Page images
PDF
EPUB

1889.]

Aztec, San Juan County, New Mexico.

miles without seeing a house. Part of the land is just being surveyed and a few settlers are coming in. Both these fields are large and promising. Another church will soon be organized by Brother Jenning on the divide between Box Elder creek and Rapid creek in the Iowa settlement. Five of the members of the Whitewood church have moved to the little Missouri region near Camp Crook, where the Sabbath-school missionary has organized a Sabbath-school. At Nashville, in the same region, a Sabbath-school has been organized, and already we are asked to organize a church. At two other points, one at Wyoming and the other in Montana, our Sabbath-school missionary has organized Sabbath-schools which bid fair to develop into churches. The same can be done on the line of the Burlington and Missouri Railroad now building across the southwest corner of Dakota into the coal fields of Wyoming. Two Sabbath-school missionaries have organized nine schools, and now Elder Cook, of Rapid, has begun work as permanent Sabbath-school missionary. He will look after these schools as well as organize others, and

341

here we shall be called upon to send the preacher. We need at least half a dozen men at once. Other denominations have been spurred by our work, and are sending on men to organize Sabbath-schools and churches. We need men to occupy the ground where we have made a beginning or else we shall lose what we have done. The extension of the T. E. and M. V. from Whitewood to Deadwood, and also north, is not yet fully decided on. So far as we can learn the probability is that both these extensions will be made this season. The line from the North Pacific at Mandan has been cross-sectioned lately, and may be built yet this year. So we may need men for these regions. We hold the ground on this end of the Mandan line, but should the road be built we would need another man to work further north than I can reach and to live on the field. In a word, we see progress and prospect for much more growth. When our presbytery is a year old we shall have twice as many churches as we started with, twice as many houses of worship, twice the manses, and we hope double the force of ministers.

HOME MISSION LETTERS.

SELECTED BY THE SECRETARIES.

From Aztec, San Juan county, New Mexico, Rev. S. D. Fulton writes:

I am sorry to learn from your recent letter that the financial status does not warrant the opening of the Mexican school at Largo this year, as recommended by the Presbytery of Santa Fé.

I went to Largo Saturday last, saw our Mexican members there who are anxious for a school, as many of the Roman Catholic Mexicans are also. The probate judge is a Mexican, and sent his son and nephew away last year to school to learn English. He is very desirous of having a school near Largo. The place for it is a few miles from the village, so as to be right among the Mexicans.

Sunday morning when I rose I found quite a number of Mexicans had come together and desired services. I took them into a room adjoining a store, and had a very pleasant and profitable service with them.

It is thought best to have a male teacher among them, who can write letters and help them in various ways. He could get a strong hold on their esteem and affection. The son of Rev. Dr. Shields, long stationed at Jemes, N. Mex., lately returned from Park College, and versed in Spanish from his childhood, is a good man for the place, if he can be obtained.

After the Mexican service was over, I had one for the Americans at 11 A.M. in a private house. I wish I could arrange for a regular

[blocks in formation]

meeting there, but my Sundays are fully occupied already, morning, afternoon and evening, in some part of the county. I may be able to give them a week-day evening once a month later in the season; but as Largo is twenty-five miles from Aztec, or eighteen by a short cut through the mountains, it would add a good deal to my work. At present I have services at Aztec, Farmington, across on the Mesa from the latter point, and in two school-houses on Sunday afternoons.

A RECENT TRIP.

Starting Saturday after dinner in my twowheeled Victoria cart (the donation of Deere, Mansur & Co. of Kansas City), I took a gunnysack full of Sabbath-school and other religious papers along to distribute to settlers as I passed, these being the only religious reading many of them get.

A mile below Aztec I crossed the Las Animas river, swollen to a torrent by melting snows and rains away up in the mountains. Some of the peaks are 17,000 feet high. I took off the wheels of my cart, and loaded the cart and harness into a skiff; then drove the horse into the river and watched him swim over, sometimes nearly out of sight under water; then gave a man fifty cents to row me over, caught my horse, put my cart together and started out. I distributed my literature, reached the house of my Farmington elder, visited some persons in the congregation, including one sick lady near death.

