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Letter from Bro. T. Thompson to Bro. Johnston, 5 Jul 1871.
Source:  The Bible Expositor (Santa Rosa, California), v. 1, n. 8, August 1871.  (Microfilm courtesy of Abilene Christian College, TX; photocopy and transcription courtesy of Dr. James V. Spickard, University of Redlands, CA.)
313

SANTA CLARA, July 5th, 1871.

-
Dear Brother Johnston:--I see in your July number of the
Expositor, a communication from my beloved Bro. Peterson, of Oregon, which seems to demand a reply from me, especially as my good brother thinks my practice a quarter century ago, better than at present; and as I am not aware of any change, either in mind or practice, on the subject of co-operation or missionary work, as my practice both of "old times," and of this latest date will prove, having always given both my time and influence to that plan that I considered would most advance the Redeemer's cause.  I will here give an outline of some of my practice more than forty years gone by: of even "older times" than Bro. P.'s acquaintance with me.  I was the principal mover in getting up the first Co-operation Meeting in Missouri, which met in Paris.  At this meeting, Father McBride, and Henry Thomas, were appointed Evangelists.  They depended on what churches might contribute to their support.  But this being the year that the Cholera visited Palmyra, they were deterred from laboring in that region where the churches were most active in said co-operation.  Therefore these brethren were poorly sustained as they did not labor where they would have been compensated; consequently, co-operation failed for several years, or was discontinued.  A few years after this I moved to the Grand River country -- say about '37 or '38 -- and began to vangelize.  Organized a few churches in Grundy and Lynn counties.  Shortly after this, Brothers, J.S. Allen and Geo. Flint, moved to what is now Harrison County; they all evangelized and organized churches.  We jointly labored in Grundy, Davis, Livingston, Merser (sic), Harrison, and Lynn counties, and having organized churches in all of these, we proposed to said churches that they co-operate and employ two Evangelists, by each church sending messengers, and the amount they would pay, and in what kind of trade (money being out of the question), to whomsoever the messengers might select.  The messengers met at Trenton, Grundy 
314

county, with subscriptions, amounting to about seven hundred dollars.  Bro. J.S. Allen, and myself, were chosen.  We labored in the above counties for one year, and at the State Meeting, reported over 500 members; at least one-half being the result of the year's labor.  All this took place in still "older times" than my good Brother's acquaintance with me, as this took place nearly thirty years ago.  I still labored as an Evangelist wherever I thought I could most advance the Master's cause, until 1849, when I left the Paris church, with my papers as an Evangelist, for California.  And on my way, and after my arrival, have done what little my poor talent would enable me to do, to advance the Master's cause, having been at the organization of several of the first churches in this country, among which were Stockton and Santa Clara, in 1851; afterwards was present at the following churches' organization, viz: Gilroy, the church now meeting at Downieville, Mud, or Diamond Springs, and was with Bro. McCorkle at Santa Rosa; with Bro. Lawrence at Woodland; with Bro. Pendegast at Sacramento; with Bros. Brown and Lewis at Big Plain, etc.; and made the move in the Santa Clara church to co-operate with the other churches of the State in evangelizing; wrote out, and carried around to the several churches, the prepared plan of co-operation, which resulted in State Meetings: have attended all of them, and advocated every Evangelizing or Missionary plan that I thought would advance the Master's cause.  In all this time I never called on any church for a dollar, nor did I ever request a contribution taken up for me.  It is true, that churches have frequently voluntarily done so, and so have individuals.  It is true that I have witnessed many opportunities that churches and individuals have had, and let pass, without laying up treasures in Heaven; this is always the case where the preacher is allowed to lay it all up.  And I have heard of many cases where the church has laid up treasures in Heaven, having fully compensated the preacher, he having received his reward, and they will recover their reward.  In the foregoing, I have warped a long web, that will admit of a great deal of filling, but hope Bro. Peterson will be satisfied, for at least one month, and he may hear from me again.

As ever your Brother in Christ,    T. THOMPSON. 
Family Group Sheet of Thomas THOMPSON
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