Organization and First Meeting
PACIFIC BAPTIST ASSOCIATION
SANTA ROSA, SONOMA COUNTY, CAL.,
AUGUST 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 1857
PRINTED BY B. F. STERETT, PACIFIC OFFICE, 145 CLAY STREET
RECORDS OF A CONVENTION
Convened at Santa Rosa on the first day of August, 1857, at 10 o'clock, A. M. Called by the permission and advice of the San Francisco Baptist Association, at the request of the delegates of the Churches Belonging to said Association, and located on the North side of the Bay, for the purpose of forming a new Association.
1st. After prayer and praise, appointed Eld. A. A. Guernsey Moderator, and W. B. Morgan, Clerk.
2nd. Proceeded to enroll the names of the Delegates.
3rd. Resolved to proceed to the organization of a new Association.
4th. Appointed a Committee to prepare and present a Constitution, Rules of Order, and Order of Business, consisting of Elders A. A. Guernsey, Joseph Roberts, J. D. Bonner and Br. W. B. Morgan.
After devotional exercises, adjourned to meet at 2 o'clock, P. M.
SATURDAY, TWO O'CLOCK P. M.
Convention in session; opened with singing and prayer.
The committee appointed to draft a Constitution, Rules of Order, and Order of Business, presented the Following, which were adopted:
ART. 1st.This Association shall be called the PACIFIC BAPTIST ASSOCIATION.
ART. 2nd. It shall be composed of Churches known by; the name of Missionary Baptist, whose faith and practice harmonize with that denomination
ART. 3rd. Each Church shall be entitled to five delegates, besides an additional Delegate for every twenty members.
ART. 4th. The object of this Association shall be to promote piety, harmony, and efficiency in the Churches. To devise such measures as may appear most expedient, in conformity with Bible truth, for the advancement of our denominational interests, and to suggest and recommend to the Churches such means and modes of operation as may, from time to time appear best adapted to the general diffusion of the Gospel throughout the world
ART. 5th. The officers of this Association shall be a Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer, and Corresponding Secretary.
ART. 6th. The election of officers shall take place immediately after the admission of new Churches, and they shall be elected by a plurality of ballot votes.
ART. 7th. All officers shall continue in office until successors are appointed.
ART. 8th. The Moderator shall preside at all the meetings of the body, and see that proper order and decorum are observed.
ART. 9th. The Clerk shall keep a fair and impartial record of the transactions of each session of the body.
ART. 10th. The Treasurer shall take charge of all moneys belonging to the Association, keep an accurate record of the same and the objects for which they are designated, pay them out at the order of the Association, and report the state of the Treasury before the close of each session.
ART. 11th. The Corresponding Secretary shall serve as Association Clerk during the session, take charge of all the records and papers of the body, and conduct its correspondence.
ART 12th. It shall be the duty of Churches composing this body to send with their delegates, to each annual meeting, letters containing a history of their condition during the year, embracing a statement of their additions and diminutions, their contributions to the various objects of benevolence, the present number of their communicants, and such other items as may be of general interest.
ART. 13th. Each Church shall forward with its delegates and letter, money for printing the minutes.
ART. 14th. Any Church desiring membership in this body shall, on application, be examined in relation to its faith and practice, and if approved, the Moderator shall give to one of its delegates the hand of fellowship.
ART. 15th. Any Church in this Association wishing to withdraw for the purpose of uniting with another body of like faith, shal1, on application, be honorab1y dismissed.
ART. 16th. Any Church neglecting for two successive years to communicate with this body, shall have its name stricken from the minutes, unless two members shall request a delay, and agree to inquire into the state of said Church, and report at the next annual meeting.
ART. 17th. While, as an associated body, we disclaim all right to interfere with the independence, the doctrines or the discipline of any Church, we nevertheless deem it our privilege to judge of the propriety of continuing in our connection any church which to us shall appear heterodox in principle, or irregular in practice. Yet no such Church shall be liable to expulsion, until a written complaint against the same shall have been made by two members of the body; and a report upon the subject shall be presented by a committee appointed at a previous annual meeting.
ART. 18th. At each Annual meeting a Missionary Board consisting of three brethren to act in concert with the Moderator, Clerk, and Treasurer of the Association, shall be appointed, whose duty it shall be to take charge of Missionary operations within the bounds of the Association, appoint Missionaries, designate to them their fields of labor, receive quarterly reports from the same, raise funds for their support, and report annually to the Association their doings.
