When Isaac Van Horn, the Northwest’s first Adventist minister, left the region the denominational leaders asked Charles L. Boyd to take his place as president of the North Pacific Conference with its five churches and 123 members. Boyd was previously president of the Nebraska Conference until his transfer to the Northwest.
A small group of Seventh-day Adventists formed in the Walla Walla Valley in the late 1860s. Because they were nearly 1,000 miles from the nearest Adventist church or minister, they soon wrote the headquarters of the young denomination requesting a pastor. With limited finances and a shortage of pastors, the leaders could not justify sending a minister to this remote and lightly populated frontier. So the request was ignored for five long years.
Joseph Hermanus Warrington Laurence was a pioneer minister all his life. He lost his father soon after his birth on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, in 1885, and was raised by his mother and stepfather as an Episcopalian. Against his mother’s wishes, he was baptized at 15. When news of his baptism got around the island, he was expelled from the Episcopal School where his stepfather was the headmaster and he was a student and part-time teacher. He was kicked out of his home and had nowhere to go to complete his education. A pastor from Grand Junction, Colorado, who came to St.
Around the turn of the century, a number of Seventh-day Adventists traveled to Alaska to find wealth and adventure. Walter Sutherland, fourth president of Walla Walla College, along with Theodore Andrews, a teacher at the college, quit their jobs in 1900 and headed up north to the gold fields. Soon after arriving, Andrews drowned in a river and Sutherland returned home without ever finding any of the precious metal. About the same time Jasper N. Sylvester, a blacksmith and grandfather of H.M.S.
At the young age of 16, Caroline Maxson married James Franklin Wood and the newlyweds along with Caroline’s parents, Stephen and Lois Maxson, moved to the frontier of Nebraska. In 1859, the two families purchased covered wagons and headed to the Pikes Peak gold rush in Colorado. Along the way they heard discouraging accounts of the “gold rush” and decided instead to go to the newly opened up frontier of the Walla Walla Valley in Washington Territory.
At the age of 20, Alonzo T. Jones left his home in Rockhill, Ohio, and enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served in the Southwest before being transferred to Fort Vancouver in the Northwest. In January 1873, his company was transferred to northern California to reinforce existing troops who were attempting to dislodge 50 Modoc Indians from lava beds near Tule Lake and return them to their reservation.
During the 1870s and 1880s, the General Conference transferred at least 12 ministers from the East to the Pacific Northwest to help establish an Adventist presence in this remote mission field. A few of these missionary ministers were Isaac Van Horn and George Colcord (Michigan), Charles Boyd and J. Bartlett (Nebraska), Henry Decker (Wisconsin) and Daniel T. Fero (Pennsylvania). By the early 1890s, Northwestern Adventism was strong enough to begin repaying this debt by sending young as well as seasoned ministers to the mission fields of the world.
The spread of the Adventist message throughout the Pacific Northwest can be traced back to the blessings of God and the dedication and hard work of individuals like Thomas H. Starbuck. Through his life he served as a church elder, builder of both an academy and church in Portland, college professor, academy principal, Book and Bible House worker, and minister.
When Thomas was a teenager, his parents joined the Adventist movement after attending evangelistic meetings in Iowa conducted by B.F. Snook. The children, however, did not embrace their parents' new beliefs.
Whether you live in the Willamette Valley, the interior of Alaska, downtown Seattle or eastern Montana, chances are you spent several years in a small town in eastern Washington called College Place. The reason is simple—Walla Walla College.
The college's Conard Hall has sheltered hundreds of collegiate women over the years, and the story behind its name is both amazing and inspiring.
By the mid-1880s, the Seventh-day Adventist Church had established a presence in the eastern (Great Plains) and western (West Coast) portions of the American West, but was just beginning to target the more challenging regions—like the Catholic-dominated Southwest, Utah with its Mormon population, and the isolated territories of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. In 1886, the General Conference assigned the Montana Territory to the Upper Columbia Conference, which already included the eastern portions of Washington Territory and Oregon and all of the Idaho Territory.