The alphabetical order of the bios in this essay is:
Almon C. Bacone, Jesse Bushyhead, E. D. Cameron, L. J. Dyke, R. J. Hogue, Joseph Islands, Charles Journeycake, John Jumper, W. D. Moorer, J. W. Solomon, Cortez Stubblefield.
The Story of Oklahoma Baptists
By E. C. Routh, 1932
Other Pioneers of Faith *
Under a great elm tree, just north of Philadelphia, at "the place of kings," William Penn addressed the Delaware Indians as friends and brothers, and made an agreement that was sacredly kept for many years. The Quaker dress was better protection among the Indians than a musket. The first treaty made with Indians by the Continental Congress was with the Delawares, signed at Fort Pitt in 1778, which provided that the Delawares should join the troops of the "United States aforesaid." That treaty embodied a proposal for the creation of an Indian state, "whereof the Delaware Nation shall be the head, and have a representation in Congress."
The Delawares originally occupied southeastern New York, eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. After selling their lands they moved West, and at the time of the treaty in 1777 they were located in western Pennsylvania. A few years later they moved to Ohio, then to Indiana, then to Missouri (near Springfield), then to Kansas, then to Indian Territory, some settling in the territory of the Kiowas and Wichitas and the others in the Cherokee Nation. One of the early converts among the Indians at the Wichita Agency where John Mclntosh and A. J. Holt labored, was Black Beaver, a Delaware Indian.
The first missionary work among them was done by the Moravians. One of these, Zeisberger, secured the neutrality of the Delawares and was instrumental in preventing an Indian war. On account of outrages committed on the Christian Delawares, the unconverted Indians became hostile to Christian missions, and at the beginning of the last century,
* No workers now living are included in this brief chapter. In a later volume the story will be told of some who are still with us. The omission of sketches of other faithful soldiers who served years ago is due to our inability to secure sufficient material regarding their lives and labors.
says the biographer of Charles Journeycake, there was not a Christian Delaware in the Ohio settlement.
Charles Journeycake was born in 1817. His mother, whose father was an Indian and whose mother was a white woman, was a devout Christian and became the first interpreter for the missionaries in the Kansas home of the Delawares. Mission work was begun among them by I. D. Blanchard and Isaac McCoy. In 1833, Charles Journeycake was baptized by McCoy's son-in-law, Mr. Lylans. He was the first Delaware baptized in the new country and probably the first person baptized in Kansas. He and his mother were, for some time, the only Christians in their tribe. In the fall of 1839 he was asked by his tribesmen to lead a trapping expedition. He consented only on condition that all would agree to attend prayers at camp every night and morning, and to bring their traps in Saturday evening and spend the Sabbath in rest and religious exercise.
He began preaching when a young man. He preached in his own language and in the Shawnee, Wyandot, Seneca, and Ottawa dialects. He was married in 1837 to Jane Sosha, a Delaware maiden. They lived together fifty-six years. Eight daughters who grew to womanhood and were married, were all converted and became members of Baptist churches. One of them became the wife of Mr. Bartles after whom the town of Bartlesville was named.
In 1861 he became principal chief of his tribe, and a few years later in 1867-68, the Delawares moved to the Indian Territory. Shortly thereafter a Baptist church was organized in Chief Journeycake's home between Nowata and Vinita. In 1872 he was ordained a Baptist preacher and the same year a new house of worship was dedicated. His daughter, Mrs. Mary E. Armstrong was the clerk of the church for twenty-five years and superintendent of the Sunday school for twenty years. The Delaware Church was a member of the Southeast Kansas Association until the Delaware Association was organized November 27, 1891.
He visited Washington a number of times as the representative of his people. In 1886 in a speech before the Indian Defense Association he said:
"We have been broken up and moved six times. We have been despoiled of our property. We thought when we moved across the Missouri River, and had paid for our homes in Kansas we were safe. But in a few years the white man wanted our country. We had made good farms, built comfortable houses and big barns. We had schools for our children and churches where we listened to the same Gospel the white man listened to. We had a great many cattle and horses. The white man came into our country from Missouri and drove our cattle and horses away across the river. If our people followed them they got killed. We try to forget these things, but we would not forget that the white man brought us the blessed Gospel of Christ, the Christian's hope. This more than pays for all we have suffered."He was called Home in January, 1894. One of his granddaughters married Mr. F. M. Overlees who is United States Commissioner at Bartlesville. J. B. Bounds made his home several months with Mr. and Mrs. Overlees, when he came to the Indian Territory as a young preacher thirty-four years ago.
