The Germans, and also the Swedes or Scandinavians, have each an Association, or Conference, but as there is only one of each, it of course includes all the churches in the state of its own nationality. All these churches are very zealous in the work among their own people, and they cooperate with the Oregon State Convention, but the details of their work are not now available.
1. THE GERMAN BAPTIST CHURCH AT BETHANY
When Rev. John Croeni took the pastorate the church had 35 members; in 1888 it had 70. It had two out-stations; one at Stafford, in Clackamas County, with 10 members; and one at Portland with 12 members. It had a good parsonage with about four acres of land, besides the chapel; all worth about $1,200 and no debt. It had regular meetings every Sunday whether the pastor was present or not. It had a live Sunday school of 50 pupils and seven teachers, and had two prayer meetings each week. Its condition was one of healthy prosperity. On New Year's day, 1890, Brother Croeni thus speaks of his church: "The church did give me a valuable present, remarking while so big, it cannot be brought into the chapel (which was crowded with people), so I was called to go out doors and receive it myself. And what surprise! Standing outside, on the steps of the chapel, I had to receive a nice horse, well new fitted harness on; hitched on a fine new top buggy! Imagine and judge yourself my feeling, for such a feeling of love between our members to the minister. Besides, they did make a present of $55 to the young brother who is assisting me in laboring in the gospel. In consideration that most of our members are very poor with large families to support, judge yourself what love to show such benevolence. I am forced to say and feel, I am not worthy such a love for our dear members in Christ."
During this same year, the church built a new chapel at home, representing about $1,800 in money, besides their own labor. The congregations were good and the interest growing. The closing Sabbath of the year, the brethren contributed $61 for mission work among the Germans.
Early in 1891 Brother Croeni held a protracted meeting with 18 conversions and several more inquiring. Under his efficient labors, the church grew from 35 members to over 100, and they are an active working band. He began to say that their "big church" was almost too small. After 1891 available records are scanty. In 1894 Rev. William Schunke was pastor until 1898, when he resigned to go to Winnipeg. Rev. G. A. Schulte, Superintendent of the German missions, tells a pleasant story of his experience. At Buffalo, N. Y., he was introduced to two young educated Germans, new arrivals in this country. They considered themselves good Lutheran Christians, but were ignorant of the truth. By the grace of God they came to a knowledge of Christ, and Brother Schulte baptized them on a profession of their faith, and 29 years after met them in Oregon. Rev. Geo. Schunke was a missionary for the Grerman Baptists of northwestern Oregon; the other. Rev. Wm. Schunke, was the beloved and honored pastor of the German Baptist Church at Bethany.
Brother Schunke was succeeded by Rev. E. R. Suevern, a returned missionary from Cameroon, Africa, who is the latest pastor reported. The church supports its own pastor. It has 115 members, a house seating 300, a good parsonage, and no debt. It has given material for two other churches, the church at Portland, and the church at Stafford. The German population within a radius of five miles is about 600. The last day of 1898 Brother Suevern baptized 18 converts.
2. FIRST GERMAN BAPTIST CHURCH OF SALEM, 1890
Located at Salem, the capital of the state. Organized with ten members by Rev. John Fechter, June 6, 1890. The church came into the Willamette Association the same month, but remained two years only. Rev. J. Fechter was pastor until 1894. The church at once secured lots and commenced making preparations to build a meeting house, and had it ready for dedication May 15, 1892. It is a very neat little building, seating about 150, and costing about $1,500. The A. B. H. M. Society donated $250. Considering that the membership were very poor, this was doing remarkably well. In 1894 Rev. J. Fechter moved to California, and in July Rev. C. E. Kliewer arrived from the East and succeeded him, he also, as well as Brother Fechter, being aided by the A. B. H. M. Society. He found a small discouraged band of 33. By his zeal and energy he more than doubled its membership the first year. Brother Kliewer is a sound Baptist, a scholar with a very fine address, and is firmly set against the worldly alliances and amusements of this age that are so fearfully mangling and marring our American churches. Pastor Kliewer was pastor of the church until June, 1898, when he was followed by Rev. Gustav Schunke, and he is still the pastor, and the church is prospering under his ministrations. He had three out-stations. Brother Schunke has been in the ministry something over 20 years. He was born in Germany, and has three brothers in the ministry; all Baptists. He came to this country when about 18, and was converted on the first day of his arrival. His heart is in mission work, and on coming to Oregon in 1894, he first engaged as a general missionary among his people. And whilst serving as pastor, he usually had mission stations, or other churches to occupy a part of his time. He has a wife and several children; all, unless some of the youngest children, being active and helpful members of the church. As there are at least from 1,500 to 2,000 Germans in Salem, and numerous others within a radius of 20 or 30 miles, he has all he can look after. Hence, young and small as this church was, in 1898, it was the mother of two other churches, one in Albany with 13 members, the other in Turner with 30 members. Neither of these has any property, but they appear to be live, wide-awake churches. The future outlook of the Salem church is bright. Though comparatively small, it is having a healthy, steady growth. Harmony and peace prevail and all are united in trying to excel in labor for Christ. In 1897 it received and baptized Rev. Carl Waehlte, a Lutheran minister who had become a Baptist. He was ordained in 1898 and the missionary committee recommended him to preach among the Germans in the district south of Albany and east of Eugene. There was a small Lutheran church there, but their pastor was too old to do much work; otherwise, the field was destitute.
3. FIRST GERMAN BAPTIST CHURCH OF PORTLAND 1891
Located at corner of Fourth and Mill Streets, Portland, Oregon. Organized with 25 members by Rev. F. Reichle and H. L. Dietz, Jan. 5, 1891.
This church had formerly been a mission of the German Baptists of Bethany, but finally, upon the advice and hearty concurrence of the Bethany church, concluded to organize in Portland. The preaching services were held in the Sunday school room of the First Baptist Church of Portland, and the prayer meetings at the private residences of the members. In October, 1891, Rev. W. C. Rabe of the Second German Church, Rochester, N. Y., was called to the pastorate, but did not enter on his duties until July, 1892. Brother Rabe was a very pleasant gentleman, inspiring confidence and well calculated to secure success in Portland. He had been pastor in Rochester, N. Y., two years and in Buffalo, N. Y., 14 years. He was commissioned at Portland by the A. B. H. M. Society and he fully came up to the expectations of his church. In January, 1891, the membership increased 75 and Brother Rabe was greatly encouraged and reaching out to establish four branches in as many quarters of the city. Brother Gustav Schunke was ordained March 16, 1897. About 1896 the church had begun to make an effort to build a meeting house and on July 25, 1897, the new house was dedicated. It cost, with lot, $8,645.70; to which should be added $500 as the value of the furnace and furniture from the old First Church building, donated by Mr. Henry Failing. It is seated with pews accommodating, with galleries on three sides, 600 in the audience room and 150 in the basement. Of the sum necessary to free the property from debt, the little church of 98 members raised $3,360 and Pastor Rabe secured $2,389.83 in the East, besides $236.33 previously received from the same source. The A. B. H. M. Society donated $1,000. The house is free from debt, although a small debt rested on the dwelling house of seven rooms on the lot, which was rented at the time of the dedication; and the debt long since paid, and the parsonage secured. This church held the last church service in the old house of the First Church before it was torn down, and the new house is the best occupied by any German congregation in the city. Brother Rabe also succeeded in organizing a German Association and a Pacific Convention.
In the summer of 1896 Rev. Mr. Rabe resigned the pastorate and returned to his former field in the East. The present pastor (1900) is Rev. Jacob Kratt, coming here fresh from Rochester, N. Y., in July, 1896. He has also been aided by the A. B. H. M. Society of New York. He found a discouraged, but not afraid, membership of 84, 22 non-resident and a new house with basement just being finished. In a year he had received 65 persons into the church, 34 by baptism. He is a brother whom it is always a pleasure to meet; an earnest. spiritual preacher, who has the happy faculty of leading old and young both kindly and wisely, and is alike beloved by both, whilst his people are such of which Oregon Baptists may well be proud. It is now (1900) the largest German Baptist church on the Coast, and one of the most prosperous and progressive as well. The German population of Portland is from 12,000 to 15,000. Among them, this young active, aggressive church of nearly 200 members, with its live, energetic, wide-awake, consecrated pastor, is pushing forward with wonderful strides. The Germans are not easily reached by Baptists; hence this membership means much. The congregations are often larger than the church membership. The prayer meetings are excellent, and there are over 30 in the pastor's Bible class. All lines of work are encouraging, and the future seems, to hold good things in store for this people. The church expects to become self-supporting June 1, 1900. It has also established a mission in Albina, a suburb of Portland.
4. FIRST GERMAN BAPTIST CHURCH OF STAFFORD 1892
Located at Stafford, Clackamas County, about 12 miles southeast of Portland. Organized by Rev. F. Reichle.
This church was at first a mission station of the Bethany church. The available records are scanty. Unless it be an occasional visit from the general missionary, there is no record of this church having ever received any outside help. But in 1895, under the labors of their efficient pastor, Rev. Joseph Gronde, the church had 30 members, and the prospects for growth were good. In 1898, the church had 35 members, a meeting house, seating 100 people, a parsonage, and no debt. Rev. F. Reichle was their pastor. In 1900 Rev. Mr. Graner was pastor, and the church had opened a mission at Oregon City, holding their meetings in the house of the First Baptist Church.
5. FIRST GERMAN BAPTIST CHURCH OF TURNER 1895
Located at Turner, Marion County. about nine miles southeast of Salem. Organized with 34 members by a council, December 9, 1895.
These brethren were dismissed from the Salem German church for this purpose; and the Council consisted of delegates and visitors from the German association which had just met at Salem. Rev. W. Schunke, Moderator; Joseph Gronde, clerk of the Council. Rev. C. Waehlte, of Eugene is the pastor early in 1900, but later in 1900, owing to removals and other causes, the church disbanded.
6. FIRST GERMAN BAPTIST CHURCH OF SALT CREEK 1896.
Located on Salt Creek, five miles northwest of Dallas, the county seat of Polk county. Organized with 12 members by Rev. Gustav Schunke, July 19, 1896. This church, sometimes called Dallas, and sometimes called Salt Creek, is an active, zealous church. Rev. G. Eichler has been the pastor from about the first until now (1900), and has been frequently blessed with converts, being often assisted in his meetings by Rev. G. Schunke, In 1897 the church built a meeting-house of two rooms and costing $1,000, seating 200 people in both rooms. There is no debt on the property. There are about 300 people speaking German here, half of them being Russian Mennonites, and several of these are uniting with the German church, and they make some of the best of members, active, and earnest. The membership now is about 50. In the spring of 1900 a protracted meeting was held; result, 16 confessed Christ. Everything encouraging.
7. FIRST GERMAN BAPTIST CHURCH OF ALBANY 1898
Located at Albany, Linn county. Organized with 13 members by Rev. Carl Waelhte. This church was first a mission station of the Salem German church. It has been under the pastoral care of Rev. C. Waehlte since its organization. It now has 59 members, (1900). Brother Waelhte had been a Lutheran preacher, but became a Baptist, and was baptized in 1897 by the Salem German church and was ordained in the spring of 1898. No further data.
