Thirty-eighth Annual Conference of the Nebraska Methodist Episcopal Church

Thirty-eighth Annual Conference of the
Nebraska Methodist Episcopal Church

Held September 20-26, 1898 in Fairbury, Nebraska
Source: Fairbury Gazette Issues dated Sept. 24 & Oct 1, 1898

The Nebraska M. E Conference.

This has been a week of unusual activity among the churches and church people of the city, it being the occasion of the thirty-eighth annual session of the Nebraska Methodist Episcopal church conference, and something over two hundred delegates are bing entertained by the good people of the city at their homes. Without regard to denomination the hospitality has been extended to the distinguished guests. The weather has been simply perfect for the occasion, and the local committee on arrangements under the leadership of Rev. J A Barker has received unstinted praise. They have arranged the multifarious details with such care and precision that the work of the conference has been greatly facilitated.

The exercises of this evening were in honor of the Epworth League anniversary, and although not a part of the conference proper, is so closely allied to church interests that the distinction is only in formality. The meeting was presided over by L. O. Jones, state president of the organization, and was addressed by Dr. Edwin A Schell of Chicago, its general secretary for the United States. Mr. Schell was one of the early settlers of Jefferson county, having at one time taught school at the junction northwest of town. But as he electrified the audience with his eloquence on this occasion, he bore a very small likeness to the struggling coutnry school teacher of twenty-five years ago. Mr. Schell has won a national fame as an orator and church worker, and it is all the more deserved because his forunes have been carved out with his own hands. His address was one of the finest ever delivered from any pulpit in this city, and was by far the best that has been delivered before the conference thus far. The musical features of the evening were a soprano solo by Miss Trannie andrews, accompanied by her sister on the violin and Miss Daisy Tolleth on the organ, also two selection excellently rendered by a ladies quartet of this city.

At 9:30 this morning the conference proper was formally opened by Bishop Fitzgerald, and the first half hour devoted to devotion exercises and administering of the sacrament.

W.P. Freeman on behalf of the churches of the city and Dr. Buxton for the ministers of the city delivered addresses of welcome, which were responded to by the Bishop.

Rev. Lewis Curts D. D. delivered an address on the public interests of the church.

Rev. O. W. Fifer was elected conference secretary and D. C. Phillips statistical secretary.

The Bishop announced the follwing transfers into the conference; W.B. Warren from the Northwest Indiana conference, F.L. Harman from the Missouri conference and A.G. Farman and B.W. Marsh from the West Nebraska conference.

F.M. Estabrook was elected conference trustee and the standing committees were announced and confirmed.

Rev. W.T. Smith, general missionary secretary, made a short address on the needs of the work of his department.

When the Lincoln district was called, H.T. Davis, presiding elder, reported the case of C.W. Ellenwood, ex-chancellor of the Wesleyan University, who was charged with the misappropriation of the funds of the University, and the matter was referred to a committee of eleven for trial, George I. Wright acting as chairman of the committee on moderation. W.R. Halstead and G.W. Isham conducted the prosecution and G.W. Abbott and F.D. Sheets of Chicago appeared for the defendant.

Wednesday evening session was a missionary service. Dr. J.C. Hobbs presided and the business of the election of officers for the ensuing year was first conducted and resulted as follows; J.C. Hobbs, president; J.W. Stewart, secretary; Wm. Worley, treasurer.

The past treasurer's report was then read, which showed a grand total of receipts of missionary funds for this district during the past year to be $6,397, or a total increase over the preceding year of $1,036, every charge in the district having contributed to the increase.

R.D. Russell of this city sang "Jesus Lover of My Soul" as a tenor solo, with most excellent effect.

Dr. W.T. Smith, general secretary of the missionary society, was the speaker of the evening and presented many new thoughts and arguments for the prosecution of missionary work in foreign fields. He alluded to the result of our war with Spain as a wonderful step toward the salvation of the world, and when in the course of his eulogy of the work of the war department he had occasion tomention the name of President William McKinley, a vociferous applause of several seconds duration came from the front seats where the ministers sat, and was caught up and re-echoed from every part of the building.

