Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Columbia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Collection, 1866-1893

Historical Note:

The Columbia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was organized on October 26, 1866, in Corvallis, Oregon. However, representatives of the ME Church, South, had been present in Corvallis since the arrival of Orcenith Fisher in 1858. In 1859, Fisher purchased Corvallis College which had encountered financial difficulties and placed the new property (on Fifth Street between and Madison and Monroe) in the hands of the local church which used it as both a church and college building.

W.A. Finley was appointed as both the pastor of the church and president of the college in 1865. In 1866, James Kelsay was appointed to the Corvallis church, but Finley served as the pastor again in 1869-1870 while college president. College faculty member, Joseph Emery, also served as the church's pastor for several years in the late 1860s through 1870s.

In 1868, Corvallis College was adopted as the agricultural college of Oregon under the provisions of the Morrill Act and was thereafter administered by a Board of Trustees and then Board of Regents. However the Board of the Education of the Columbia Conference continued to have a strong interest in the operation of the College.

The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, congregation in Corvallis (later known as the Madison Street Methodist Church) was united with the northern Methodist congregation in 1941 to form the First Methodist Church of Corvallis.

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