Mabel Church History

(Formerly the German Baptist Brethren Church of the Mohawk Valley)

  Andrew Workman, a widower of Nora Spring Iowa, came to the Mohawk Valley in 1875.  His Brother Philip, a minister and family, also his sister and husband, Alfred Drury, came in 1876.

They traveled by emigrant train to San Francisco, then by boat to Portland, Oregon, them to Eugene, then to Mabel. Eugene to Mabel was by ox-cart.

Andrew Workman went back to Iowa for a companion, married Sister Elizabeth Deraleus, a widow, mother of several children: brought them to Oregon in 1878. George Drury and family came in 1878 also.

The Workman’s were members, the Drurys joined later. The nearest organized congregation of the Brethren was Fairview near Lebanon, only trails for roads.  The Brethren worshiped in the homes of some of the members. Later when log school houses were built they used them as places to worship, Philip Workman served as minister.  Jacob Bahr a minister in the Fairview congregation, formerly from Iowa came to the Brethren in the Mohawk valley and preached some for them in 1883, and 1886 he moved to the Mohawk Valley.  A few other members moved in also.  June 9, 1887, the Fairview congregation granted permission to the brethren in the Mohawk Valley to organize as a separate congregation.

  July 24, 1887, eight members met in the home of Brother & Sister Philip Workman decided to organize as a separate congregation by the name of the Mohawk Valley Congregation of the German Baptist Brethren Church.  Decided to have a Love Feast Oct. 1, with services on Sunday Oct. 2 with an Elder present to complete the organization.  Eld M. M. Bashor of the Fairview Church was present.  The Organization was completed with the following members.

   Philip Workman and wife Maria  (Minister)
   Andrew Workman and wife Elizabeth
   Jacob Bahr and wife Nancy (Minister)
   Ira C Wakefield and Wife Mattie
   Mrs. Addie E Workman

Brother Bashor was retained as Elder in charge. Brother Wakefield and wife were chosen and installed as deacon and deaconess. Dec. 25, 1893, the church decide to ask the General Mission Board for a grant of $300.00 to build a church.  Jan. 27, 1894, purchased 2 acres as a church site from Andrew Workman for $33.00.

 Jan. 27, 1894 Incorporation papers filed.

 Jan. 26, 1895 Building committee appointed, C. G. Stahl foreman, Philip Workman and            Andrew Workman   

Jan. 25, 1896 Worship and council in the New Church, Opening hymn “ How happy are  they who their savior obey”

Sep. 23, 1896 District Meeting.

Sep. 25, 1896 Love Feast.

Sep. 27, 1896 Church Dedication.  Brother Philip workman ordained Elder and given the charge as overseer of the church.

Following the District Meeting and Church dedication Brother Geo. C Carl as evangelist led in a ten day evangelistic campaign at the close of which seventeen were added to the church by baptism.  The country not being adapted for farming rather to lumbering caused the population to be rather a floating type, moving in and out, the membership was up and down in number as the years passed by, the Workman’s stayed in the community.

Philip Workman died in 1910 his wife in 1920, buried in Mabel. Andrew Workman died in 1912 and his wife in 1942. Buried in Mabel.  Philip Workman daughter Ida age 8 years when they came to Oregon in 1876 is (Mar 1956) now in a nursing home in Lebanon, her name is Ida Mackery a member since 1918.  Andrew Workman’s step daughter Alice Deraleus age 7 years when she came with her parents to Oregon in 1878, Married a John Lewis, was a faithful member 1896 to 1954.

Brother and Sister Bahr moved frequently to help in the ministry elsewhere but moved back into the community.  Brother Bahr died in 1910 his wife in 1917.

  When Brother Workman and Brother Bahr were non longer able to carry the burden of the ministry Brethren Wm Pullen moved in and served in the ministry 1909 to 1911, also a brother Force served in the ministry some.  They both moved out in 1911. Earlier a brother Royer and also a Brother Miller had served some.  

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