The morning session was mostly taken up with routine work, such as presiding elders' reports, reports of committees, etc. A short time before noon, Mrs. F.L. Parker, a missionary from Helsingfarst, Finland, was introduced and made a short address upon the needs of her work there and in other parts of Russia.

At 4 o'clock in the afternoon the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society held an anniversary service, Miss Matilda Watson, secretary of the Topeka branch of that organization presiding. Miss Wikinson, a returned missionary from Fu Chow, China, delivered a very interesting address as did also Mrs. Parker of Finland. The audience was greatly amused by the rendition a song in the Chinese language.

The exercises of the evening were conducted by representatives of the Freedmen's Aid Society. Rev. Richard Pearson presided and after the rendition of a beautiful anthem by the choir and "America' by the audience, the treasurer's report for the past year was read, showing a total receipt of $559, as against $600 the preceding year, a total decrease of $49.

Dr. Reese, who is one of the most prominent Freedmen's Aid workers in the United States, delivered the main address of the evening which was argumentative and interesting, and appealed to the audience with irresistable force for a liberal collection at the close of the service.

At the conclusion of his remarks Mrs. FL. Parker was again introduced to thank the conference for their liberal missionary collection in the afternoon, stating that it had amounted to over seventy-five dollars.

The morning session was almost entirely taken up with the reports of presiding elders and preachers, and in the afternoon at 4 o'clock the conference sermon was preached by Rev. Richard Pearson, formerly a pastor of this charge, but now of Crete.

The following resolutions presented by P.C. Johnson and john Gallagher were unanimously endorsed amid great enthusiasm.

We, the members of the Nebraska conference in conference assembled, desire to express in this formal manner our appreciation of the wise patriotism and Christian humanitarianism of our president, Wm. McKinley and congress, in all their relations to and mangagement of the late conflict with Spain.

Further that we desire to convey to the army and navy our thanks for their Heroic service in behalf of our country. That we are especially glad to note the recognition on their part of those sentiments of God's providential care and presence, and of generous compassion to those who have been our enemies in this war.

We further note what we believe to be the Divine intent shown in the result thus far obtained, that these United States shall become in deed and in truth a leader among the nations of the earth, in liberty and righteousness.

And that we are unalterably opposed to any settlement of the dispostion of the Phillippines and other islands that does not grant to their people absolute religious freedom.

And lastly, we do hereby record our thanks to Almighty God for the victories accorded our nation, and at the same time earnestly pray that those who have been, as we believe, in the wrong, may be amoung those to whom defeat shall yet come to be a blessing from God.

On last evening Russell Post G.A.R. gave a campfire in Steele's opera house, in honor of the twenty-five ministers who are veterans of the Rebellion. We go to press too early to record the proceedings.

The announcement of the appointments for the coming year will probably not occur before Monday morning. In fact it is authoratively stated that several appointments may not be definitely settled upon before the cabinet meeting which immediatley precedes the announcements.

Although not officially announded by the Bishop, the GAZETTE can state upon positive authority that Dr. Fletcher Wharton of Toledo, Ohio, has been transferred to this conference and will be appointed to St. Paul's church in Lincoln. The information was given a reporter by a member of the cabinet who was not averse to our using it in advance of the official announcement.

The various pulpits of the city will be filled by the conference delegates tomorrow as follows:
PRESBYTERIAN-Morning, Rev. R.T. Chipperfield; evening, Rev. G.W. Isham.
BAPTIST-Morning, Rev. Rev. C.S. Dudley; evening, Rev. G.W. Abbott.
CHRISTIAN-Morning, Dr. A.J. Kynett of Philadelphia; evening, Rev. C.M. Shepherd.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL-9:30 a. m., Love Feast; 10:30, sermon, Bishop Fitzgerald; 2:30 p.m., Ordination fo Deacon and Elder; 7:30 p.m. Anniversary of Superannuated in charge of Dr. P.C. Johnson.

----------End of September 24, 1898 issue, beginning of October 1, 1898 issue--------

Closing Conference Session

Our report of the M.E. conference last week did not include the camp fire given by Russell Post G.A. R. in honor of the ministerial post, in Steele's hall on Friday evening. This was one of the most enjoyable events of the whole week. There were twenty-five veterans amon the members of the conference who constituted the guests of honor on this occasion.

