A Committee on Education, appointed the year after the Free Methodist Church was founded in 1860, reported out in 1862, but only “verbally”. Of the original group assembled in 1861, only Asa Abell remained in 1865, the year J. W. Reddy, F. J. Ewell, B. T. Roberts, Abram Lott, Mark Johnson, N. A. Bennett, and he came to the conclusion “that the time has come to found an academy or seminary, where our children may obtain a scientific and literary education, comparatively free from those temptations and worldly influences, which too often beset the inmates of such institutions, and prove the destruction of real, scriptural piety”; and that “the Susquehanna Conference of our church” be asked “to co-operate with us . . . in the founding and supporting of such an institution”. This dream was realized in the next year, when B. T. Roberts purchased the North Chili, NY farm that became the campus of Chili Seminary, renamed The A. M. Chesbrough (sometimes Chesbro) Seminary after a major donor in 1884, Roberts Junior College in 1945, and Roberts Wesleyan College (of what was by then Rochester, NY) in 1949. For a time the school met in “the ballroom of the old tavern” purchased to “eliminate[e] the only place within the township where intoxicating liquors could be obtained” (Wilson T. Hogue, History of the Free Methodist Church of North America, vol. 2 (Chicago: The Free Methodist Publishing House, 1915), 305 ff.). Founded in 1866, Roberts Wesleyan is thus celebrating in 2016 as well: not (as Seattle Pacific) its quasquicentennial, but its sesquicentennial.
Though in his “Sketch of the life of the author” on p. 5, B. T. Roberts says that “he is still a minister” of “the M. E. Church”, the Rev. Elias Bowen, D.D. (b. 1791) converted to Free Methodism in 1869 (Encyclopedia of world Methodism (1974), s.v. “Bowen, Elias”; the 1876 Cyclopædia of Methodism says 1870). Another indication that the book may have been composed as Bowen was feeling his way into Free Methodism is the somewhat eschatological character of the paragraph on what became Chili Seminary (above) on p. 291, which must have been composed (though not printed) sometime between 9 October 1865 (the last day of the Sixth Genesee Annual Conference (above) and the dedication of the first building constructed for the Seminary in November of 1869:
We learn from the Minutes of the Genesee Conference for [1865 (above)], that a committee was appointed on education....
In accordance with this action, a board of trustees has been organized, a farm purchased in the town of Chili, Monroe county, N. Y., and ten thousand dollars raised on subscription for the erection of suitable buildings, and preparations actively gone into for putting them up without delay.
The Rev. Bowen died on 25 October 1870, before Roberts had published his book. I have not examined John David Hannah, “The life and letters of Elias Bowen: a Methodist clergyman in central New York,” M.A. thesis, Southern Methodist University, 1980.
The Rev. George Edwards, a “Preacher” (assigned to Windham, NY, the previous year) and H. H. Pease, a “Local Preacher” (but neither an Elder nor a Deacon), intersect at the Free Methodist church of Wilksbarre, PA. (Edwards had been serving the Susquehanna Conference church in Windham, NY, the previous year.) In the Susquehanna Minutes for 1873, Edwards is listed as having been re- (?) “located this year”, and Pease is given an address of “Seattle, King, W. P.” In 1874, the New York Conference was spun off of the Susquehanna Conference, and in the Minutes of the Third Annual Session of the New York Conference of the Free Methodist Church, held in [Edward’s 1872 assignment,] the F. M. Church, Windsor, N. Y., Sept. 27, to Oct. 2, 1876, George Edwards, a “member of the Northern District” of the New York Conference, is listed, under “Appointments”, as a “Missionary to Washington Territory and Oregon”. Three pages later the following comment appears: “George Edwards, who was located by the Susquehanna Conference, in 1873 was readmitted to full connection, and appointed by the Superintendent as missionary to Washington Territory and Oregon.” In these same Minutes of . . . the New York Conference for 1876, Edwards’ “Preacher” address and Pease’s “Local Preacher” address are identical: “Seattle, King, W. T.” It was not until 1880 that a “Washington Territory Mission” of the New York Conference was organized, and not until 1885 that there was an “Oregon and Washington Territory Conference” into which Edwards and Pease could transfer their memberships.
This 1896 printing of the 1883 Hymn book of the Free Methodist Church appears to be the working copy that Bishop W. T. Hogue (1852-1920) marked up in preparation for the Free Methodist hymnal commissioned by the 1907 General Conference and published in 1910. I include it in this display because it lacks what became hymn no. 613 in the latter, a favorite of Seattle Seminary founder Alexander Beers. “There’s a land far away ‘mid the stars we are told” is not among the few titles that Hogue penciled into the body of the Hymn book proper, nor is it among the “Hymns to be added” that he lists here at the back. Beers was not a member of “The Commission which prepared th[e new] Hymnal”, but, as I say below, James G. Clark’s “The (ever(-)green) mountain(s) of life” (as it was usually entitled) was very popular throughout this period, and seems likely to have been sung in the Seattle Seminary chapel. For more on the song itself, see under the Free Methodist hymnal of 1910. For more on this important copy of the Hymn book of 1883, see the Special Collections display for 2013.
The 23-year-old “illiterate” "A[lexander] Beers” (Adelaide Lionne Beers, The romance of a consecrated life (Chicago: Free Methodist Publishing House, 1922), 45), converted under the ministry of Henry and Franklin Ashcraft approximately three and a half years earlier, appears as a preacher “admitted on trial” (14) and “Conference evangelist” (15) at the founding session of the Free Methodist Church in the Pacific Northwest. Note the undoubtedly Thomas La Due-prompted reference to the retardative effect of the “Undenominationalism” of the Ashcrafts, among others (15), though by this point the Ashcrafts had already become Free Methodists themselves back in Illinois. That September Beers left Oregon for four years of remedial work and high school at Free Methodist Chesbrough Seminary in North Chili, New York, from which he graduated in the Autumn of 1889. Having married a teacher, Adelaide Newton, the two arrived in Spottsylvania to assume the headship of Virginia Seminary on 31 December 1889. See also the entries dated 1892 and 1898.
According to Arthur Armstrong Denny (1822-1899), the Methodist (but later Congregationalist) founding father of Seattle after whom the Denny Regrade and Denny Hall at the University of Washington are named,
The first religious service in Seattle was by Bishop Demers, a Catholic, in 1852. The next was by Rev. Benjamin F. Close, a Methodist, who came to Olympia in the spring or early summer of 1853. . . . C. D. Boren donated two lots for [the] Methodist Episcopal [(First Methodist)] church [that Denny himself helped to establish], and in November, 1853, Rev. D. E. Blaine and wife arrived and Mr. Blaine at once engaged in the work of building a church on the lots donated by Boren. This was the first and only church in the place until 1864, when Rev. Daniel Bagley built the Methodist Protestant Church, which he painted brown, and the other being white, they were ever after designated as the ‘White’ Church and ‘Brown’ Church [(51-52)].