Back in Georgia, a century ago, a little Creek Indian boy was permitted by his father to live with a Baptist white man who sent the lad to Sunday school with his own children. He learned to read and write and speak the English language. That boy was Joseph Islands who came with the Creeks when they moved West. In trying to lead a seeker to the light, he found the way himself and they rejoiced together. There was then, at North Fork Town, no church or pastor, but Joseph took his Bible which the white man in Georgia had given him, and read it from house to house. He exhorted the people more than two years, praying that God would send some one to administer the ordinances. He was ordained himself in 1845 by Ramsay Potts and Joseph Smedley, missionaries in the Choctaw Nation. At that time, while believers were being persecuted in the Creek Nation, these missionaries would visit that
section occasionally and baptize converts on the Choctaw side of the river.
At a Creek Council in 1845 a chief made a long speech in favor of enforcing the law against praying. "When God made all things he made white people and black people to pray but he never required the Indian to pray to him." Another Indian, not a Christian, arose and said: "The chief who has just addressed you spoke angrily about the praying people and warmly insisted that the law against them should be enforced, but he never once alluded to whiskey nor to those who drink it. When God made all things he made white people and black people to drink whiskey, but he never made his red children to get drunk on bitter water. Whiskey is doing the Creek man more harm than preaching and praying. Now stop and consult on the whiskey law." The case was carried over to the next council. The first chief who spoke was afterwards baptized by H. F. Buckner.
Joseph Islands left a good house and moved into a small log cabin and gave the better house for a place of worship. The American Indian Missionary Association offered him $50 for his services, but he declined at that time to accept it, for fear such gift might prejudice the unsaved Indians against him. All about him Indian converts were being whipped. He was threatened but went on with his work undismayed. For several years he served as pastor of the North Fork Church. He made a profound impression on the Creek Nation. His genuine Christian character and his courageous spirit broke the force of the persecutions and a great revival swept through the Creek Nation. On March 8, 1848, a few months before Buckner came on the field, Joseph Islands answered the call of his Lord, "Come home."
When the Cherokees were driven West in 1838, one contingent was led by Jesse Bushyhead, a Cherokee chief who was a Baptist preacher. Religious services were conducted by him every Sunday on the long journey West. Back in the
old nation he had translated parts of the Bible into the Cherokee language.
He was born in September, 1804, in East Tennessee, and was baptized in 1830. He was ordained in 1833. He and Oganaya, another Baptist preacher, were appointed to go to Washington to help settle the Cherokee difficulties. In 1837 he was appointed a member of a Cherokee deputation to mediate between the United States Government and the Seminole Indians.
When the time came for the deportation of the Cherokees, Jesse Bushyhead and Evan Jones, Baptist missionaries, visited the Cherokees who had fled to the mountains and persuaded them to surrender to the United States troops. On the arrival in the new country Bushyhead established a camp which was later named "Baptist" near where Westville now stands. Late in 1840 he was elected chief justice of the Cherokee Nation and served in that capacity until his death, July 17, 1844.
In the Cherokee Messenger published a month later was an account of his death from which we quote:"His mind seemed to be enraptured with a view of the teachings of God . . . Sometimes he had an intense and satisfying view of the glory of God's sovereign power. Speaking of his sickness he said, 'If it be his will to raise me up, He can do it. He will do it through your labor and efforts. But if it is His will not to raise me up I am satisfied.'"In the Journal of Ethan Allen Hitchcock (edited by Foreman) is this tribute to Bushyhead:"He is universally respected and beloved. His mere opinion in the Nation has great weight and his persuasions upon almost any subject can win the people to his views. He is a fair-minded sensible man and if he can be satisfied the Nation ought to acquiesce. If he is not satisfied, it may suggest a doubt whether some concessions may not be proper."William Gammell wrote:"The ablest and most successful of the native preachers and one of the ablest and most energetic men of the nation to which he belonged. He was one of its earliest pioneers in civilization, and one of the noblest exemplifications of Christian character it has ever produced."He was
said to be the only man of any consequence among the Cherokees who habitually traveled among his people in the troublous period unarmed except for his Bible.
