Tag Archives: lava desert

259 – Sept. 16 – This Day in Baptist History Past


The Baptists Reach Idaho


1805 – Lewis and Clark, on their expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase noted in their journal that their food supply had run out. They and their company were lost in the Indian country of Idaho for a week from Sept. 13-20. This effort opened the territory for new development and Idaho became America’s 43rd state on July 3, 1890. The Baptists have been there since 1830. Around 1894 Rev. Howard Bowler of Bellevue heard that there were a few people in the Big Lost Valley who desired to hear the Word of God, so he hitched up his horse and buggy and rode the ninety miles through the lava desert to reach them. A few women had maintained a Sunday school in a schoolhouse, he met the Nelsons who were believers and rode on to Arco and met another believer and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. George E. Ferris, who owned General Stores in Arco and Houston. The following Sunday, services were held at the dance hall at Lost River, and so many came it closed the dance hall. In a six-week period a church was founded and a Sunday school was started. In that same period Rev. Bowler preached sixty sermons, traveled one-thousand miles on visitation as he witnessed to every family within twenty miles, and cut ice to baptize. [Coe Hayne, Old Trails and New (Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1920), p. 30. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 507-08.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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