ART. 19th. This Association shall meet annually, on Saturday before the first Sunday in September, at 10 o'clock, A. M.
ART 20th. Before the close, of each annual session, the association shall appoint the place for its next annual meeting, and one or more brethren (with alternates) to preach on the occasion, and a writer of the Circular Letter.
ART. 21st. This Constitution may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of all the members present, at any annual meeting, provided notice of the same shall have been given at a previous annual meeting.
1st. That any member of this Association, who shall be present at the sitting of any other Association, having with him a copy of our latest Minutes, shall be the delegate of this to such other Association.
2nd. That all Reports of .Committees adopted by this body shall be published with its Minutes, unless otherwise ordered.
RULES OF ORDER
1st. At every sitting, business shall be opened and concluded by prayer, under the direction of the Moderator.
2nd. Brethren who are invited to a seat with us shall be at liberty to participate in all discussions, but not to vote.
3rd. No member of the Association shall absent himself without leave of the Moderator.
4th. No subject shall be discussed till a motion is made and seconded, and stated by the Moderator.
5th. No person shall speak more than twice on the same motion, without leave of the Association.
6th. If, when a motion is made and seconded, any member shall oppose its discussion, the Moderator shall immediately put the question, "Shal1 this motion be discussed?" when, if negatived, the subject shall be dismissed.
7th. If any proposition or motion under discussion contain two or more points, it shall be divided at the request of any member, and the question taken on each separately.
8th. Motions made and lost shall not be entered on the Minutes unless so ordered at the time.
9th. Any motion shall be reduced to writing before it shall be discussed, if any member request it.
10th. No person shall speak in debate without first rising from his seat, and addressing the Moderator; and, during his remarks, he shall confine himself to the question before the body, and avoid unkind personalities.
11th. All committees shall be nominated by the Association.
12th. That it be a standing rule of this body, that when a Report is presented, if no objection is made, said report shall be considered as accepted.
13th. The Moderator shall have the right to appoint any member to perform duties of the Chair, for a temporary season, when he may wish to speak or otherwise vacate his place.
14th. On the opening of business the second day, the roll of delegates from the Churches shall be called, and the mark of absence attached to the names of those who have not arrived.
15th. Any member, dissenting from a decision of the Chair, shall have the privilege of appeal to the house without debate.
16th. A motion for' adjournment shall always be in order, but shall never be discussed.
17th. No motion or proposition, different from the one under consideration, shall be admitted under color of an amendment.
18th. All questions shall be propounded in the order they were moved and seconded, except that, in the filling of blanks, the highest number, the largest sum, and the longest term shall be put first.
19th. The Minutes of the session shall be leisurely read and corrected before the rising of the Association.
20th. These Rules shall be distinctly read from the Chair; immediately after the organization of the body.
21st. The Rules of Order, and Order of Business ,may be temporarily suspended or permanently altered by a majority of votes, at any regular meeting of the body.
ORDER OF BUSINESS
I. Preaching of the Annual Sermon.
II. Enrolling of delegates; the Moderator or the previous year, or, in his absence, the preacher of the .Annual Sermon; presiding until a new Moderator is chosen.
III. Application and reception of Churches.
IV. Choice or officers.
V. Invitation to visiting ,brethren, present, to a seat with us.
VI. Appointment of committees-
1st. On Devotional Exercises.
2nd. On Digest of Letters.
3rd. To audit the Treasurer's Accounts.
4th. To propose a Place, Preachers, and Writer of the Circular Letter, for the next session of the Association.
VII. Reading Letters from the Churches.
VIII. Unfinished Business of Last Year.
IX. Reports of Committees-1st. On Place, &c. for the next Association. 2d. Other Committees.
The Association then proceeded to the election of officers for the ensuing year, which resulted as follows:
Elder A. A. GUERNSEY. Moderator.
WM. B. MORGAN, Clerk.
JOHN H. HOLMAN, Treasurer.
ELDER J. S. BUCKNER, Corresponding Secretary.
2d. Appointed a Committee on Devotional Exercises, consisting of Brethren Wm. Maning, John H. Holman, and W. C. Catron, who presented the following Report, which was adopted:
Preaching this evening at 8 o'clock, by Elder Joseph Roberts.
SABBATH SERVICES.- Prayer Meeting at 9 o'clock, A. M.
