History of the First Baptist Church, Baker City Oregon
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The first Baptist church in Baker City was organized December 7, 1874, Rev. L. H. Boothe was chairman of the meeting and Prof. S. P. Barrett clerk. The members present were Hardin Estes, Perlina Estes, Arthur Smith, Mary Kilbourn, Samuel Gaines, Mary Gaines, Prof. Barrett, Mary Barrett and Delazon Smith.
Prof. Barrett served as clerk until July 1875, then Arthur Smith about two years, followed by F. Baird for four years. Mrs. F. E. Small was chosen clerk March 15, 1884, and was succeeded by Wilbur Finch April 20, 1888. Frank Baird was clerk from February 1889 to March 1890, and Miss. E. C. Sturgill from then till January 1892, and J. F. Porter from January till September, and N. E. Darling from September to the present time.
Rev. E. P. Waltz, the first pastor of the church came from Monroe County Mo., arriving at Baker City January 2, 1875. The 20th day of March he was chosen pastor in charge and served in that capacity ten years. After Mr. Waltz resigned there was no regular pastor in charge until May 29, 1887, the Rev. Geo. H. Brown was chosen. C. N. Burnham was pastor from May to October 1889, and J. M. Haskell from October to December. George T. Ellis, the present pastor, took charge in June 1890.
In 1882 the construction of a house of worship was undertaken, and in 1885, the present structure, northwest corner Center and Third Street was finished and dedicated free from debt. The house is a frame building, 30 x 60 feet, costing about $3500 including the grounds.
The 30th day of September 1882, the Ladies -aid society of the Baptist church was organized, through whose exertions funds have been raised to purchase a bell, an organ and various other things for the use of the church amounting altogether to $1000. Subsequently the Woman’s Home and Foreign missionary society of the Baptist church was organized.
A good Sunday school is maintained, and a Young People’s Union consisting of about seventy members.
A parsonage of eight rooms was built in 1890, at a cost of $1000, the money being raised by subscription.
The value of the church property is estimated at $5500.
Since the organization of the church there has been added by baptism 115.
Present membership 157.
The Wingville Baptist church was organized in 1882. Number of members reported in 1892, 34, A. Smith, clerk.
The Haines Baptist church was organized in 1886. Number of members reported in 1892, 117. Value of church property $2450.
A Sunday school of 191 pupils is maintained by the church. J. E. Horn, pastor. J. K. Fisher, clerk.
In 1889 a Baptist church was organized at Pleasant Valley. Number of members in 1892, 9. A Sunday school of 17 pupils is maintained. Mrs. M. E. Estes, of Pleasant Valley, clerk.