Go to Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Diana, Goddess of the Hunt for Ancestors!
 
Go to Every-Name Index
Every-Name Index
 
The Disciples of Christ in Northern California:  Thomas Thompson
Source:  Clifford Adair Cole.  c1959.  The Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ) of Southern California:  a History.  Christian Board of Publication, St. Louis, MO, 324 pp.), Chap. III,  pp. 33-35 (transcription courtesy of Carol Mahoney).
THE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Naturally among the Forty-Niners there were many members of the Christian Church who came west under the excitement, leaving their church ties behind them.  As communities began to spring up in the territory adjacent to the mining operations these settlers became interested in other things than the search for gold.  Many were disillusioned as to easy riches and scattered to farming and cattle-raising areas.  Among the pioneers were a few preachers of the Restoration Movement who began to work among the residents of a number of communities in Northern California.  There was no missionary society among the Disciples of Christ at that time which could assign men to the new frontier, hence the proclamation of the Word and the organization of churches were perforce subject to the initiative and determination of these few preachers.

Perhaps the best known and most successful of these early evangelists was Thomas Thompson, who had arrived in Placer County in September, 1849, and struck his camp at Gold Run.  He had left Paris, Missouri, in early spring with his wife and children.  A few days after his arrival he preached his first sermon to miners who had gathered curiously about his tent.  This was undoubtedly the first sermon delivered within the State of California by a Disciple preacher.  In 1851 he moved his family to what is now Santa Clara, and within a few months succeeded in starting the first Christian Church in California at Stockton and a little later the second church located in Santa Clara.  In a volume by E.B. Ware, for many years a minister in Northern California, the story of the stirring adventures of Mr. Thompson and other pioneer ministers, many of them from Missouri, furnishes a romantic saga of toil and heartache in efforts at the proclamation of the gospel of Christ, of the gathering together of groups in scores of localities, and particularly of the assembling of central meetings commonly known among them as State Meetings.  In these larger gatherings, which lasted usually from Friday over two Sundays, thousands would assemble and hundreds were baptized.  Occasionally old-time Disciples living in Southern California would make the long trip to attend these State Meetings, although no church had yet been started in the "Cow Country."  Some thirty-five of these State Meetings were held in various places until the tabernacle used for many years was built in Santa Cruz in 1890.

Mr. Ware relates that the first building erected was in Gilroy in 1857.  One of its chief attractions was that it had two front doors, one for men and the other for women, "who were seated on the side of the house opposite from the men."

By 1860 there were 27 churches reported at the State Meeting with a membership of 1,223.  There seemed to be few if any local preachers.  The few "brethren" who preached supplied the pulpit requirements for them all in a sort of itinerant fashion.

Throughout the history of these State Meetings there were running controversies over the use of the organ, a paid ministry, missionary societies, colleges, state papers, Sunday Schools, co-operative support of evangelists and a state organization.  By 1880 the old controversial questions had been practically settled and the Christian Church in Northern California was well established and in the State Meeting held in Sacramento that year the first State Board of the Christian Church in California was appointed.

When one realizes the background of history, the backwash of the moral status of the Gold Rush, the means of travel, and the absence of missionary boards to promote and support missionary effort and organization, it is a rather remarkable record of travail and success.  Northern California has a story all its own in church development.  A recital of the life and work of such men as Thomas Thompson, J.P. McCorkle, J.N. Pendergast, Dr. W.W. Stevensen, G.O. Burnett, brother of California's first governor, E.B. Ware, B.F. Standefer, and G.R. Hands, sounds like a chapter from the early New Testament church.

The Disciples of Christ in Northern California Today (1959) have more than eighty-five churches with a membership of nearly 30,000.  Their state organizations is virile and forward-looking.  The per capita missionary giving is at the very top among the states and their interest in evangelism, church establishment and ecumenical leadership is vital.

Family Group Sheet of Thomas THOMPSON
Contact Home
Page
Table of
Contents
DNA
Hub
Biddle
DNA
Carrico
DNA
Corbin
DNA
Cupp
DNA
Danish
DNA
Ely
DNA
Lyon(s)
DNA
Rasey
DNA
Reason
DNA
Rose
DNA
Straub
DNA
Pedigree
Charts
Census
Records
Every-Name
Indices

"The Cloud" is double-speak for "dumb terminal on a main frame." Been there; done that. Never again.
You are giving away not only your privacy, but control of your data, your apps, and your computer to a corporation. Is that really where you want to go?
The IT guys on the big iron hated the Personal Computer because it gave users freedom and power; now they've conned you into being back under their control again.
Table of Contents
Go to Table of Contents
 
Privacy Policy ______
Every-Name Index
Go to Every-Name Index