The progress of the work amongst the Germans has necessarily been very slow, from several causes. Nearly all had to struggle against severe poverty, and, to great extent, had to endure much social ostracism from their own people. But indomitable energy has characterized these few feeble churches, and great care in the reception of members has made their work of a most excellent and superior quality, where are now seven churches, with a membership of nearly 500, and church property valued at $15,000. There are six pastors, and five houses of worship. The membership hold a high standard for piety, and fully exemplify it in both living and giving.
In 1896 a new German Conference was organized on the Pacific coast, and it was hoped that they would be able to push the work with more energy than before, and greater success would crown their labors. Both California and Oregon have large settlements of Germans that should be reached by Baptists. And many more in Washington; some of them Baptists. Pioneer work among them is needed all over this coast. And the little aid given has shown very encouraging results. In the Home Mission Monthly for September, 1897, Rev. C. A. Schulte, superintendent of the German missions, on a visit to Oregon, gives the following account (condensed) of a work at Haywood (no later data available).
"Haywood, near Forest Grove, in the Coast Range forests, a wild and mountainous region, is settled almost entirely by Lutheran or Roman Catholic Germans, whose spiritual necessities were so neglected that they were like sheep without a shepherd. Rev. G. Schunke started a mission here; the Lord blessed his labors; a Sunday school was organized and the people came to hear the preaching. Shortly before my visit, Brother Schunke baptized four converts, three Lutherans, one Catholic. After a long ride over bad roods, through rain and snow, I reached, in company with our missionary, the summit of the mountain where the meetings were held. The school house was full of people. At the conclusion of the sermon nine men and women arose for prayer. After a season of prayer a man arose, who asked: "Mr. Preacher, do you really believe with all your heart the new doctrine you have proclaimed to us?" We answered in the affirmative. He then made a statement in regard to the new doctrine, as he understood it. This gave us a splendid opportunity to explain the views of Baptists concerning the new birth, believing prayer, baptism, etc. Other questions were asked and answered until nearly midnight. The whole district seemed to be aroused Even the Lutheran minister in the neighboring city has been awakened, as he has visited the people and is now making strenuous efforts to retain his long-neglected sheep in his own fold. But the truth will conquer.
"The large influx of Germans into Oregon offers, just now opportunities for missionary work which will never return. There were no Germans a few years ago in a district near Dallas, at Salt Creek. They now possess the land. Mr. Schunke, our missionary, found in this district an open door and organized a growing church there. And the population is also growing and the prospects good. He also organized a new church of twelve members at Sheridan, but this church has since united with the church at Salt Creek. These small interests, planted here and there in new districts, will be centers of influence, and may become large and influential churches. Our missionaries in Oregon are active and energetic men. They do not confine themselves in their work to the places they are appointed for, but go beyond them wherever they find an open door. Thus Rev. C. E. Kliewer, at Salem, began work at Turner, which grew to a church of 40 members. He also started the mission at Albany, and about 20 Germans were converted. There is quite a large German population in the country near Albany."
This concludes the sketch of the German churches with the data at hand. They now have six churches, with a membership of about 500; well attended Sunday schools, with over 400 present, and also young people's societies, women's societies, etc., and their property is worth over $15,000. Their association meets twice a year; is well attended, spiritual, and hopeful. Their work is pioneer work; slow but sure. Money from the Home Mission Society is well and judiciously spent; they try to "stand up for Jesus," "to preach Christ and him crucified," "to be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as we know that our work is not in vain in the Lord." One more quotation: "We have thus glanced over the whole field. The backward glance furnishes just cause for profound gratitude. Much has been accomplished, but more remains to be done. The Lord has given to the German-speaking Baptists a specific mission among their own countrymen. This work is not completed. Multitudes of Germans are still without a saving knowledge of Christ. Thousands of Germans are still pouring in to make their homes with us. The gospel in its simplicity and power must be preached to them in the language they can understand and comprehend."
The German Baptist Association of Oregon was organized about 1892. The data is very scanty, but some outlines are given from time to time in The Pacific Baptist and statistics are found occasionally in the minutes of the association and conventions. From the notices alluded to, the work appeared to prosper and progress was made. Reports were mostly encouraging. New churches came in occasionally, and revival interests were often manifest at the meetings and conversions reported. Every meeting indicated faithful and earnest, persevering zeal and labor for Christ. At the session at Salem in 1895 Jos. Grande, moderator, five churches and twelve mission stations were reported. In 1896 at Stafford, ten churches reported. In 1899 at Bethany, the reports were all encouraging, with several baptisms.
It also appears that the Germans have an annual convention or conference for the entire coast, comprising Washington, Oregon and California. At this Conference held in Portland in March, 1895, Rev. William Appel was moderator and J. Grande, clerk. The preaching was uplifting and inspired renewed consecration for service. The cause of missions on the coast and of foreign missions, home missions in general, Christian education and denominational literature, all called for earnest consideration. A collection for the A. B. H. M. Society of New York was $32.76 and there was not a rich member among them. It was given with joy, without coaxing, and it was said that all present experienced a revival of religion in their strength and hopefulness. In 1896 at the meeting at Bethany, William Schunke was moderator, J. Kratt, clerk; 56 baptisms were reported and $701.50 contributed for benevolence. Several rose for prayers. In 1899 the conference met at Salem; J. Kratt, moderator, E. Suevern, clerk; 30 messengers present. in 1900 it met in San Francisco. The same officers continued. The letters showed progress in nearly all the field, especially in Oregon. The conference now had ten churches, with a membership of 780, which contributed to the different objects of the denomination about $700 annually and the majority of the members in very meager circumstances and they say the Lord has blessed them. For mission work $165 was collected at the conference.
FIRST SCANDINAVIAN BAPTIST CHURCH, PORTLAND
The aggregate membership of the church in 1880 was 30. The prospects encouraging. The Scandinavian population of Portland and vicinity was 3,500 to 4,000. Rev. O. Okerson collected at the East $1,899.35; on the coast, $1,027.25; total $2,926.60. The A. B. H. M. Society paid him $800 a year for two years; to Brother Liijeroth, $900 a year; and to Brother Hayland $500 the first year and $400 a year afterwards; the church paying $200 a year to Brother Hayland. In April, 1889, Brother Havland resigned to go to Nebraska and was succeeded by Rev. Uno N. Brauer, who was followed in 1891 by Rev. A. J. Westerberg. Pastor Westerberg thus sums up the condition of the church at the close of 1891:
"'Praise God from whom all blessings flow.' We have reasons to sing that song with overflowing hearts for joy and gratitude to God. Saturday we had our annual meeting of the church and then the last year's report was read and the result was more than we expected. Expended for all purposes incidental to the propagation of the gospel, $1,206. Outside of this we have raised $400 to pay the debt of the church; so now we are free from that. We started out in 1892 with no debt whatsoever and a little cash in the treasury, which, when we remember that every member of the church earns his own living by the sweat of his brow, not one a business man, and a few just starting to make their own homes, is a remarkable showing. The increase of membership through the year has been 25. We start now on the week of prayer and our great desire is that the Lord will give us a great blessing for the ensuing year. The present membership is about 100."
Brother Westerberg was a missionary. He not only looked after his own church, but concluded to start a mission among the 3,000 or 4,000 Scandinavians at Astoria. When asked what he was doing, he answered, "Not much." He began with a saw, hammer, nails and a few pieces of wood. He said. "People don't like to stand up while they listen to the gospel being preached to them." He thought the field the most unpromising for gospel work that he had ever seen. His congregations about 25 or 30, but a fair average with the old, established churches of the place. In two months he had the joy of praying for two young men, and one, he thought, was trusting in Christ as his Savior. He also baptized one into the English Baptist church. He also spent a day in Nehalem Valley, where he found a few believers, to whom he preached in both Swedish and English. At Astoria he paid $25 out of his own pocket for the rent of a hall and collected $21.45, which just paid for the other expenses of starting the mission, and he still owed for the song books. But Brother Westerberg was forced to resign his work. The damp climate undermined his health and an old complaint, rheumatism, by which he had five times before been laid up, once for an entire year, drove him to the conclusion that he could not do justice to the work. So he moved to San Luis Obispo, Calif., to take charge of the Swedish church there. His letter of resignation gives quite a comprehensive view of the Portland work at that time.
"As a child grows it becomes of age and will be independent. So with our church. By the grace of God, and by the generous support of the dear old A. B. H. M. Society, and its cooperating agencies in Oregon, we have now come of age and will try to walk by ourselves. When Brother O. Okerson came here to the west coast about ten years ago, he found one and one-half Baptists here. When he went into the First Baptist Church of this city to plead the cause of his countrymen, some of the good brethren shook their wise heads; but the Lord was in it, and they, constrained by the love of Christ, put their shoulders to the wheel and the work was begun by the First Baptist Church, at Caruthers street. A church was organized January 1, 1884, with twelve members, and five baptized the same day. In 1887 they built and removed to 109 N. 11th Street, under the leadership of Rev. N. Hayland. After him came Rev. Uno Brauer, who took charge of the work for two years. I found the church numbered 75 members, with a property worth then $5,000; perhaps $2,000 more now. There was a debt of $400, which we raised and paid in six months. We had no organ, and only a few worn-out hymn-books. We bought an organ for $90 cash; hymn books for $50; have given quite liberally to home and foreign missions, besides making some repairs and sundry expenses. We were in need of help to pay the pastor's salary, which we got from the Home Mission Society. Through the sustaining grace and mercy of God, we have during the year added to our membership 10 by baptism, 17 by letter, two restored, and 2 by experience, total 31. Excluded 1, names removed at their request, 2, given letters to three, total 6. Net gain 25. They have paid the pastor's salary promptly, even beforehand.
"While we now as a church, no longer need your aid financially, we still need your spiritual aid and sympathy. We now desire by this to render our thanks to all these dear friends who have so nobly stood by us and cheered us in our work. This church has had its struggles and battles to fight. I suppose when the arch enemy was expelled from the counsel chambers of God, where he stood and resisted about the body of Moses, and about Job and Joshua, he thought he would go out and trouble the brethren of the Lord; but by the overwhelming grace of God this church stands as a living monument of the power of the Lord to serve and to help. Although we now withdraw from the parental arms of the Home Mission Society, we do not intend to go into a strange country, but we still wish to be in touch with your work.
"And now, brethren, a little personal from the writer: I wish to express my gratitude to all the dear and kind American friends, pastors, and laymen, for your kind courtesy, and the warm pressure of your hands, which have been to me very precious, and given inspiration to the soul. We read, the Lord gave some pastors, some evangelists, etc. What he gave me I hardly know, but I believe he gave me to be a quarry man in the mountains of sin; and he gave me hammer and chisel and crowbar, and a good deal of dynamite to put in blasting occasionally. But it is with a deep sense of unworthiness, yet gratitude to God for His wonderful love and forbearance toward all my short-comings and that He thus condescends to own and bless our labors to the salvation of souls that I thus work or labor. During the year I have had the joy of bringing a few sailors to Christ, and I have baptized three of them. To God be all the glory. Your brother in Christ. August Westerberg."