R. J. Hogue
One of the pioneers in the Choctaw Nation was R. J. Hogue who was born in Georgia, March 8, 1820. When eighteen years of age he was converted and was baptized into the fellowship of the Lagrange Baptist Church. On October 12, 1843, he was married to Miss Clarissa Jenkins and for nearly sixty years they walked together along life's pathway.
After his marriage he attended Mercer University for a season preparing himself for the Gospel ministry. He was ordained in October, 1850, and was pastor of several churches in Georgia.
In November, 1857, he was appointed by the Bethel Association in Georgia, co-operating with the Domestic and Indian Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, to serve as missionary to the Choctaw Indians. With his family he reached the Choctaw Nation in March, 1858, and settled at Armstrong Academy. He became pastor of the Philadelphia and Ephesus Churches and his labors were confined largely to those churches until after the war. In 1860 he and Rev. Willis Burns organized the Ramsay Association named in honor of Ramsay Potts, first missionary to the Choctaws, but the troubled conditions during the war prevented any other meetings after 1881, and it was never revived.
One of the converts baptized into the fellowship of the Philadelphia Church in 1862, while he was pastor of that church, was the daughter of Rev. Israel and Sophie Folsom, who later married Dr. T. J. Bond. Mrs. Bond, who two years after Dr. Bond's death, married Mr. D. N. Robb, was a fine interpreter and rendered invaluable assistance to Rev. J. S. Murrow in his missionary work among the Choctaws and Chickasaws. She was the first corresponding secretary of the first Woman's Home Mission Society in the
United States, organized by Mrs. Blackall in 1876 to which we refer elsewhere in this volume.
In 1872, R. J. Hogue moved to Boggy Depot and was pastor of that church and the Caddo Church a number of years. His last years were spent at Atoka where he fell asleep October 10, 1906. The sentiment of many concerning that pioneer of the faith was expressed by a gentleman who looking on his lifeless body said, "There lies the body of the best man I ever knew."
Rev. John Jumper, Seminole chief and Baptist preacher, was a son [according to Dr. Holt, but Wyeth says he was a nephew] of the famous chief, Jumper, who was associated with Osceola, and was at one time probably the most influential chief among the Seminoles. He emigrated to the Territory with the first bands of the Seminoles and was for twenty-five years chief of the Seminoles (Wyeth) but finally declined re-election as he wished to give more time to preaching. He made several trips to Washington City in behalf of his people.
John Jumper became a Christian and joined the Presbyterians. He became dissatisfied on the question of baptism and in 1860 was baptized into the fellowship of the first Baptist church organized in the Seminole Nation by J. S. Murrow. He was ordained in 1865. James Factor, the first Baptist convert among the Seminoles, was ordained at the same time. In his "Pioneering in the Southwest," Dr. A. J. Holt tells us that James Factor was expelled from the Seminole Council for being "bewitched" [converted]. John Jumper made investigation and professed conversion himself. Up to this time he had harbored malice in his heart against every white man because of the way the Seminoles were treated in Florida, but after his conversion all malice was taken out of his heart. He had opposed the coming of missionaries, but after his conversion he sought to have a missionary sent to them. Of John Jumper, General Albert Pike said: "John Jumper is one of the noblest men I ever met in my life." John Jumper became a great preacher and
was for years pastor of the Ash Creek Church near the present town of Sasakwa.
During the War between the States he raised a company of Seminoles and served in the Confederacy as a lieutenant-colonel. On one occasion while visiting headquarters at Shreveport he was asked by the commanding general to drink. He declined, explaining to the general that he never drank liquor.
One of the last and most treasured recollections of Rev. C. Stubblefield is of him as a speaker at the Northeastern Association, a few months before he was called Home. Brother Stubblefield was not able to stand, but they gave him a comfortable chair and for an hour or more he talked to us concerning God's eternal purposes. As we listened to him, that hour seemed but as a few minutes. In his expositions of the Word of God he always rang as clear as a silver bell. There was never a wavering note in the expression of his loyalty to the Word of God or to our denominational life.