The next morning I attended Sabbath-school and church, preached and administered the Lord's Supper; then crossed the river into another settlement, held Sabbath-school and preached at 3 P.M., receiving one young lady into the church and baptizing her; then drove home, arriving at 9 P.M. The next Sunday my work would be in the upper end of the Las Animas valley.

Last Sunday returning home I learned that while I was absent an altercation had occurred between an American lad and two Mexicans. The lad shot at one, but missed; the Mexican returned fire and mortally wounded the lad. He fell, but fired again and killed the Mexican, but he himself only lived a few hours.

[October,

There is a great decrease in carrying weapons and in such affairs as this. So old settlers say. Usually peace, quietness and good fellowship prevail. At one school-house where I preach a bullet-hole in the door appears, which was made by a man firing off his pistol during service in the house while a Methodist preacher was preaching. This was several years ago. Now one is safer than in a city, unless he wants to make trouble himself.

The work of our Church has a prosperous outlook all over the county, but the school near Largo ought to be opened soon, while we have an open door there.

From Adair, Iowa, Rev. W. J. Fraser writes:

The first month of this quarter was spent almost entirely in special services. We began late, because our coming and getting the family settled in a fixed-up house was late. Nevertheless, although working over the same ground where two additional ministers had come in, we received eight members during the meetings, and one since, making nine, all by profession of faith. I baptized four adults and one infant. At Casey our attendance while not quite full for a time was steady, and is increasing. At Adair attendance fluctuates, but we have a good house. I am laboring to equalize interest, zeal and fruits throughout the year. The tendency to fall off after several efforts does not look to me like scriptural Christianity. I am convinced we ought to have and can have uniform zeal and progress through the year. We have raised enough to get a church bell for our house of worship at Adair. There is a straggling habit in attendance which we hope the bell will help to cure. Hope to have it in this month. Offerings to the boards are received by envelope in certain months during the year.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

but as last year was an excellent hay year, sheepmen and others may hold out through a moderate winter.

[ocr errors]

Owing to the magnates of this city having their minds full of coach lines and other projects, our city has been left to 'vegetate" this year, and as already stated, it is not a favorable year for vegetation, so that business is somewhat flat. Some building still goes on and our water-works are in course of construction, the street main being nearly all laid. The Neilhart Railroad is still talked of, and, if constructed this year, would help us out a little. The great copper smelter question is still undecided also, and so our real estate hangs in the balance, awaiting the logic of events.

The Roman Catholic church has laid foundations for a building forty by seventy, but unless Bishop Broudel is going to get some money elsewhere, I am of opinion his calculations are a little too great for this community, and certainly his adherents here do not warrant such a structure; but he may be looking ahead. Roman Catholic bishops generally have long heads!

So far as our church is concerned we pursue the even tenor of our way, and "the auld confession o' faith" maintains its hold upon the majority of religious people.

As an indication of our relative position here, I may state that on a late Sabbath evening there were six at the Episcopal, thirty at the Methodist Episcopal, and one hundred and fifty at the Presbyterian Church, and our morning congregations are about as much ahead on the average, although not so large usually. I am hopeful that another year of usefulness is before us, and pray that the wisdom of the serpent and the harmlessness of the dove may be ours, for in these formative towns we need both.

Through the unsolicited kindness of the ladies' society of New Carlisle church, our trustees will be able to complete the upper rooms of the manse, and thereby confer upon the inhabitants the glorious privilege of sleeping up stairs.

From Sand Beach, Huron county, Mich., Rev. N. D. Glidden writes:

It gives me sincere pleasure to be able to report to you a successful quarter of labor in this church, closing with a delightful communion service, the

343

reception of three persons upon profession of faith, and the baptism of four, two of whom were small children. I have, during the quarter, preached twenty-eight times, given one preparatory lecture, administered the sacrament once, baptized three adults and five children, and received three into the church upon profession of faith; attended twelve sessions of the Sabbath-school and thirteen prayermeetings, three young peoples' missionary meetings, six Bible readings and two Children's Day exercises; made one hundred pastoral visits, been received by Saginaw Presbytery and installed over the church. I came to the church after a long interregnum after several short pastorates, and found the people scattered and poorly organized and wanting in enthusiasm. I was at first discouraged, and hesitated about bringing my family or remaining myself. After awhile I concluded that it was the right thing to venture it and trust God for the issue, and I think I did wisely and right. Upon the whole there is perceptible improvement and cause for some encouragement. The village is not growing. The population is but little more than one thousand, and they are cared for by six churches. I hope to be able, however, to do a steady and progressive work.

