Meeting of Oklahoma Indian Baptist Associationp. 12
Missionary Harry Bock
The Home Field Journal, 1913
THE OKLAHOMA Indian Baptist Association held its 16th annual session at Pawnee. Oklahoma, July 24-27, meeting with the Pawnee Indian Baptist Mission Church.
This association is composed of delegates from the Arapaho, Apache, Caddo, Comanche, Kiowa, Osage, Wichita, Cheyenne, Sac and Fox, and Pawnee Indian Baptist churches in Oklahoma, and the Crows in Montana, and Hopis in Arizona. These latter send letters giving statistics and telling of their progres[s], but are not often able to send messengers, owing to the great distance from places of meeting.
The association was formed with four Indian churches, representing a membership of two hundred and nine.
The reports for the year 1912-1913 show that there were 105 baptisms, thirty-six deaths, and three thousand four hundred fifty-six dollars and ninety-two cents given to all phases of Christian work. Principally for mission work.
There were about one hundred messengers present from the seventeen churches. Two new churches, which had been recently organized, one among the Sac and Fox Indians by G. Lee Phelps, and one among the Cheyennes by G. W. Hicks, came into the association.
The Pawnee Indians and their missionary had made ample preparations for the gathering, and every detail was carried out beautifully. They had secured an Ideal place for the gathering, - the pavilion on the Pawnee County fair grounds, electricially [sic] lighted, with ample seating capacity and every convenience.
The meals for the white visitors and missionaries were served in the old Methodist mission house, that has become the property of the Home Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, and is used by the Pawnee mission as an "eating house," that being one of the necessary adjuncts to the work. Many of the Indians come In to the mission on Saturday, and stay over until Monday, so a place to prepare and eat meals Is necessary.
A good spiritual interest was shown from the start, that business could not crush. So much of the regular associational business was left undone, and must be attended to later on by the executive committee.
Each day bad four services. Sunrise prayer meeting at six, morning service at nine, afternoon service at two, night service from eight to ten or later. Thus were the days full of earnest prayer, and "Jesus talk" and work.
The sunrise prayer meetings were led by Indians, excepting the Sunday morning hour, which was led by Miss Ina Shaw, of Topeka, Kansas. The average attendance at these meetings was eighty-five.
Friday morning the following officers were elected for the new year: Moderator, Rev. J. A Day, missionary to the Osage Indians; treasurer, Miss Mary P. Jayne, missionary to the Cheyenne Indians. After which Mr. Nellis, the Indian agent at Pawnee, and Mr. David Gillingham, the Interpreter for Missionary Harry Bock, spoke words of welcome to the association.
Mr. Nellis, Indian Commissioner, said that the work among the Pawnee Indians was wonderful considering the trying conditions under which it was established. After twenty years of experience in Indian work, he says that better work has been dome at this mission than at any point at which he has been stationed. He attributes the success to the sane, practical methods used by the missionaries who have been in charge. He says the success of the work is shown not only in actual membership, but In the daily life of the Pawnees, the conditions of their homes, treatment of their sick and in every way.
The afternoon and night sessions were devoted to Jesus talks by Indians, and missionaries. Saturday morning from the sunrise prayer meeting hour, until the closing hour, 11 p. m., the Spirit of God was mightily manifest. No business could be done as the time seemed ripe for reaping, and the way the Christian Indians of the different tribes present prayed, sang and exhorted was little short of wonderful, when we remember that but a few short years ago, these same
men were scheming how best to outwit each other in deadly warfare. Now the Spirit of Jesus has possession of their lives, and they are anxious. O, so anxious! to lead their people into the “Jesus way.”
This same earnestness was manifest Sunday morning and continued unabated until noon, when thirty-three had come Into the Jesus way.
After dinner, the candidates for immersion were questioned by the missionaries and members of the church, and all were accepted, and at five p. m. we repaired to the water, a beautiful lake in the center field of the fair grounds, and thirty-three were buried with Christian baptism. Rev. D. Noble Crane says of this scene: "We had the largest baptismal scene Sunday afternoon that I have witnessed In Oklahoma. It was in keeping with the times of John the Baptist at Jordan, when Jerusalem, Judea and all about Jordan went out to him.”
The following visitors were with us part of the time: Rev. I. N. Clark, D.D., district secretary A. B. F. M. S.; Rev. J. F. Love, D.D., Dallas, Texas, assistant secretary H. B. S. B. C.; E. D. Cameron, J. M. Wiley, Miss Inn Shaw, Topeka, Kansas; Prof. Sharp, Bacone, Oklahoma; Miss Mattie Curtis. Oklahoma City, and Miss Anna H. Nelson, missionary to the Hopi Indians, Arizona.
Missionaries present, E. C. Deyo, Commanche; Ira D. Halverson, Kiowa; H. H. Treat, Kiowa; J. A. Day, Osage; Robert Hamilton, Cheyenne; D. Noble Crane, Osage; H. H. Clouse, Kiowa; F. L. King, Arapaho; G. W. Hicks, Caddo; W. A. Wilkins, Caddo; G. Lee Phelps, Sac and Fox; Miss Mithoff, Kiowa; Miss Brown, Sac and Fox; Miss Mary P. Jayne, Cheyenne; Miss Grace Clifford, Osage.
The expense of the association for the Pawnee church was $520, $25 of this was contributed by the Osage mission, the rest was all given by the Pawnee Indian Christians. All bills have been paid, and a small balance remains which will be used in moving and repairing the old Methodist chapel from its present location, to one more suitable, across the street, back of our chapel.
==========[From Victor I. Masters, editor, The Home Field Journal, September, 1913, pp. 12-13; via Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives digital documents. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.] More on American Indian Missions
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