Cortez Stubblefield was born January 12, 1848, at McMinnville, Tennessee, the land of the Cherokee. When he was three years old, his father removed from Tennessee to Texas, travelling in a covered wagon. In his early life, young Stubblefield was a farmer and stockman. Later he was in the railroad business, grading part of the new road-bed of the Santa Pe from Ardmore to Oklahoma City.
On August 18, 1889, in response to the call of God, he was ordained as a minister of the Gospel. That call was based on the clear experience of grace in the salvation of his soul years before. Practically all of his ministerial life was spent in what is now Oklahoma. He had close contact in the early years of his Christian life with Dr. B. H. Carroll, the great Bible expositor, and we have heard him many times acknowledge his debt to that great teacher.
One needs only to read the minutes of Baptist Conventions of the Indian Territory and Oklahoma for the last forty
years to see the work wrought by this faithful soldier of the Cross. For the first two or three years after his ordination he was missionary in Indian Territory. From 1891 to 1895 he was pastor of the First Baptist Church, Ardmore, and was then pastor at Duncan until 1900. Under his ministry at Ardmore, that church became the first self-supporting church in the state, and while he was at Duncan that church became the second self-supporting church in the state. He served for years as general missionary under the direction of the Home Mission Board, then accepted the pastorate of the First Baptist Church, Durant, where he remained until 1909. For several years he was a leader of the Baptist forces at Ada, during which time he was elected president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. The last eleven years of his life were spent as pastor of the First Baptist Church, Miami. After his retirement, he was elected Pastor Emeritus of that church. The devotion of the Miami people to Brother Stubblefield was beautiful. He fell on sleep November 6, 1930, at Miami, where he was laid to rest. He is survived by his wife and by three children of his first marriage and by six children of the second marriage. Mrs. Stubblefield divides her time between Oklahoma City and Miami.
L. J. Dyke
Rev. L. J. Dyke was one of the men who laid foundations in Oklahoma Territory. Before coming to Oklahoma in 1890 he was pastor of the Baptist Church at Coffeyville, Kansas. The first eleven years in Oklahoma Territory were spent as general missionary of the American Baptist Home Mission Society. He led in the building of seventy-six Baptist church houses and aided many churches in securing pastors. Among the churches which he helped to establish was the First Baptist Church of Pawhuska where he assisted Rev. T. C. Carleton, then pastor at Bartlesville, in organizing, April 1, 1899, a Baptist church of seven members. After eleven years of missionary service throughout Oklahoma Territory, he was appointed missionary to the Wichita and Caddo Indians where he and his noble wife rendered faithful service. A little later they were transferred to the Murrow Indian Orphans'
Home of which he was financial secretary and Mrs. Dyke was teacher and matron. After sixteen years of exacting and sacrificial labors on the field, they moved to Oklahoma City and made their home there until his death in 1927. He and his wife aided in the building of the Kelham Avenue Mission and later of the Memorial Church. Mrs, Dyke is still making her home in Oklahoma City and is greatly beloved by all who know her.
Almon C. Bacone
Professor Almon C. Bacone was born in Scott, Courtland County, New York, April 25, 1830. His early life was spent on a farm. While quite young he yearned for an education which his father was not able to afford. After the death of his father he sought employment in a tailor's shop while he was a student in Courtland Academy. He was forced to labor in various ways to support himself while he completed the course in the Academy. Frequently he was forced to live on corn mush and molasses. After completing the work of the Academy he borrowed ten dollars from a business man on the streets of Courtland, and within an hour was on the road walking to Rochester, New York, to enter the University of Rochester, from which he graduated in the class of 1858. It has been said that this was the most distinguished class ever to be graduated from the University - most of whom became distinguished in after years in the various professions.
When quite a young lad he gave his heart to Christ and was baptized into the fellowship of a country Baptist church near his home. For sometime he considered entering the ministry but at last decided he could best serve as a teacher. For a number of years he taught school in New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Ohio. In 1878 he was called to Talequah, Indian Territory, to take charge of the Cherokee Male Seminary, which work he conducted for two years. He then became convinced that the national schools were not doing for the Indian young people what might be done by a Christian school. He resigned his position with the Male Seminary and received permission to open a school in the Baptist Mission house at Tahlequah. He began February 9,
1880 with three students. The school was chartered as Indian University, and continued as such until after the death of President Bacone when it became known as Bacone College, in honor of the founder. In 1885 the school was moved to its present site near Muskogee.