The church also gave $150 to keep the mission at Astoria.After Brother Westerberg left the church had no regular pastor until late in 1894. It was supplied much of the time by Rev. Aug. Sandall. In writing of the work in March, 1894, he says that the Lord had blessed the church abundantly during the preceding year. All worked as one man in harmony and peace; baptisms, 13; restored, 6; received by letter, 5; gain 24. Contributions, $1,239.54; balance in the treasury, $88.30. The young people's society had done a good work. It had supported a missionary in India, and also contributed to the general fund of the church. The income during the year ending Feb. 27 was $161, and $39 in the treasury. The Sunday school in good condition, though not large. The sewing society had done noble work sending help where needed. A missionary society for the support of a Scandinavian missionary was organized; annual dues $2 each. It had 40 members and hoped that a large part of the Scandinavian people at the out-stations would join, so that a missionary could soon be found to take up the work in the regions about Portland. On the first Sunday in March, three new members were received, and in all ways the outlook for the church was excellent.
In November, 1894, Rev. David Oberg, from Topeka, Kansas, accepted the pastorate in Portland, and was received with the greatest cordiality. The first eight months he received 39 new members, mostly by baptism. There was no special revival, but a continual healthy growth. The prayer meetings were spiritual, and well attended; Sunday evenings especially. The congregations were good; the house well filled. Brother Oberg was not only a preacher but a teacher, with a very direct and plain way of reaching the hearts of his people, and they were looking for greater things in the future. But in the fall of 1896 he resigned and went back east. Rev. Chas. Asplund became pastor in April, 1897. He had been Sunday school missionary in Iowa and Nebraska, and understood well how to lead and interest the young. The church work was thoroughly organized for effective labor and the name of the church was changed to the First Swedish Baptist church of Portland, Oregon. In 1898 pastor Asplund arranged for a conference to organize for a general work for the state so as to take up much needed work at several important points. In 1899 he visited Astoria, Tillamook. and Nehalem valleys, assisting Rev. G. A. Osbrink, the general missionary, in several meetings, at which several were baptized, and much good accomplished. A Swedish conference had been organized and a general missionary appointed, who was doing an excellent work. In 1900 Brother Asplund was one day invited out with his family to dine with a friend, and on returning in the evening, found that his house was lighted up, and that his church members had taken possession, and that they so appreciated his work, that they made him a present of a fine new Milton piano, valued at $250. He feelingly expressed his gratitude through The Oregonian to his brethren and friends, and especially to the Eilers Piano House for their generous liberality, their donation making it possible. And about a year afterwards they presented him with a purse with $30 in it, and a bicycle; this outside of his salary.
There are 6,000 or more Scandinavians in Portland half of them Swedes. The Baptist church has about 125 members. It has a neat and comfortable house of worship with six living rooms in the rear. It cost $5,000; will seat 200 in the main audience room. Prayer meetings and Sunday school are held in the basement. The location is not the most favorable in every respect, but the outlook, notwithstanding, is very encouraging. They are a united people, and pastor and members are all working heartily together.
In 1896 Miss Irene Johnson spent the first four months of the year in work among the Swedes of Portland. She reports these as four busy and happy months spent, mainly in house to house visiting, women's meetings and Sunday and industrial school work.
FIRST SWEDISH BAPTIST CHURCH OF ASTORIA. 1881.
Organized by a council; Rev. Chas. Asplund, moderator; Rev. N. Hayland, clerk, with eight members, December 12, 1897. This church was to a large extent the result of the labors of Rev. August Westerberg, pastor of the Swedish Baptist church at Portland, whilst Astoria was a mission station of that church. Rev. N. Hayland was called to supply the church for two months as pastor. The Portland church, through its pastor, agreed to pay towards his support $10 per month. There were about 5,000 Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians in and about Astoria, needing evangelizing. Hence there was a great work before the church, and a loud call for help in doing this work. In 1898 the little band had no pastor, but worshipped in a hall on Sundays, and held weekly prayer meetings. Charles O. Halbert, a worthy brother from Minnesota, and an esteemed member of a church there, preached for them twice on Sunday, and worked in a mill the rest of the week. There is but very little data respecting this church. Rev. J. Samuelson was the pastor elect at the close of 1900. He says they had rented and rebuilt a house in a good location that had before been used as a saloon, and rejoiced that they could now use it as a meeting house and a parsonage, and that they have plenty of hard work ahead; The Sunday school (conducted in English) was a bright feature, and the outlook hopeful. The membership 10.
NEHALEM VALLEY SWEDISH CHURCH. 1881.
No available data on hand respecting the organization nor details of work, excepting statistical tables published in the State Convention Annuals, for 1900. It then had eight members, and contributed $21 for the Convention work. It was one of the mission stations of the Swedish Baptist church of Portland, and was visited occasionally by Rev. August Westerberg. Some of the other Baptist pastors of Portland sometimes visited it. But the visits ceased for various causes, and rumor says that it has since disbanded, because of deaths and removals.
THE DEEP CREEK SCANDINAVIAN BAPTIST CHURCH
Organized in Clackamas county in April, 1895 with 15 members.
THE FISH HAWK SCANDINAVIAN BAPTIST CHURCH.
Organized in 1885, with eight members. No available data from either.
FIRST SWEDISH BAPTIST CHURCH. TILLAMOOK, 1900.
Located at Tillamook City, Tillamook county. Organized with seven members by Rev. J. O. Osbrink: and O. Okerson, May, 1900.
This church was the result of a two weeks' meeting held by the above gentlemen, in which were several conversions and more were expected, but they were disappointed and owing to removals. neglect and deaths they disbanded to unite with the English-speaking Baptists further down the coast until reinforced.
In the report of the W. B. H. M. Society of Chicago for 1895, Miss Irene W. Johnson's work in Portland among the Scandinavians is spoken of. She became interested in Albina, a suburb, and gathering the children, so interested others that the close of the year sees a little mission chapel nearing completion with money in hand to pay for it. Much of the work, on the building was donated by men with skilled hands and willing hearts, but out of employment and without money. Miss Johnson has visited some country settlements, and from others she hears the call "Come and help us." In the town of Oswego she found but one Baptist family, and they were Swedes; but she was warmly welcomed by both Swedes and Americans. The demands of the work in Portland rendered it difficult for her to get away; especially as helpers are few. Not, she says, because people are unwilling to work, but because they are all working people, and cannot command their time. Some 15 have been added to the church at Portland by baptism, and as many more by letter and experience. And the meetings are well attended. As throughout the West, the constantly changing character of the population interferes with the certain continuity of the work. The only mission study and work thus far undertaken is in the young people's society, organized to assist in the support of a missionary in Burmah.
In speaking of the Scandinavian work in 1891, the State convention thus alludes to the Danes and Norwegians: "Circumstances seem to indicate that the time has fully come for this Convention to undertake mission work among the Danes and Norwegians in our state. It is estimated that at least 10,000 Danes and Norwegians are in Portland and Astoria. A man thoroughly qualified for this work is now available, and $500 in sight for his support, provided we add another $500."
And in 1895 the State Convention said of the Scandinavian mission. "Rev. Olaf Olson worked for three months, but for some cause resigned, and his successor has not been selected. This is a great and needy field. The Swedish population is about 30,000 in the state, and when these people see the truth and are converted from Lutheranism, they become, and remain among our strongest Baptists."
In the State Convention annual for 1898 I find this notice: "A Swedish Conference has been formed which seeks cooperation with the Convention. We should extend to them every courtesy within our power and welcome them to the joint work of the evangelization of their people. We are ever engulfed of the stability of the Swedish people, when once they become Baptists, by the noble, self-sacrificing spirit that they manifest, and by their substantial and exemplary Christian lives." And ibid, 25, 1899: "The Swedish Conference has five churches, a membership of 270, and has paid out during the year $2,117.27 for current expenses and for missions; the valuation of church property is $5,000. The Conference sustains four Sunday schools, with 116 average attendance. Rev. Charles Asplund, Portland, Oregon, is president of the Conference, and Rev. G. A. Osbrink, Portland, is general missionary.
But it was three years before any activity in this direction was manifest outside of a few individuals, and possibly a church or two. In 1897 Rev. Chas. Asplund made a most stirring appeal to the A. B. H. M. Society for help. He said (H. M. Monthly, Sept., 1897): "As far as I have learned to know, I am the only Scandinavian minister that gives the whole time to the work in the state of Oregon; and as pastor of the Swedish Baptist church of Portland, my time is very much taken up by looking after the work here and in the nearest surroundings. There are only two more Scandinavian churches organized in the state, and they are both too small and financially too poor to support a minister at any rate or time. I have very frequently appeals from different places to come and preach the gospel to our people. I have five or more such pleadings on hand, but how can I do my duty to my own field and meet the demand at those places? And yet it is most heart-breaking to say 'no' to the hungry soul. We need a missionary among those thousands of Scandinavians to look after the people, and bring the blessed gospel of Jesus to them. There are plenty of men to get, but where is the money to support them? We have for a long time felt the need of a missionary, and also felt the responsibility of doing something; but as our own church is very little (over 100 member), and a hard working people, it is very hard to keep up with our own expenses. But we are trusting in the Lord and pleading with God to get a missionary and help to support him. We decided at our late church meeting to raise $100 towards a salary for a Swedish Baptist missionary in Oregon. Now we need $550 more in order to make a salary for an ordinary missionary; and yet it is a small salary for a man who has to travel and pay his own expenses. Now we plead with the A. B. H. M. Society for those thousands of souls that the Bread of Life may be given to them. We ask you, as stewards of God's great mission society, would it not be wise for the Society to put $550 a year in mission work among our Scandinavians in Oregon? I have been here only six months, but my heart is aching for the salvation of my people, and out of my salary ($600) I have already promised the church to give $50 toward the missionary salary, hoping that we may get the amount asked for, and we will soon have a man on the field. We made an appeal to brother Gilman Parker, the secretary of the State Convention, but he says the Convention cannot take up any new work now, and advises me to write to you."
Again in 1899 he writes: "There has never been more than one Swedish Baptist minister at a time settled in the state to carry on the work among these churches. As a result of unnecessary changes of pastors, there have been times when the field has been without pastor or missionary for months. The pastor at Portland is the only Swedish minister in the state who gives his whole time to the work on this great field." "Rev. G. A. Osbrink has labored for eight months among the Swedish people of the state, being employed jointly by the Swedish Conference of Oregon and the Convention. He has given to the work, 34 weeks, preached 144 sermons, delivered seven addresses; conducted 213 prayer meetings; made 255 religious visits; visited 12 churches and 8 fields, doing the work of an evangelist; he has traveled 2,240 miles; organized 2 Sunday schools; given away 16 Bibles and 265 pages of tracts, and baptized 10 converts. With a better knowledge of the field, a much larger work can be done in the future. The Swedish Baptist Conference has come into heart cooperation with the Convention, electing members of our board, and has paid into the treasury during the year $150." The Convention says, "The Swedish Conference cooperated with this Convention and Missionary G. A. Osbrink was under appointment for the year. Several new fields were occupied and a church was organized at Tillamook."
The Swedish conference was brought about mainly through the efforts of Rev. Charles Asplund, pastor of the Portland church; with which church its sessions have been held until the present time (1900). At first it had three churches with about 178 members. It affiliates with the Oregon Baptist State Convention and asks for the appointment of a general missionary for their people in Oregon, numbering over 40,000. The request was granted and Rev. G. A. Osbrink appointed and entered on his work in the spring of 1899. In October he reported several new fields occupied and a new church organized at Tillamook. In 1899 the Conference returned thanks to the State Convention for the liberal support given to the missionaries and hoped that the bonds of sympathy would continue. Thanks were then given to the American Baptist Publication Society for Sunday school literature and the work of Rev. G. A. Osbrink.