Thus, Methodism was well-represented “at the creation” of Seattle (the Coupeville United Methodist Church on Whidbey Island, in which the SPU faculty opens its Autumn Retreat each year, was founded in 1853), and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest in terms of education as well. Recall that, in addition to all of the “seminaries” and such that it was operating in Oregon by 1862, and the four that were offering “a collegiate program” by 1883, the Methodist Episcopal Church had already founded what became Willamette University in Salem back in 1842, and was to found what became the University of Puget Sound in 1888 (George Hill Mills, “Secularization at the University of Puget Sound (Washington),” Ph.D. thesis, University of Washington, 1983, 72 ff.).
Free Methodism, by contrast, dates its presence in Seattle from the arrival of Hiram H. Pease and possibly also the Rev. George Edwards (who, however, soon moved down into the Chehalis region) in 1873 (see under 1872, above), and the construction of the first Free Methodist house of worship by the former on Second Street in the late 1870s (Norma Cathey, The First Free Methodist Church of Seattle, Washington: centennial year, 1880-1980 , 8).
The University of Washington was founded on land donated by Mr. Denny in 1861, and the school that was to become Seattle University, on land Mr. Denny sold to the Jesuits for $18,382 in 1891 (Walt Crowley, Seattle University: a century of Jesuit education (Seattle: Seattle University, 1991), 23 ff.). It was in 1891 that Seattle Seminary, too, was established on the cash offered by Mr. Pease and the land donated by Nils B. Peterson, though classes did not actually open until the Spring of 1893. Thus, though Seattle Free Methodists took longer than Seattle Catholics to convert their school into an institution of higher education (1891/93-1916 vs. 1891-1898), they may have been a bit quicker to found one to begin with, having been present in Seattle only 18/20 years by comparison with the 28/29 years that, by 1891, had passed since “the entire [albeit virtually non-Catholic] population [of Seattle had] crowded into [Henry] Yesler’s new cook house” to hear the mass offered by Bishop Demers at Mr. Denny’s invitation in 1852 (Crowley, 21).
The Minutes of the Fourth Annual Session of the Oregon and Washington Territory Conference contain the first reference to the existence of an Education Committee, and say only that it consisted of “Ira F. Ward, J. W. Kager, J. C. Scott, [and] Lucy R. Rogers”. This at a time when the new Conference was claiming only 189 members and 14 Probationers. By 1889 the Committee was “hop[ing] and pray[ing] that the time is not far distant when one or more [schools] shall be established on this coast.” At the annual Conference of 1890 this same Committee “Resolved, That this conference appoint a committee to confer with the committee in the California conference and invest them with the power to locate such [a] school [in our midst] and to proceed as far as practicable to establish the same.” And in 1891 (see under 1891, below) Seattle Seminary was founded. For more on the Minutes, see the Special Collections display for 2013.
More than a decade before the current First (until 1924 Second) Free Methodist Church 1) was founded in 1891, 2) moved into the chapel of the newly completed Alexander Hall in April of 1893 after worshipping in various locations, and 3) then transplanted into the original building on the present site in 1906, there was the original First Free Methodist downtown. The reference in this 1891 History of Seattle, though badly mistaken as to the date of its founding, is to this original, moved by that point from Second Street (now Avenue), between University and Seneca, to 912 Pine, between Ninth and Terry. The gravitational pull of the new school must have been strong, because this congregation, after moving into 918 Pine in 1901, sold that building in 1906 and formally disbanded two years later (Cathey, p. 8). The SPU Library does not yet own a copy of this early History of Seattle. For a "Bird’s eye view of Seattle and Environs, King County, Wash., 1891", the year Seattle Seminary was founded (though not yet constructed), and “Eighteen Months after the Great Fire”, see the next entry. Pine and 9th are clearly visible in the snippet embedded below, while according to modern maps, at least, Terry would presumably (?) have lain along what is labeled here as "10th ST."
See the 2010 reprint of this map on the East wall of the Reading Room on the Library’s Main Level, or the high-resolution (and therefore zoomifyable) scan of the 1891 original on the Library of Congress website. In the snippet I’ve inserted below, the area along what later became the Ship Canal running between Salmon Bay and Lake Union is clearly visible.
In response to a report of the Education Committee that "Resolved, That it is the sense of this committee that we take action at this time toward securing a proper location, and raising the necessary funds, and that the work of building begin as soon as the location and means are secured" (15), “Steps were taken for the establishing of a school in the conference, and sufficient subscribed to make it probable that the work of building will begin very soon” (13). See also under 1888, above.
In this issue of The earnest Christian and golden rule, Free Methodist founder and bishop B. T. Roberts reports on his trip out for the Seventh Annual Session of the Oregon and Washington Conference minuted above, and notes that "Steps were taken to organize a salvation school in the vicinity of Seattle", and that "subscriptions of property [(Nels [(sic)] B. Peterson)] and money [(H. H. Pease, among others)] were made amounting in all it was estimated to $11,500." In this issue are also articles by both Alexander and Adelaide Beers (still, of course, in Virginia (below)), and a report on Chesbrough Seminary in North Chili, New York. On p. 63 of the August issue Roberts announces that, gone on visitation "since the last of April", he "reached home safely on the 10th of July," having taken a steamer from Seattle and the Canadian Pacific Railroad from "Whatcom on Puget’s Sound" "through British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba." These years of The earnest Christian SPU owns only on microfilm, but the complete run has been digitized by The Marston Memorial Historical Center of the Free Methodist Church of North America.
This is the last contribution to B. T. Roberts’ The earnest Christian and golden rule (available online from the Marston Memorial Historical Center) that Adelaide Beers submitted from “Virginia Seminary” in Spotsylvania, to which she and her new husband, Free Methodist pastor (and Chesbrough Seminary graduate) Alexander Beers were sent in 1889. Alexander had visited before they were married and been impressed with the suitability for “the needs of a school” of the “old brick house” made available by Free Methodist farmer and Spotsylvanian Joseph Bittle, despite the “many conspicuous holes” in its walls “where bullets had rent the surface when the battle [of the Spotsylvania Court House] raged furiously all around” in mid-May of 1864. The newlyweds arrived on 31 December 1889. Just over two years later, in February of 1893, they received and accepted the call to manage a second such start-up in Seattle (Adelaide Lionne Beers, The romance of a consecrated life: a biography of Alexander Beers (Chicago: The Free Methodist Publishing House, 1922), chap. 6). On p. 128 of the April 1892 issue, they were said to be “making the influence of godly examples felt” “at [the ‘missionary ground’ of] Spottsylvania Court House, Virginia”. See also the entry dated 1885. These years of The Earnest Christian SPU owns only on microfilm, , but the complete run has been digitized by The Marston Memorial Historical Center of the Free Methodist Church of North America.
