sent out by the A. B. P. Society, and was with it until August 8, 1895, when he fell under it and was killed. His wife went East and is engaged in the Sunday School work there.
Several other sketches and photographs should have appeared in this volume but they could not be secured in time. The Author and the Publishing Committee made quite a number of unsuccessful efforts along this line, both by correspondence and otherwise, especially in Eastern, Middle and Southeastern Oregon. We shall continue these efforts for the second volume, for which we have several sketches and photographs already, and hope to secure more.
In 1876 a new era dawned upon Oregon and the Northwest coast. The building of railroads gave new life and energy to many kinds of activities. The Oregon & California, The Oregon Railway & Navigation Company and the Northern Pacific railroads were penetrating southward and eastward and when they were completed and connection made with a network of roads east of the mountains, the changes were rapid and marvelous. Oregon contains over twice the era of the Empire state and the Columbia River basin. 500 miles from North to South and 900 miles from East to West is capable of sustaining 25,000,000 people. Here was a field of promise to those who sought, homes. And what was the result? In a very short time the wilderness began to blossom as the rose, and towns and cities to spring up as by magic. And this progress continued. Eastern Oregon, Washington and Idaho teemed with the anxious settlers.
Among these were many Baptists, often scattered, sometimes in groups. An occasional minister came but not a tithe of the number demanded. The cry for help arose. The immigrants were poor, the laborers were few. Hence, the necessity for the Convention; for enlarged missionary effort; for cooperation with the A. B. H. M. Society. The scattered saints must be gathered. The field was nearly all missionary ground, hard to cultivate. There were no large salaries; there was no easy work, it was no place for drones or bookworms. Missionaries were wanted, such as were willing to spell the word "sacrifice" to its every letter, in whose lives "consecration" was so plainly written that all might read. Young and strong men were wanted to grow up with the country, and infix Baptist principles and sentiments in the community, and lay the foundation for the enlargement of Christ's Kingdom on this field. Such was the need that the organization of the Convention became a necessity. Although objections were made by some to the methods of work, yet the majority of the churches entered heartily into cooperation. And when the A. B. H. M. Society put $2 to $1 raised on the field, an increased efficiency was manifest.
Such was the situation. What was the prospect? "Much every way." Some glimmerings of light; some changeable clouds. The work was pushed and good was accomplished. Churches were organized, meeting houses were built, Associations were formed, an interest in education was cultivated, benevolent work in general was stimulated and a forward movement given to every worthy activity. True, at first, some did not readily take hold of the work, because all did not "see eye to eye", but in their views and methods we should give equal sincerity and conscientiousness to all. Possibly, at first. some of the plans and methods were not fully understood. some features were new to some of the brethren; and some may have desired more directness in the work and a closer supervision by the churches. An apathy to calls for assistance may have arisen from regarding the control of the work as too remote from the churches and Associations.
Some modifications of the old plans were made and some new plans were adopted, which largely removed the objections and gradually the brethren became more united, the friction was fast disappearing, and no outside plan was generally placed before the churches to distract the attention; and not withstanding the trials and conflicts, the mistakes and apparent failures, the churches, as a rule, neither forgot nor neglected their obligations to labor earnestly end zealously to maintain the truth, and to spread the good tidings as God in His providence seemed to indicate and opened the way. With all their weakness and imperfections, they strove to "walk worthy of the vocation wherewith they were called." Harmony and union were becoming more marked, old causes of strife were being avoided, new fields of labor and departments of usefulness were being opened, new plans and methods of work were being tested, and all were fast becoming one people for the advancement of the Redemeer's Kingdom.