The body had five churches and 270 members; had paid out during the year $2,117.27 for current expenses and for missions. The valuation of church property, $5,000. It sustains four Sunday schools with average attendance of 116. President of the Conference, Rev. Charles Asplund, Portland; general missionary, Rev. G. A. Osbrink, Portland.
In 1899 Brother Osbrink had secured a tent 28x40 feet, seating 150 persons, in which to hold his meetings, also hymn books and his telescope organ for his services. At one of his testimony meetings Swedes, Norwegians and English all took part, each speaking in his own language and in the evening short addresses were made in Scandinavian and English. At the sessions in 1900 the reports from the churches were very gratifying and gave indications of progress. The membership had increased; collections more than any previous year; expenses, including organ and tent, were paid; with a balance of $50 in the treasury. The churches were well represented, by both delegates and visitors; all lines of work were fully considered; a mission board appointed; a collection divided between home and foreign missions; two persons baptized; and the following resolutions adopted: "Resolved: That we extend our thanks to the Oregon Baptist State
Convention, the Home Mission Society, the Missionary Union, and the American Baptist Publication Society, for their sympathy and cooperation in bringing the gospel to our people. We also recommend to all our churches that they remember these Societies by their prayers and contributions."
In 1899 the American Baptist Home Mission Society thus speaks: "There are about 40,000 Scandinavians in Oregon. This fact alone suggests an enlargement of missionary operations among these people. The coming of Rev. Charles Asplund to the pastorate of the Swedish Baptist Church of Portland was a great event in their history; his coming gave at once a great impetus to their work; he has brought about the organization of the Swedish Baptist Conference, which has gone into cooperation with the Oregon Baptist Convention; Rev. G. A. Osbrink has been secured as general missionary; thus securing a larger interest in the welfare of this most excellent class of foreigners." And the Convention makes the following report: "Of the value of these Swedish Baptists to the denomination, the report of the A. B. H. M. Society for 1900 thus speaks: 'The Swedish Baptists are thoroughly orthodox, both at home and abroad. They do not suffer much, if any, from higher criticism. It would be considered in some places a desecration even to mention its name in the pulpit. And any minister trying to apply it to the holy Scriptures would soon find his usefulness at an end. They have seen object lessons enough in the state churches of what fruits the learned, semi-rationalistic and ritualistic orthodoxy, so called, bears; so they will not be likely, we trust, to experiment very much with any thing of the kind; which would blight the life of the young organism which thus far has proved to be very vigorous.'"
RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT
The work of the churches to the close of 1900 is now completed so far as the material on hand will apply. Much of it has been long, arduous, self-sacrificing, unrewarded toil, except the reward promised to the faithful worker, when the time of rewards shall come. Sometimes a little ray of sunshine has brightened the pathway of the toiler, but much of his journey he has walked by faith and not by sight. Yet some, whom God has spared through the long, weary way, may even now look upon the results which have followed: their faithful, trustful pilgrimage of love, and realize that the blessed Savior who led them had not forgotten his own, but that the precious seed, sown with tears and prayers, has indeed brought forth a rich harvest of redeemed souls to bless our land, and that the labors and toils of the past were not in vain. God's Word has not returned unto him void, but has indeed accomplished its work and our land teems with churches, with many earnest, loving workers, panting to take up and further the glorious work of the early laborers on this fruitful field. But we have had also many non-workers here; unidentified Baptists have abounded from the first. Some, far isolated from churches, forgot their zeal, and when churches came near had become cold and indifferent; others were unsettled, ever expecting. to remove elsewhere, but years passed and they moved not; some, greedy for wealth, refused to trammel conscience with unnecessary restraints, Demas-like, loving the riches of this world better than the true riches; and others willfully and deliberately went back on their religion, if they ever had any. Such we ever have had; and probably such we ever will have; and also false brethren to contend with; but those "who endure unto the end shall be saved." The path may be dark, and the way rough, with but very few bright spots; but there is no uncertainty as to the final victory, and joy with our blessed Lord. "We know in whom we have believed." And his church shall stand forever, and "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it;" for
- "Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
- Doth his successive journeys run."
SUNDAY SCHOOL WORK
Received marked attention. A special time set apart for its consideration. Institutes and conventions held, and the ablest speakers procured to present its problems. Every church urged to have one at least and all members to take part. The Sunday school missionary, whether of the A. B. P. Society, or any other organization, was always welcomed. It was found that in nearly all revivals in churches with schools, the largest percentage of converts was usually from the school. In the Central Association in 1890, only two-thirds of the churches had schools, yet 40 per cent of the baptisms were from the schools. In 1891 the Willamette Association reported 22 schools; attendance, 1532. The Sunday school institutes which had been held on the field during the year had been highly appreciated, and were very helpful. The State Sunday School Convention held at Oregon City had been a success, and had done much to stimulate work among teachers; new schools were organized since the last meeting. Teachers' meetings for the regular study of the lesson were recommended, It was also recommended that institutes be held in the district of the association every six months, at which the workers would pledge themselves to attend, and the missionary spirit be more enforced in all the teaching and training of the young. Systematic visiting was recommended and that more evangelistic work be carried into the school, thus stimulating members to more zeal and activity, and giving life and vitality to the work. Such was substantially the work and recommendations aimed to be carried out by the associations, differing only in some minor detail. It may be said today (1900) that the great majority of the Sunday schools of Oregon are vigorous and prosperous, bearing their full share of precious fruit in the vineyard. Yet in details, the churches might differ. The evangelistic work, as first put into practice by Brethren N. S. Dygart and W. M. Wilder, both of the school of the First Baptist Church of Portland, was a grand success. These brethren began their own school by devoting the entire session for one Sunday to direct personal appeal to every scholar of the school; first, by their teacher, in a session of 15 minutes before their classes. This was followed by a solemn song and prayer service; then a direct appeal by the superintendent for those who would decide to live for Christ to come forward and give him their hand. A large number of the children and young people responded, and many of those who gave their hearts to Jesus in this manner afterwards came into the church. After such a blessed experience in this Sunday school, many other Sunday schools called for visits from these two brethren, when a similar service was held with even more blessed results.
A report at the State Convention commented on the meetings and added: "By these meetings, all the Sunday schools of Portland were greatly revived and blessed, and a large in-gathering of church members resulted. It seems that such a work as this might be extended until its influence shall reach and bless all the Sunday schools of the state. The Sunday school belongs to the church; and most emphatically we urge, let the church belong to the Sunday school. There is a place and need here for every member; and still more every member needs the helpful influence of the Sunday School. (1) How much would be added to the numbers, the interest, the enthusiasm, and the conversions in our Sunday schools, if every member of our churches who could would attend the Sunday school for a year? (2) How much increase in Biblical knowledge would these new Sunday school attendants gain? How much spiritual growth? How much more usefulness in the church? By consequence how much would our prayer meetings gain? How many more souls won for the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ? Brethren, it seems to us that the next great move in Christian work for our churches is along this line. A. M. Clinton, L. T. Bush, W. B. Hall."
SUNDAY SCHOOL CLIPPINGS
In 1893 , Willamette Association reported 1,748 pupils; average attendance, 1,233; in 1894, 2,388 pupils; average attendance, 1,661. Baptisms each year 66. The collections, in 1898, $1,635, in 1894, $1,150.72; To benevolent purposes--$684.51 in 1893, and $443.06 in 1894; increase in pupils in 1894, 640; in average attendance, increase 428. The state roll showed in 1895 1,068; in 1894, 860. Among the recommendations reported: "No more important field lies before the church than the Sunday school. This is of the highest value, and we would urge upon the churches a more thorough study of God's word. The early inculcation into the minds of the young of truths or example from the Bible will make better Christians and better citizens, as well as broaden and expand the moral and intellectual part of their future.
Rev. A. T. Pierson says, "The Church exists for two objects, a 'gathering in' and a 'sending out.'" We call the first, conversion, the second, evangelizing, and the same may be said of the Sunday school. Let there be a forward move in earnest consecration, cooperative with other agencies, and thus let us influence and lead the young to Christ. To accomplish this, let the school be fully organized; when possible have mission schools adjacent to the churches, and extend such truth; use such literature as accords with the Scriptures, and upholds our doctrines. To this end, patronize the A. B. P. Society, and urge the Convention to have the Society appoint a Sunday school missionary on this field. And for aids the Society's Sunday school supplies are the best published, and should be in every Baptist Sunday school in the land. Parents, do not feed your children with a mess of pottage at the cost of their birthright. No Sunday school should claim the name of Baptist that is not supplied with Baptist literature. The tract department of our Society is abundant in devotional and doctrinal literature, that may be used to great profit, and should be circulated freely. The missionary magazines of the Home and Foreign Boards should have a place in our homes that we may keep in touch with the field, which is the world. Last, but not least, is our own honored paper, The Pacific Baptist, that holds prior claims upon us. Your committee recommends that a committee be constituted in each church on this coast, to work the right of way for The Pacific Baptist into every Baptist family on the Pacific coast. W. T. Fleenor, chairman of committee."
This question came up yearly in each association. The Bible stood first; next, the A. B. P. Society. Its publications are standard works; historical, doctrinal, polemical, no matter which, its imprint gives it standing. Also cards, Sunday school supplies from the little ones of the Kindergarten to the highest grade. The Society was the main supply, though special calls were often made by other Baptist publishers. Colporter work stood high. Baptist periodicals of various kinds were plenty, and it was persistently urged that every Baptist family in Oregon take and read The Pacific Baptist, because its high literary talent placed it in the front rank with our ablest periodicals. and with few equals. Only first-class literature secured much notice. A symposium of the associations shows but one voice in commending our denominational literature. The following is a fair sample: "Resolved, That as Baptists, loyal to every principle of Bible truth and teaching, we fully believe that it is our duty to be loyal to every American principle, and hereby affirm our allegiance to an open Bible, to our public school system, and a free press. Rev. J. P. Farmer, Rev. Mark Noble, Mrs. S. R. H. Jessup."
"Your committee would respectfully report: Believing that as a Baptist denomination we exist for the dissemination of a whole gospel with all of the doctrines and principles that are fundamental to the same; and believing also that our denomination publishes said gospel with the least amount of error, we therefore feel it our duty and privilege to support our denominational Bible house, the A. B. P. Society, in the publication and dissemination of the Word of God, and in the spread of the truth by Gospel literature. That we also recognize it to be of the highest importance."
"Next to the Word of God and the preaching of the same, the literature circulated and read probably is the greatest force in forming character and faith among our people. In order that our faith may be that delivered to the saints, and our lives and characters such as God will approve and bless, and our teachings in full harmony with the Words of Eternal Truth, we recommend: First, that each church, as far as possible, secure sound Gospel tracts, or other small, cheap volumes, such as can be either scattered freely or sold at a merely nominal cost, and cause the same to be circulated where they would do the most good in teaching the way of life, the importance of exact obedience, and all the Scriptural obligations, resting upon believers. Second, that every family in our churches take a Baptist paper, pay for it in advance and do all in their power to extend its circulation."
"Whereas; The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; therefore be it Resolved; that we call the attention of the churches of our association to the fact that comparatively few young men from Oregon are entering the ministry, and that we earnestly plead and recommend to these churches the injunction of our Master, 'Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.' Let our petitions be, 'O Lord call our young brethren into the work of the gospel ministry, and let all the churches say, Amen.'"