The Free Methodist, founded—eight years after the denomination itself—in 1868, functioned, unlike Bishop B. T. Roberts’ own The earnest Christian (and golden rule), as the official organ of the Free Methodist Church from the point at which it was acquired by General Convention and placed under Roberts’ oversight in 1886. Roberts died in 1893, so vol. 27 (1894), the earliest owned by SPU, appeared under the editorship of Bishop Burton Rensselaer Jones (1845-1919) and then (from no. 46, dated 14 November 1894, the point from which the Rev. Jones is listed as one of the church’s three General Superintendents) Bishop and Greenville College President Wilson Thomas Hogue (1852-1920). It remained a weekly through 1961, and was renamed Light and life (a semimonthly) in 1970. For a bit more on its history, go here. Vol. 27 (1894) has been opened to the issue containing the Rev. W. T. Hogg’s report on the two weeks he spent at Seattle Seminary earlier in that same year. The photocopy laid over p. 9, by contrast, is one of the many pages of Free Methodist seminary advertisements scattered throughout the magazine. The latter should give, at a glance, a sense of the church-wide educational endeavor to which the newly-minted Free Methodist institution called Seattle Seminary (located more precisely in the community of “Ross”) had been contributing for several months by 24 January 1894.
The Rev. James Monroe Buckley (1836-1920), already an experienced Methodist Episcopal pastor and about 60 at the time, was only six years into his 32-year stint as the editor of the New York Christian advocate (1826- ), “a powerful and influential organ of the Methodist Episcopal Church” (Saranne Price O’Donnell, “Distress from the press: antifeminism in the editorials of James Monroe Buckley, 1880-1912,” in Women in new worlds: historical perspectives on the Wesleyan tradition, vol. 2 (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1982), 92 (76-93)), when he published his History of Methodists in the United States in 1896. Elmer T. Clark, summarizing his career for the World encyclopedia of Methodism in 1974, said “He was an editor in the field of the religious press par excellence. It was said that when any important matter came to the fore in public attention, many people did not know what to think until ‘Dr. Buckley’s editorial’ came out in The Advocate. At the General Conference it was once said that ‘until Dr. Buckley sat down, the General Conference was not in session’” (vol. 1, pp. 348-349). As pp. 614-615 of his History make clear, the enormously influential Rev. Buckley was an admirer of the “many illustrations of heroic self-denial” so evident in the 36-year history of the breakaway Free Methodist Church, including its “attention to educational development”. “the Seattle Seminary in Washington” mentioned on p. 615 had been in operation for a mere three years or so when this wide-ranging book first appeared.
Having moved to “Multnomah county, Oregon, near Gresham”, with his parents in 1876 at the age of 14 (Beers, Romance, 21-24), Alexander Beers was converted under the preaching of the “independent holiness” (Snyder, Rooted, 55) or “‘pre-Free Methodist’” (Kneldreth (Kay) Kline and Miriam (Kline) Overholt, “Henry and Franklin Ashcraft,” Free Methodist Historical Society newsletter 15, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2016)) evangelists Henry and his nephew Franklin Ashcroft on 18 November 1881. But it was the already solidly Free Methodist evangelist Thomas Scott La Due, who, having moved out from Allentown, Pennsylvania at the urging of Oregonian E. N. Sumner in 1882, was to consolidate the work of the Ashcrafts, and play a large role in the solidification of a specifically denominational presence in the region. According to John La Due, the days of the effectiveness of the latter were numbered from the moment his father appeared on the scene, despite their Spirit-inspired “endorse[ment]” of La Due’s preaching (151). For it was soon rumored that La Due was there by a kind of secret prearrangement to gather into an organized Free Methodism the converts that the Methodists and others had expected to pull in off the Ashcrafts’ “undenominationalism”, with the result that “The [Ashcrafts], whose work, from this time, was systematically suppressed and extinguished, labored on a couple of years longer, and then, finding the bands scattered, peeled and torn, and the church doors in every direction closed, . . . abandoned undenominationalism on the Pacific coast to less able and less conscientious hands, having fully proved it to be a method of holiness work unsuited to accomplish the best and most permanent results” (151-153), and converted to Free Methodism back in Illinois (Snyder, Rooted in mission, 54 ff.; cf. the letter from La Due on p. 155, which anticipates their short-term return to Portland “as Free Methodist evangelists”, and the comment on p. 150, which indicates that he, at least, considered them “Free Methodist brethren” “then working” in an “undenominational way” back when he first moved out). It was thus the Rev. T. S. La Due who received Alexander Beers into the Free Methodist Church (Beers, Romance, 45) and apparently advocated for his admission to the ministry “on trial” at the First Annual Session of the Oregon (State) and Washington Territory Conference held in Beaverton, Oregon on 10-13 June 1885 (above). La Due died on 8 March 1888 at his home on the Robertson place in Powell’s Valley, and “Brother [J. C.] Scott of Seattle, was secured to preach the funeral sermon . . . in the Baptist church” (181-185).
This official publication of the State of Washington contains, on p. 197, a reference to "Ross Seminary, under the auspices of the Free Methodists". But because the many pictures it contains are more eye-catching, it has been opened to a contemporary photograph of Denny Hall, on the University of Washington campus across town.
