Blue Earth Co., Eagle Lake, 1/8 mile from train station Map
Find it today: Editor's best guess is that the camp ground was probably between the tracks and Leray Avenue
THE MINNESOTA CAMP-MEETING. We are now, June 21, in the midst of the cotton village, on the Minnesota camp-ground. One of two things is evident, either our brethren are becoming more interested in camp-meeting occasions, or our cause is very perceptibly growing in all the States. We said one of these is true. We should say both; for we believe this is the case.
Meeting commenced at the appointed time yesterday. And at this early point in the meeting fifty tents are up, and more expected. The campers exhibit the same good hope, courage, and confidence in the work, that-we have seen in other places. The weather is fine. The meeting has started in well in every particular.
U. S. (Uriah Smith) – Review and Herald, June 29, 1876
THE MINNESOTA CAMP-MEETING. This meeting has proved an astonishment both to its friends and its foes. Brethren continued to come in from the commencement, til there were fifty-four church and family tents erected. Two of these were forty-foot tents, occupied by seventeen families, and rated as equal to four common tents each. This would make the tenting capacity equal to about sixty tents. Besides these, there were some twenty covered wagons used for tenting purposes in the rear of the main tent circle. A census of each tent's company showed the number present to be five hundred and fifty, with scattering ones enough to make the number up to six hundred. It was the largest camp-meeting we have attended outside of Michigan.
And the character of the meeting was good in proportion to its size. The social meetings were lively and spirited, as many as eighty-five sometimes speaking in the allotted hour. Of great interest among these were the testimonies of quite a number who here committed themselves fully for the first time to the truth. The words of Eld. H. W. Babcock, S. D. Baptist, in one of the social meetings, were sound and to the point. He advised all inquirers for truth not to be afraid of investigation. He said he could assure them that so far as the doctrines of S. D. Adventists were concerned there were no lions in the way, and nothing that would harm them by looking into these things, and coming in contact with them. He had received light, and experienced much joy in the society of these brethren. Others, not of our faith, were constrained to testify that the Spirit of the Lord was in the meeting, and that this was the people of God. From one neighborhood, eight who had come to the meeting, interested but not decided, all took their stand fully on the side of truth. This was a meeting of much joy and praise to the Lord.
The general interest among the people, and power of the appeals to the unconverted and backsliders is shown in the fact that about one hundred and fifty came forward for prayers. Twenty-two were baptized. More would have gone forward in that ordinance, but all were advised, as far as possible, to perform this duty in their own churches at home.
Friday, A. M., Eld. Babcock spoke from 2 Cor. 5:14. With words which commended themselves to all who heard, he dwelt upon the fact that all who loved Christ would be willing to accept of his truth, from whatever source, and by whatever means he might see fit to send it to us. It might not be presented in the smoothest language or the most polished phrase, but if it is the truth we should be none the loss willing to receive it. Not many doctors of divinity are willing to learn and practice the simple and humble truths of God's word; and he who is willing is, in the hands of God, a more effective agent than the one too proud to learn; for he can make no use of such. The entire discourse was listened to by all with the greatest pleasure.
The growth of the cause in Minnesota has been most encouraging. Nine new churches were added to the Conference at this meeting. Bro. P. Lindblad, who gives promise of making an acceptable laborer among the Swedes, was ordained on Monday evening, June 26. Bro. White gave a discourse appropriate to the occasion, and Bro. Matteson gave the charge and right hand of fellowship. It was an interesting season.
In the forenoon of this day, Bro. H. W. Babcock, already mentioned, from the S. D. Baptists, and Bro. N. Battin, an ordained minister from the first-day Baptists, who bore a very interesting testimony at different times during the meeting, fully united themselves with our people, and by vote of the Conference first, and then by the whole congregation, were received as members of the Minnesota Conference to receive credentials as laborers with other ministers of the State. Both of these brethren stating how and why they had come to accept the doctrines held by S. D. Adventists, spoke the great truth relative to the nature and destiny of man, and the relief it had brought to their theology, investing, as it does, the resurrection with that importance which the Bible ascribes to it, and enhancing the glory of the position and work of Christ as the great law-giver, the author of immortality to all his people, and leading us onward to the time when nothing of evil will be left to defy the power of Jehovah and mar his fair creation, but the foul vestige of sin will be wiped away, and God will once more have a clean universe, holy and happy. This view, besides being scriptural, commends itself to all as infinitely preferable to the old view of everlasting sin and suffering with evil made eternal by that very Being who abhors it.
With the three ministers now added, Minnesota will have in the field the present (number not clearly visible) ministers and seven licentiates. Believers in the State, according to reports to the Conference, now number about one thousand.
There was a good representation of the Scandinavians upon the ground. Bro. Matteson held daily services with these in their own tongue. Bro. and Sister White also addressed them, Bro. Matteson interpreting. These were seasons of great interest to that people, tendered to confirm and strengthen them in the truth. The degree of union they manifested with the work, notwithstanding the bitterly poisoning and distracting influence recently brought to bear against them, was most cheering.
The weather was pleasant throughout, and the outside attendance was large. Even on the Sabbath many came in from the surrounding country, and the grove presented a very animated appearance. On Sunday, it is estimated that between 2500 and 3000 persons were present. Bro. White spoke in the forenoon and Sister White in the afternoon, with usual freedom.
The Minnesota Conference, and the Minnesota T. & M. Society, held the usual sessions necessary to transact their business. As in other Conferences, so here also reigns the most complete union and harmony, both of feeling and actions.
At the closing session, Tuesday morning, the subject of finances was introduced, and the query raised as to what should be done for the support of tent labor the present season, the treasury being exhausted in meeting past obligations to laborers in the State. A subscription was at once taken up, which returned over one hundred and thirty dollars, exceeding the expectations of all, and adding in the hearts of the members of the Conference, a new degree to their already lively courage. Sister White, on this occasion, spoke words which moved all hearts; and thus this triumphant meeting came to a most triumphant close.
The brethren showed their appreciation of the labors of Bro. and Sister White at this meeting by a resolution, which will appear in the business proceedings of the Conference, also by the rising vote of the entire congregation, as the closing act of the parting meeting.
We have never seen the beauty and harmony of truth better appreciated than by the brethren at this meeting, especially by those who by thorough investigation have newly come to the faith. It is becoming, as it should be, a controlling power in many hearts. May it thus become in all..
U. S. (Uriah Smith) – Review and Herald, July 6, 1876