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The Gospel Messenger — Offering #99

CORRESPONDENCE.


From Huntington, Ind.

On the 6th of Nov., we met with the above named church.  This church, when organized, is said to have been a flourishing one; since then it has chronicled a sad history.  Seeds of dissatisfaction grew out of their house of worship, not being built as plainly as many brethren feel our houses should be built.  Some years ago one of their ministers, Summers, withdrew with a small number, and organized a congregational body.—R. K. Binkly, their only resident minister, recently identified himself with the progressive element, taking but two or three with him; leaving his pious father and mother in the church.  Under a slack system of government, with but little effort to adopt the usages of the church, they have not flourished.

We continued our labor of love until the 19th, devoting our time almost exclusively to the members, visiting about seventy-five, and we were pleased to find as many faithful, exemplary members in the Huntington church.  We did what we could in encouraging them to humble faithfulness.

Held a feast on the 8th; the attendance was encouraging.  The spirit of the Lord seemed to reign in the meeting.  Eld. T. C. Murray [sic], of Manchester, has recently taken charge of the church; was with us the greater part of the time.  Bro. Murray is young, but seems to feel something of the weight of his duty; is anxious to see the cause at Huntington move on the line of the recognized principles of our common Brotherhood.  Our prayer is, that he may have heavenly wisdom to fit him for his work.  Closed with a council that was well represented, agreeable to reason, custom, law, and the well-known usages of the church.  Prompt measures were taken to close the church door to keep all withdrawing elements from occupying the stand.  The experience of the Huntington brethren enabled them to vote intelligently.  The meeting closed with a warm, tender feeling.

On the 20th, we commenced labor with the Clear Creek church, four miles east of the Huntington church.  The brethren here have a large and well-disciplined body.  The advantages of respecting the usages of the church are to be seen here, in their love, interest and numbers.  The weather during our first week's labor seemed to retard the interest; the second week the attendance and interest were encouraging.  Closed with three additions.

Eld. Dorsey Hodgden has care of the church, assisted in the ministry by Bro. George Jewit.  They are brethren held in cordial esteem.  Bro. Hodgden contemplates going to Kansas.  Feeling that his services cannot be spared, an effort is being made to assist him to a home in Clear Creek.  We have been visiting this church regularly for some years, and our acquaintance begets an anxious concern in us that their present peace and prosperity should continue.

I. J. Rosenberger.


From Ephrata, Pa.

Bro. J. M. Mohler, of Lewistown, Pa., commenced a series of meetings here at Mohler's meeting-house; preached for us two weeks.  He labored faithfully in the Master's cause, and preached the word with power, which resulted in six precious souls coming out on the Lord's side.  This makes now eighteen new members at the gospel plow this year.  May the Lord add his blessings to it, so they hold out. There are more nearly persuaded.  The whole congregation was aroused and well instructed.  The meetings were well attended.  We thank Bro. Mohler very kindly for his services. He left this morning for Petersburg, where he intends, God willing, to hold a series of meetings.

J. R. Keller.


From Grenola, Kan.

We left our old home in Iowa, Sept. 2nd., and after a fifteen days' drive we arrived at Grenola, Elk Co., Kan.  We had a pleasant trip, good weather and good roads.  Since arriving here, it seems to have pleased our Father in Heaven to remove our eldest daughter from time to eternity.  You can imagine how sad we feel.  We cannot tell yet how we will like our new home.  We hope ministering brethren will give us a call when passing through our part of the country, and feed us with the bread of life.

N. B. Murray.


From Alpena, Dakota.

Bro. B. F. Miller will now hold meetings every two weeks in the large school-house in Alpena, Jerauld Co., Dakota.  We have good congregations and fine order.  We would like to have one or more of our dear brethren who are speakers, to locate here and help to build up a church, and as many more of our brethren and sisters as feel like coming.  There are nine brethren and sisters within two and one-half miles of us.  We have a fine climate, good soil, cheap land and no mud.  Principal crops are wheat, barley, oats, sorghum, corn, and vegetables of all kinds.