“The Englishman, the chief daily journal of Calcutta” called the Manhattan-based Christian herald and signs of our times in 1897 (at, just possibly, some prompting from the Christian herald itself) “‘the most influential religious paper in America’” (“Our corn ship in India,” Christian herald and signs of our times 20, no. 39 (1897 September 29): 723, col. 1 (721, 723); cf. Heather D. Curtis, “Depicting distant suffering: evangelicals and the politics of pictorial humanitarianism in the age of American empire,” Material religion 8, no. 2 (2012 July), 180n5 (154-183)). Founded in 1878 (Don M. Aycock and Leonard George Goss, Inside religious publishing: a look behind the scenes (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1991), 128; Stephen Board, “Moving the world with magazines: a survey of evangelical periodicals,” in American evangelicals and the mass media: perspectives on the relationship between American evangelicals and the mass media, ed. Quentin J. Schultze (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990), 128 (119-142)) as “an offshoot of English evangelicalism” (Doug LeBlanc, “The decline of two historic magazines,” Christianity today 36, no. 10 (1992 September 14): 74), the Christian herald was purchased along with its subscription base of 31,000 by Louis Klopsch in 1890, and by 1909 was enjoying—thanks in part to the antebellum-abolitionist-inspired, progressivist (Pamela E. Pennock, "'The number one social problem of our time': American Protestants and temperance politics in the 1950s," Journal of church and state 54, no. 3 (2012): 375-405), and to some extent controversial “‘spectorial sympathy’” it fostered (Curtis (2012))—a circulation of 246,000 (Charles M. Pepper, Life-work of Louis Klopsch: romance of a modern knight of mercy (New York: Christian Herald, 1910), 240-241). Circulation reached 500,000 under the editorship of Daniel Poling somewhere in the fourth, fifth, or sixth decade of the twentieth century, and “the magazine was [then] frequently mentioned in the same company with other mass audience general publications like Life” (Board (1990), 128). Indeed, in 1963 American historian Merle Curti called it “‘the most widely read religious periodical in the world’” (Merle Curti, American philanthropy abroad: a history (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1963), 620, as quoted by Curtis (2012), 180n5)). Here the Christian herald describes Seattle Seminary as “like a Christian family, where the personal salvation of each member is earnestly sought and constantly expected”, but whose “special object is to prepare young people for the Gospel ministry and the missionary field.”
The Rev. Albert Atwood “was born October 27, 1832, in the vicinity of Tuckerton, New Jersey, and pursued his education in the Charlotteville Seminary at Charlotteville, Schoharie county, New York, there preparing for the ministry, for he had decided to devote his life to preaching the gospel. . . . [Having married Miss Amanda J. Robinson, of Tom’s River, NJ, in 181 (?),] he joined the New Jersey conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church [in 1858] and was called to the pastorate of several different churches in that conference. In 1874 he was transferred to the Oregon conference” (Clarence B. Bagley, History of Seattle from the earliest settlement to the present time, vol. 3 (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1916), 523) and the “White” Methodist Episcopal Church (see above, under 1888: Denny) at Second and Columbia in Seattle (now the First United Methodist Church of Seattle located at Second and Denny), where he remained through 1877. He served as Presiding Elder of the Puget Sound District of the Oregon Conference from 1879 through 1882 (Erle Howell, Church and city grew up together (1978); Earle Howell, Methodism in the Northwest, ed. Chapin D. Foster (Nashville, TN: Parthenon Press, 1966), 52, 392), was a founding member of the Puget Sound Conference (Howell & Foster, 59) in 1883, and pastored a number of churches throughout the region through 1926 (“From your church archivists”) or 1927 (Howell & Foster, 395, but also 413-456 (466)), including those “in Seattle, Kent, Bothell, Houghton, Stanwood and other points in Washington, and in Eugene City, Or.” (Edwin S. Meaning, “Living Pioneers of Washington,” The [Seattle] Post-intelligencer, Tuesday, November 16, 1915, p. 6, col. 4). On pp. 98-100 of Glimpses in pioneer life on Puget Sound, he says that “a minister in the Free Methodist church” came “During my pastorate in Seattle” and invited him (i.e. Atwood) to assist in a “public debate” with an atheist in Yesler Hall, on the “corner of First Avenue and Cherry Street.” Citing Mt 7:6, the Rev. Atwood refused, and claimed to be vindicated in the event, which, as it turned out, included “a petition to his Satanic majesty, the devil”, and much “untruthfulness, blasphemy and sacriledge; . . . intolerance, vulgarity and blackguardism”, confusion and indecorum. His sense for the naiveté of a “brother . . . minister” (whom it shouldn’t be all that difficult to identify) did not prevent him from speaking highly of Seattle Seminary (without once using the latter of those two terms), Alexander (and the forthcoming Peterson) Hall, and its president the “Rev. Alexander Beers” on pp. 458-459. The following photograph in the possession of Mr. Jeff Tozzer of Seattle, a great, great, great grandson, is thought to depict the Rev. and Mrs. Atwood and is used with Mr. Tozzer's permission. On the reverse is written ""This was the home of Rev. A. Atwood and family in 1883 — the home stood on the pile of old Boston Blk 2nd and Columbia sts. — Rev A. Atwood". It can also be seen on the First United Methodist Church of Seattle's website. There is a proper portrait of him in his 1907 The conquerors: historical sketches of the American settlement of the Oregon country, also in Special Collections.
Published in the same year as the book by the Rev. Atwood, above, but by the Free Methodist Publishing House. Having been transferred into the Oregon and Washington Territory Conference from South Dakota in 1875, the Rev. Charles H. Sage was the pastor of the original First Free Methodist Church of downtown Seattle that year, but left for Michigan “after laboring seven months” for medical reasons and was replaced by E. L. Smith and then Alexander Beers (of whom he speaks here very highly) in 1896 (Cathey, 50).
This lovely tribute to “representative citizens” promulgates a major faux pas on the second of the three pages of text it devotes to Alexander Beers, who is said to be an “ordained elder” in the Free Methodist Church, but “at the present time pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Seattle” (655, underscoring mine). Adelaide Beers' 1922 biography of her husband, The romance of a consecrated life, being so well-known in SPU circles, was excluded from this exhibit to make room for other things. It has been digitized by SPU Archivist Adrienne Meier.
“THE SOUVENIR OF WESTERN WOMEN bears upon its pages a complex picture of the works and pioneer experiences of the women in the Pacific Northwest—the ‘Old Oregon’ country—from the time of woman’s first appearance in these unexplored wilds to the present day. . . . In coming to this country through all the perils, privations, and hardships of the longest journey ever made by a migratory people in search of homes, she marched side by side with man. . . . [Her] dominance is apparent in our colleges and universities, all of which are builded upon co-education as a corner-stone, and all of which also accept women as co-members of the faculty” (Preface). This interest in education is evident in the table of Contents, which lists contributions on, besides Roman Catholic, Quaker, Episcopalian, Baptist, Unitarian, Jewish, and pioneer Methodist women (among many other miscellaneous topics, including “Some Early Oregon Schools,” “Early Portland Schools,” and “Kindergarten in the Northwest”), a number of educational institutions eager to advertise their services, a few of which (including Seattle Seminary) have survived into the present day: St. Mary’s Academy, Jacksonville, OR; St. Mary’s Academy and College, Portland; Allen Preparatory School, Portland; St. Helen’s Hall, Portland; the Oregon Conservatory of Music, Portland; the Behnke-Walker Business College, Portland High School; the Hill Military Academy, Portland; the Academy of the Holy Names, Seattle; St. Teresa’s Academy, Boise; the Portland Academy; the Gillespie School of Expression; the Newill Riverview Academy, Portland; and of course Seattle Seminary (now Seattle Pacific University) itself. Three years after assembling this collection with the upcoming 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in view, Miss Mary Osborn Douthit, a schoolteacher (at, possibly, one or more of the Portland schools just named), suffragette, and columnist born in Carmel, Indiana in 1851, to South Carolinians destined for Linn (where they first settled in 1853) and then Crook County, Oregon, was struck by a streetcar in Portland (to which she had moved about fifteen years before) and killed (Sunday Oregonian, 26 July 1908, p. 9; Morning Oregonian, 27 July 1908, p. 7 (with picture); Morning Oregonian, 28 July 1908, p. 9; Crook county journal (Prineville, OR), 30 July 1908, p. 2; and Madras Pioneer (Crook County, OR), 30 July 1908, p. 1). She is buried in Portland’s River View Cemetery.