But no slight friction arose from other circumstances, and the questions growing out of them. The influx of Railroads and other facilities for travel and commerce, caused a most remarkable growth of many of the cities of the Northwest coast, and the consequent filling up of the churches with members of cultivated and enlarged intellectual strength and power, and the demand was imperative in some of the more important fields, for men who could cope and keep pace with the best talent and intellect of the day. The contrast between these new men and some of the former ministers was soon apparent. Their inherent force, arising from prestige, talent, or energy, or all combined, soon pushed the former to the front, but unfortunately, some were lacking in tact, discretion, or common sense, and would sometimes make sneering and contemptuous remarks about the methods, or work, or opinions and beliefs of the pioneer Baptists, and many, not having the rounded periods and the flow of diction of brethren with better opportunities, had sufficient grace not to retort, whilst they could not avoid seeing themselves crowded into the back ground; their churches neglected or sneered at, if not calumniated; and their counsels and requests at the best, occupying only a subordinate position; and some began to grow somewhat jealous. And owing to ambitions on the one side, and jealousies on the other side, the dark clouds were most alarmingly conspicuous in 1885 and in 1886; and far seeing men who could read from cause to effect, clearly foresaw that unless there was some radical change, serious consequences to the denomination was only a question of time.
Side by side with this question, and close akin to it was another, which only intensified the dark coloring of the picture. As a rule, should young men be encouraged to seek ordination to the ministry, without first obtaining at least a seminary course of instruction. Some were understood to oppose such encouragement; others strenuously favored it. Looking at the numerous Baptist churches on the northwest coast which were organized and kept in a thriving condition until now by men with only a common school education, and some not having even, this, and seeing a dozen fields today to one of 40 years ago, calling for the same class of men, the early Baptists could not endure such teaching without withholding their support from those who sanctioned or winked at it, whilst freely admitting that some of the early men preached but little, there were others who did a grand work, upon which the more cultivated are glad to build. The labors of such men as Hezekiah Johnson, Henry Sewell, Wm. Sperry, J. C. Richardson, G. W. Bond, S. Jenkins, David Hubbard, W. G. Miller, S. S. Martin, J. T. Huff, S. E. Stearns, C. C. Riley, J. G. Berlley, W. E. McCutcheon, the Beavens, D. A. Lynch, Joab Powell, W. H. Pruett, A. J. Hunsaker, and many others were pointed to as having been, and still being a power in establishing Baptist principles in Oregon and Washington. And there were then, and still are, scores of fields on this northwest coast, that this class of men can fill, and fill them well. And when such men weep over the destitution of Zion, and their hearts burn for souls, they should be encouraged by every laudable means, and their call from God recognized. Even if they have inferior talents, or less culture, if called of God to do His work, and are full of zeal and the Holy Ghost, they will make His work a success upon His own appointed field. The brethren who contended for these views were not opposed to a liberal education where circumstances allowed or demanded it; they wanted both classes of men; they wanted men of good general intelligence, good common sense, and unquestioned piety, to be equally recognized and encouraged as those who, in addition to these qualifications, have a school training. They would every one of them most heartily endorse the following statement of Rev. J. C. Baker:
"We have students at work on this field from Morgan Park, Shurtleff College, Lewisburg, Rochester, Hamilton, Newton, William Jewell, Colby, Spurgeon's College, and other schools. They are men of talent and culture. We have besides, men called and taught of God, who were educated in the common schools; who are the peers of their brethren; having talent and versatility, and success. We would like to add to both."
The following letter written by Rev. A. S. Coats, of Portland, in 1880, is a fair illustration of how one line of our Baptist labor was regarded at that time:
"The 36 church edifices owned by the Baptists of the North Pacific Coast are, as a rule, extremely modest structures, unadorned by mortgages, and not too good for daily use. They range in value from $1000 to $20,000. We have to thank God that no vaulting denominationalism has yet cursed the children with church debts contracted by the fathers. Whilst this is so, we sometimes wish the fathers had been a little more farsighted in securing eligible building sites, if they dare not have attempted to do more."
