The Chronicle -

By Finn J.D. John
For The Chronicle 

Offbeat Oregon History - Plain-talking preacher was too blunt for Legislature's comfort


January 31, 2019

Photo provided/Ben Maxwell, Salem Public Library

Providence Pioneer Church, the church founded by "Uncle Joab" Powell, as it appeared in 1954. This church building was constructed some time after Powell's death; it dates from 1898.

Back in 1859, when the pioneer lawmakers of the very first Oregon State Legislature extended an invitation to Missionary Baptist circuit preacher "Uncle Joab" Powell, the most famous man of the cloth in the state, to come to Salem and serve as the first Chaplain of the Legislature, it seemed very unlikely that any of the legislators actually knew what sort of preacher he was. If even a single one of them had, he would surely have warned the others that they were about to make a big mistake.

They would learn soon enough, though.

Immediately upon Uncle Joab's arrival, it was obvious that he...

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