THE MAN NEEDED IN OREGON
By Rev. G. J. Burchett, D. D.
(Dr. Burchett sent his article to The Home Mission Monthly of May, 1888. We think it is not amiss today.) The ultimate West has been located permanently. It was once said to be along the Atlantic; then it was placed somewhere along the Ohio River; again, beyond the Mississippi; but now it lies between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean and there it must remain. Without undertaking the impossible task of describing this great country, a few things may be said about a small part of it known as Oregon. Though many times given, it may be well here to recall the fact that Oregon alone is much larger than all New England. The writer was trying to impress the last Convention of Baptists in Oregon with the vastness of their country, telling them that this state of Oregon is larger than all New England; in fact, would cover all the New England states and two thirds of Ohio besides. A good ministerial brother from Ohio was in the audience, and after the address closed, that Ohio brother came around and said. "Now I understand why there are no winds nor cyclones in your State; you ministers have the wind all mortgaged." That minister should not be wondered at. He was like many others, East and West, who do not even get a glimpse of this country's greatness. And it should be remembered that this vast region is not a great desert. A noted scholar who has investigated this state says: "All our valleys and plains are fertile beyond belief, and our mountains contain untold treasures."
A few years ago we were connected with the outside world by a transcontinental railroad. A few days ago the golden spike was driven at Ashland, completing another transcontinental line to our state. Over these lines, the world is sending us her restless thousands. Steamships from all parts of the globe anchor in our ports, bringing to us of every tribe and nation. The two Easts, the old and the new are meeting in the ultimate West, and it would seem that a new race of beings is to be the result. Shall we have a preacher for this next race? This is the problem, the religious problem of this marvelous country. It is a vital question. There is a deep conviction that this great and new country must have a preacher of its own. Where to look for him is a question that troubles them. They are somewhat afraid to look for him outside of the schools. Perhaps in their perplexity it might be well to look to the Lord for him. If the source is an unpopular one, the West has a reputation for transforming things.
It may be hard to obtain the needed preacher, but he is easily described. He is to be the man "separated by the Holy Ghost unto this work." (Acts 13:2). A preacher might be a success in Maine and a failure in Oregon. If the Holy Ghost should separate any one to this work, then that mistake would not be made. A further description can be found in Acts 6:5: "A man full of faith and the Holy Ghost." A Man! A person who has lost that element from his make-up and wants to find a home here for what is left of him is not the one to do the needed work. These new fields need to be impressed with manhood in every department of life.
Again, this preacher should possess versatile capabilities. He may need to do various things here, and to do them in various ways. The preacher who is made of pot metal in a given mold goes to pieces in his first efforts here. And let it be further suggested, that there are some things which should be left at home, and some should be brought here. He may leave his sermons. There are some plants that will not flourish when transplanted to our soil; the sermon is one of them. He may bring his heart along but leave his work there. The preacher who leaves his heart will soon go back; that is bad. His work he may safely leave; we can furnish that for him. Sometimes preachers come and say that they have brought their "knitting;" we prefer them to leave their knitting; we can furnish that for them when they get here. Certainly the preacher for this country should bring his wife, and his sons, and his sons' wives, and any other relatives that he may wish to see during his present lifetime. This fact is an important one. Preachers coming here, getting well acquainted with our work, and then leaving us have done us no good. That coming preacher will need to have "staying qualities." We have the best class of preachers leading our churches at this hour that we have ever had. We want them to remain and more to come, and it will not be long till a new day will dawn upon us. . . . And those on the field are doing grandly. Let the force continue as at present, and our state will be held largely for the Master.
One more item should he mentioned; the preacher who comes here should come not because he can find a large salary, a cultured church and a good opening, but he should come to make all these. He should not come here to entrance the multitudes with his brilliancy, but to aid the wayward to see the light of the gospel. He should not come to be a star admired by all, but to get all to admire the Star of Bethlehem. In short, he should not come here to find a country to sacrifice on his altar, but he should come here to sacrifice himself on Christ's altar for the country. Such preachers can now build most wisely here.
The Home Mission Society has done a most noble work for this field. Devoted churches are rising up to bless them for it. Those who have contributed of their means for this work will find the returns coming back many fold. With these things before us, perhaps we shall be pardoned for trying to occupy all this great land for Jesus. . . . May the time hasten on when it shall all belong to Him."
And during all these years God has been training a son of Oregon for the great work of missions on the Pacific coast. Rev. C. A. Wooddy, D. D., was the man to whom all eyes turned. The Society promptly appointed him, and the work goes on. Being of us, his love will not suffer our interests to be neglected. Being true and wise, the interests of the Society are safe in his keeping. We may well pledge our prayers and heartiest support. And two other facts give Brother Wooddy extra qualifications for this work. (1) He is an early pioneer and knows from personal observation how to meet all the personal and peculiar requirements of the field. And (2) All his early Oregon near ancestry were set and rigid Landmarkers, hence he was raised on sound doctrine, although he wandered a little on the "higher criticism" at Rochester, but not so far that he cannot tell the truth about the Landmarkers, which is not always the case with some late comers, who have not yet learned the facts, and don't wish to learn them.
POPULAR QUESTIONS--HOW REGARDED BY BAPTISTS
(Gathered from Minutes and Annals)
A proper Sunday observance was a subject upon which the associations were all outspoken. Its desecration was condemned whether for labor, or for amusement; visiting for business or for gossip; or in any other way, unless in the labor of duty or necessity. The Sabbath was claimed to have been set apart for religious worship and religious work, and such observance was binding on every Christian when possible. The raising of money for church purposes by fairs, suppers, festivals, and other questionable methods was condemned by some of the Associations. Some entered a protest against opening the World's Fair on Sunday and copies of the protest were sent to the proper officers. The granting of divorces without Scriptural cause was generally censured. Also in 1899 arose a most decided protest against the seating in Congress of a Mormon member-elect, who was a self-confessed polygamist, as in open violation of the laws of the land, and detrimental to home and national purity.
"Whereas, As Baptists, we are opposed to the alliance of Church and State in any form; Whereas, There are held by various sects and denominations millions of dollars worth of church property, which is exempt from taxation; be it Resolved, that we record ourselves as opposed to the exemption from taxation of church property of any kind, as said exemption is but a relic of the ungodly, alliance between Church and State."
"Resolved, That we deeply deplore the habit formed by many professors of the religion of Christ, in the use of tobacco, either chewing or smoking, and would plead with all who have formed this habit to give it up at once, and by so doing discourage its use and also the forming of the cigarette habit among the youth of our land. And we recommend that no one be ordained to the ministry whose breath is tainted with the fumes of tobacco."
"That we, as Baptists, profess supreme loyalty to every principle of Bible teaching and truth; we believe that it is our duty to be loyal to every American principle, and hereby affirm our allegiance to an open Bible, the free press, and free public school."
(1896). "Whereas, Our public school system is one of the great institutions on which our government was founded, and on which the perpetuity and prosperity of our free institutions largely rest: therefore, Resolved, That we oppose all appropriations of public money for sectarian schools, and that, we reprobate all interference with the text books of our schools that has for its object the altering of history so that facts injurious to the reputation of some church may be omitted or changed. We believe that righteousness is best conserved through the truth, and to this end we will faithfully defend the integrity of our public school histories. Resolved, That we believe the public welfare demands that all institutions of a public character, whether maintained with public money or private charity, should be open to the fullest and freest inspection, and we call for the enactment of such laws as shall make such inspection possible at all times and shall provide for such state examinations and supervision as shall guarantee the fullest protection of law to the persons and liberties of all who shall be gathered therein."
The Missionary Home, under care of Rev. S. W. Beaven, was found too difficult to sustain and sold to other parties.
"Whereas, Marked attention is being given to the subject of systematic and proportionate giving by the Baptists of the United States, notably in the recent action of the Southern Baptist Convention recommending by an overwhelming majority, the adoption of the tithe system of giving, therefore, We recommend to our churches, and the members thereof, that practice of systematic and proportionate giving, and that this giving include not only the support of our churches, but also Christian Education, Missions, and other denominational benevolence, and urge upon each of our members the setting apart of not less than ten per cent of his income for this purpose."
"Resolved, That as Baptists, we know nothing unimportant in doctrine, or non-essential in practice, but consider it a solemn duty in every iota and particular to exactly follow the teachings and pattern left us by Christ and the Apostles."
"Resolved, That we consider that any church has the inalienable right to introduce into its letter to the association any item of faith or practice, that properly and legitimately belongs to the Baptist church; and that when advice is asked on such matters, all such items of faith and practice are proper subjects for discussion before the association; and a courteous and unambiguous answer is due to the churches."
"Resolved, That we encourage the equality of our sisters in our church and denominational work, and that we welcome them to the counsels, and regard them as entitled to recognition in our deliberations and committee work."
"Since there are many destitute fields within the bounds of this association that have no Baptist and but little of religious influences, and we believe it is our duty to seek the direct evangelization of that field that surrounds us: we recommend that a standing committee of three persons be appointed by the moderator, whose duty it shall be to bring willing workers into such relation to these fields as will enable such Christian labor to be accomplished thereon as may be possible."
"Whereas, the Baptists of Oregon have no hospital or sanitarium or fund by which our ministers or members may be helped to secure treatment in such institutions, therefore, Resolved, That the Executive Committee of the Convention Board be directed to secure any arrangements that may seem desirable with such an institution and commend the same to the patronage of the Baptists of Oregon."
Resolution of Willamette Association, adopted 1895: "Resolved, That as an Association, we see the necessity of reaching out our influence and occupying territory in the name of our Lord and Master, where as yet we have no foothold, and would urge and hereby pledge our cooperation and support, financial and otherwise, in the appointment and maintenance of such helpers as are demanded by the work under the guidance and direction of our State Missionary."
"Knowing as we do the great evil of intemperance, and how that the legalized liquor traffic stands opposed to the progress of the gospel; Therefore, Resolved, That this Convention places itself on record as in full sympathy with every wise movement looking for the enactment and enforcement of such laws having for their object annihilation of the liquor traffic, and the suppression of intemperance, and other social evils of our land, and we pledge ourselves as Christian men and women to assist to the best of our ability, the prosecution of such work. Resolved, That the time has come when every Christian should make his influence felt, not only socially, but politically for righteousness; and whilst not dictating as to anyone's party affiliation, we would urge every voter to conscientious activity in the political affairs of the nation, and that he be sure that his prayers and his votes shall walk together as they go up as a memorial before Almighty God.
"Whereas, The liquor traffic is a society-corrupting, soul-damning business, contrary to the spirit and teachings of the New Testament and the moral interests of the state, therefore be it resolved: 1. That the Oregon Baptist State Convention places itself on record as being uncompromisingly opposed to the liquor traffic in any and all of its forms. 2. Next it urges upon pastors and Christian workers to hold frequent temperance meetings and cooperate as far as practicable with all temperance organizations. To license this traffic is a sin against God, and a crime against humanity. Bring morally wrong it can never be made legally right. That we declare ourselves among its most relentless foes, believing that it ought not to exist. That no Christian can be held innocent of wrong doing, who, when a moral question is at issue, so votes as to be counted against the side of righteousness.
"Resolved, As Christian workers, realizing the need of all the spiritual power flowing from the church of Christ and of a stronger and more united effort on the part of the church, That we recommend in addition to the regular temperance work in our churches special attention be given in our revival services to gospel temperance, awaking the latent consciences of men and women of the churches who still fail to understand their obligation to the temperance reforms, thus hastening the time when the way of the wicked shall be turned upside down, in the overthrow of a legalized liquor traffic."
