Benton Co., Between Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud Map
Find it today: Exact site unknown.
THE MINNESOTA CAMP MEETING. – The Minnesota camp meeting, while it was held some sixty-five miles north of where it is usually held, was well attended. The attendance was greater than usual if we rightly judge. While not so many of the brethren from southern Minnesota attended, those from the north took advantage of having it nearer home and most of the northern churches were well represented.
The campground was ideal, and the kindness and good feeling of the citizens were plainly manifested in many ways. The spirit of the campers too was most excellent. We saw not even a jar during all the days we were there. Every one seemed to us to be trying to make his fellows feel at home, and was thereby made contented and happy himself.
The camp was “spick and span” when we arrived there on May 31. Surely the few laborers who had been called to prepare the camp had been doing careful and faithful work.
The laborers other than the regular Minnesota staff were Elders K. C. Russell, L. H. Christenson, S. Mortenson, T. Valentiner, Valentine Leer, R. A. Underwood, Professors C. C. Lewis, P. T. Magan, and Brothers O. J. Graf and J. S. James. They each brought something good and so we enjoyed many good things. Eld A. G. Daniells gave us a short call and gave us some excellent instruction.
The two daily papers of St. Cloud opened to us liberal space and we were thus able to let the reading public know the epitome of what occurred from day to day. As usual there were, besides the regular business meetings and preaching services, meetings were held on canvassing, church schools, etc., which we believe will be of great benefit to the work in Minnesota.
The official report of the conference will appear elsewhere. As the conference doings are printed from each conference we trust that our brethren will study the doings of their respective conference and try to help in every way to make the plans a success, and to uphold the hands of those who are set to carry them out.
Northern Union Reaper, June 19, 1906
THE MINNESOTA CAMP-MEETING – The camp was located between the cities of St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids, in a most delightful grove. The camp was accessible to both of these thriving little towns, and everything seemed to conspire to make it a most desirable place for a camp meeting.
It was feared that, the meeting being located so far north in the State, there would be but a small attendance of our people, but to the surprise and satisfaction of those in charge, it was the best attended by our people and those not of our faith of any meeting that has been held in this conference for years. Several severe wind and rainstorms broke over the camp during the session, but this did not prevent the people from attending in large numbers. The soil being sandy, the water occasioned by several rainstorms soaked quickly away.
Besides the local laborers in the conference, there were a number of visiting brethren, among whom were Elders A. G. Daniells and R. A. Underwood, Brethren J. S. James, S. M. Mortenson, L. H. Christian, T. Valentiner, Valentine Leer, and C. J. Kunkel, and Profs. C. C. Lewis, P. T. Magan, and Otto Graf. This large corps of general laborers were able to render valuable assistance to the brethren of many nationalities gathered at this meeting. Elder Daniells's visit, although short, was very much appreciated. Elder Underwood, president of the Northern Union Conference, left for the South Dakota meeting after the first half. Regular meetings were held in the German and Scandinavian languages.
The meetings were very spiritual from the first. On the first Sabbath a large number responded to a call to consecrate themselves to God, and the revival which began then continued with increasing strength until the close of the meeting. The last Sabbath of the meeting was one long to be remembered by those in attendance. It was gratifying to see such a goodly number of young people giving their hearts to God for the first time, and to note that the Spirit of the Lord was revealing to many their sins, and leading them to a full-surrender of themselves to his service. In the closing hours of the Sabbath the entire camp went to the beautiful waters of the Mississippi River, where twenty-nine precious souls followed their Lord in baptism. Five others afterward went forward in this ordinance.
The various departments of the work were taken up and considered. The educational work received a large share of the attention of the conference, and was placed upon a firm basis by electing a conference educational secretary who would be permitted to devote his entire time to the development of this important branch of the work. Brother W. W. Ruble was. unanimously chosen to fill this responsible position. The Religious Liberty Department was also given its share of attention. One feature of special interest in connection with this phase of the work was a program that was rendered one evening by the students of the Maplewood Academy. The exercises were most impressive, and we believe enlightened the large audience which filled the pavilion to its utmost capacity that evening. We expect that this department of the work will be attended with even greater success in the future in this conference than it has in the past.
An encouraging report was rendered by the president of the conference concerning the work of the past year, showing an increase in tithe of one thousand dollars, and an increase in membership of one hundred Sabbath-keepers. It was voted by the conference to give five hundred dollars to the support of foreign missions. Elder H. S. Shaw was again unanimously elected as president of the conference for the coming year. Brother C. M. Babcock was ordained to the gospel ministry, and other young men were encouraged to enter the work.
We were much gratified to learn that a number who had been attending the meetings from the cities had decided to take their stand to keep the Sabbath as a result of the truth presented. We believe that the coming year will be one of greater success for the cause of present truth in this State than it has ever experienced. Expressions of loyalty to the spirit of prophecy and the message were given by all. Our prayer is that the Lord may greatly bless the people of this conference in maintaining the principles of this message until the " well done " shall be said to each.
K. C. RUSSELL – Review and Herald, June 28, 1906
PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS, MINNESOTA CAMPMEETING, 1907 – The president’s address noted that there were presently 2,297 Seventh-day Adventists in the state of Minnesota. Of these, 1,400 were English, 600 Scandinavian, and nearly 200 were German. There were 75 organized churches and 10 unorganized companies. The ministers of Minnesota had baptized over 100 people in the last year, however, there was no significant net increase due to large numbers of people moving from the state – this was not a phenomena only related to Seventh-day Adventists – the census bureau reported that 50,000 people had moved out of Minnesota in the last five years. The reasons stated for the removal of many of the Seventh-day Adventists included warmer climate, some wanted more land, and some had become missionaries. The Review reported that “In some instances, practically whole churches have gone away within a single year. We can scarcely bring people into the truth as fast as others move from the state. This has been a heavy draft on the showing of our membership and has its effect, of course, on the amount of tithes and offerings to greater or less extent.” Another reason given for some reduction in members was that many churches were reviewing membership lists and removing the names of those who had not been a member for some time. Notwithstanding these challenges, the Minnesota conference members had still given liberally of their tithes and offerings for a total of $29,728.15, even donating an additional $4,000 for a new dormitory at Maplewood Academy in Maple Plain. The generosity of the believers had left the Minnesota conference with no debts, save their debt to carry the gospel to those around them.
Northern Union Reaper, June 26, 1906