Preaching at 11 o'clock, by Elder D. King.
Preaching at 3 o'clock, P. M., by A. A. Guernsey.
3d. After Benediction by the Moderator, the Association adjourned to meet on Monday, at 9 o'clock A. M.
The Association met pursuant to adjournment, and after Prayer by Brother Huff, proceeded to business:
1st. Visiting brethren invited to seats with us; when the following brethren presented themselves: J. Huff, Wilson White, J. H. McPeak, John Hol1oway, and Elder Nathaniel Eaton.
2d. Appointed a. Committee on Digest of Letters from the Churches, consisting of Brethren W. B. Morgan, Elder J. D. Bonner, and Elder J. S. Buckner.
The Letters from the Churches were read, from which the following table is compiled:
|Names of Churches||Names of Delegates||No. Mem.||When Organized|
|Petaluma||Elder A. A. Guernsey, Wm. Conley*,
|Liberty|| Elder J. S. Buckner, P. M. Smith*,
D. T. Taylor, S. T. Davis.
|Green Valley||Elder J. D. Bonner, J. T. Duvall,
|1st. Ch. Santa Rosa||J. H. Holman, W. C. Catron,
Elder H. Richardson, Joel Crane,
|Lebanon||G. W. Greer, J. F. Todd,
Wm. Marrion, Math. McPeak
|Vaca Valley||Elder Joseph Roberts, Elder Daniel King,
|Russian River||C. Clark, W. B. Morgan, Hiram Lewis,
I. C. Lamancer
|Sharon||Elder Stephen Riley, Thos. Hudson,
D. G. Loveall, John Cyrus
|* Mark of absence second day||208|
Roll called and absentees marked.
On motion the Churches were examined in relation to their faith.
The examination proving satisfactory, the Association proceeded to appoint a Committee on Preachers, and Writer of Circular Letter, for the next session of the association, consisting of S. T. Davis, Warham Easley, and Elder J. D. Bonner, who reported---
recommending that Elder Joseph Roberts preach the Introductory Sermon; that Elder Daniel King be the Alternate, and that Elder S. Riley write the Circular Letter.
Resolved, To hold the next session of this Association with the Church at Liberty.
On motion, appointed a Missionary Board, consisting of Elders Bonner, Roberts, and King, to act in concert with the officers of the Association.
A subscription was raised to procure funds to be appropriated to the support of Missionaries within the bounds of this Association, the sum of which was $196.00, $65.75 of which was received.
Resolved, To correspond with the San Francisco. Baptist Association, and that Elders A. A. Guernsey, Daniel King, J. D. Bonner, and J. S. Buckner are appointed delegates to, the same.
Resolved, To open correspondence with North Liberty Association, Missouri.
Resolved, That the Corresponding Secretary be requested to forward Minutes of our Association to the Secretaries of Missionary Boards, &c. in the Atlantic States.
Resolved, To correspond with the Willamette Baptist Association, 0. T., and that Brother Stephen Riley be appointed a delegate to the same.
Resolved, That we recommend the holding of Camp and Protracted Meetings, for revival purposes, by the Churches, and pledge ourselves to aid, by our presence and influence, such meetings.
Resolved, That 300 copies of the Minutes of this body be printed in pamphlet form, and circulated among the Churches; including the Constitution, Rules of Order, and Order of Business.
On motion, the Moderator and Clerk are appointed a committee to superintend the printing of ,the Minutes-:and append a corresponding letter.
Resolved, That "Elder" is considered by this body, the proper appellation by which to designate Ministers of the Gospel.
The following amounts were contributed by the Churches and brethren, for the printing of the Minutes:
|Sharon||$4 00||Vaca Valley||$3.00|
|First Church Santa Rosa||4.00||Green Valley||3.00|
|Russian River||5.00||Private Individuals||1.50|
The following resolution was unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That a vote of thanks be tendered to the brethren and community at large, for their kindness and hospitality during the session of this Association.
