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The religious history of the Pacific Northwest is important to the development and growth of this part of the United States. The first church men came with the purpose of evangelizing the Indians who lived in the region. These men, such as Jason Lee, Father Blanchet, Father Desmet, Marcus Whitman, and Dr. Elijah White, were the first to migrate to this country with the exception of a small handful who were fur traders or employees of the Hudson Bay Company. Although the primary purpose of these "missionaries" failed, they did pioneer the way for others to come. With each new group of immigrants came a representative of a different religious body that had come to America years before or had evolved out of the religious turmoil of the century. One such group which is represented by the latter classification was the Free Methodist Church.

Sixteen years after its founding the first "missionary" was sent to the Oregon Country to organize the church. Since that time, 88 years ago, Free Methodism in the Northwest has grown to include three conferences, 100 churches with a membership of 7,650.

It was the purpose of this investigation to make an intensive study of the historical development of the Oregon Conference of the Free Methodist Church from the time that the first members of the church moved into the Northwest and established the church until the present time.