This modest and careful handling of resources was also apparent in other lines of work, as well as in buildings. Whilst it was true that extensive fields on every side were urgently calling for help, and our sympathies were wrought up to their extreme tension, yet sober judgment forbade the creation of heavy liabilities that would require years of rigid self-denial and hard labor to liquidate. Hence, while the missionary spirit was fully awakened, and yearning for development, it was thought better to push out our own talents, license our promising young men, and set them to work in these destitute fields. And many of them did excellent work. We contributed something for all the different lines of church work, but for missions, each member built largely "over against his own house." Hence there was unity, and the cause grew and prospered, even if occasionally some slight obstacle intervened and hindered a little. Even the trouble of 1885 was in the end a blessing; as the real difficulty lay more in the vastness and inconveniences of the field, and for full, effective work, geographical divisions were absolutely necessary. A closer concentration of labor resulted at once, and richer results immediately began to be manifest. Aside from this, there was really no serious trouble to affect the denomination during this decade. All were brethren. All could work. And were cordially willing for all to work. "Vaulting ambitions" had not yet come to the front; or at least they were not very prominent; the field was large, and each had plenty of room; more than he could occupy. Denominational questions did not disturb us. Even the Landmark question caused no real discord; it took its turn with the other questions, and if we wished, at intervals it was fully discussed, and all were satisfied. And had this state of affairs continued, the probabilities are that all would yet be satisfied, and that all the after troubles from this cause would have been squelched in the bud. The outlook was at least hopeful. Solid foundations were being laid; good work was being done; fraternal concord prevailed; slowly but surely the cause of Christ was upheld; churches were being planted and nourished, and were steadily growing, an honor to the builders, and a glory to God, being filled with monuments of loving Grace, and the power of the Holy Ghost.
STATISTICAL TABLES AND EXPLANATORY NOTES AND COMMENTS
(click on images for larger version)
Table No.1. The churches are arranged alphabetically; their numbers as organized; their names as now known; former names are set in; a star (*) shows that the church is extinct; the figures 1, 2, 3, after a name mean two or more churches of the same name, but in different localities; the date is 1st., the month, 2nd., the day of the month, and 3d., the year; the man who led in the organization is the name given, though he may have had other help; the "Remarks'. indicate the cause of the death of the church and the "Note" refers to something in connection with the church, found in the "explanations."In 1859, the Corvallis Association paid Rev. J. C. Richardson $25.25 for services rendered the Coast Fork church. The last record of that church.
Rev. Floyd Farrar came to Oregon from Virginia, in an early day, and preached some in the Rogue River and Umpqua valleys. In 1885, he settled near Lost River Gap, in Klamath county, but his poor health interfered much with his preaching.
February 10, 1877, the meeting house of the Albany church took fire, and though the flames were soon extinguished, the damage was about $700. Much of the furniture, books, etc., were badly injured, among others, the book of Records; so that to that date they are very scattering; but a few items have been gathered from other sources.
Dr. R. C. Hill mostly bought and fitted up a building, secured a lot, and gave them to the church for a comfortable place of worship. The church had some revivals; at one 45 additions; 28 by baptism. The Sunday School numbered over 100; Mrs. Ada Mansfield the Superintendent. At the Association one year the Doctor entertained 75 guests, and at the noonday meal on Sunday, 100; and pastured their horses. No railroads then in Oregon. The church had a mission station seven miles distant, which culminated in the Oak Creek Church. In 1873, C. H. Mattoon was chosen pastor, and served the church until early in 1875, under appointment of the A. B. H. M. Society for nine months. He was followed by Rev. A. J. Hunsaker for a year. In 1878, the church sold its property and bought lots in a more eligible part of the city, and put up a new house costing about $2780; but only the basement was finished, and meetings held there.
Table No.2. The churches are arranged by numbers as organized, and the changes of each church are by periods. All the churches organized are counted, whether Associated or not, and without reference to re-organizations or changes of locality, so long as the church remained substantially the same, or its continuation. The sum of the constituent members of each church from 1844 to 1886, without reference to the date of its organization is 1260; which added to the aggregate gains by baptism and otherwise, from 1844 to 1886, (10,139) is 11,399. The aggregate losses from 1844 to 1886 were 7052, which added to the total membership in 1886, (4347), also equals 11,399; thus proving the above tables correct.