Commander Steele of Russell post, delivered the address of welcome, which was responded to by P.C. Johnson, commander of the ministerial post. This was followed by fifteen short addresses.

The routine work of the conference was nearly completed with this day's session.

The following new members were received into the conference on trial: W.C. Swartz, C.D. Metcalf, I.W. Kenagy, Geo, Was, T.H. Lillie, H.V. Price and G.W. Ayers.

The following were taken into full membership, their trial terms having expired: A.N. Hollingworth, R.A. Barnes and M.R. Crisp.

It was decided to hold the next annual conference in Grace church at Lincoln.

At 4 p.m. the Woman's Home Missionary society held its anniversary service, Mrs. R Hyde, president, presiding. The following program was rendered:

Song Scripture reading--Mrs. Thomas.
Prayer--Mrs. Fowler.
Treasurer's report--Mrs. Gates.
Song--Ladies quartette.
Paper--Mrs. L.H. Evans.
Talk--Mrs. J.R. Woodcock, corresponding secretary of the society.
Collection--Rev. Kemper.

In the evening Rev. A.J. Kynett spoke in the interest of the Church Extension society. Mr. Kynett has been the secretary of the at organization almost since its organization some thirty-four years ago, and is very proficietn in the work, although his talk on this occasion was a trite prosy.

Sunday the various pulpits of the city were filled by the best talent the conference afforded and the attendance at worship was uncommonly large, but the sermon attracting the most attention was of course the one delivered by Bishop Fitzgerald in the Methodist church in the forenoon. The church was crowded to its fullest capacity and very many were turned away. The Bishop is a very deep thinker and logical reasoner. His sermon was listened to with marked interest.

In the afternoon the ordination of deacons and elders occurred and the Bishop delivered the charge to the newly ordained.

The closing hours of the conference was full of business. Resolutions were passed censuring the management of the Omaha exposition in the strongest terms for keeping the gates open on Sunday and for allowing intoxicants to be sold on the grounds, also thanking the conference officers for their efficient work, the citizens of Fairbury for their hospitality, the press of the city for courtesies and Rev. and Mrs. J.A. Barker for their efficient service in perfecting the preliminaries.

At 11:30 the closing exercises of Scripture reading and prayer was held, after which the Bishop read the following appointments for the ensuing conference year:

G W Isham, presiding elder, Beatrice.
Alexandria--T H Lillie.
Beatrice--Centenary, C S Dudley; LaSalle street, D C Phillips
Belvidere--F H Winter.
Blue Springs--E J Randall.
Burchard--Geo Wash.
Burress--To be supplied.
Chester--U G Brown.
Crab Orchard--L G Parker.
Daykin--H B Seymour
DeWitt--J R Gettys.
Diller--T M Ransom.
Dubois--H Zinneeker.
Ellis--G M Andrews.
Fairbury--J A Barker.
Filley--C E Rowe.
Hebron-- H G wilcox.
Holmesville--J E Rippetore.
Hubbell and Reynolds--W Cowley.
Liberty--W H Stanley.
Odell--F Deal.
Ohiowa--P.C. Johnson.
Pawnee City--J W Stewart.
Plato--W W Hull.
Steele City--F E Smith.
Sterling--J P Badgely.
Swanton--L D Willard.
Tobias--W N Simpson.
Vesta--M C Smith.
Western--L L Lowe.
Wilber--O T Moore.
Wymore--J R Woodcock.

W B Alexander, presiding elder, Hastings.
Ayr--W C Swartz.
Blue Hill--G W Hammell.
Bromfield--A N Hollingworth.
Carleton--C P Metcalf.
Clay Center--F W Bean.
Cowles--J G Day.
Davenport--W H Mills.
Deweese--R H Thompson.
Doniphan--C L Hamilton.
Edgar--W J Scott.
Exeter--T S Fowler.
Fairfield--R N Orrill.
Fairmont--C B Lenfest.
Geneva--F A Colony.
Grafton--N H Davis.
Guide Rock--E J Bird.
Hardy--E F Darby.
Harvard--A W Shamel.
Hastings--G W Abbott.
Inland--To be supplied.
Juniata--E L Wolff.
Kenesaw--M A Wimberly.
Lawrence--C S Burr.
Nelson--J W Seabrook.
Oak--J G Walker.
Ong--C W Wells.
Red Cloud--J M Darby; Red Cloud circuit, A G Blackwell.
Roseland--A E Chadwith.
Smyrna--To be supplied.
Sutton--P H Smith.