From Minneapolis, Minn., Rev. A. B. Nicholls, pastor of Stewart Memorial Church, writes:

During the last quarter our congregation, Sabbath-school and prayer-meetings have reached the highest numbers ever attained in the history of the organization. On several occasions the capacity of our little house of worship has been severely tried. We will have before very long to provide ourselves with more room. Unfortunately we have but one lot of ground, so our first effort will have to be in the direction of securing an additional lot before we can enlarge our present building. Since my last report twenty-six additions have been made to our number, eleven on profession of faith and fifteen by letter. Our contributions for benevolent purposes have amounted to $74. We have increased our eldership by the addition of two efficient and godly men. In every respect our work is growing more encouraging. Our people have a mind to work and to give, and they are hearty worshippers too; for all of which we thank God.

344

Kansas-Maryland-Arizona-Dakota.

From Emporia, Kan., Rev. J. W. Hanna writes:

I preached at Clements every alternate Sabbath. The outlook is encouraging. If we can build a house of worship this season, our future will be bright. The other half of my time is given to some country school-houses in Lyon county, about ten miles southwest of Emporia. Here is a neighborhood without church privileges. In the neighborhood I have found seven Presbyterians. The chief station is about ten miles from any postoffice, and no other denomination is at work within five miles. I think I can organize with at least fifteen members. We have a Sabbath-school, and they have raised $125 for my support. Here I expect to found a good country church. I believe there are more than one hundred such points in Kansas-country neighborhoods very much needing the gospel-where we might go in and start churches. There is a great deal of this neglected territory within thirty miles of Emporia. The thing to do is to go into country places where no denomination is at work, not into the little villages that have already two or three organizations. Do not become alarmed if you find our presbytery organizing four or five churches a year. I believe there is room in Kansas to-day for two hundred more Presbyterian churches. I hope to plant a few of them around Emporia in the years to come.

From Waverly, Baltimore county, Md., Rev. William Cumming writes:

During the past quarter there has been an addition of two to our communion, making the present membership ninety-three. We had had a larger accession just before. I believe that the growth in grace in our church is very decided. An intelligent member who is with us only occasionally remarked how much distinct advance she could notice. Our church services, both morning and night, are well attended. The average attendance is about one hundred and fifty. Our prayermeeting service is also well kept up, the average being from forty-five to fifty. The Sabbathschool increases slowly, the number now being over three hundred. For lack of teachers we cannot make special efforts to increase our roll. The Christian Endeavor Society is developing our young people gradually, though we have so many very young Christians that we have difficulty in finding leading spirits among them. Our mens'

[October,

association has suspended its meetings for the summer, and the Pastor's Aid Society and Woman's Foreign Missionary Society meet but once a month.

I have taught a class of young ladies and acted as chorister in the school every Sabbath. Have preached regularly twice every Sabbath, lectured on Wednesday evening, watched over the Christian Endeavor Society on Friday evening, and have tried to do all needful visiting. Our motto from the beginning of the work here has been, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it," and we are trying to build for God. For the outlook we see that there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed; and, if the help of God in the past is an earnest for the future, we propose to go in and possess it.

From Florence, Arizona, Rev. Isaac T. Whittemore writes:

There has been steady progress "all along the line," and the enemy, though not dead, is badly crippled and demoralized. Two men (one of them a wholesale dealer) have gone out of the liquor business, and with the exception of two saloons the dealers are remarkably discouraged. Strong efforts have been made to reclaim their customers, but all in vain. The reformed men stand like a Gibraltar, for which let God be praised. Our little church numbers but nine members, but they are a “host.” We have sustained morning and evening service every Sabbath but one, and a weekly prayermeeting and Sabbath-school regularly since the organization.