Estella Curtis, of Fremont—who took "all of her academic work here except the first part of th[e 1911-1912 academic] year in which she attended the Los Angeles [Free Methodist] Seminary" (eventually incorporated into what we now know as Azusa Pacific University) (The cascade, June 1912, p. 13), served as Treasurer of the Intercollegiate Prohibition League (The cascade, December 1910, p. 11), graduated in 1912, married Duane Bardell of the class of 1910 in 1913, and moved to Taylor['s] Mill in the Rainier Valley (The cascade, September 1913, p. 24)—writes from Seattle Seminary, where (shall we playfully assume?) the rigorous academic requirements of 1905 were inducing what the advice columnist of Health magazine, published in New York, attributed to "eye strain". The photograph of Ms. Curtis (misspelled (?) Curtice) is taken from a group photo of the Students Volunteer Missionary Society on p. 35 of the 1909 Olympiad (see also the photograph of the Sophomore Class on p. 55). She is still listed (under Bardell) in the Alumni directory of 1982, though she does not seem to have provided an update. SPU does not own a copy of this issue of Health.
Apparently the Buller brothers were not among the "nearly all" who "become Christians before they have attended any length of time" ("Revival in a seminary," The Christian herald: an illustrated family magazine 27, no. 13 (1904 March 30, Easter number): 301), having been inoculated by their highly educated mother against the cultural engagement exercised by the "salvation school" they attended: “Wade and Richard Buller attended the Seattle Seminary for four years, the former graduating from the institution. The influence of the mentality of the mother is seen in the intellectual life of the sons. Pol[i]tically they are all three Socialists, and in church matters are not bound by creed or the formalities of denominational organization, leaning rather toward ‘free thinking.’” Descendants of the Buller family run the Skagit River Resort and maintain some fascinating webpages here and here. SPU does not actually own a copy of this book, which has been selling for more than $450 on the used market of late.
This biography of an important early Free Methodist missionary to China contains an introduction by the Rev. Wilson T. Hogue, and many tributes, including one by Adelaide Beers (306-310). For Ms. Leffinwell's impact on “Mr. Floyd Appleton, a Canadian, from Bracebridge, who had been attending the Free Methodist Seminary at Seattle, Washington, conducted by Rev. A. Beers and wife”, see p. 225. For Mr. Appleton's embarkation for China, see pp. 239-240. The commitment of Seattle Seminary to mission work is also evident in the references to Miss Edith Graves, who graduated in 1901 and served in China (pp. 242 and 245), and in the one to the Rev. Alexander Beers, who brought news of a “donation from Mr. [Nils B.] Peterson, [also from Seattle, of a certain property valued at about five thousand dollars. . . . to be given for mission work in China” (219). See also the many references to her alma mater Chesbrough Seminary, an earlier instantiation of the same vision. The Snyder history treats her as an especially significant influence on Seattle Seminary.
Newly-wedded Illinois-Conference Free Methodists the Rev. Ernest Fremont (1853-1938)—who had transferred into the Church from the Methodist Episcopal tradition in 1879, about eight years after his conversion in 1871 ("From the Archives," The Asbury journal 70, no. 1 (Spring 2015): 172-180)—and Phebe Elizabeth (Cox) Ward (1850-1910), having each "for a considerable time felt the call of God upon them for the foreign field", left Illinois as "Faith Missionaries to India" (Wilson T. Hogue, History of the Free Methodist Church, vol. 2 (Chicago: The Free Methodist Publishing House, 1915), 260) in November of 1880 and caught their first sight of Bombay (now Mumbai) on 16 January 1881 (Ethel Ellen Ward, Ordered steps, or The wards of India (Winona Lake, IN: Light and Life Press, 1951), 28, 33). They settled first in Burhanpur, Central Province (now Madhya Pradesh), India; then Ellichpur (now Achalpur, Maharastra); and later even further south. Subsequently the Free Methodist Church established its own General Missionary Board. Having been advised by it for some time, they transferred in under it officially in 1896, and, as the Rev. Sewell says in this Introduction to Echoes from Bharatkhand, sent their daughters home for a boarding-school education at Free Methodist Seattle Seminary:
Mr. and Mrs. Ward have three daughters now attending the Seattle Seminary, at Seattle, Washington, and in order that these young ladies may receive a suitable education, Mr. and Mrs. Ward are living on one-half salary, so that the other half may be applied toward the education of their daughters. By strict economy and by much self-denial they have been able so far to do this, and by the assistance of some friends as well as by the liberality of those in charge of the Seminary at Seattle, they have so far succeeded. They are publishing this volume. . . . also . . . to produce some profit that may be applied toward the very desirable end of giving to these young ladies an education which cannot be obtained in that land where both love and duty now hold the parents [(4-5)].
Returning to the United States for health reasons in 1910, they were present for daughter Ethel's graduation from Seattle Seminary in the early summer of that year, and a furlough schedule that finished Phebe off on 1 September. In the Autumn of 1911, Ethel then took her mother's place "in the Yeotmal district, Berar, Central Province" (now Madhya Pradesh). "The labors of the Wards", though begun independently, "opened up the way for the missionary operations of the Free Methodist Church in India" (Hogue, History, 261). More than that, the Wards were the Free Methodist Church's first foreign missionaries ("From the Archives," 172, 178).
As the image below indicates, a copy of daughter Ethel's Ordered steps, or The wards of India in the Emmanuel Room is inscribed by her to the "Seattle Pacific College Library from an old student[,] S[eattle] S[eminary Class of] 1910".
