Capture These Indians for the Lord: Indians, Methodists, and Oklahomans, 1844-1939
In 1844, on the heels of the final wave of the forced removal of thousands of Indians from the southern United States to what is now Oklahoma, the Southern Methodist Church created a separate organization known as the Indian Mission Conference to oversee its missionary efforts among the Native communities of Indian Territory. Initially, the Church conducted missions as part of the era’s push toward assimilation. But what the primarily white missionaries quickly encountered was a population who exerted more autonomy than they expected and who used Christianity to protect their culture, both of which frustrated those eager to bring Indian Territory into what they felt was mainstream American society.
In Capture These Indians for the Lord, Tash Smith traces the trajectory of the Southern Methodist Church in Oklahoma when it was at the frontlines of the relentless push toward western expansion. Although many Native people accepted the missionaries’ religious practices, Smith shows how individuals found ways to reconcile the Methodist force with their traditional cultural practices. When the white population of Indian Territory increased and Native sovereignty came under siege during the allotment era of the 1890s, white communities marginalized Indians within the Church and exploited elements of mission work for their own benefit.
Later, with white indifference toward Indian missions peaking in the early twentieth century, Smith explains that as the remnants of the Methodist power weakened, Indian membership regained control and used the Church to regenerate their culture. Throughout, Smith explores the complex relationships between white and Indian community members and how these phenomena shaped Methodist churches in the twentieth century.
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Capture These Indians for the Lord: Indians, Methodists, and Oklahomans ...
Limited preview - 2014
American Baptist Home Anadarko Annual Report ofthe Baptist Home Mission Bishop Edwin Board of Missions Brother in Red camp meetings Cherokee Nation Chickasaw Christian church officials Comanche conference’s Creek culture denominations District Doris Duke Doris Duke Oral Duke Oral History East Oklahoma Conference Edwin D Five Tribes folder Folsom Fort Coffee full-blood GCAH Home Mission Society IMC officials IMC’s Indian Archives Collection Indian churches Indian communities Indian congregations Indian members Indian ministers Indian Mission Conference Indian preachers Indian Territory J. J. Methvin Personal Jasper Methvin autobiography John Jasper Methvin KCA Agency Kiowa Meth Methodist Episcopal Church Methvin Institute Methvin Personal Papers Mission Society Collection missionaries Mouzon Papers national church Native communities Northern Baptists odist organization peyote Plains Indians preach presiding elder Publishing House region religious Samuel Checote sion South Nashville Southern Methodism Southern Methodist Church superintendent Tahlequah tion University of Oklahoma white ministers white missionaries wrote