The heat is so great just now that we must keep in the house from nine to four; but we hope to sustain evening service through the summer.

The parsonage has been built, we have moved in and are delighted. It is clean and cool and far more comfortable than the adobe. I have tried in every possible way to avoid debt, and I confidently expect that within sixty days every dollar will be paid. I have done much shingling, laying of floors, nearly all the cloth lining and papering and all the painting, outside and inside, and thereby saved a large bill.

From Rapid City, Dakota, Rev. H. P. Wilbur writes:

Our church is nearly full every Sabbath morning. The congregation numbers about one hun

1889.]

California-New Mexico.

dred, and the Sabbath-school about sixty. I have not presented any of the boards since April 1, because our people did so well last quarter, raising for Foreign, Home and Church Erection Boards about $109 in less than four weeks. At our quarterly communion six members were received by letter and one on confession of faith, and one child was baptized. We have now a membership of forty-four. The good will of all classes is shown to us in various ways. I have just returned from four weeks vacation, and find everything has been kept up nicely, especially the attendance on the prayer-meetings. All we need now is time, room and grace to have a large church in the near future, and when that time comes, you need not look for reports from this church except in the minutes.

From South Pasadena, Cal., Rev. A. Moss Merwin writes:

Since May 1, 1889, the Spanish work in this section has been of an encouraging nature.

About a month ago we held our first services at San Gabriel, under the shadow, as it were, of the old "mission" of that place. Over thirty people came together in a private house. All were descendants of a respectable man who thirty years ago "broke with" the priest there and renounced the Romish faith. Through the kindness of a Scotch friend he procured from New York a Spanish Bible, and gathered his large family around him every Sabbath, while he lived, for worship and instruction in the word of God. He was their patriarch. Since his death, fifteen years ago, his children have had no religious privileges. They would not return to the Romish Church, and as they understood little or no English, they did not care to attend Protestant churches in the vicinity. That service of a month ago was the first in which most of them heard the gospel in their own tongue, and it was with tearful interest that old and young listened to the glad tidings. The meetings there are kept up regularly and the attendance has increased. Some of the adults hope to confess Christ soon and unite with the Church.

At a ranch twelve miles distant a good work is going on through the labors of one of our church members. Elder Morales of Los Angeles was there last week, when seventeen persons met to listen to the word. The owner of the ranch, an old lady, is among those who manifest much interest. The county hospital still offers a field of useful

ness.

345

The resident physician has asked me to make the rounds with him in visiting the Mexican patients, men and women, so as to interpret for him. Three or four attend our services in Los Angeles.

The work at Azusa and Los Nietos continues about the same. I have preached as usual twice a Sabbath, driving usually about twenty-five miles. There have been four additions to the Los Angeles church during the past quarter.

From Pacific Beach, Cal., Rev. R. Dodd writes:

We have a church organization here and at Roseville; but they are only infants. Both places are new and only sparsely settled. This place is like a straggling village. The people were of many minds and did not build near each other; and this makes it difficult to bring all together at one point. Yet the college is a favorable nucleus. Times are very dull and they do not seem to improve. Both our elders and others have moved away; but our congregations are about the same. I have preached regularly here and at Roseville, and besides have also preached at Mipion Valley, Old Town, and at the pavilion at the end of the Pacific Beach motor line. The Sabbath-school both here and at Roseville has been well sustained and interesting. We have a regular prayer-meeting in the college and many of the students attend. Whilst I could not say that the prospect for building up strong churches in these two places is promising, I can safely say that the whole field is needy. There is work enough to do, but not much support. People are poor and have a hard struggle to make ends meet; but if times revive and people seek homes here, as they surely will, there will be quite an advantage to our Church in being on the ground and equipped and at work.

From Las Cruces, N. M., Rev. J. A. Lowe writes:

We have had good congregations and a steadilygrowing interest in church work. At our first communion we received thirteen members, four on profession of faith. I have preached twice every Sabbath since taking charge, and some of our regular attendants, who do not miss a single service, are persons who have not attended church before for several years. We consider the work

« PreviousContinue »