June 23 - 29, 1886

Hennepin Co., Minneapolis, Grove on Lake Harriet    Map

Find it today: The exact location on Lake Harriet has not been determined by this website's Editor, however, it is thought most probable that the site would have been on the northwest corner of the lake near the current location of the Lake Harriet bandshell. The railroad line lay just west of that location where the current Como-Harriet Streetcar line currently runs. The land surrounding the lake had just been donated to the city of Minneapolis the previous year (1885) by William S. King.

MINNESOTA CAMP-MEETING. This meeting was held June 22-29, at Minneapolis. It was located on Lake Harriet, about four miles from the center of the city, on a short railroad line, where the trains run every twenty minutes. It is a fine pleasure resort, and hence large numbers of people were coming and going all the time. The camp was located in a grove. We have not seen a more suitable place for a camp-meeting than this one, with every convenience, except that it was too far out to reach the people generally. There were one hundred and seventy-five family tents pitched, besides the usual public tents. It was thought that there was the largest attendance of our people that there has ever been in the State, the number being estimated at about a thousand.

There were about two hundred and fifty Scandinavians, who had a separate tent for their meetings, which were conducted by Eld. Lewis Johnson. There were quite a number of Germans present, who also had separate meetings. The brethren had made commendable efforts to have everything in readiness by the appointed time for the meeting; in fact, we had a good day's meeting on important subjects before the time appointed. The laborers from a distance were Elds. Butler and Haskell, L. McCoy from Iowa, and the writer. Quite a number, also, from adjoining States were present to enjoy the meetings. All were in good spirits, and there was a free atmosphere to begin with.

The meetings took much more of an instructive and educational turn than heretofore, the whole forenoon of each day being devoted to this object in connection with some branch of the work. Our leading brethren feel that our camp-meetings should be given this turn more than heretofore – that we should have less preaching and more instruction. There were several doctrinal discourses, but the preaching was largely of a practical nature. The attendance from without was not great, except on Sunday, when there was a very large crowd, all that could possibly be entertained.

All the business of the Conference passed off very harmoniously, showing a good, steady growth and union among all. Eld. G. C. Tenny was again elected president of the Conference and also of the Missionary Society. Eld. H. P. Holser was elected president of the Sabbath-school Association. The examination of ministers was carried out, and a sermon for their benefit was preached before the Conference by Eld. Butler, followed by a lively discussion of the same by several others. It is felt by all that this move is none too soon. Our ministers are far behind what they might be and should be intellectually. It is noticed that the young men who have attended our College, and have imbibed a spirit of improvement, are rapidly coming to the front, and taking the responsible positions, while those who have failed to study are dropping behind.

One meeting was devoted to the interests of our College and the education of our young people, as should be done at every camp-meeting. Twice a day the little children were gathered together and taught for an hour by two of the sisters. Special meetings were also held for the young people. Eld. Haskell labored zealously in the missionary work, and his efforts were well received and appreciated. Much more time than usual was granted to the Sabbath-school work, and we believe that a new impetus will be given to that branch of the cause in this State. Eld. Butler labored earnestly in all branches of the work, especially for the spiritual interests of the meeting. On the Sabbath, after his sermon, about one hundred and fifty came forward for prayers and to seek the Lord. Many excellent testimonies were borne, and deep feeling was manifested. Monday forenoon the same work was taken up and carried still farther. At the close of the sermon, the Spirit of God came down in a powerful manner, and a very melting season followed. About ninety candidates presented themselves for baptism.

After a sermon on baptism, and other appropriate remarks, the entire camp, with a large number of visitors, gathered upon the banks of Lake Harriet, one of the most lovely lakes I have ever seen. The day was beautiful, not a ripple was upon the waters. Elds. Johnson, Hill, and Schram did the baptizing. Some thirty boats gathered around the place to witness the scene. The most perfect order throughout was maintained. Each elder led two candidates out into the water at a time, often a husband and wife, a brother and sister, two sisters, or a mother and her daughter. The blessing of God seemed especially near as these were buried in baptism. It seemed the nearest like Pentecost of anything I have witnessed in a long time. Some who came upon the grounds, embraced the truth, and were baptized at this time. A Baptist minister who had strongly opposed the truth, lately saw his mistake, and has most heartily and humbly embraced the message. All were glad to hear his testimony, and to welcome him among us.

About six thousand dollars were pledged for the various branches of the work. Minneapolis is to be the head-quarters of the cause in Minnesota. Means were raised to build a church here. The reports showed sixty-eight churches, with a membership of seventeen hundred, and twenty-five ministers. The tithes of the Conference for the last year were about ten thousand dollars. They have sixty local tract societies, with seven hundred and forty-seven members. Several new churches were admitted into the Conference, and the work generally seemed to be thriving. At the closing meeting, E. A. Curtis and M. H. Gregory were ordained. Two of the large daily papers gave us excellent reports, and a column and a half summary was put in the large weeklies. The other papers also gave us more or less space, so that our views will be thoroughly advertised all over the State. On the whole, we regard this camp-meeting as not only a success, but as one of the pleasantest of the season.

D. M. CANRIGHT – Review and Herald, July 13, 1886

Lessons of the past
Hope for the future