"Whereas, In the history of our nation the power of the liquor traffic has not been more determined and better organized and given better protection by those in authority than now. And Whereas, The liquor traffic is Satan's greatest agency in his warfare against the church and all that is pure, making use of this means to fill our poorhouses with paupers, our prisons with criminals, devastating homes, destroying domestic peace and debasing our citizens, demoralizing our soldiers, and sending annually thousands to drunkards' graves and a drunkards' hell; corrupting our political parties and officers of our land from the highest to the lowest, and not content with this, he carries his deadly missile into every land, nation and kingdom on the earth in advance of all our missionary enterprises.
Therefore be it Resolved, That we deeply deplore the action taken by the Attorney General and the Secretary of War of the United States in refusing to enforce the act of Congress to abolish the canteen from the camp of our soldiers who have so nobly responded to the call of our country in the interest of humanity; and we also deeply deplore the fact that the hands of the Chief Magistrate need to be washed of some of this pollution now resting upon us as a nation. Resolved, That, as an association and as churches, realizing as we do to some extent the awful ruin which this legalized curse in alcoholic beverages has wrought and is still accomplishing, we urgently plead with men, women and children everywhere to withdraw themselves henceforth and forever from all affiliations with all organizations, social, political or religious that in any way encourage this nefarious traffic and support only such organizations and parties as by their declarations and acts make themselves known as the inveterate foes of this enemy of our homes and Christian civilization."
With very few exceptions, none of our churches used fermented wine in the Lord's Supper; and the most of the associations wanted prohibition taught in the Sunday school, the church, and everywhere possible.
"Resolved, That as an Association of Baptist churches we hereby agree to pray for, to labor for, and to vote for the entire overthrow of the liquor traffic." "No person or party should have the vote of any Christian so long as they do not stand committed against the licensed saloon." "That we recognize in intoxicating liquors Satan's most subtle and powerful agency in destroying our benevolence, wrecking physical health and happiness, and accomplishing eternal doom to souls of men, and that it is our duty to ourselves, our neighbors, and to our God to in every way possible enlighten the young in regard to its ruinous effects, and to create the widest possible public sentiment against its tolerance and use."
YOUNG PEOPLE'S WORK
The work of the young people, yet in its infancy, was very promising and encouraging, and good results were confidently expected. It was asked that the young people's societies in every church consider the propriety of agreeing to raise a certain amount every year for home missions. And it was also hoped to appoint a missionary to be known as the young people's missionary, to whom their contributions would go, and in whom their prayers and interests would center. But instead of holding another convention, the young people were invited to hold their next annual session with the State Convention and an entire day was promised for their work. In the resolutions adopted, gratitude is expressed for the wisdom manifested in much of the work, for being able to close the year with a balance in the treasury; and cooperation was urged with the A. B. P. Society in the Sunday school and colporter work, and with the W. C. T. U. Society in all its legitimate efforts for the suppression of the liquor traffic. In donations and collections for the year, the receipts were $2,970.12, besides legacies.
"We have been prevented from pushing the work as we would like to have done on account of lack of funds; and for the same reason we have been prevented from sending an organizer over the state as we have tried to do. Last year we introduced a new feature; by electing a vice-president in each association. I believe this will forever be a new feature of our work, and I would recommend such elections of vice-presidents, and that we raise sufficient funds to pay their expenses to visit their respective fields. We still lack a completeness in the statistics of the state, and the only way to get them, will be to send some one to visit the field and give us a careful report. Some will not write. There are other avenues of usefulness opening up, which will be presented in due time. F. L. Kneeland. Cor. sec."
And the young people resolved: That each society raise 20 cents per year for each active member for Miss Millspaugh's salary. That each member pay 5 cents per year for state work, and that a contribution for the same purpose be asked of churches having no societies; and for their motto: "Forgetting the things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
In 1896 the statistical secretary of the young people's society gives the following statistics for the state: Societies, 26; active members, 657; associate members, 124; expenditures, Foreign Missions, $127.51; State Convention, $245.52; benevolence, $351.55; local expenses, $140.16; total, $864.74. A committee was appointed to secure $100 for Miss Anna Mespelt's support in the Missionary Training School the next year. It was raised. The young people's societies were urged to raise $110 on Miss Millspaugh's salary, and were very enthusiastic in their work. A resolution was passed commending our legislature at their special session for refusing to grant appropriations to sectarian institutions. and trust that at the general session, the good example will be followed."
The following report on young people's work was made by President H. B. Blood: "We regret to report that our young people's work is not what it should be either spiritually, in numbers or financially. The causes of this condition your committee from personal observation would suggest: First, a tendency on the part of our young people to seek their own rather than God's pleasure. Second, enlarging on the first cause we would state one of the chief causes is a tendency to seek personal gratification on the Sabbath day rather than attend to our young people's work and Christian work in general. The third and last cause, and an all inclusive one, we would define as a lack of definite, earnest consecration to the service of God. As to a remedy for these conditions, we feel that renewed spiritual power and energized work can only be brought about in general by getting in touch with God, the great fountain head of all strength and power. And only one means will we at this time suggest for the accomplishment of this thing which is so absolutely essential. The suggestion is as follows: Individually, among our young people, an earnest, careful, prayerful, systematic study of God's word, with this thought ever in mind as we study: 'What is there in this verse or passage which I now read that I can apply to my own living?' And then not only to think, but, in the strength of God, to apply these truths to our daily living."
"To the Young People of the Willamette Association: The undersigned, committee, recommend that an Associational Union be organized in accordance with the constitution furnished by the Baptist Union headquarters, and that the said constitution be adopted as the constitution of this Associational Union."
A communication was received from the Central Association, asking this Association to unite with them in the appointment and support of a missionary, to work within the bounds of the two Associations. The reply was: "We recommend that this committee be instructed to enter into cooperation with the Central Association in the appointment of a district missionary within the bounds of the two Associations upon the basis of $600 per annum. Gilman Parker, W. S. Gee, M. M. Lewis."
YOUNG PEOPLE'S SOCIETIES OF McMINNVILLE COLLEGE
But many of the readers of these "Annals" would regard them as incomplete, if they did not contain also some account of the origin and development of the Y. M. C. A. and Y. W. C. A. of McMinnville College. Without being sectarian, offensively at any rate, this author insists that in this item, at least, the college makes a practical exhibit of the fundamental doctrine of regeneration, or the New Birth. And I also affirm that without this personal knowledge, there is no salvation for man. Hence, it is claimed that this book would be incomplete without a clear showing of the college's teachings and influence religiously. An abundance of material for such a showing is found in The College Review, published by the students and faculty, and the author is indebted to Rev A. J. Hunsaker for the use of nearly a full file of it.
The Christian Associations, strictly Christian and carried on in the college by students for students, form the most effective way of reaching students, influencing men for Christ, and strengthening their Christian faith. This is not mere theory, but actual fact proved in widely diverse fields by actual experience. The Christian Associations, then, occupy a place of great importance. The associations endeavor to reach new students as soon as they enter school, and thus to get a hold on them at the very beginning of their college course. They are met at the trains, aided in securing rooms and board, in registering, and, in general, are made to feel at home, thus the associations win their confidence and secure a permanent influence over them. Organized personal work is carried on, and occasionally special evangelistic efforts are made, so that it is ordinarily not possible for a student to be long in school without having the matter of his personal relation to Christ brought seriously to his attention. The work and advance of the Christian Associations during the past year has been unequaled by that of any preceding year. We have the oldest college associations in the state, if not in the Northwest. In the Students' Hand Books for the last few years appear these introductory statements: "The Young Men's Christian Association has had an uninterrupted activity for sixteen years, and is the oldest association of its kind in Oregon, being the only one which has not been reorganized since the association movement among the schools of the Northwest in 1887."
Y. M. C. A. OF McMINNVILLE COLLEGE, 1904
The author of the history of the Y. M. C. A. has met much difficulty in fully completing it; the records being so defective and incomplete. Nothing could be found prior to 1895, and occasionally a brief mention in the college catalogues. No old handbooks have been kept and that source of information is wanting. A movement is proposed to gather from all available sources the needed items for a complete history of the Association.
The Y. M. C. A. of McMinnville College is the oldest organization of its kind in Oregon. It was organized by I. D. Wishard in 1887, when, in the tenth year of association work in colleges, the movement began among the colleges of the Northwest. It has had an uninterrupted and growing activity ever since. It speaks well for the spiritual Life of "Old McMinnville," that, of all the associations organized in 1887 among Oregon colleges, ours is the only one that has not been reorganized. Growth, in one word, expresses the whole history of the association. Growth such as is characteristic of the "Old Oak" in front of the college--"slow but sure." It has grown numerically, materially, spiritually. And as a result of the last, it has increased in activity along several lines of work. Judging from the records kept since 1895, the association has grown numerically nearly five-fold. It has at present a membership of 58; only 18 of whom are associate members. The attendance at the meetings, moreover, has more than kept pace with the membership. Eight or nine years ago the secretary did not find it tedious to write the names of the members present at the meetings, but that has long been abandoned. The material growth of the association is no less marked than its increase. The minutes of 1896 record that through the efforts of V. E. Rowton, a permanent room was secured. Minutes of the spring of 1898 state that if the class of 1897 put in an electric plant, the Y. M. C. A. would take three lights for the use of the room. Later, however, this room had to be given to the college for recitation purposes. In 1899 a fund was started for the erection for a Y.M.C.A. building on the campus. One hundred and thirty-five dollars was subscribed for this purpose. D. H. Wolfe, V. E. Rowton, C. F. Grover and J. R. McKillop each subscribing twenty-five dollars. For some unrecorded reason, however the enterprise was abandoned. This year (1904) the association has been granted the use of the commodious room on the ground floor, formerly used as a study room. Good use has been made of it. Reading tables, daily papers, and reading matter, were provided; the room open for all men as a study room; curtained apartments for cabinet and committee work; and from the kindness of Mr. C. H. McKee, they had the use of a good organ. Their finances were systematized, and expenses met by a budget. This phase of the association's life shows, to say the least, a growing appreciation of the importance and dignity of this line of work.
Although the whole history of this organization shows a healthy spiritual life, the progress in this most important phase is certainly encouraging. Here again the word is "Forward." Evidences of this may be seen in the work now done in mission and Bible study, attendance at conferences and conventions, and in evangelistic efforts, as compared with that of former years. In the matter of being represented at the state conventions and summer conferences there is a favorable showing, notwithstanding the fact that former years have done remarkably well. Attendance at state conventions has been gradually increased ten fold. In 1896, D. C. Williams represented us in the convention held at Eugene; in 1900, S. K. Diebel and W. P. Dyke, "our D. D.'s" represented us at the same place; in 1903 fourteen attended at Newberg; while this year (1904) ten went to Forest Grove. During this time the pledge for state work has been raised from $5 to $25.
The improvement in mission and Bible study is also very noticeable. The minutes of November, 1897, say that a mission study class was organized as the result of an address of R. R. Gailey, traveling secretary of the Student Volunteer Movement; but nothing more is recorded. Interest in missions was aroused by the College Missionary Society, but no definite course of reading was done. This society was disbanded in the spring of 1903, and its work assumed by the Christian Associations. This year, under the leadership of A. McRea, "The Rise and Progress of Protestant Missions" and "Effective Workers in Needy Fields" have been studied, and a class of ten men are ready to study Mott's "Evangelization of the World in This Generation." Bible study also is receiving more attention than ever before in the history of the association.
