Preached the first Baptist sermon in Oregon
1851 – Dr. Rueben Hill, on Christmas day, organized a Baptist church in Corvallis, Oregon, making Corvallis his major point of service for the next sixteen years. Dr. Hill had come there from Albany, Oregon where he preached the first Baptist sermon ever preached in the state. He planted churches, and served for twelve years as moderator for the Central Baptist Association. He also drew up the charter for the McMinnville College. In 1870 he was made the financial agent of the college and his salary provided scholarships for impoverished Baptist preachers. He also served in the Oregon territorial legislature for two terms. Rev. Rueben Coleman Hill, M.D. was born of humble beginnings in Kentucky on March 27, 1808. He disciplined himself to obtain a good education by his own efforts. When twenty-five, he married Miss Margaret Lair. Dr. Hill received Christ and was baptized into the Knob Creek Baptist Church in Maury County, TN. He served as a deacon and at thirty-six was licensed by the church to preach. In 1846 after evidence of God’s blessings upon his ministry he was ordained as a gospel preacher. From there he founded a rapidly growing Baptist church in Keetsville, MO. Great revivals were held in Springfield and in Arkansas. The gold rush broke out in California and the Hills joined a caravan heading west. He preached every Lord’s Day and witnessed incessantly on the way. When they arrived at Mud Springs, CA, gospel services were begun in the shade of a large tree. When the diggings dried up the town dried up too. From there the Hills moved on to Oregon. Dr. Hill died on Dec. 31, 1890.
[This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: 2000 A.D. pp. 705-06. C. H. Mattoon, Baptist Annals of Oregon (McMinnville, Oreg.: Telephone Register Publishing Co., 1905), 1:82.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon