Upper Columbia Conference Celebrates 125 years

Upper Columbia Conference Celebrates 125 years The Upper Columbia Conference celebrated its 125th anniversary in the Walla Walla Valley the weekend of June 17–18, at Walla Walla College. The celebration took place at the church’s annual camp meeting and included a dramatization depicting how the church was organized in 1880 and what life was like for people in the Walla Walla Valley in those days. There was also an 1880s-style Sabbath School and several other historical features. The dramatization featured full costumes and language used at the 1880 camp meeting in Milton, Ore., which was attended by two of the worldwide Adventist Church’s founders, Ellen G. White and Stephen Haskell. At that time, the Walla Walla Valley had just four Adventist churches and 119 members and was considered a very remote frontier. On Sabbath morning, the Sabbath School was conducted the way it would have been in the 1880s. “Much has changed since then,” says Doug Johnson, historian, “but we still conduct camp meetings and look forward to the return of Jesus.” Those who attended camp meeting received a free historical booklet with a decade-by-decade history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the inland Northwest. The booklet contains nearly 100 historical photographs from around the Upper Columbia Conference. A self-guided history tour package was also created to guide people to Adventist historical sites throughout the inland Northwest. The history tour package is available through Upper Columbia Adventist Book Center stores. It includes directions to 64 historical sites as well as audiotapes and audio CDs with human-interest stories for each location. Many of the sites also have geocaches for those interested in the geocaching sport. The keynote speaker for the two-day event was Jim Nix, Ellen G. White Estate director. Speaking on Friday and Sabbath evenings, he shared many inspirational stories from the life of Ellen White and other historical church information. During his meetings on Friday night, an old-fashioned pump organ was used to play hymns that were special favorites of James and Ellen White. All of the living, current and former Upper Columbia Conference presidents shared their memories of UCC ministry at special meeting on Sabbath afternoon. Former conference presidents Richard Fearing and Don Reynolds also presented the Sabbath School lesson at the Walla Walla College Church and the College Place Village Church respectively. Former conference president Jere Patzer, now the North Pacific Union Conference president, spoke for the worship service in the Walla Walla College Church. The Sabbath afternoon service concluded with a reunion concert of about 40 former members of the WWC Messengers, a Walla Walla College men's quartet, directed by Mike Loewen, that toured the Pacific Northwest on behalf of the college.

Upper Columbia Conference

Celebrates 125 years

The Upper Columbia Conference celebrated its 125th anniversary in the Walla Walla Valley the weekend of June 17–18, at Walla Walla College. The celebration took place at the church’s annual camp meeting and included a dramatization depicting how the church was organized in 1880 and what life was like for people in the Walla Walla Valley in those days. There was also an 1880s-style Sabbath School and several other historical features.

The dramatization featured full costumes and language used at the 1880 camp meeting in Milton, Ore., which was attended by two of the worldwide Adventist Church’s founders, Ellen G. White and Stephen Haskell. At that time, the Walla Walla Valley had just four Adventist churches and 119 members and was considered a very remote frontier.

On Sabbath morning, the Sabbath School was conducted the way it would have been in the 1880s. “Much has changed since then,” says Doug Johnson, historian, “but we still conduct camp meetings and look forward to the return of Jesus.”

Those who attended camp meeting received a free historical booklet with a decade-by-decade history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the inland Northwest. The booklet contains nearly 100 historical photographs from around the Upper Columbia Conference.

A self-guided history tour package was also created to guide people to Adventist historical sites throughout the inland Northwest. The history tour package is available through Upper Columbia Adventist Book Center stores. It includes directions to 64 historical sites as well as audiotapes and audio CDs with human-interest stories for each location. Many of the sites also have geocaches for those interested in the geocaching sport.

The keynote speaker for the two-day event was Jim Nix, Ellen G. White Estate director. Speaking on Friday and Sabbath evenings, he shared many inspirational stories from the life of Ellen White and other historical church information. During his meetings on Friday night, an old-fashioned pump organ was used to play hymns that were special favorites of James and Ellen White.

All of the living, current and former Upper Columbia Conference presidents shared their memories of UCC ministry at special meeting on Sabbath afternoon. Former conference presidents Richard Fearing and Don Reynolds also presented the Sabbath School lesson at the Walla Walla College Church and the College Place Village Church respectively.

Former conference president Jere Patzer, now the North Pacific Union Conference president, spoke for the worship service in the Walla Walla College Church.

The Sabbath afternoon service concluded with a reunion concert of about 40 former members of the WWC Messengers, a Walla Walla College men's quartet, directed by Mike Loewen, that toured the Pacific Northwest on behalf of the college.

September 01, 2005 / Upper Columbia Conference
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