Now hear John E. Hale: "Let me ask what of the college student who is sorely tried and tempted? When a young man enters Upon his college career, he enters upon a busy one indeed. In order to be one of "the boys" and "in the swim" he must spend hours and hours at his duties, his Greek, and his physics. He feels that he must attend the meetings of the fraternities; he has something of the class spirit and it is only right that he be present at the class parties, and he must participate in athletics. There are, in fact, so many things to do that there is all inclination to forget his mother's faithful teaching and to neglect to read that Book of Books which she so lovingly and thoughtfully slipped into his trunk upon his leaving home. He sometimes even forgets his God and Maker. God be thanked that in the Y. M. C. A. is the answer to these momentous questions. In the city associations, many are attracted to the gymnasium, the game rooms and the educational department. There they are invariably led to Jesus Christ. The great thought which permeates the association is the symmetrical training of the spirit, mind and body. From the Y. M. C. A. come the bright, healthful, broad shouldered, all-around men. In the college, the student bodies promote athletics, the education is thorough and so the development of the spiritual life is really the one great work of the college association. The boys are encouraged to give their strength, their education, their life, their all to the service of Jesus. The religious meeting is a prominent feature of the work. There the boys talk over among themselves things Christian, and thereby help each other out of difficulties that arise. Then there are the mission and the Bible study departments. The boys gather in groups weekly for a systematic study of the Bible and of missions. But the greatest and best of all is the personal work of the Christian members. They perform acts of kindness and show to the unconverted that they are interested in them. I think I am safe in saying that few are the cases where a young man identified with this association will go through his course without making a stand for Christ. The great theme then is the salvation of lost souls. The Y. M. C. A. holds up Christ to the unsaved, and trains the saved for his service."
Y. W. C. A. OF McMINNVILLE, OREGON
By Miss I. M. Grover (in 1904)
No other walls in McMinnville College have given shelter to more diverse gatherings or listened in silence to as many strange voices as those of our chapel. We would be glad if they would tell us of a certain meeting they witnessed seventeen years ago; for our records tell us that on Friday, May 6, 1887, in accordance with previous arrangements, a goodly number of lady students and members of the faculty met in the chapel for the purpose of organizing a Young Woman's Christian Association. On that day a constitution was adopted and one week later, officers were elected. Miss Belle Johnson, one of the pioneers of our present conservatory of music, now Mrs. Martin, of Seattle, was the first president. From the organization to the present time, two epochs in the history of the association can be easily distinguished. The first is a decade of beginnings, extending from 1887 to 1897. This is a period of slow but constant growth; the time when the Y. W. C. A. was firmly establishing itself and proving its claim to the first place in the student activities of McMinnville college women. During these days it was numerically small, for the college did not register a large number of women. Only one meeting a week was held; the place varied, sometimes one class room, sometimes another, and at times a kindly opened parlor. The day of meeting likewise changed; one year, Tuesday, another Wednesday, and still another, Thursday. The attendance sometimes averaged 12; sometimes 4 or 5. It is of interest to know that during this period three student volunteers, Misses Buzzell, Skinner and Walton, went from our association to the fields of China and Japan. The year preceding her departure Miss Walton was the association secretary. Another name must be mentioned with honor, that of Mrs. Brownson, the wife of the president, and the head of the department of Latin and modern languages. Mrs. Brownson was president, or head counselor for many years, and was always a source of courage and never failing strength to the young organization.
Even though this decade of the work was the period of beginnings, a few facts stand out proudly. In the year 1889 five copies of The Evangel, the official organ of the National Y. W. C. A., were taken. The following year ten copies were ordered by association members. Before the period closed the state pledge was as it now is, $10 annually. From the very beginning the fall reception to new students was an established fact. It is also interesting to read that within one year after organization, the first intercollegiate relations were established.
In May of 1897 the association celebrated the tenth year of its organization. Perhaps it was in part to emulate and honor those whose faith and prayers had laid such a firm superstructure, that the members in '97 began to push the work with such zeal. However that may be we know that May of 1897 marks the beginning of a year of wonderful progress. That spring the association sent its first delegate to the Pacific Coast Summer Conference at Mills Seminary, California. In the following fall Bible study was emphasized and a class enrolled for definite and regular study. The class met on Friday with Mrs. Brumbeck as leader. The devotional meetings were held on Wednesday at noon. It was the fall of I897, too, that marks the organization of the first missionary study class. The class met throughout the year, meeting every Sunday afternoon.
Y. W. C. A. stands for the social as well as the spiritual work of the school. Its rank, considering the size of the college, is with the best. It was one of two colleges of the Northwest to send three delegates to Capitola. With these girls in the cabinet, giving out the thoughts, and inspirations received while away, the outlook of the Young Women's Christian Association of McMinnville College is glorious.
The girls possess a rest room of which they are justly proud. Some of the town girls painted the wood-work last summer. With the many donations in the shape of sofa cushions, chairs, rugs, pictures, screens, slumber robes, lounges, and other useful and cheerful articles, the atmosphere of home pervades the room. A Bible presented by Brother Whirry is one of the last donations and it was most joyfully received. This room is in the hands of the social committee.
The Y. W. C. A. has always given itself more or less to deeds of charity. In the years of 1897 and 1898, among its other beneficent acts, it presented a very nice stand cover to the Y. M. C. A. The remains of this gift from sympathetic hearts now covers the desk in Prof. Hill's class room. Such is gratitude.
Though the records are too incomplete to show the total budget of this first year of the new epoch, or in fact of any other year, still they do show a larger pledge to the state work made and paid in 1898 than any year before or since.
Undoubtedly the event of most importance during this year of progress was the spiritual impetus which came late in the winter. Aside from special services held in the Baptist church, the girls held a series of sunrise prayer meetings. A number of the influential non-Christian girls came to know and consecrate their lives to the Holy One of Israel. The Christian girls, too, saw new beauty in the example of the lowly Nazarene, and so new life and zeal was infused into all the Christian work in the college. And so in all these lines the year following the tenth anniversary marked progress and set the ideals high for the following years.
The past six years have made the vantage ground taken at their beginning the foundation for still larger plans and a broader outlook. With earnest zeal the years have been spent in the endeavor to bring the girls of the school into the association. enlist them in Bible study and give them a definite place in the work of the organization. that their own Christian lives may be deepened and developed, and that they may have a share in bringing their associates into fellowship with the Son of the Living God and in placing first in the lives of the women of McMinnville College the principle that since God is love, love is supreme.
The work is well organized and commands the respect of all. Seventy per cent of the girls in college are members. The Bible Study and Missionary departments are unusually good. Sixty-five per cent of the members in the association are enrolled in Bible classes. The mission classes are well attended. They are awakening a desire in several of the students to be foreign missionaries. There are already two student volunteers among the girls and several others are seriously considering the question. The members are kept informed of the present day missionary work, and all the other world's work, through the intercollegiate committee. The weekly devotional meetings are always an inspiration. Going into one of these meetings a visitor is impressed with the good music, provided by a special committee, and the willingness of the lady members of the faculty and others interested, to give addresses and do anything the girls ask of them. In finances, efforts are made to have each girl share in providing money for different objects.
THE PACIFIC BAPTIST
In 1887 Rev. S. P. Davis improved the paper very much, and it began to be an important help in the denominational work. In order to give undivided attention to it, he resigned his pastorate at Oregon City. The brethren generally had confidence in him, and it was hoped that it might soon become a weekly, and to accomplish this, all were urged to do their best to bring its subscription list at least up to 500. This was not a success, and in 1888 he offered to make it a weekly, provided a subsidy of $600 was raised to purchase material and put it on firm footing. The Willamette Association raised $55, and the Central Association agreed to try to raise $200. The subsidy was raised, and about January 1, 1889, the weekly was issued. The Convention urged that the denomination needed it, the children needed it, the college needed it: the missionaries needed it, and the report earnestly besought every pastor to make special efforts to introduce it into every family of their churches. And brothers and sisters were urged to write for it. The paper more than met the expectations of the Convention, and showed the importance and necessity of such an agency for the work in Oregon. And now it had to be supported and sustained. But how? The Convention tells how. "Persevere in telling its importance until The Pacific Baptist is found in every Baptist home within this Convention." The doing of that would greatly increase the efficiency of every Baptist church in the state. It would do much to educate our people in the great subjects of home and foreign missions, the American Baptist Publication Society, and Christian Education. They who read the denominational papers are the most efficient Baptists. Your committee would call your attention to the fact that there are many ways in which we may increase the efficiency of our paper. First, we may get more news from the churches. We want news; we want facts. Is your pastor growing in the estimation of the people? Are your prayer meetings well sustained? Are your Sunday congregations increasing from month to month? Are new Baptist families coming into your community? Are converts coming to Christ? Are there destitute fields just beyond you sending to you a Macedonian cry? Are your people taking a deeper interest in foreign missions? Have you licensed a young man to tell the story of the gospel? Have you sent two or three, or even one of your young people to McMinnville College? Did your pastor preach last Sunday on foreign missions, home missions, the Publication Society, or Christian Education, and take up a large collection? If so, send along these items, one or all to the paper, that we all may know what the churches are doing. Why not have a correspondent in every church? In the second place, we say make The Pacific Baptist better with more original articles from our own brethren in the state. Of course we like to read articles from the great men of the denomination, even if those articles were written for some Eastern paper, but more interesting are articles from our brethren here on the field. We take an interest in our articles that we cannot take in articles written by men 3,000 miles away. And, too, we take a special interest in articles written especially for our paper. Your committee would urge this thought upon the Convention. In conclusion we would recommend that every reasonable and feasible effort be put forth by the churches, and especially by the pastors of this state to increase the circulation and efficiency of our denominational paper."
In February, 1890, on account of failing health, Bro. Davis sold the paper to Mr. N. J. Blagen, and a movement was inaugurated by President T. G. Brownson to organize a joint stock company with a capital stock of $15.000 for its purchase and maintenance. Until this could be effected, it was placed under the management of Rev. John Gordon, D. D., Rev. C. M. Hill, and Rev. T. G. Brownson, and President Brownson was requested to undertake the work of soliciting stock to organize the proposed company. A board of nine directors were chosen, and Rev. C A. Wooddy named editor, and Rev. J. H. Teale business manager. The stock was put at $25 per share, non-assessable; assessments not to exceed 10 per cent yearly. Something over $10,000 was subscribed, but the hard times coming on, not $6,000 was ever collected. Brother Davis received $1,000 for the paper, and during the following three years about $2,700 was secured to maintain it. This took four levies, or 40 per cent of the subscribed stock; and on account of the hard times, much of the levied assessments were never collected. No further attempt was made to raise money in this way, but the paper and the editor got along the best they could. About 100 Baptists took stock in the company, and gave about $40 each. Hence, technically, the Pacific Baptist Publishing Company own the paper, and are responsible for its life and growth. But in no true sense did this company assume this responsibility with an object of making money. They assumed it simply and solely that the Baptist cause on the Pacific coast might have a paper, which had been, and was, so greatly needed. The several thousand dollars which they invested to keep it alive was absolutely a gift to the denomination. It was a last resort to sustain it, because there was a profound conviction on the part of those most deeply interested in Baptist work that the life of the paper was of vital interest to our beloved denomination, and in order to have unity and efficiency in our work, and intelligent enthusiasm to push it forward in the lines of missionary and educational work with the rapidity demanded by the opportunities, the paper was a necessity.
