The Kansas District was created in 1878 as a separate district within the Kansas Methodist Conference to serve the religious needs of the freedmen who were migrating into Kansas in large numbers after Reconstruction. Rev. James S. Griffing appears to have been the only white pastor among the clergymen hired to serve this district.
The Colored Work in Kansas
Methodist: It may be remembered
that this work has been organized fourteen months. We have now in this city,
on the south side of the river, Rev. Thos. J. Merritt in charge. He came here
from Philadelphia more than eight months ago. He has increased the membership
both in church and Sunday school. His charge embraces not only Topeka, but
Alma and Wamego.
Dr. E. B.
Ramsey, a graduate of the Meharry Medical School at Central Tennessee College,
was appointed at the last session of the Kansas Conference to take charge in
North Topeka, and was at the same time admitted to membership into the Medical
Board here in the city and commenced the practice of medicine together with
his church work and has proved to be successful; so much so that he had to
resign his charge, as a pastor and devote himself to the practice of medicine
alone. The people are liking him very much as a physician.
late of Louisiana, has been appointed to succeed Dr. Ramsey.
Dr. G. M.
McKinney, a graduate of the same class with Dr. Ramsey, was in charge at
Emporia and Dunlap, but since his brother, M.
M. McKinney, has succeeded him for the same of Dr. Ramsey.
At Dunlap we
have a small membership and a Sabbath School.
Rev. Jas. B.
Gibbs came from Mobile, Alabama, twelve months ago. He is in charge at
Burlingame, Osage, Eskrige, and Wakarusa circuits.
Rev. J. S.
Griffing, a white brother, is in charge at Manhattan. The people like him very
well and he likes them.
Wright, from Washington D.C., is in charge at Salina. He is a good man and is
very well educated.
Landoe, late of Louisiana, is in charge at Wyandotte. He has made up a
membership of twenty-one and a Sabbath School.
Rev. W. B.
Avery, late of Texas, is in charge at Independence.
Rector, transferred from St. Louis Conference, is at Baxter Springs.
The people should be looked after in other portions of the State, but we have not the money to pay traveling expenses. We need no less than $10,000 to support this work. We have a good class of young men out here to do this work. They know their business and should have a support for themselves and families, and I hope will have it before it is too late.”
Source: The Kansas Methodist,
is the plan for the Quarterly Conferences, Kansas District, Kansas Conference,
9-10; Mt. Olive, April 16-17; Wyandotte, April 19-20; Baxter Springs, April
23-24; Oswego, April 30; Independence, May 7-8; Winfield, May 10-11; Dunlap,
May 14-15; Osage, May 21-22; Salina, May 24-25; Atchison, May 28-29; Alma,
June 13-14; Manhattan, June 15.
will remember that the second Sunday in June shall be observed as children’s
day; a sermon preached and collection taken as the discipline directs. Let a
report of this and all other benevolent collections be made at the District
Conference, which will convene at 9 o’clock on the morning of the 16th
of June, 1881, in the M. E. Church, second charge, at Manhattan [Rev. James
S. Griffing’s church].
The evening of the 15th a sermon will be preached by Rev. M. M. McKinney, of Atchison. Subject, “Our Missions.”
Both forenoon and afternoon of each day will be the time for the transaction of such business as may come before the conference according to the discipline. The evenings will be given to religious and literary exercises for the benefit of those attending the conference. The exercises shall begin promptly at 8 o’clock of each evening. The following is the program:
Character, W. O. Lynch; Present Demands upon the Colored People of the West,
Rev. H. A. Lewin, of Baxter Springs; Progress of the colored people since
1865, Rev. J. B. Gibbs, of Burlingame; Providential Government of this
Country, Rev. W. B. Avery, of Oswego; Should Kansas have mixed schools?
Rev. J. S. Griffing, of Manhattan; Morality and Religion, Rev. M. M.
McKinney, of Atchison; Elements of a true man, Dr. G. W. McKinney, of Olathe;
Need of an educated ministry, Rev. W. Wright, of Salina; Ministerial Conduct,
Rev. F. Landor, of Wyandotte; Ministerial Duties, Rev. Theo. J. Merritt, of
Topeka; Training of Children, Rev. M. Bell, of Dunlap; Duties of parents, Bro.
G. W. Patton, of Topeka; Atonement, Rev. R. Rector, of Wamego; Interests
between the white and colored people of the United States, Prof. W. I.
Jemison, of Topeka; Human Rights, C. W. Williams, of Topeka.”