June 21 - 26, 1883

Hennepin Co., Minneapolis, West Side of Lake Calhoun, Pierce’s Grove    Map

Find it today: Turn off of Lake Street and go south on West Calhoun Parkway along the west side of Lake Calhoun.  Shortly after turning you will see a large grassy area on the right side (west side of Calhoun Parkway) - this was the location of Pierce's Grove. 

To locate the approximate Cedar Lake Train Station site where campmeeting attendees would arrive, from Cedar Lake Avenue (this runs along the south side of Cedar Lake), turn north on the Kenilworth Bike Trail - the station was along the west side of the trail shortly before the present waterway which connects Cedar Lake with Lake of the Isles - approximately here.

THE CAMP-MEETING AT MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. This meeting was held June 21-26, in a nice grove lying between two miniature lakes, about four miles from the city of Minneapolis, on the same ground used for this purpose several years ago. We reached the ground Wednesday afternoon, and found the camp in a very good state of readiness, and a goodly number in attendance. The weather was reasonably good, with an occasional sprinkle of rain, but quite cool for the season.

The attendance was not as large as at some meetings I have attended in the State, especially from the outside. Nearly six hundred encamped on the ground. Services were held in the English and Scandinavian tongues, and the camp was a place of activity. We had a very profitable meeting, one of the very best we have attended thus far this season. For this we felt exceedingly grateful. We hope it will be a turning-point in the history of this Conference, and that we will see a higher degree of prosperity, a greater growth and increase of spiritual life from this onward.

This Conference has been passing through some unpleasant experiences the last few years. There has not been that harmony of feeling, that love and union, which is so very desirable; but far less of discord was perceptible during the present meeting than in some preceding ones which we have attended. The business meetings were conducted in harmony. During the last few years, there has not been that prosperous growth in this Conference which was manifest before. There was a time, eight or ten years ago, when there was a more rapid growth in numbers and strength than in any other Conference we have ever known. In a few years the number of members was nearly quadrupled; but during the last two or three years there has been far less growth apparent. Some discord and feelings of alienation have come in, and the ministry has not seemed to be so efficient, and it has been hard work to keep up the tone and interest in the Conference. At this meeting many of the brethren seemed to feel an earnest desire for a better state of things.

The preaching was very plain and searching. On the Sabbath there was apparently much deep feeling. Perhaps one hundred and fifty came forward for prayers, and our meetings were very solemn. Some excellent confessions were made by ministers and people, and there was a real humbling of heart before God. On Monday forenoon another season of this kind was held. A special call to sinners and backsliders was made, to which a goodly number responded. The Lord's Spirit came in, and light shone through the camp. The hearts of many were deeply affected, and all felt that the Lord came very near. Some who had apostatized from the truth confessed with deep penitence and sorrow of heart, and tried to return to God. One who, some years in the past, had received a testimony of reproof from the Spirit of the Lord, which he claimed was unjust, and had manifested much opposition against it, till he had finally ceased to observe the Sabbath, came forward for prayers, broke down in tears and confessed before the congregation that the testimony was all true, and that his own heart had been filled with opposition; but now he could see that he himself was wrong. Thus the Spirit of God at times illuminates the mind, and we can see ourselves as we are. It was truly a precious season. In the afternoon, thirty were baptized in the clear waters of Lake Calhoun.

The wants of our foreign missionary funds were presented before the people Monday morning; and about $1,300 were subscribed for the three funds, and the International T. and M. Society. After a careful consideration, the nominating committee of the Conference presented the name of Eld. O. A. Olsen for President of the Minnesota Conference, and he was elected to that position, with Elds. Grant and Fulton as assistant members of the Conference Committee. It is hoped that, with his experience and earnest zeal, he will help the brethren to bring up the Conference and tract society into a greater state of efficiency.

The importance of our missionary work, canvassing, etc., was dwelt upon, and forcibly impressed upon the minds of the people. God's Spirit witnessed to those appeals. Elds. Van Horn and Olsen assisted in the preaching. Some very interesting children's meetings were held by Eld. Van Horn, and a good influence was brought to bear upon them.

After the meeting dispersed Tuesday forenoon, we had a meeting of the ministers, licentiates, colporters, canvassers, and others who thought of giving themselves to the cause to labor. We spent several hours together in conversation and instruction. It was a precious season. Many were in tears, and we consulted together relative to a proper method of labor, and concerning a spirit of devotion and consecration which should characterize all who labor in the cause of Christ. We tried to impress upon the minds of those present the importance of devotion to the work and faithfulness therein. The remarks seemed to be received with an excellent spirit, and we trust good was accomplished by the meeting. May God bless the ministers and the Conference, and may prosperity attend it in all its departments.

Our brethren went home feeling encouraged. The prospects of peace and union are better than in the past, and we greatly hope there will be a general increase of zeal and efficiency in the Conference the coming year.

ELDER GEORGE. I. BUTLER. – Review and Herald, July 10, 1883

Lessons of the past
Hope for the future