Proceedings of the Methodist Annual Conference.
[Aeported for the Richmond Dispatch.]
Norfolk, Nov. 25.
The Conference continued in secret session to-day, until about 12 o'clock, when the doors were opened to the crowds eagerly awaiting admission.
Immediately thereafter Rev. H. B. Cowles
, submitted a report from the Committee
on the General Publishing Interests
of the Church
, which elicited some debate from Messrs. Stanley
, and Smith
There was really no difference of opinion between the speakers as to the real merits of the question involved, but only as to a matter of taste and verbal criticism.
The report as presented by the Committee
During this period Rev. D. S. Doggett
was in the Chair.
The Conference then adjourned after various notices had been given, among which was one from the Bishop
, calling the Presiding Elders
together to consider of the appointments.
The Anuiversary Meeting of the Missionary Society
of the Virginia Annual Conference was held at 7 ¼ o'clock, at the Cumbertand Street Church
Nearly half an hour earlier the house was nearly filled, and when the services really commenced the building was crowded in every part.
John E. Edwards
of the Society, called the meeting to order, when Rev. Frank Stanley
conducted religious exercises, reading as the lesson the second psaim, singing the hymn--
‘"Jesus shall reign where'er the sun,"’ and offering an appropriate prayer.
Rev. Charles H. Hall
was elected Secretary protempore,
and read the report prepared by the late Secretary
, Rev. James A. Riddick
That document gave a very interesting account of the missions under the supervision of the society within the bounds of the Virginia Conference
Reports had been received from only four of the missions among the whites, and six among the blacks.
Of the former was the mission to the Germans, under the charge of Rev. N. S. Blogg
During the year he had visited 100 German families in Richmond
, 26 in Petersburg
, 19 in Lynchburg
, and 13 in Alexandria
; had distributed over 10,000 pages German tracts, distributed to soldiers 10,840 bages tracts, 32 Bibles, 31 Testaments, 3 Testaments in Germen, 2 in French
, 205 vols books, 166 pamphlets; preached 35 sermons in English
, 38 in German
; and attended 9 funerals.
This mission was only established last year.
The fact was stated that the Norfolk Coloured Mission
had raised $1,200 to pay his pastor and church expenses.
The Treasurer, D'Arcy Paul
, read the report of the amounis collected for missions in the circuits and stations of the Conference.
Here and there the word ‘"none"’ was repeated, usually accompanied with the explanation that the Federal
forces had scattered the people and chased away the pastors.
The sum total of these collections amounted to--, whereas the collections of last year amounted to more than $20,000.
The next order of business was the election of officers of the Society for the ensuing year, when the Rev. Wm. B. Rowze
was elected President
; Rev. Frank Stantey
; Rev. Charles H. Hall
; and D'Aicy Paul
This finished the business of the evening, when President Edwards
arose, and staced that he had the promise of an address from the Rev. Dr. Cross
, and asked, ‘"Is Dr. Cross
in the house?"’ No response.
The question was repeated and somebody from the choir answered, ‘"Dr. Cross
is in the gallery."’ Still no Dr. Cross
showed himself, although the President
repeatedly urged his appearance.
At length Dr. Cross
arose in the gallery, declaring himself in the tigutest place that ever he was in, and attempted to decline positively to come down and speak.
But no denial would be heard, and at last the Dr. wended his way to the plattorm and briefly but most felicitiously addressed the immense audience.
A more beautiful elocutionist it has never been my lot to hear, nor was the effort wanting in point and pith withal.
When Dr. Cross
had concluded, Dr. Sehon
the missionary Secretary
of the Southern
Methodist church, andressed the audience.--He is a man of noble presence, as many of your Richmond
readers will well remember, and of as noble inteliect.
His address though brief, like the preceding one, was a masterly effort, and melted and moved the people.
A splendid plea for missions it was, and right nobly did the audience respond to its importunities and arguments.
Persons were then appointed to wait upon the congregation for contributions, and when they had passed throughout the house, a large amount of notes of various denominations had been taken.
But the chief collection was taken in another form — that is, by propositions and pledges, thus: One person proposed to be one of any number who would join him each to give one hundred dollars. Another proposed to be one of one hundred each to give ten dollars, and a very large number of persons responded promptly.
Another mode was that of making persons life members of the Parent Missionary Society
, which required the sum of twenty dollars. Among persons thus constituted life members of the Society were sunday ladies and gentlemen of Norfolk
, Jefferson Divis, General Beauregard
, and, what pleased me most of all, the watchman who deleared the efforts of the traitors in East Tennessee
to burn a bridge, and whose noble words, ‘"They have murdered me, but the bridge is safe,"’ are worthy to be written in gold as an illustration of the virtue of fidelity to a trust.
But for the fear of consuming too much space.
I should give you several most delight ful incidents of this meeting, which, take it all in all, was perfectly charming.
The sum total of the collection was about $1,200.
While this meeting was in progress in Norfolk
, a somewhat similar scene was enacting in Dinwiddie street Methodist Church, Portsmouth
Rev. James A. Duncan
preached a suitable sermon there, and a collection was taken afterwards, amounting to fifty-eight dollars; so that the amount contributed in the two churches at the two meetings reached about $1,500--a pretty good night's work.
Conference Room, Norfolk, November 26, 1861.
Conference met at 9 o'clock--Bishop Andrew
in the chair.
Religious exercises conducted by Dr. Cross
, of Tennessee
Rev. Nelson Head
, from the Committee
on Sunday Schools, made a report, substantially affirming that the Conference is more than ever impressed with the value of Sunday schools.
Rev. John E. Edwards
made a few remarks calculated to impress the report upon the members of the Conference, and then Bishop Andrew
urged the importance of giving the children religious instruction, and put the question, ‘"All who favor the report, hold up your hands."’ The report was adopted.
said, ‘"I want you to hold up your hands all the year."’
Revs Nelson Head, from the Committee
on the State
of the Church
, presented a report, embodving a pastoral address to the people and churches within the bounds of the Conference.
The pastoral address was a lengthy but able paper.
The report was adopted.
called the list of those circuits and stations from which no statistical report had been received.
The examination of the character of Elders was resumed, and P. W. Archer
, Geo. H. Rav
, Frank Stanly
, W. Carter
, S V. Hoyle
. Thos. A. Pearce
, Jeseph Lear
, John D. Southall
, Jno. W. White
, D. M. Wallace
, B. F. Shelton
, J. J. Lambkin
, W. A. Smith
, Jas. Jameson
, were passed.
Just here Bishop Andrew
rose and announced a message to himself and the Conference from Dr. L. M. Lee
, whose physicians considered the symptoms this morning favorable, and desired the Bishop
to come and see him, and to give his love to all the preachers.
Rev. Henry B. Cowles
offered a series of resolutions, affirming a deeper interest in the cause of Missions, and pledging the Conference to make special effort during this year to increase the contributions to the cause.
Rev. Dr. Sehon
took the floor and addressed himself to the statements of the resolution, and giving the facts upon which rests the necessity of special effort.
He gave a large amount of valuable statistical information touching the condition of the Missionary treasury, especially tending to show that Virginia
and other States must make up for the deficiencies of Missouri
is upon the floor when I bring this to a close.