G. J. Roper.


From Broadfording Church, Md.

On Dec. 2d, Bro. Solomon Bucklew came to us and held forth the words of life in its simplicity and power, remaining until the 16th.  The attendance was not large at first, but the interest increased and the last meeting was largely attended.  The church experienced quite a revival.  She was permitted to drink from that pure river of water, and built up in that most holy faith, and parents were made to rejoice.  Sinners were made to inquire the way.  Ten precious souls were added to the church to walk in newness of life and to be bright and shining lights in God's kingdom, and many more were made to think upon their way.  Hoping that the good seed sown may take root and be watered by the dews of heaven, and bring forth abundant fruit, may the blessings of God attend our brother in his every effort for good.

A. B. Barnhart.


Florida Notes.

—This is Dec. 7, and we find December as mild as May.  To-day our Sunday-school and meeting were well attended.  There were twenty-one members present.  Our exercises seem as enjoyable as any ever attended.  The Sunday-school opens at 10 A. M., and preaching at 11.  Thus we spend nearly two hours together in the morning.

—Many of the people go to meeting in boats; the church stands only about 200 feet from the lake.  To the newcomer it is a novel sight to see a half dozen or more boats coming down the lake just a few minutes before Sunday-school opens.  In the north our brethren take their families to church in comfortable carriages, but here you see them coming in boat.

—To date we have had but one light frost, not heavy enough, however, to kill the tomato vines.

—We have decided to hold a love-feast sometime in January.  It will be announced in good time, for there are those in the North who would like to attend a feast in the Sunny South.  The church has voted to commence with the single mode of feet-washing.

—The members here seem to be enjoying themselves to the fullest extent, especially do they enjoy the mild climate.  While many of our readers are nearly freezing in the North, some of our children here are still going to school barefoot.

—Bro. Gray, one of our ministers, has purchased near the town of Waldo.  We regretted to have him leave us, and still we have a desire to see churches built up in other parts of Florida.  We hope he will like his new home, and be the means of doing much good.

—We notice that Bro. Kurtz's Almanac for 1885 records one minister in Florida.  We can name four, brother Gray, referred to above, brother Bowser, who lives a few miles north of Keuka, your humble servant and elder S. T. Bosserman.  On the latter, however, we have only a temporary claim.

—Since many are coming to Florida to look for homes, let me again tell you not to look for a farming country, though some farming is done in places. Look for one great bed of sand, covered with grass and timber, interspersed with charming lakes.  It is purely a fruit and vegetable country, where the climate is the greatest and most impressive attraction.  Take away her delightful climate, and Florida will lose her charms.

—Those who come to look at the country, would better come prepared to board till they can and what they desire.  Many of you would be surprised to see how people, moving here, can accommodate themselves to small houses till they can build larger.

—There are many who apply for boarding places in private families, desiring to spend only the winter here.  We find it difficult to accommodate that class, outside of cities, but in the course of a few years, when the people get better fixed, and can build larger, they will take pleasure in opening their houses to the thousands who desire to enjoy the mild climate.  At present they have to depend upon hotels.

—We think we have as good society here as can be found in any new place.  We have as intelligent looking audiences as any one should desire to meet, and the very best of order during services.

J. H. Moore.

Keuka, Fla.


From Cerro Gordo, Ill.

On the 5th ult., I left home for Jefferson Co., Ill., to visit the members at Mt. Vernon.  Came to D. F. Eby's on the 6th.  Had meeting on the 7th, after which brother Eby took me to Eld. Jacob Hager's [sic], a distance of nine miles.  Found them as well as could be expected, considering their age.  Spent the night very pleasantly with the old brother and sister.  I went home with brother Eby, and had meeting the same evening.  This newly organized church is doing well.  All seem to work for the master's cause.  On the morning of the 9th, brother Hix [sic] and myself started for Marion county, to visit the members in the Salem church.  Attended meeting the same evening.  One was baptized.

John Metzger.

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