Bend Church History
The first record of the Brethren living near Redmond and
Bend Oregon appeared in the District Meeting Minutes of Oregon in 1912. It stated that there is call for a
organization at Redmond, in central Oregon, there are about 13
In The Gospel Messenger of April 5, 1913 the following article
At the urgent
call of the scattered members in Crook Country, for meetings, the District
Mission Board sent the writer to look after the spiritual need of that
section. The members living near
Redmond called a council meeting at the home of Bro. E. W. Pratt. There were twelve members present,
several having come from Bend, - a distance of eighteen miles. After devotional exercise the conditions
were discussed an it was decided that they are not yet ready for an organization
at this place.
Next day we went by wagon to the home of
Bro. D. E. Fox, near Bend. Saturday evening, March 8, 1913, at a council held at
the home of Bro. M. Niswonger, Bend, Oregon, the eight members present were
organized into a working congregation. During the organization it was remarked
that the original group, at the start of our Fraternity, contained a similar
number of members. The organization
is as follows: Bro. Ira H. Fox, minister in the first degree; Bro. D. E. Fox,
deacon, and also church clerk; M. Niswonger, treasurer; Rose Fox, chorister;
Mrs. Nellie Lattin, solicitor and messenger agent. At the services held in the Niswonger
home, Sunday afternoon, two other sisters, not at council, were present.
This country is new. It was a vast sheep range prior to the
coming to the railroad. Extensive
irrigation projects are being put into operation. There is no water available except river
water. The land is quite fertile,
but much of it is stony. The
Brethren in this section are prosperous and have high hopes of the future of
this section of new country.
Brother and Sister Niswonger, formerly from Dayton, Ohio, have lived in
Crook County for eight years. For five years they kept the stage “station” at
Powell Butte, eleven miles from Redmond.
Their godly lives have been a good advertisement for the Church of the
Brethren and the outlook is good.
Any one desiring information concerning the country may address Bro. H.
A. Beckwith or Bro. Albert Mohler, Bro. E. W. Pratt, Redmond, Oregon or Bro. D.
E. Fox, Bend, Oregon.
--H. H. Keim, Island Farm, Ridgefield, Wash., March
September 4, 1915, The Gospel Messenger Bro. Geo. C. Carl,
of Portland, was chosen as our elder
March 25, 1916, The Gospel
met in council Feb. 27. Eld Conrad
Fitz presided. Four Letters were
granted, and one was received. Bro.
I. H. Fox and family have moved to Centralia, Wash. Bro. Fox is only resident minister
there. He has been laboring in the bend church for three years. And will be
greatly missed. I would be glad to
hear from any one desiring to change location. - E. W. Pratt, Redmond, Oregon,
November 2, 1918 page 701, The Gospel
met in council Oct. 7, Bro. S. P. Van Dyke, of Newberg, presiding. Three letters were received and two were
granted. We were glad to have with
us Bro. Van Dyke and Bro. Thomas Barklow, of Myrtle Point. The latter was chosen elder for the
year. Bro. G. C. Carl, of Portland, sent in a request to be relieved as
elder. We now have nine members,
and decided to have the church transferred to Redmond, and to request District
Meeting of the next year to change the name from Bend to Redmond. If any one desires a change and wants to
help build up a church, we would be gland to correspond with him. Any one coming will be gladly shown the
country. We have no house of
worship and are holding no services at present. - E. W. Pratt, Redmond, Oregon,
Elders Meeting of Oregon July 26, 1920 at
home of Sister Jordon in Ashland, OR
Bro. Vandyke presented the condition of the
Bend church. The church was
disorganized & Bro. Pratt granted a church letter & he being a minister.
Members in March 8, 1913
Ira Fox – Minister Bend
Rose Fox (wife of Ira)
David Fox – Deacon Bend
Loretta Etta Fox (wife of
Lucy Mohler (wife of Albert)
Eugene W. Pratt
Martha Pratt (wife of
Harry A Beckwith Redmond
Beckwith (wife of Harry)
Mariah Niswanger (wife of Moses)