Table No.3. In the first period each year is given; after that it is the Associational aggregates for the period. In the Ministers' columns, the first period gives the aggregate number each year; after that the average aggregate number for each period is given. The Umpqua Association terminated in 1876; the churches not extinct all going to other Associations. This table counts associated churches only; table No. 2 counts all; whether associated or not. Hence, they do not tally in aggregates.
The Scandinavians, counting the constituent members had, prior to 1886, ten baptisms, twenty received otherwise, and four losses, leaving a total of twenty-six. Other than this, and their meeting houses, down to 1886, the Scandinavians and Germans give only scattering statistics, which are available to the Author. Also, the Chinese statistics are more or less mingled with those of the church having the mission in charge.
Table No.4. The "Value" includes all property; buildings, lots, every thing, and is the value now; as estimated. Four churches built the second time; the proceeds of an old building being usually put into the new one. Several churches put large improvements or additions to the first house. The Chinese chapel at Portland is counted with the expenses of the First Church. The Portland Scandinavian Baptist Church had property worth $1700, seating 250. The Bethany German Baptist Church built a small house worth about $300, seating about 200; but a parsonage and accompanying land was valued at $1800. All these are included in the tables.
Table No.5. Three licentiates came the first period. Of all who came or were licensed during the first period, C. H. Mattoon is the only Baptist now living in Oregon. Rev. C. C. Riley is living in Southern California. Of those who came in the second period, Rev. J. W. Osborn, Jr., and E. P. Waltz are left; and of those licensed or ordained, remaining in Oregon, and Baptists, are Revs. C. C. Sperry, J. C. Richardson, W. G. Miller. Of those coming in the third period none are left. Of those licensed or ordained there remains Revs. Willis Alden, A. J. Hunsaker, J. B. Jones, L. E. Henderson, C. P. Bailey, and James Darby. Of those coming in the fourth period, there remains, Revs. W. J. Crawford, A. M. Russell, Andrew Brown, G. T. Ellis, J. A. Slover; and of those licensed or ordained, Rev. W. H. Black. Of the aggregate number, some have left the State, or the denomination, and a large number of the licentiates have been ordained; and our Oregon churches have, from their own membership probably put 100 men on the field for a longer or a shorter time. "And their works do follow them."
And it may be well here to correct another impression that has been quite extensively promulgated of late. That our early Baptists were mostly from the South, and Southern policies and methods. Southern beliefs and practices substantially prevailed until Northern culture and education changed the order of things. Now the facts are; (1) Of ministerial strength and influence, at least, to 1886, 51 ministers came from the North, and 37 from the South; and this ratio would hold good through all the periods. Nor would it be much affected if those licensed and ordained here are counted. Hence, if this question was a factor in our religious work, the weight of talent and presumable influence was with the Northern ideas from the first. But (2) in our religious activities no such ideas ever came to light, unless from some chance extremist whose utterances would have had no weight. With our early Baptists, one very prominent thought was, "We are Brethren." Differences of views, and earnest discussions there were, but it was the question itself that was discussed; and whether the idea came from North, South, East, or West, of itself it cut little or no figure whatever.
Table No.6. During the first and second periods, outside of the work of colporteurs, and that of the A. B. H. M. Society, the missionary and benevolent work was nearly all private volunteering, or done through the Association. So far as known, no separated, itemized account of any work of either individuals or churches, except Minute money, and the Missionary reports to Eastern Societies, was ever recorded, unless in a few private diaries. From a few of these about $1500 have been gathered, and for much of the rest, the verbal reports of brethren and sisters contemporaneous with the times are responsible. Of course, as the work progressed; allusions, and reports multiplied in the Minutes. The most of the churches had Sunday Schools at least during the summer, but reports are meager, though much better success was realized along this line of work than was at first anticipated.
