THE CHURCHES OF CHRISTJohn T. Brown, M.A.
Online version copyright 1998 by Charles Dailey
Here are John Brown's two entries that related to Oregon and Washington. While Brown was the editor, he had local men write the articles. We have taken some liberties in making editorial additions to the text. Where spellings varied from those in common use, we have shown the modern spelling in brackets so the researcher could locate the entry. Where we have discussed the item further in our Pioneer History of the Churches of Christ and Christian Churches, we have added a link, either to the correct chapter in the case of churches or to the search engine or a profile of the person. Since new names are frequently appearing on the site, it is wise to use the side-mounted menu to reach the search engine and check the name. Editorial comments are generally in red. - Charles Dailey
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J. F. GHORMLEY *
It would he a matter of interest to go back into the romantic past of Oregon, which at one time included what is now the state of Washington - and trace her fabled history until the time when events became a matter of record: but the limit and purpose of this sketch forbid. These benighted tribes were crying in the darkness for the white man's Book, and it was in answer to this that Lee, Whitman and others attempted to supply the demand. In 1832, while Oregon was yet disputed territory, the first settlers arrived from the United States. Dr. Marcus Whitman and Bro. M. Spaulding in 1834 led to the country a missionary colony. Their wives were the first white women who had crossed the plains, and their children the first American children born in Oregon. Dr. Parker became interested in Dr. Whitman's work, and having made a tour of investigation as early as 1838, delivered many lectures throughout the Eastern States, on this country. Bro. Syrus Hines, of Pennsylvania heard Dr. Parker and formed a resolution to move to Oregon. He was detained for several years at Monmouth, Ills. In the early fifties he was joined by John E. Murphy, William Murphy, the Lucas brothers, and F. M. Butler, and others who had formed the high purpose of crossing the plains of Oregon, taking donations, land claims, and establishing another Bethany College. They reached their destination, Bro. Himes going into Washington, secured their claims and named the place of their settlement in Oregon Monmouth, where he still lives at the good old age of ninety-two. There were, however, those who were earlier on the ground: Brothers G. O. and P. H. Burnett were doing work in 1843. Elijah Bristow, R. G. Callison, H. M. Waller and John Rigdon were preaching in Oregon in 1847. Pleasant Hill bears the distinction of being our oldest church in the state, and R. G. Callison and wife, charter members, still live and have their membership with this church. Co-operative work begun as early as 1850. The Saylors, Richardsons, Powells, Elliotts, Dr. L. L. Rowland, J. F. Floyd, D. M. Doty, the Wolvertons, the Murpheys [Murphys ], the Davidsons, H. B. Morgan, and others were among these early workers. Out of the defeats and victories grew the Oregon Christian Missionary Convention. The permanent place of the annual meeting was fixed at Turner, by the donation of ten acres of land at this place and the erection thereon of a permanent tabernacle at the cost of $10,000, all a gift of Geo. Turner.
The Christian Woman's Board of Missions and the Young Peoples' Society of Christian Endeavor were organized early in the history of these movements, and hold their conventions at the same time and place with the O. C. M. C. The State Sunday School Association is also an efficient organization and holds its annual convention with the above mentioned societies. Other men came on the field, among whom were: L. F. Stephens, L. C. Haulman, J. F. Stewart, A. B. Wade, W. R. Williams, D. T. Stanley, A. M. Sweeney, T. F. Brown, A. D. Skaggs, J. H. Hughes, W. H. Laye, James Logan, Dr. B. F. Fuller, J. B. Johnson, Alfred Burk, W. H. Hallum, Peter Shuck, Harry Watkins, W. H. Redwine, J. A. Campbell, F. D. Holman, B. F. Bonnell, and others. - Church and School. [ Was this the source? ]
Among those who have served as president of the O. C. M. C. we mention, David Wetzell, Hon. C. A. Shelbrede [ Sehlbrede ], J. N. Smith, W. H. Osborn, A. Esson. J. B. Lister has been corresponding secretary since 1895. - Some of the most prominent men in the brotherhood have been called by the convention from time to time as chief speakers, among whom are Robert Moffett, D. R. Dungan, Clark Braden, Wm. F. Cowden. Among the evangelists: J. V. Updike, Chas. R. Scoville and Allen Wilson.
The paper interests were not forgotten. T. F. Campbell edited the Pacific Christian Messenger. Then J. F. Floyd edited a paper called
the Christian Herald, from 1881 to 1883. Then came the Harbinger, edited by D. T. Stanley, and recently, Church and School Reporter, J. B. Lister, editor and publisher.
The work of the church in the way of establishing schools, must not be overlooked. The earliest attempt in this direction was made by Dr. W. C. Warriner and others, at Plum Valley [ Bethel ], in 1854. This gave way to the stronger movement at Monmouth, where W. T. Haley taught for a number of years. This school grew into Christian College, [ see Monmouth entry ] and the learned T. F. Campbell became its most prominent and efficient president. This was sold to the state and became a normal school. P. L. Campbell, son of T. F. Campbell, was for a number of years its president, until - elected president of the Oregon University, at Eugene. After Christian College was sold we had no church school until E. C. Sanderson conceived the idea of establishing a school for Bible study, and the preparing of young men and women for the ministry, in connection with the University of Oregon. Articles of incorporation were obtained in the autumn of 1895, with J. W. Cowls, W. H. Osborn, J. H. Hawley, J. A. Bushnell, J. D. Matlock, J. T. Callison and P. J. Flint as Board of Regents. The school opened October 6, 1895, in a rented but commodious building, the attendance being very satisfactory. The foundation of a library was laid this year which has steadily grown until it contains one thousand four hundred volumes. The eighth year, 1902-3, now drawing to a close, has been in every way satisfactory. During the summer of 1896 the opportunity of acquiring a splendid plat of ground adjoining the University campus presented itself and was promptly taken advantage of by the board, upon which have been erected two good buildings. Already many young men and women have here received equipment for the ministry of the Word and are out on the field doing valiant work. It must not be overlooked that these things were made possible by the liberal gift of Mrs. L. E. Cowls, widow of the late Judge Cowls, of McMinnville. There is no reason why the church in Oregon, growing constantly into better equipment; with its evangelists, J. B. Lister and J. B. Holmes; with its army of men and noble women not a few, should not reach a membership in 1909, of 12,200.
