An Annual Convention at Danby

OCTOBER 6, 1894.
Evangelical Work in Rutland County.

The 13th convention of the Rutland County Christian Endeavor union was begun in the Congregational church at Danby Friday afternoon and will be continued today. Delegates began to arrived on the early trains, and by evening the town was full of delegates, visiting clergymen and numbers of persons interested in the Christian Endeavor movement. The town was thrown open to the strangers, who were hospitably entertained by the townspeople.

The church in which the services are being held is comparatively new, having been fully completed but a short time ago, and is one of the most artistic structures of its dimensions in the state. One of the features of the edifice is the new organ, the gift of Silas L. Griffith, which was used for the first time in public yesterday. J. Harry Engels of this city was organist for the occasion. The church was decorated with a profusion of cut flowers from the greenhouses of Mr. Griffith. They were in abundance such as is seldom seen, and roses, carnation, pinks, palms and potted plants vied with one another in splendor.

About 150 persons were present at the afternoon session. The meeting was opened by the president of the union, Dr. H. L. Newell of Proctor, with a service of song, after which Rev. W. A. Pinkerton of Danby welcomed the audience, saying: “I want to welcome you here today, and I want to welcome you informally. A little thought and reflection will show you that an informal rather than a formal greeting is in place here. We have a Bible authority for this. Did not the disciples welcome each other in this way? We could point to hundreds of these examples where the word ‘welcome’ meant a hearty, warm, cordial greeting among these men and strangers.

“This convention has never been held here before and the joy of the meeting depends largely upon the way the delegates are received. We are all alike in blood, and we are all engaged in the same work for the Savior, so that your greeting here cannot be too warm. Then I welcome you here today in the name of the convention, in the name of the congregation of Danby and in the name of our common motives and sympathy.”

E. R. Douglass of this city responded, thanking the citizens for their cordiality and hospitality and extending the thanks, for the courtesies received, in behalf of the delegates and visitors.

As Miss Hattie Smith of Hubbardton and Miss Bessie Otis of this city, who were to read papers, were unable to be present, the meeting proper opened with the reading of the secretary’s report of the last meeting. This was accepted without correction.

At the close of the reading of the report Miss Mayo, one of the lady evangelists that were sent out to do missionary work in the county by the Moody training school at Northfield last spring, read a paper entitled “Echoes From Northfield.” After describing the situation of the school she said: “This institution is divided into three divisions, the seminary for girls, the boys’ school and the training school. In the girls’ department the young women are taught branches of study that will help them in their work as well as give instruction in Bible study. In the boys’ department the young men are taught to work in various ways as well as taught in technical studies. In the training school everything that gives practical knowledge to help the Christian worker is brought out and taught with force and distinctness. This includes dressmaking, plain sewing, cooking, etc., that are likely to help the evangelist in his or her work in the Christian field.

“The young people hold morning and evening services, and the girls hold ‘corridor’ meetings every Saturday night. There are three conferences or conventions held in connection with the school each year. One is in June and is attended largely by college girls; another is in July and is attended principally by men from the different colleges. A ‘workers’ conference is held in August, where the workers in the field gather and compare notes.

“I have called myself an evangelist in connection with my work here. The first time that I ever saw that word applied to me was in Rutland last March. It was in the morning after I was introduced to the people in that town at a reception and gospel meeting at the Baptist church. In the morning I took up the morning paper, the Herald, I think it was, and saw myself described as an evangelist. I was somewhat startled at first, but since then I have become accustomed to the term. Before leaving you I want to give my heartiest thanks to you all for helping me as you all have done since I have been with you.”

Miss S. A. Chapin, who is associated with Miss Mayo in county work, spoke of the successes and reverses that had attended their work here, which has been largely in organizing Sunday schools, establishing church service, Christian Endeavor societies and in doing general Christian work from house to house among the more remote districts where churches are few and far between. The general results have been highly favorable: much more good has been done than was expected by the most sanguine, who have always held to the idea that the reticence of the New England character made an approach upon this subject difficult. The ladies have found in their work a large number of people who have left the church in their respective towns on account of some fancied grievance against the pastor. These persons, Miss Chapin said, were hard to deal with, as the characteristic which drove them from the church showed itself in a stubbornness against being reasoned with.

The meeting closed with the singing of a hymn.

In the evening the church was so crowded that it was necessary to put chairs in the aisles to accommodate the people. The meeting was opened with a praise service, conducted by L. V. Green of this city, after which the state president, E. G. Osgood of Bellow s Falls, read a paper on “Echoes From the Cleveland Convention.”

Rev. Dr. G. W. Phillips then delivered an address on “The Personal Ideal of Christian Endeavor.”