Foreign mission work was noticed mostly in Resolutions and Reports, and Home Missions also, the contributions being nearly altogether for Domestic missions, and but little attention practically given to the Eastern Societies, though an occasional collection was taken; and the interest increased quite rapidly after the Civil war. The Chinese work was an exception, it being considered in this book as Foreign Mission work; and the Chinese themselves sustaining mission work among their own people, both on the North Pacific Coast and in China, making their remittance direct, and not through the Societies, though they also contributed occasionally for the Societies' work. They were very liberal. Their tuition bills run from $600 to $1000 a year. It cost nearly $2500 to fully establish the mission, but the First Baptist Church and its friends paid that. The A. B. P. contributions were mostly for S. S. supplies. The Educational collections were for the Oregon City or McMinnville schools. The "Sundry" column contains more or less of nearly every item of expense that can be mentioned. "Our expenses for the year are $_____" was often the statement of the Associational letter. Salaries, though small, were usually paid, but for a long time it was very largely paid with provisions or other necessities. But it was satisfactory.
Table No. 7. In the Missionary Reports, some were at the same time missionaries both of the Association and also of the H. M. Society. Some others labored more or less under appointment, but their Reports are not available. Much volunteer labor was performed of which no Report can be found. Collections were made to either or all as circumstances prompted, and no record kept. Of the Associational missionaries employed during the first period, only four made formal Reports. Revs. Vincent Snelling and William Sperry made only verbal Reports. These collections are gathered mostly from the church records and private diaries. A subscription was taken in 1857 by the General Association for missionary work, but no work was done by the Association, and if any payment was made, there is nothing to show for it. After the second period, Reports are more regular and satisfactory in detail. The State Convention organized in 1868 had 94 life members in Oregon.
Table No. 8. The first W. B. F. M. Society organized in Oregon was by Mrs. J. C. Baker in 1876. The W. B. F. M. Society of the North Pacific Coast was organized in 1878. The Oregon W. B. F. M. Society was organized in 1882. Miss Minnie A. Buzzell was sent to China in 1884. The Foreign Mission collections of this table includes only that sent through the American Baptist Missionary Union of Boston. The W. B. F. M. Society's money was also included in that of the Missionary Union. Quite an amount, especially that from the Chinese was sent direct, by other agencies. Table No. 6, includes all; Foreign, Home, or Domestic. The W. B. F. M. Society of Oregon had 22 life members, who were also life members of the American Baptist Missionary Union of Boston.
Tables No. 9 and 10. The same missionary may have labored under two or more commissions, and also in two or more fields, altogether or otherwise, and with or without intervals between commissions or fields, or both. When the labor was partly in another period, the name whether minister or field is repeated, but not otherwise, and neither is numbered again. The items against the name are total aggregates, (except when name is repeated; then take the sum); taken from the H. M. Reports, and have nothing whatever to do with any other work no matter by whom or where. Collections were for, and these salaries were paid by the Society only. The time of labor is expressed in years and weeks with a dot between, and is actual labor reported. The year is when the work commenced, without regard to intervals or changes in its progress.
In the A. B. H. M. Reports a church and a church "and vic." are two fields, but in this table they are treated as one field only, the "vic." (vicinity) being simply mission stations, Sunday Schools, or destitute sections within reach of the church, and such were usually under the direction of the church; or the work done at least with its approval. These remarks will also apply to the fields, and the footings of both missionaries and fields must necessarily be the same. A few letters in some of the columns need explanation. A. or Asso. mean Association; Co. for county; D. for district; G. or Gen. is general or State missionary; a figure before either means one or two churches as part of the field. E. O. is Eastern Oregon; N. P. C. is the North Pacific Coast; and P. C. includes California. With P. C. only one-third of the report is given to Oregon; one-third to California; and one-third to Washington, etc. With N. P. C. one-half is for Oregon, and one-half to Washington, Idaho, etc.
Statistics of the Chinese and Foreign churches are very imperfect, the data being difficult to make available. There are four Life Directors, and twenty-five Life Members of the A. B. H. M. Society in Oregon, if living.