H.T. Davis, presiding elder, Lincoln.
Alvo--W H Shoal.
Ashland--W M Worley.
Bennett--L Jean.
Cedar Bluffs--R A Barnes.
Crete--R Pearson.
Ceresco--J W Warfield.
Davey--T C Priestly.
Dorchester--J W Royse.
Eagle--E R Adriance.
Elmwood--W H Turrell.
Friend--T H Worley.
Greenwood--L F Harman.
Havelock--E L Barch.
Ithica--A M Perry.
Lincoln--Asbury, H E Bromwell;  Bethel, C H Dalrymple;  Emmanuel, J W Embree;
Epworth, A B Grossman,  Grace, L T Guild;  North Lincoln and Arbor, C E Ruch;  
St. Paul, F L Wharton;  Trinity, R T Chipperfield.
Normal--A P Hull.
Mead--I W Kenagy.
Raymond--A G Forman.
Roca--H F Smith.
Prairie Home--T B Newburn.
Sharon--R E Howard.
University Place--B W Marsh.
Valparaiso--A S Bull.
Victoria--C D Metcalf.
Wahoo--J W Swain.
Waverly--G L Hosford.
Weston--N C Lawyer.
Nebraska Wesleyan University--D.W.C. Huntington, chancellor;  F M Esterbrook, treasurer;  
W T Cline,  F A Stuff, A W Partch, professors;  J T Roberts, Bible agent;  W H Prescott, 
conference evangelist.

P Van Fleet, presiding elder, Nebraska City.
Adams, Duke Slavens.
Auburn, John Gallagher.
Brock and Talmage, J G Stanard.
Brownville and Nemaha, C H Gilmore.
Cook, D S Davis.
Douglas, A V Wilson.
Elk Creek, William Van Buren.
Falls City, J S W Dean.
Humboldt, W Warren.
Highland, C F Alden.
Johnson, S Goldsmith.
Louisville, John Calver.
Nebraska City--C M Shepherd.
Nehawka, D Fetz.
Palmyra, H W Cope.
Peru, J H N Cobb.
Plattsmouth, F A Campbell.
Rulo, James Barron.
Salem, H Curtis.
Smartville and Trinity, M Eaton.
Stella and Howe, George Shuman.
Sterling, M De Motte.
South Bend, Murdock and Wabash, C L Myers.
Syracuse, D B Lake.
Table Rock, G M Gates.
Tecumseh, A B Whitmer.
Union, A L Folden.
Weeping Water, J K Maxfield.

A C Crosthwaite, presiding elder, York.
Arborville, S L Hawkins.
Aurora, G H Moulton.
Beaver Crossing, J A Chapin.
Bellwood, T A Hull.
Bradshaw, H G Claycomb.
Brainard, J A Nichols.
David City, G I Wright.
Emerald, To be supplied.
Garrison, Frank Mills.
Gresham and Benedict, S T Walker.
Linwood, S Kieser.
Marquette, G W Ayres.
McCook and Charleston, M P Crisp.
Milford, C E Giwits.
Osceola, L F Smith.
Phillips, H V Price.
Platte Valley, J A Larkin.
Pleasant Dale, A J Marsh.
Rising City, G M Jones.
Seward, J F Kemper.
Shelby, E D Gideon. 
Stockham, W K Williams.
Stromsburg, J H Presson.
Surprise, D P Klive.
Ulysses, G M Morey.
Utica, L Morrison.
Waco and Thayer, R E Neal.
York, O W Fifer;  York Circuit, C L Smith.
G C Cobb, missionary to Korea;  W J Calfee and F R Hollenback attending school.

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