It wasn’t just the children of established Free Methodists who attended Seattle Seminary, for here we have two sources that refer to an interest on the part of certain members of the local Jewish community: 1) in the small print at the bottom of the photocopy slipped into place in SPU’s copy of the 7 April 1909 issue of the New York-based Christian herald, Alexander Beers:
We have a young man in our college school, a Jew, who has been converted and is taking a great interest in securing an education under Christian influences. He has no means. His name is Samuel Gluxman [sic]. One or two of his friends have been induced to come out and visit the school, with a view of entering. There are many Jews in Seattle, and I believe that many of the young people could be induced to attend school in Seattle Seminary and would become Christians and in return do much for their people. The Lord is graciously blessing our work here. Missionaries from our school have gone to all parts of the world.
and 2) in the 1910 Annual report of American Bible Society, also located in New York, the Rev. A Wesley Mell, of San Francisco, reporting for the Pacific Agency of the ABS founded in 1907, in (mostly) Mr. Glucksman’s own words (as displayed on the glass):
In the Northwest we have a young converted Jew, Samuel Glucksman, a student in the Seattle Seminary, who has given us some time for Bible work among the Jews. The spirit and the earnest endeavor of the young man can be best gathered from his own report as follows:
‘My work started on the train going down to Portland. I noticed two Hebrews on the train, and I felt that the Holy Spirit wanted me to go and tell them that the Messiah they were praying for had already come to save that which is lost. We talked for about two hours, and the dear Lord blessed my words. When we got through talking one of them said that he thinks I am on the right track, and that he will study the New Testament.
‘Our God is a wonderful helper to everyone that calls on him. I brought with me Yiddish Testaments and Bibles. I will visit from house to house and from store to store, where our Hebrew people live, and will tell them about our dear Saviour Christ. I also brought along some English Testaments and Bibles.
‘I went among the Hebrew people. I told them that the Messiah had already come to save his people from their sins. I told them how the dear Lord Jesus had saved me when I accepted him as my dear Saviour, and I asked them to read the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, and gave them other passages from the Old Testament.
‘Some received my words kindly, and some spit on me and threw decayed apples at me, but, thank God, when we suffer with him we will also reign with him.
‘I gave away some Yiddish New Testaments to Jewish people, who were glad to get them, and told me that they would read them. I also did some work among the other people. I spoke twice in the city jail, twice at the mission, twice in the great rooming house, once in the Peniel Mission, and once in the Nazarene Church. I sold a number of English Testaments and gave some away to men in jail.
‘One dear black man came to our Lord when we had the meeting in the rooming house. My prayer is that the dear Lord will bless every Testament and every word of exhortation to help some soul find Christ.’
Mr. Glucksman gave us his whole time during his vacation, and though he has now returned to his school, he is still doing special work for the Society in the selling and distribution of the Word.
According to his wife Adelaide, “There’s a land far away ‘mid the stars we are told”, often entitled “The (ever(-)green) mountain(s) of life”, “was one of Mr. Beers’ favorites.” Because “He would call for this hymn to be sung in his congregation at least once every Sunday” (The romance of a consecrated life: a biography of Alexander Beers (Chicago, IL: The Free Methodist Publishing House, 1922), 348; cf. 297), and because among his “congregations” was, of course, the school as well as (from 1902) First Free Methodist across the street (see, for example, chap. 9, pp. 118 ff.), it seems reasonable to conclude that it would have been sung at the Seminary as well. Though not included in the Free Methodist Hymn book of 1883 (see the printing of 1896 as marked up by W. T. Hogue in preparation for the Hymnal of 1910, above), it had been extremely popular for more than two decades prior to that year nationwide, having appeared in The young people’s chorister of 1860 (Music Special Collections at BYU has confirmed that this “1850?” setting by A. P. Lighthill is in fact undated) and the Advocate and family guardian as well as Vocal culture and elocution: with numerous exercises in reading and speaking (1857), by Robert Kidd, in 1857, to mention but a few of the earlier printings. Composed by the young singer James Gowdy Clark (1830-1897), whom Ossian E. Dodge had recently appointed composer to his popular New England quartet Ossian’s Bards, but whose “mother, a very religious woman, had said to him, ‘James, why can you not write a hymn?’” (“The poet of the people, James G. Clark,” The Los Angeles Herald, June 20, 1897, 22), it—like his “Freedom’s Battle Hymn,” which became “second only in popularity to Mrs. Julia Ward Howe’s ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’” (B. O. Flower, “James G. Clark, the American laureate of labor,” The arena 19, no. 98 (1898 January): 60 (54-67))—spread very quickly, and was widely reprinted. It was gathered as “The Mountains of Life” into Poetry and song, and as no. 613 into the Free Methodist hymnal of 1910. By the time the Free Methodist hymnal Hymns of the living faith was published in 1951, it had fallen back out of favor. For more on James G. Clark, see, for example, Alphonso Alva Hopkins, Newspaper poets: or, waifs and their authors (Rochester, NY: Rural Home Publishing Company, 1876), 79-98, as well as the newspapers.
Arising out of the Society of Brethren (of Haystack Meeting fame) at Williams College, the YMCA and YWCA, the Princeton Foreign Missionary Society, the Interseminary Missionary Alliance, and an American preaching tour of J. E. K. Studd, “The Student Volunteer Movement [for Foreign Missions] was organized in 1888, the result of a student conference held in July 1886” in Massachussetts (Paul E. Pierson, “The Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions (SVM),” Evangelical dictionary of world missions, ed. A. Scott Moreau (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 914), and led by Robert P. Wilder, John R. Mott, and Robert E. Speer, among others. It held “the first of its long series of large conventions, called ‘Quadrennials’” in 1891, and “quickly spread . . . to Great Britain, Europe and Asia. . . . The Movement’s watchword, ‘the evangelization of the world in this generation,’ challenged [thousands of North American college] students to dedicate their lives to the task of world evangelization” by signing the following pledge: “It is my purpose, if God permit, to become a foreign missionary”. Long before it reached its high water mark at the Quadrennial of 1920 (H. M. Goodpasture, “Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions,” Dictionary of Christianity in America, ed. Daniel G. Reed (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1990), 1143), tiny Seattle Seminary had become involved, as evidenced by the presence of Seattle Seminary-Greenville College graduates among those from “ivy league” and other much older, larger, and more prestigious colleges and universities in its quadrennial “List[s] of sailed volunteers” from the year 1910. See, for example, p. 519, where “Millican, Frank Richard”, “Seattle S., v Greenville C”, “China”, “Free Methodist” appears under the year 1907 (for more on Frank Millican, see no. 32, below); and p. 531, where “Peterson, Mattie J.”, “Greenville C, v Seattle S, Faculty”, “China”, “Free Methodist” appears under the year 1909. (For more on Mattie J. Peterson, daughter of founder Nils B. Peterson, see the Special Collections Display for 2014, and no. 32, below. Note also the “Seattle Seminary Missionary Library” stamp just beyond the front cover and on the half-title of the copy on display.) For monetary gifts contributed by Seattle Seminary, as well as references to graduates “Millican, Eva B. Bryan (Mrs. R.)” (under 1911) and “Ward, Ethel E.” (under 1911), see pp. 699, 701-702, 652, and 654 of the volume published in 1914, Students and the world-wide expansion of Christianity: addresses delivered before the Seventh International Convention of the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, Kansas City, Missouri, December 31, 1913, to January 4, 1914, ed. Fennell P. Turner (New York: Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, 1914).