For legacies, there had been sent from Salem: From Mrs. Hiden, $50; from Deacon A. W. Kinney, $210.12; from Mrs. Eliza Kinney, $1000; and from Brother O. B. Skinner, of McMinnville, $404.87. The W. B. H. M. Society, and the Y. P. Society of Oregon, were being organized, but not fully systematized for extensive work. Hence, reports from Eastern Societies are scanty. Yet the W. B. H. M. Society of the West credits Oregon in 1885 with $55; and $10 in 1886. But local reports give the women credit for over $600, and the Y. P. Society for something over $400, sent through the A. B. H. M. Society. The next Volume of these Annals will give more extended statements of the W. B. H. M. and the Y. P. work in Oregon.
Tables No. 11 and 12. Of the S. S. Missionaries or Colporteurs, Rev. J. C. Baker had the entire coast; Rev. T. Clay Neece labored mostly in Eastern Oregon; Rev. W. E. M. James labored some in the Willamette valley, and on the lower Columbia, but the most of his labors were in Western Washington; Rev. S. E. Stearns labored in Southern and Western Oregon until early in the 70s, when he went to Northeastern Oregon and Southeastern Washington and made that section his field of labor. The labors of Brethren D. T. Lenox, R. Cheadle, A. M. Cornelius, W. J. Laughary, and E. Russ were altogether in Western Oregon. There were six Life Managers, and twenty-one Life Members of the A. B. P. Society in Oregon.
McMinnville college has sold thirty-one and a half scholarships at $500 each; total value, $15,750. Of these, thirty-three were half scholarships; the others full scholarships. Sixteen half scholarships have been surrendered for the benefit of the college, and many of the others have changed hands.
It was thought that the table of areas and population would aid in showing the vast area of the State field with its needs, destitution, and manifold calls for help.
NO. 18. FIRST EVENTS
The first Baptists came to the coast in 1843.
The first public prayer meeting held by Baptists on the coast was at the house of David T. Lenox in February, 1844.
The first Baptist church organized on the coast was at West Union, in the house of D. T. Lenox, May 25, 1844.
The first Baptist Sunday School on the coast was at the house of D. T. Lenox, by Henry Sewell, June 9, 1844.
The first resident Baptist minister on the coast was Rev. Vincent Snelling, who came in 1844. He also preached the first sermon in February, 1845.
The first members received by a Baptist church on the coast were Rev. V. Snelling and wife, by letter at West Union, May, 10, 1845. The next day the church first commemorated the Lord's Supper.
The first persons on the coast, baptized by a Baptist minister were Mary and Elizabeth Lenox, baptized into the West Union Church, by Rev. Vincent Snelling, in February, 1845.
The first missionaries on the Pacific Coast, sent by the A. B. H. M. Society, were Revs. Ezra Fisher and Hezekiah Johnson, who arrived in December, 1845.
The first brother licensed to preach by a Baptist church on the coast was William Higgins; licensed by the Yamhill church in September, 1846.
The first Baptist Association on the coast was the Willamette; organized at West Union, June, 22, 1848.
The first death of a Baptist on the coast was that of James Bond, Jan. 18, 1848.
The first Baptist meeting house on the coast was built by Rev. H. Johnson, in 1848.
The Oregon City University was first started by Rev. E. Fisher, as a private school, in 1849. The first formal meeting of Baptists of the N. P. Coast for Educational purposes was in June, 1851. Deacon J. S. Holman, Chairman.
The first Baptist church on the N. P. Coast organized from the members of another Baptist church on the coast, was the West Tualatin (Forest Grove) Baptist church, organized from West Union church, May 22, 1852.
The oldest license given by a Baptist church on the N. P. Coast, and held by a Baptist both licensed and ordained on the N. P. Coast, and who is now living in Oregon, is that of C. H. Mattoon, given by the Shiloh church in September, 1853. Rev. C. C. Sperry's license was given the same year, by Pleasant Butte church.
