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The Evangelical Church in Multnomah County
from History of the Evangelical Church in Oregon and Washington 1864-1938
The early part of the biography of J.
Bowersox is recorded in the early history of the Mission in
Oregon. What his work in Oregon has meant to the many who
felt the touch of his personal influence cannot be told. He
was true to the Gospel Message, earnest in its delivery and
untiring in his devotion to the spiritual welfare of the
people to whom he ministered,. Few men can look back over as
long a period of service in the ministry as did this aged
veteran of the cross. He did not retire until he was
eighty-five years old. He was in the regular service of the
ministry for forty-eight years. He held the following
offices in the church: Presiding Elder, President of the
Conference Missionary Society, Conference Treasurer, Trustee
of the Conference, Trustee of Lafayette Seminary and later
of Dallas College. He was a delegate of General Conference
in 1891. He was married to Mary Orwig, daughter of Bishop W.
Orwig in 1862. To this union there were born four sons and
one daughter. The mother of his children died in 1896. Her
funeral services were conducted by the Presiding Elder C. C.
Poling, assisted by M. J. Ballantyne.
In 1889 he married Miss M. E. Herner who
was the faithful companion in his declining years. Brother
Bowersox was a brother beloved, a good preacher faithful to
the Word and to the Doctrines of the Book of God. but as a
pastor he excelled--he had few peers, and the people, not
only in the Evangelical Church were the object of his
sympathy and care. Many were led to Christ by his ministry.
He came to his coronation in 1922 at the ripe age of 85. The
funeral services were held in the Willamette Blvd. Church
conducted by his pastor, G. L. Lovell, and in Salem Church
where many years of his ministry were spent, where W. C.
Kantner, an associate with him in the early Missionary work
in Oregon, spoke. C. C. Poling, who for forty years had been
associated with him in the work of the Oregon Conference,
spoke of his work and influence in the laying of the
foundation of our work in Oregon. He also committed the body
at the cemetery. His body awaits the Trump of God when the
righteous dead shall arise and reign with the Lord.
Noah Shupp was born near Bucyrus, Ohio,
January 27, 1844. He was converted when a lad, and at the
age of seventeen he dedicated his life to God's service and
finally he accepted his call to preach. The Ohio Conference
of our church licensed and ordained him in due time as
Deacon and finally as Elder. He served very acceptably for
twenty-two years on the following fields in Ohio Conference:
Lancaster, Columbus, Ashland, Tiffin, Belview and Fremont.
In 1889 he was appointed by the Board of Bishops to the
Oregon Conference. He was received in 1890 at the session in
Albany. He labored with success thirty-two years as pastor
and Presiding Elder. He served altogether in the active work
fifty-four years. He was thorough in all his work. He was an
able preacher and was loyal to God's Word, and was always
ready to defend it. Like Paul he felt that he was God's
Ambassador, and, "Set for the defense of the Gospel." He was
a builder in more ways than one. He died on March 31, 1931,
having reached the ripe age of eighty-seven years, two
months and four days. Twenty-six of his associates in the
Conference were present at the funeral. The pastor, C. C.
Poling, had charge of the funeral services and read the
obituary. Presiding Elder Culver delivered a Gospel Message.
H. Schuknecht, an old associate in the Conference, spoke of
him "As a man and preacher of the Gospel." His body rests in
the Lone Fir cemetery in Portland, Oregon.
Peter Bittner was born in Ontario,
Canada, in 1850. He was converted at ten years of age, and
united with the Evangelical Church. He chose the medical
profession and graduated and practiced medicine for several
years and then heeded the call of God to preach the Gospel.
He was licensed by the Michigan Conference in 1876. He was
very successful in his work which he continued for a number
of years, serving prominent charges in the Michigan
Conference. On account of failing health he took credentials
and was received into the Oregon Conference session of 1887.
He served the following charges: Reedville, German Mission
in East Portland: failing health caused him to take a
Supernumerary relation. He suffered much during the closing
years of his life. His home going came October 28, 1922. His
funeral was held in the Ladd church, Portland. Revs. C. P.
Gates and J. A. Goode conducted the services. His body rests
in the Riverview cemetery until the resurrection morning.
This brother was a young man of bright prospects. He was
converted when a small boy, and united with the church. He
was granted license to preach the gospel by the Oregon
Conference in 1907. He was a probationer and supplied work
under the Presiding Elder. His life was cut short suddenly
while riding in an automobile with his family. They
collided, with a Southern Pacific train in crossing the
track near Beaverton. He lingered several hours and then
passed to his reward. The accident occurred in 1918. Rev. H.
H. Geil preached the funeral sermon. His body rests in
C. LUCAS 1857-1922.
Rev. Lucas was born in Germany, December
16, 1 857. He was converted in Painsville, Minnesota in 1
883, and united with the church. He was licensed to preach
by the Oregon Conference in 1902. He did not enter the
Itinerancy of the Conference, but served as a supply at
Oregon City and North Portland Mission. He was always
willing to render such help as he could. After an illness of
several months he died, April 20, 1922. His pastor Ezra
Maurer preached the funeral sermon and H. Schuknecht
assisted. His body rests in Mt. Scott cemetery in Portland,
J. A. SCHLENK 1848-1925
J. A. Schlenk was born in Germany in
1848. Came to America in 1854 and located in New York State.
He came under the preaching of the Evangelical Church, Rev.
M. Launer being the pastor, who afterward became our
publisher. He united with the Evangelical Church, his
conversion taking place in 1868. The Illinois Conference
licensed him to preach in 1870. He entered the active work
in the New York Conference in 1873. He was ordained by
Bishop Yeakle. He was appointed to the Oregon country as
Missionary by the Board of Missions in 1883. He was assigned
to Portland First Church. He was a charter member of the
Oregon Conference. He served First Church until 1888, when
on account of family affairs, he returned to the New York
Conference, where he served until 1920. He retired having
completed fifty years of active work. He died in the home of
his son, Leroy, February 20, 1925. His body rests in the
cemetery in New York. He rests from his labors and his work
J. E. Smith was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania August 18, 1858. He was converted at the age of twelve and united with the church. He was called to preach. He attended Naperville College and Seminary. Licensed to preach by the Indiana Conference in 1881, he was ordained by Bishop R. Dubs. He served in the Indiana Conference until 1900 when he took credentials to the Oregon Conference. He was elected Presiding Elder and placed on the Portland District. He served three years on the Portland District and one on the Salem District. He served Milwaukie with the district. In 1 906 he took a Supernumerary relation. This relation he sustained until the Lord took him higher on December 30, 1919 "he was not for the Lord took him." The funeral was conducted in the East Side church, conducted by his pastor, E. D. Hornschuch. His body rests in the Rosewood cemetery.