With the first issue of 1889 the paper became a weekly of five columns and eight pages, and this form was kept up for three years. In May 1890 Rev. C. A. Wooddy began his work and is the present editor. He has twice changed the form of the paper. In his first issue he thus outlines his policy as then contemplated: "My aim in general is to make a paper for all our people on the whole field; one which will be a helper to every pastor, a blessing to every family, and a minister of the word to many souls. 'Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report,' shall be sought for and proclaimed. I have no hobbies to ride; no quarrels to perpetuate, no issues to advocate. I shall endeavor to treat all questions with fairness and candor. The columns of the paper will be open for the discussion of all matters of interest to the denomination."
The Convention was highly pleased with Brother Wooddy as editor and the paper at once began to grow in excellence and interest. Every pastor was urged to put a copy into every family of his church as the best religious educational offering within the reach of the churches, and Brothel Wooddy was just the man to give it this standing. Thanks were also tendered to Dr. Brownson for his efforts in securing stock and subscriptions. In 1891 Brother Wooddy gave his first page exclusively to editorial matter, in short paragraphs, but all under one general heading. This was the suggestion of Rev. Robert Whitaker, who for some time wrote these editorials. The idea was to make them the voice of the paper, and not the voice of one man. Hence no name was signed, nor indication given as to who was the writer and, as Brother Whitaker says, he had all the fun and Brother Wooddy got all the kicks. But this did not matter much as there was little difference in their views, and the title, "From Our Point of View" gave a very wide range for topics. Politics, literature, society, business, and church life, all passed under review at some time, and received due attention. The aim was for all to receive consideration from the view-point of a Christian and a Baptist. And usually this was in fair harmony with the general attitude of our people, though there was occasional criticism.
In 1892, The Vanguard, which had been published nearly a year at Seattle, sold out to the Pacific Baptist, and in April, 1893, The Leader, of San Francisco, was also consolidated in the same way. This had previously absorbed The Southern California Baptist of Los Angeles, so that now The Pacific Baptist had the entire Pacific Coast field, except The Sentinel at The Dalles, which it ignored. But these enlargements piled up debts which have not yet been liquidated (1900). But the consolidation did not increase the subscriptions as fast as was expected. So to aid the paper, Dr. Wooddy accepted the district secretaryship of the Home Mission Society, which relieved the paper of half his salary; and he also secured the agency of the American Baptist Publication Society for their Sunday school publications, and his percentage was also turned into the paper, although it added considerable to his work. In 1899 he was appointed Superintendent of Missions and District Secretary for this coast, and his salary all provided for, so that his labor on The Pacific Baptist since then has been entirely gratuitous.
In 1892 Rev. Frank L. Sullivan commenced work as "field editor" and canvasser, and has filled that position until the present time (1900). He says that the Baptists "are a pleasant people to associate with and labor for." As to his residence, he thus answers inquiries: "Personally I am living in San Diego County; politically I am registered in Los Angeles; ecclesiastically I am a member of a church in Oakland; my business headquarters are in Portland; my library and household goods are in Seattle; my wife is at Nome City, Alaska. This reply seems to impress some that I am scattered over considerable country and that my home is the Pacific Slope." But Brother Sullivan was a worker. He had given the paper such a start by October, 1892, that the committee at the Convention recommended that that part of the constitution that makes the fostering of a denominational paper one of the objects of this Convention, be stricken from the Constitution. "We believe that the paper is, henceforth, able to stand upon its merits." The paper was not quite self-supporting yet, but it became so in 1894, all except those old obligations, which were still a heavy burden and had to be met outside of the regular income of the paper. They cannot he met in any reasonable time in this way. Under the present management there is no money paid except for the actual expense of printing, paper and necessary clerk hire, with the exception of the work of the field editor; all the editorial, correspondence and other service, such as the laborious task of preparing the Sunday school lessons, is performed for the good of the cause. This can continue for a time, but Baptists are too fair-minded a people to expect it to last forever. There is from $20 to $30 worth of work on it every week which is given out and out to the denomination. And the paper needs enlarging. It is not dying, nor likely, to die, but it wants to live a larger and more helpful life. To realize this, in 1900, the publishers asked for a fund of $5,000. This would pay all debts, buy machinery, lessen the cost of publishing, and enable the managers to enlarge the paper so as to include certain departments now lacking, and to make the paper what it should be. It should have an editor who could give his entire time to the work. The money could be easily raised if each Baptist family would contribute $1 and as the Oregon Baptists are a liberal people, the request is a very modest and reasonable one. The stock is put at $10 a share, and the plan of selling stock is considered the best method of raising the money; and Brother Sullivan was expected to enter on the canvass for the money.
Sometimes The Pacific Baptist man crawls out of his den and prowls something after this fashion: "The need of a coast paper like The Pacific Baptist must be apparent to the most casual observer. What a separate and segregated company the Pacific Coast Baptists are! Under what diversity of climatic conditions, environment, customs, habits, and occupations we live. We are here from every state and territory in the union. Many of us sleep out here, but to all intents and purposes we live back East. If we are out here to stay, we ought to get acquainted with each other; we ought to know who are Baptists; who are pastors, and what sort of fields they are laboring in; what new churches are being organized: how the cause is prospering, etc. And how can we know these things unless we read The Pacific Baptist? How can we heed the command to 'Walk about Zion and go around her and tell the towers thereof? We know a Pastor who has succeeded, in tithing 75 per cent of his people to take the denominational paper. Yes, it is a Coast pastor, and a Baptist. His salary is always paid promptly, and the contributions of his church for missions and benevolence are the largest per capita of any in the denomination. Accessions to the membership by baptism and letter are of weekly occurrence. Harmony, prosperity, progress and perpetuity characterize every department. The paper is not what most of its readers would like to have it, but when everything is said derogatory to it and its growth that can possibly be said, it will still remain true that it has accomplished a great work, and is accomplishing a greater work at the present time. Remembering the limitations under which it has labored, how immense is the area it covers, how few are the, Baptists in this great area, how many of them are very poor, how many papers with larger constituencies have failed in the last few years, we cannot but be surprised at its wonderful present success. And it has made a large place for itself in the hearts of all those interested in the welfare of the denomination on the Pacific Coast; it has convinced all gainsayers of its ability to be useful as no other agency among us; it has won the approval of all our general workers as an absolute necessity if our work is to be carried forward strongly and unitedly, as it should be."
The State Convention in 1900 unanimously passed the following resolution: "Recognizing the long and valued services of The Pacific Baptist, and that its managers are striving to raise $5,000 as a competency for the paper, Resolved, That we recommend to all our churches the advisability of assisting this effort in the most practicable manner possible."
The same year, at the Willamette Association, the editor briefly outlined what he desired to do, and the association unanimously voted: "Inasmuch as The Pacific Baptist is an essential factor in our denominational life, and its continuance is necessary for the progress of our state missionary work, as well as being the foundation of the intelligent presentation of all denominational enterprises, we would ask of our churches more systematic efforts to secure its circulation among the membership; and furthermore. that we as an association regard it the duty of the churches within our bounds to do all we can on a proposition that may be made through the editor of this paper to secure funds sufficient to secure its untrammeled operation, thereby making provision for denominational work and enterprises in the future of our coast."
The question of the ability to raise this money is still pending. The following is its latest commendation: "Adam printed a kiss on the cheek of Eve. It made a good impression. It was a neat, tasteful job. Eve liked it. Adam enjoyed it. That's the kind of an impression The Pacific Baptist makes. Those who read it the longest like it the best. Get your neighbor to subscribe, it will do him good, also."
THE BAPTIST SENTINEL
In June, 1888, a four-page monthly Baptist paper was started at Tacoma, Washington, called "The Church Helper." Rev. G. R. Douglas was the editor. It appeared to be mainly the organ of the Central Baptist Church of Tacoma. The principles advocated were Landmark; tone controversial. At the end of a year it was enlarged, its name changed to "The Baptist Sentinel," and it came out an eight-page weekly. The editor and principles the same, but the publishers, G. R. Douglas & Co. These brethren, with others, became "The Sentinel Publishing Company;" a new press and printing material were bought, and the paper again enlarged. In March, 1890, Brother Douglas took his paper to Dayton, a stock company was organized, and on March 26, 1891, incorporated with a capital stock of $5,000. which was afterwards increased. The paper being thus placed on what was supposed to be a solid financial basis, improvement in size, appearance, and tone followed, and for awhile, it appeared to prosper and gained in favor, at least with the Landmark element of the denomination on the Coast. A few months after the removal to Dayton Brother Douglas resigned, and Rev. C. P. Bailey took charge of the paper until some time in 1892. Then he resigned, giving place to Rev. J. T. Moore. About this time the paper became practically the burden of Brother Moore and Brother C. H. Wick, the printer, with perhaps some others, At the end of a year Brother Moore resigned, and Rev. Arthur Royse was editor a short time, In 1895 the paper was moved to The Dalles, and Rev. J. H. Miller became editor. He soon wanted to resign, but at the Grand Ronde Association he consented to continue, with Brother Wick as publisher and manager. But in November, Brother Miller again resigned to accept a pastorate at Heppner, and, excepting a few weeks supply by Rev. J. W. Oliver, The Sentinel was left without an editor till October, 1897, when Brother Wick positively and peremptorily quit work.
And why these frequent changes? The answer is at hand. At the meeting of the Convention of the North Pacific Coast at Lacreole in 1894, Rev. W. H. Shearman was chosen as the general missionary of that body, and soon his domineering, bull-dozing methods began to show themselves. Brother Moore did not mistake the signs, and not craving the issue, resigned as soon as his contract with Brother Wick expired, but not until Shearman had clearly shown that he intended to use and control The Sentinel to carry out his own personal desires. Brethren Bailey and Moore would not be bossed by Shearman, and left. Brother Miller was older and had more experience, and fought a grand fight, until he was almost literally pitched out, From stories told his treatment was most outrageous and shameful. After Brother Miller, no editor could be procured except an occasional temporary supply, much of the time Brother Wick, who previously having been only the printer had not been mixed in the troubles, was often compelled to look after both paper and publishing, and his turn came. But he did well; his heart was in the work and such was his zeal for the cause, that he kept persistently at work even when he was hard pressed to collect enough to supply his absolute necessities. It was told that for quite a while he lived on one meal a day! Also that in order to help in sustaining the paper, Deacon W. C. Allaway kept him up for some time. Although Brother Wick was the duly appointed manager and publisher, yet Shearman claimed the right, and most unscrupulously appropriated all that he could collect from the subscriptions and advertisements, knowing that both Brother Miller and Brother Wick were entirely dependent on these for support. Shearman sold material from the office that had been bought by Brother Miller, and sold (with a bill of sale) to Brother Wick for work, and then denied that Miller or Wick owned it, and Brother Wick had to see a lawyer to get his rights. Along this line, there is a reliable manuscript of 30 or 40 pages of fine writing in detail, giving the history of Shearman's "business skill," much of which honorable men call rascality. But Shearman kept up the paper awhile longer, but all his after work was of the same style.