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They were also self-supporting, although the ABHMS and the American Baptist Publication Society often provided assistance.
Appointed by the ABHMS and the Baptist Convention of the North Pacific Coast, Okerson arrived in Portland in early 1881.
Reflective of NBC leaders' feeling that certain states within the convention--namely, Virginia and North Carolina, which later led the charge to split off as the LCC--received more aid from the ABHMS because of gratuitous displays of gratitude (Fitts 86), Bernard says that, in order to be a citizen of America, one has to seek the recognition of white male society:
Whitted writes, the convention believed that the ABHMS provided aid only to "the most grateful and loyal people with whom they were associated in Christian and educational work," those who "stood firm and unchangeable in their high esteem and loyal support for the Home Mission Society," and therefore for whom the ABHMS was "inclined to do more" (27).
During that early era, it was common practice for valedictorians from Southern Black Baptist secondary schools funded by the ABHMS to receive a tuition scholarship to affiliated Baptist colleges like Morehouse.
Harvard historian Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham documents how white Christian philanthropists such as Henry Morehouse and other leaders within the American Baptist Home Missionary Society (ABHMS) in 1896 promoted the concept of the Talented Tenth as black elite race leaders.
Soon after joining the ABHMS, state missions took off.
Clifford Miller said it plain enough: "Baptists had no work among Indians of the Pacific Northwest." (15) Limited assistance from the ABHMS, the poor record of Indian missions by all Protestant groups, and the decline of Jesuit work combined together to inspire that little or no mission work be undertaken among Baptists.
During the 1890s, the ABHMS consolidated several of the Freedman Schools throughout the South.
Brooks of the ABHMS denounced any form of Americanization that devalued ancestral heritage.
Okerson landed in Portland in 1881, having received his appointment from the ABHMS. He found the Portland area to be a challenging place in which to establish Baptist work due to difficult travel conditions, the small Swedish population, clashes with Swedish Lutherans, (10) and the overall indifference of the general population to religious matters.
The earliest missionaries, sent by the ABHMS, arrived in 1845, one year after the West Union Church was organized in the home of Deacon David Lennox.
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