Even Just One is Worth It All - Matthew 18:12-14

    The Salmon River country in Siskiyou County was one of the wildest of the early fields, both in terrain and in temper.  It was on Salmon Mountain that James A. Brooks lost his life endeavoring to take books in for the miners.  From 1851 to 1866 Methodism attempted to keep a preacher there, then gave it up.  The highwater mark of success was in 1859, when nine members and four probationers were reported.  * Special Note: This is at a time when some historical sources estimate that there were approximately 10,000 miners in these mountains.

    Was the game worth the candle?  Well, take the case of William Fletcher.  Taylor Street Church, Portland was one of the good churches of the Oregon Conference, and William Fletcher was long one of its pillars.  He was class leader, and had the respect of all who knew him.  He spoke and read correctly, and wrote so well that he contributed to an eastern magazine.  Yet William Fletcher went to Sawyers Bar on the Salmon, “a worthless, drunken sailor, … and an ignorant man who could not tell one letter from another.  There he heard the Gospel, there he was transformed into a good man, a useful citizen, and heir to glory.”  So wrote one of Fletcher’s pastors.                


- Quote from book:  In Search of God’s Gold

A collection of historical accounts of California’s Church History - Page 66

An Opportunity To Meet A Practical Need

   “James A. Brooks, aged 26, perished on Salmon Mountain, February 25, 1857.”  So runs an entry in the Conference Roll of the Honored Dead.

    Brooks was a lawyer by profession who in 1856 joined the Pacific Conference on trial.  He was assigned to one of the wildest circuits, both in scenery and humanity, the Salmon River.  After two months, winter came.  The miners were snowed in with little to do but drink and gamble.  So Brooks traveled down to Sacramento, and started back with a pack of books said to have weighed fifty pounds.  It was a steamer (thirty hours) up the Sacramento River to “Red Bluffs”, Concord stage to old Shasta, mule back to Weaverville.  Then he set out on foot over the old Trinity Trail.  It was snowing when he started out.

    Late the next spring someone caught a glint in the branches of a fir tree.  It was a watch.  Digging in the snow below they found Brooks’ body and his precious books.  On the bones of one arm was a bracelet of braided hair; what heartaches were woven into it no one knew  …Ministry was extra hazardous in gold rush days. 

 - Quote from book:  In Search of God’s Gold

A collection of historical accounts of California’s Church History - Page 67