The first public collection for the H. M. Society, of N. Y., was by the West Union church in 1853.
The first Colporteur of the A. B. P. Society for the N. W. Coast, was Rev. R. Cheadle, in 1853.
The first Baptist Ministerial Conference held on the North Pacific Coast was in 1854.
The first Baptist Council to settle a difficulty was held at Shiloh in 1854.
The first Baptist minister to die on the N. P. C. was Rev. Vincent Snelling, in November 1856.
The first Baptist Newspaper published on the N. P. C., was "The Religious Expositor," by C. H. Mattoon, started in May 1856.
McMinnville College was first offered to the Baptists at Soda Springs, by Rev. S. C. Adams, of the "Christian Church," and accepted by the Central Baptist Association of Oregon in 1857; and first opened with a regular faculty in 1858. Its enrollment the first winter was 178.
The first Baptist minister who was ordained in Oregon, and who is now living in Oregon, and a Baptist, is Rev. C. C. Sperry, ordained by the pleasant Butte (now Brownsville) Baptist church, in May, 1857.
The first Baptist General Association (also called Convention, etc.) was organized at French Prairie. September 25. 1857. Again organized at Scio in 1868; and at Albany in 1878; both times as the B. C. of the N. P. C.; and finally as the Oregon Baptist State Convention. at McMinnville in 1886.
The first contribution to foreign missions from the N. P. C., was by Mrs. Hughart, of North Palestine church, who in 1856, sent $5 by C. H. Mattoon, through the American Bible Union, of New York, for the Chinese mission. The first remittance sent through the Missionary Union, of Boston, was sent by Rev. G. C. Chandler, from Oregon City, in 1865.
The first nominating committee amongst the Baptists of Oregon, was at the organization of the State Convention in 1868.
The first Sunday School missionary on the N. P. Coast was W. J. Laughary, appointed in 1872.
Sisters were first received as Associational messengers at the Corvallis Association in 1873.
The first Baptist Chinese mission on the N. P. C., was started by the First Baptist Church of Portland, in 1874.
The first Chinese Baptist minister on the N. P. C., Rev. Gong Tyng, (Dong Gong) arrived in 1875.
The first start of the Scandinavian mission on the N. P. C., was by the First Baptist Church of Portland, in 1875.
The first start of the Women's Foreign Mission movement on the N. P . C., was in 1876.
The first German Baptist church organized on the N. P. C., was at Cedar Mills, in 1876. It was afterwards re-organized at Bethany, and name changed.
The first Fair held by a Baptist church on the N. P. C., to raise money for church purposes, was held by the church at Oregon City, in 1876. It netted $131.50, with some articles unsold.
The first Baptist church in Oregon organized by a formal Council was the First Baptist Church of Ashland, February 1, 1877.
The first German Baptist meetinghouse built on the N. P. C., was at Bethany, built in 1881.
The first Constitutional commitment of the Baptists of Oregon to the Foreign Mission work was by the Convention and some of the Associations in 1880.
The first collection for the C. E. F. Fund, by a Sunday School on the N. P. C., was at North Palestine, in 1884.
The first formal Council to recognize the organization of a Baptist church in Oregon, was convened at Grant's Pass in 1886.
This ends the first Volume of "Baptist Annals" by the present author. If sufficient encouragement is given, the second Volume (from 1886 to 1900) will appear sometime during 1906.
"Baptist Annals of Oregon, Vol. I," being now printed, "under the auspices and consent" of the Oregon Baptist State Convention, (see pp. 15 and 41, Annual of 1904,) the Publishing Committee now turn the work over to the brethren generally for their consideration. We are glad this volume is completed. We have tried to do our work faithfully. We also hope that the mechanical execution will be satisfactory. We have felt that our position was a responsible one, but it has also been a pleasant one, and we hope that the brethren will enjoy its perusal as heartily as ourselves.
- W. H. LATOURETTE,
- Chairman of Committee