Minutes read and approved. After Prayer by Elder H. Richardson, the Association adjourned to meet with the Church, at Liberty, on Saturday proceeding the first Sabbath in September, 1858, at 10 o'clock, .A. M. A. A. GUERNSEY, Moderator
W. D. MORGAN. Clerk.
DIGEST OF LETTERS
PETALUMA BAPTIST CHURCH
This Church under the labor of its Pastor, Elder A. a. Guernsey, has been greatly blessed during the past year. Their letter says:
"We have labored, and God has blessed. We have been assaulted, and God has delivered us. We are but worms of the dust in all that constitutes efficiency, and yet with Omnipotence attending, we find no discouragement in .this our weakness. We held a Camp-meeting last Fall, in connection with, the last meeting of the State Convention, and continued it about two weeks, which resulted in the hopeful conversion of large numbers. An approximate to the number of those who profess to have obtained peace in believing would be seventy-five, many of whom; up to this time, give evidence of a genuine change. Many or them were from distant parts, and under influences adverse to their union with us as a Church; and hence our .home number and influence were not so much increased as might have been the case had the same number been brought to Christ by ordinary means."
LIBERTY BAPTIST CHURCH
This Church was organized in November last. Brother J. B. Bonner is Pastor. The Church says, in its letter:
" We are few in number, yet we are striving to work according to the teaching of the Holy Commandment, desiring an interest in your prayers, and the help of your counsel in all that may pertain to our welfare in Godliness."
Towards the close of the letter they speak of a "flourishing Union Sabbath School in the immediate vicinity."
Brother Bonner has held the Pastoral care of this Church since its organization. The following is an extract from the letter:
"Our Sabbath meetings are well attended, and not without indications of good. We believe the time has fully come when we should fearlessly contend for the Faith once delivered to the Saints; making no compromise with error."
FIRST CHURCH SANTA ROSA
This Church is under the care of Brother A. A. Guernsey. They say:
"Our condition, as a body, remains much the same as at the commencement of the year. We seem to have made but little progress in any direction; though blessed with uninterrupted harmony, and though we have maintained our stated appointments, Saturday and Sunday, throughout the year.
"Our Pastor, Elder A. A, Guernsey, has continued to serve us with general acceptance, and but one hindering cause to greater progress is observed worthy of mention. The existence of another Baptist Church of the same faith and order, occupying the same field and the same house of worship, has prevented accessions to our numbers to some extent, and doubtless our influence upon community."
This Church says in its letter:
"our Church was organized in the month of June, 1852, with four members, since which time we have been called to pass through many discouraging scenes; but that Being who has said 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,' has remembered us in our trials, and we now have reason to 'thank God and take courage,' hoping that better times have commenced in our midst."
The following is taken from the letter received from this Church:
"We have the Word faithfully preached to us by our beloved Brethren Joseph Roberts and Daniel King. Our congregations are attentive, and we hope there is a growing interest here, which will result in the advancement of the cause of truth."
They say in their letter:
"this Church was organized in the month of May 1855, with twelve members. Since our organization we have been called to pass through many discouraging scenes, but the Great Head of the Church, who has promised that He will not forsake His people, hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad; and we now have reason to thank God and take courage, hoping that better times have commenced in our midst, and like the Patriarch David, we may be enabled from time to time, to tell the people of God what the Lord has done for our souls. During a portion of the time since our organization, we have been attended regularly by our Pastor, Elder J. D. Bonner, and Elder J. S. Buckner, under whose efficient ministry several accessions have been made to our number; our present number being 24."
This Church was organized in the month of November, 1855; since which time Elder S. Riley has attended regularly as Pastor, under whose ministry their numbers have increased to 38.
This Church expresses great interest in the organization of an Association north of the Bay, and cordially invites the Association to hold the next session with them.
In introducing ourselves to your notice, it becomes us to announce our infancy, being organized on the 1st day of August, 1857, our weakness consisting of only eight Churches, and an aggregate of 203 members, and ask an interest in your sympathies, your counsels and prayers. But though infantile and weak, we congratulate ourselves on having exceeding great and precious promises given us by our Divine Master,-- an extensive and interesting field of labor, with a permanent and settled population, and a good share of that unity of spirit essential to efficiency in any organization for any purpose.
Our present meeting has been one of great harmony and love, in which a large share of the presence and spirit of the Divine Redeemer were enjoyed: No jarring or discordant note marred the harmony of our fraternal greetings and deliberations, but all felt as did David, when he exclaimed "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."
We ask a recognition in the great family of Baptist Associations, and reciprocal correspondence, praying that the Great Head of the Church may bless you, and His whole Israel, with His sacred presence.
Done by order of the Association.
A. A. GUERNSEY, Moderator
W. B. MORGAN, Clerk