This SPU copy of Missions and missionaries of the Free Methodist Church has been opened to the entry on Miss Mattie Josephine Peterson. Note the reference to her time at Seattle Seminary. A number of the other Free Methodist missionaries profiled in this early collection of biographies are said to have studied at Seattle Seminary, just for example Mattie’s sister Miss Lily M. Peterson, C. Floyd and Laura Millican Appleton (92-94), Miss Edith Graves (98), Frank Richard and Aimee Boddy Millican (102), and so forth.
On p. 128 of Reed College's First annual catalog, the “Rev. Alexander Beers, Principal of Seattle Seminary” is said to have addressed the college chapel at Reed in 1911-1912. Though “the will creating The Reed Institute expressly provides that ‘it forever be and remain free from sectarian influence, regulation or control,’” “[Reed] College is nevertheless profoundly imprest with the importance of moral and religious education” (129), “has a special mission in that regard” (130), encourages “those who may seek its benefits to affiliate with such religious societies as their consciences may dictate” (129), and trialed a “form of servis” [sic] that “the students voted unanimously, on a secret ballot, in favor of continuing” (128). As Reed Professor Edward O. Sisson had noted in The Atlantic monthly the year previous, “The old chapel service was doubtless often lacking in a sense of the fitness of things, and perhaps sometimes injured the cause it desired to aid; but the work aimed at in the college chapel has not passed away, and will never pass away; the vital question is this: Having discarded the instrument our fathers trusted to for moral culture, have we created anything to take its place, or are we ignoring the task which should be the crown of our educational purpose?” (Edward O. Sisson, “An educational emergency,” The Atlantic monthly: a magazine of literature, science, art, and politics 106, no. (1910 July): 60 (54-63); cf. Edward O. Sisson, Essentials of character: a practical study of the aim of moral education (New York: Macmillan, 1910)). More resistant to the utilitarian reductionism implicit in the "moral culture" justification for a form of chapel supplied by Professor Sisson, Seattle Pacific University did not drop the whole of its chapel requirement for an additional century, in the Autumn of 2007.
And speaking of regional colleges, in 1916 Alexander Beers was awarded a Master of Arts, honoris causa, by Whitman College, "in recognition of [his] distinguished services to the cause of education and religion in the Pacific Northwest" (Adelaide Beers, The romance of a consecrated life: a biography of Alexander Beers (Chicago: The Free Methodist Publishing House, 1922), 202; Whitman College, The catalog 1917, 103).
Both of its two major historians draw attention to the enormous “indirect” impact that Mariet Hardy Freeland (1829-1912) had upon Seattle Seminary via daughter Emma Abigail Freeland (1862-1945), the Greenville College A.B. and University of Michigan M.A. who taught there from 1894, and in 1895 married Seattle Seminary instructor and later principal Clark W. Shay (1862-1951); principal Albert Henry Stil(l)well (1855-1932); and of course Adelaide Lionne Newton Beers (The romance of a consecrated life: a biography of Alexander Beers (Chicago: [The Free Methodist Publishing House], 1922), 108-109): Howard A. Snyder on pp. 97 and 100 of Rooted in mission: the founding of Seattle Pacific University, 1891-1915 (Seattle: [Seattle Pacific University], 2016), and Donald McNichols on p. 31 of Seattle Pacific University: a growing vision, 1891-1991 (Seattle: Seattle Pacific University, 1989), where we read:
Between 1896 and 1910, Seattle Seminary graduated eighty students. Sixteen graduated and non-graduated students were on mission fields by 1910, and at least three more were added to their number after additional training. . . . Who ignited the spark that kindled this zeal in the minds and hearts of these students? . . . it was the faculty, or a special part of the faculty. Yet, someone had first to create an interest within them, and that traceable source was Mariet (Hardy) Freeland. She was not part of the Seattle Seminary scene in person, but her influence was there through three teachers: her daughter, Emma Freeland Shay, Mrs. Adelaide Beers, and Principal Stilwell.
Yet it would not be quite right to attribute to Mariet Hardy Freeland only an “indirect” influence, for on pp. 143-144 of her The Romance of a consecrated life, Adelaide Beers speaks of the “wonderful turning to the Lord” that came of the “Revival services . . . held by Rev. and Mrs. J. B. [Jonathan Barney] Freeland” (1835-1922) in the early days, and that extended to boarding and day school students alike. Having not actually read this biography by daughter Emma Freeland Shay, I am indebted for the date of this visit to the letter enclosed in this copy, a gift of Philip L. Marston. In this undated note to First Free Methodist Pastor Rev. Mark Abbott (1982-2010) and Seattle Pacific University President Philip W. Eaton (1995-2012), Mr. Marston, unable to identify a copy in the SPU Library (though the Library does, by this point, at least, own a second), draws attention to
the account given on p. 180 of 'The big revival' in the winter of 1898 at Ross. Rev. and Mrs. Freeland are said to have visited at the request of Rev. E. L. Smith [('the pastor at Ross, Washington')] and the Principal (Clark Shay) of Seattle Seminary. . . . While the influence of Mrs. Freeland on Free Methodist education is mentioned on p. 32-33 of Don McNichol's book, the 'big revival' seems not to be well known.
Indeed, it seems to have been overlooked by the 2016 Snyder history as well, which does not mention "The big revival" of 1898 when discussing Mariet's impact upon the Seminary.
Though it was "Father Freeland" who did the preaching (while "Mother Freeland, as was her custom, held on to God in prayer"), Mariet was a committed feminist, as Free Methodist historian Dr. Christy Masaros-Wincklos has been emphasizing of late.
Mariet Hardy Freeland, from the frontispiece to the biography in question:
For an introduction to The Christian herald, see no. 19, above. Here it is reported that
Seattle Seminary and College last year saw the conversion of nearly all its two hundred students. For thirty years it has been a center of evangelistic effort, under the presidency of the Rev. Alexander Beers. Over fifty preachers, Christian teachers and missionaries have gone out from this institution to do splendid work in China, Japan, India, Africa and other lands. At Yeotmal, India, a school has been started having this seminary as its model, and steps are being taken to establish a similar institution at Osaka, Japan.
In Yavatmal today there is the Free Methodist English High School as well as the Yavatmal College of Leadership Training; and, in Osaka today, Osaka Christian College (est. 1905) and an Osaka Theological Seminary. What their precise relation to Seattle Seminary is (if any), I have not yet investigated.
This early History of Seattle contains references to “Seattle Seminary” (vol. 1, p. 172); the water system “installed on the north slope” of Queen Anne Hill “by another person of the same name” (i.e. “Nils B. Peterson”) and later acquired or taken over by the city of Seattle (vol. 1, p. 265); Alexander Beers and the Seattle Benevolent Society (vol. 1, p. 331); the “foundry at Ross” opened by the Dwyer Manufacturing Company in 1891 (vol. 2, pp. 609 ff.); and the “Ross Seminary” career of Charles O. Hulen, co-proprietor of “the billiard parlor of Brown & Hulen”, “the finest in the United States” (vol. 3, p. 138); among, probably, other things. Vol. 3 has been opened to the two-page spread of portraits accompanying the biography of John C. (1846-1913) and Minerva A. Widger Norton (1839?-1929), the long-ordained Free Methodist founder and trustee of Seattle Seminary, and—according to this little mini-biography, at least—Mason (Free Methodism had been founded in opposition to Free Masonry (which B. T. Roberts considered “‘an [idolatrous] anti-Christian religion’ incompatible with Christian faith and practice” (Howard A. Snyder, Populist saints: B. T. and Ellen Roberts and the first Free Methodists (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 206), 727)) and other “secret societies”. The difficulties that Norton’s remarriage and Masonic activity created for his relation to the Free Methodist Church are hinted at on pp. 51-53 of Howard A. Snyder’s Rooted in mission: the founding of Seattle Pacific University, 1891-1915 (Seattle: [Seattle Pacific University], 2016).
Former federal district court judge Cornelius Holgate Hanford, after whom the now well-known town of Hanford, WA, was named, edited this three-volume history “Sanguine in the belief that Seattle has an assured future of greatness among great cities” (Foreword, vol. 1, p. 5). Vol. 3 has been opened to the three-page biography of “Orrin E[dward] Tiffany, president of the Seattle Pacific College” (1916-1926; 1868-1950), and one of “the leading educators of the northwest” (161). Here Spring Arbor Seminary and Greenville College graduate and Free Methodist (later Presbyterian) Dr. Tiffany (M.A., Ph.D., University of Michigan) is said to have been “closely related to the Tiffany family of New York city, founders of the foremost jewelry house in this country” (161), and very active on the Chamber of Commerce (163), among other things. The biography speaks also of his "two children", noting that "Clara Louise, the elder, . . . attended . . . the Seattle Pacific College, afterward entering the University of Washington, from which she was graduated in 1923, on the completion of a library course." Here she is depicted with her father in front of the Women's Dormitory that was later named for her mother and his wife Grace Tiffany, presumably upon Clara's graduation from SPC. The photograph, taken in 1922, is reproduced here from the Seattle Pacific University Archives site on something that soon-to-be-newly-credentialed librarian Clara could not have envisaged, the SPU Library's Digital Commons @ SPU:
Dr. Tiffany went on to teach at (1926-1927) and serve as the acting president of (1927-1929) Whitworth College, and to teach history at Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL) from 1929 to 1944.
After a year as Assistant Principal of Evansville Seminary, four years as Principal of his alma mater, Spring Arbor Seminary (later College and now University, 1905-1909), four (xv; or two (Blews)) years at the head of the Los Angeles Seminary (1910- , eventually incorporated into Azusa Pacific University), and in advance of a three-year stint as the head of the Wessington Springs Seminary and Junior College (1921- ), Burton Jones Vincent (1877-1931) served as the “Pastor of the Seattle Pacific College Church” (335) for two and a half years from 1917 to 1919 (335; Richard R. Blews, Master workmen, centennial edition: biographies of the late bishops of the Free Methodist Church during her first century, 1860-1960 (Winona Lake, IN: Light and Life Press, 1960 ), 255; The First Free Methodist Church of Seattle, Washington: Centennial Year, 1880-1980, ed. Norma Cathey , 49-50). In 1975 his second wife, Dr. Lena Duell Vincent compiled and printed this typescript of his papers, which I have opened to the outline of an address (or sermon) on John 10:10 delivered, I’m guessing, on Tuesday, 11 June (or possibly Sunday, 9 June) 1917, the day British General Edmund Allenby entered (or captured) the City of Jerusalem. It is entitled “The new life” (254). Note that it concludes with an answer to the question “What is a Christian School?” framed in just those terms.
More substantial (if at least retrospectively a bit more controversial) in this regard was the “war department” (59) address delivered in the “College Church” over fourteen months later, on Sunday, 29 September 1918 (59-67), just six weeks before the war ended on 11 November, in advance of the dedication of a “service flag” with “forty stars” (59) representing “our forty soldiers, whose names are on our honor roll” (66), and who, if not killed, seem—if willingly “consecrated to God for national service in His behalf” (62)—likely “find it easy to go on to the spiritual things of the kingdom of God” (67). “Christ died for society in its larger organizations of state and nation and even for civilization as a whole. . . . So he cares about who is the mayor of Seattle, the governor of our state, the president of our republic, and about the national policies that are followed by England, France, Germany, Turkey or Japan” (60). But this care is “not Sentimental”. It is, rather, like the cross itself (62-63), “a mighty two-edged sword” capable of delivering “the great judgment stroke of . . . God’s love” (63; Ps 9:7-16 and 2 Tim 4:8). And so “God . . . interposes His hand, and, lest the satanic nation [of Germany] wreck the whole world, . . . draws His own mighty sword of judgment” (61). Because (quoting the Wesleyan Methodist evangelist George Douglas Watson (1845-1924), who had recently filled that very pulpit) “‘There are more saints in America than in any other nation on the globe'", “God has entrusted the most previous principles of righteousness in the world to our guardianship.” For this reason the United States “had no right under the sun to remain aloof any longer” (64-65), but was obliged to “bind” (65) “the mad emperor” (64) or, failing that, to do him “to death, as an act of mercy to the world” (65). “America is one of God’s policemen, and every American soldier who engages in this struggle at his country’s call is rendering service to God in this conflict, a service which he has no right to withhold,” should this cost him his life (66). In time to come, “this war will be interpreted by history as a judgment upon a mad emperor and his people for their conspiracy against the world’s peace and their lust for power” (62-63). Indeed, we will “teach [our] children . . . to speak of it as [just such] a judgment upon Germany” (63). Though there is much of this with which it is possible to agree, even those inclined to concur up to a point (at points) may find themselves concluding—with the Rev. Vincent himself, but more or less ruefully—that “heralds are apt to color the gospel with their education, their prejudice, their personality, and sad to say, often with their infidelity”; i.e. an insufficiently critical American “viril[ity]” (59).