On November 27, 1886, President Bacone led in the organization of the Indian University Baptist Church, Rev. David Crosby being the first pastor, for as yet there was no Baptist church in Muskogee. In 1890 the church organization was moved to Muskogee and so became the First Baptist Church of that city.
President Bacone was interested in all Baptist work in the Indian Territory. He aided in organizing the Baptist Territorial Convention and invariably attended its meetings. For many years he was an officer of the Convention and gave it his heartiest support. The academies at Tahlequah, Atoka and among the blanket Indians shared in his great interest in educational matters. For sixteen years he was one of the most important and useful factors in all Baptist interests in the territory.
He died April 22, 1896, after sixteen years of service as president of Indian University, now Bacone College.
President Bacone made a great contribution in time, service and of his own means in the education of both Whites and Indians in the early years of Bacone College. His students revered and loved him as a father and hundreds rise up to call him blessed. - B. D. W.
J. W. Solomon
J. W. Solomon was born in Tennessee, August 26, 1852, but grew up in Clinton County, Kentucky. His father was a Baptist preacher. The son was left an orphan at the age of six. He arranged later to work until he was twenty-one for a well-known citizen of that county who encouraged him to study. Most of the time he had no lamp, not even pine knots, and much of his studying was done by the light of the fire of old fence rails. He moved to
Texas and lived a number of years in Collin County. Forty-one years ago he and his wife moved from Collin County to Greer County (then in Texas, now in Oklahoma).
At that time there were no church houses in Greer County and about the only residences were "dug-outs." Later he built a log house with a dirt floor and dirt roof. He traveled over the country as a missionary in a two-wheel cart. Except for one or two years he never received over $250 salary. Frequently as missionary he was gone frcm home six weeks at a time. J. W. Solomon did a great work in laying the foundations in Southwest Oklahoma.
All the way along the pioneer preacher held meetings and helped to build 24 houses. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Oklahoma Baptist University until a few years ago at which time his son, Professor L. E. Solomon, became a member of the faculty. He served on many important boards and committees.
On February 15, 1930, he fell on sleep and was at Home with his Lord.
E. D. Cameron
Evan Dhu Cameron was born February 26, 1862, in Richmond County, North Carolina and departed this lifs July 29, 1923, at Tahlequah, Oklahoma. "Christ at the Door" was the subject he had selected for the morning sermon, but the Master took him inside the door just five minutes before he was to begin speaking his message.
Dr. Cameron was first of all a preacher of the Gospel and after that he was a statesman and a world citizen. He was a pioneer in the work of education in Oklahoma. He was territorial superintendent of education from 1893 to 1897, and was state superintendent of public instruction four years. He was the honored president of the Indian Territory Baptist Convention in 1905 and 1906. He served as pastor of the following churches in Oklahoma: McAlester, Sulphur, Guthrie, Okmulgee, Central, Muskogee, Claremore, Checotah, Henryetta, and Tahlequah, covering a period of twenty-two years. - Annual Convention, 1923.
W. D. Moorer
William Durant Moorer was born at Orangeburg, S. C., April 13, 1868. He died at Shawnee, Oklahoma, May 8, 1922. He was awarded the following degrees: A. B. Furman University 1892; Th. B. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 1895; D. D. Oklahoma Baptist College and Oklahoma Baptist University.
Dr. Moorer came to Oklahoma in 1902 and was missionary pastor, under the Co-operative Boards, at Okarche and Anadarko. He served as State Sunday School Secretary 1906-1920. He was professor of Christianity in Oklahoma Baptist University from the reorganization in 1915 to his death in 1922.
He "fought a good fight, he kept the faith," hence, he wears "the crown of righteousness laid up" for him. He was a scholar, an efficient teacher, and a denominational builder, but above all a good man. The challenge of his sacrificial service and the inspiration of his conquering faith abide in the spirit and organic genius of Oklahoma Baptist University. He loved the school; lived for it and virtually died for it. His students, fellow-teachers, and brethren throughout Oklahoma and the Southern Baptist Convention cherish his memory and mourn his loss. - 1922 Annual of Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
[From E. C. Routh, The Story of Oklahoma Baptists, 1932. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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