Among the first settlers of what is now the state of Washington, were members of the Church of Christ. Mrs. M. T. Maynard, the first white woman who lived in Seattle, was a member of the Church of Christ. She still lives in Seattle, and is a member of the First church. Dr. C. F. Spinning and wife, of Sumner, Wash., were worthy members of the church when they came to Washington, fifty- two years ago. They are still faithful disciples. Among the first preachers who labored in this new country we find the names of G. W. Richardson, Samuel Hamilton, John Ruddle, William Huntington, Jacob Hastings, C. J. Wright, Amos Buchanan, and N. T. Carlton. Some of these pioneers abide here yet.
In 1877, Jacob Eshelman settled in Goldendale, in Klickitat county. His able ministry has been a great source of strength to our cause in this country. He lives in Tacoma, and labors in word and doctrine. In 1879, Neal Cheatham [ Cheetham ] came from Iowa to Washington and located in Waitsburg. He is an able minister of the gospel and has done much to give stability to the churches in Eastern Washington. He has served in the State Legislature, and was for four years State Auditor. He has remained faithful to the cause of Christ, an incorruptible Christian Statesman, and still preaches the gospel.
About 1880 J. B. Daisley settled in Eastern Washington and still faithfully and acceptably preaches the gospel. Bruce Wolverton came into Washington about twenty-five years ago and preached and taught acceptably for a number of years, and then returned to Oregon, where he now lives.
In 1888, F. Walden came to Washington and took up the work at Waitsburg. He had served for sixteen years on the Iowa State Board. He was urged by many of the leading preachers of the territory to take the lead in organizing our people into a Territorial Convention. He accordingly issued a call September 1, 1888, for such a gathering. We met in Ellensburg, October 4, 1888, and organized the Washington Christian Convention. F. Walden was elected president; Jas. E. Denton, vice-president; J. B. Daisley, corresponding secretary, and T. J. Hollewell, treasurer. Money was pledged and the work started. But little was done the first year, owing to our inability to secure a territorial evangelist who could continue in the work. C. F. Goode labored for the board for three months and met with fair success.
The second meeting of the convention was held in Waitsburg in October, 1889. Neal Cheatham [ Cheetham ] was chosen president, J. T. Eshelman, vice-president; F. Walden, secretary, and John R. Ware, treasurer. F. Walden was prevailed upon to give up his work at Waitsburg and enter the field as territorial evangelist. He gave the entire year to the work. He gained 150 additions to the churches, assisted in locating a number of preachers and raised enough money on the field to pay his salary and left over $100 in the treasury. Though urged to continue in the territorial work he could not comply on account of his wife's health.
The third meeting of the convention was held in North Yakima. E. C. Sanderson, who is doing such good work as Dean of the Divinity School at Eugene, Oregon, took the work of territorial evangelist and continued for two years. His work was most excellent and did great good to the churches of the (now) state of Washington. Sanderson was succeeded by R. E. Dunlap, who was state evangelist for three years and faithfully carried on the work that had been inaugurated by others. He still preaches the gospel as occasion offers, but gives his time largely to prohibition. Twice he has been the candidate of the Prohibition party for governor.
Owing in part, at least, to the hard times, there was a time when we had no state evangelist. Then Neal MacCallum took up the work for one year. We have been two years without a state evangelist, but now J. M. Morris is to take up the work.
R. H. Moss, son of the veteran J. J. Moss, labored faithfully for a number of years in Washington, but some years ago entered into rest. J. E. Denton and S. B. Letson came to Washington in 1888. Denton located in Ellensburg and Letson in Spokane, and both did faithful work. Both are in California now. The one whose coming has perhaps done the most to give stability to the work in Washington. is W. F. Cowden. He came in 1889. From that day to this he has filled the responsible position of Superintendent of Missions in the Northwest. His work has not always been of the most pleasant kind. Where there is trouble there his duty calls him, and it is almost, if not quite, impossible to settle difficulties to the satisfaction of both parties. But he has done his work faithfully and impartially so far as enlightened judgment would guide him. No man could have done better and he has earned the esteem and love of his brethren who know his work best.
The growth of the work in Washington has not been very rapid, but it has been a steady gain, and the outlook is encouraging. We have four churches in Seattle, known as the First, the Fremont, the University and the Green Lake churches. B. H. Lingenfelter is the minister of the First, Bro. Allen of the Fremont, while the University and Green Lake churches are supplied by brethren Dunlap, Wood, Allen and Walden. In Ballard, which is really a part of Seattle, but under a separate city government, we have a church of which Galen Wood is the minister. Morton L. Rose and H. K. Pendleton minister to the two churches in Tacoma, while W. S. Crockett is the efficient minister at Olympia. B. E. Yutz [ Utz ] and J. W. Allen minister to the two churches in Spokane. We have churches in nearly every county seat in the state, as well as in the smaller towns and villages and also in many rural districts.
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