Providence Church

Homespun Missionary

Yesterday, while I was looking for some other books, I located a small volume I inherited title, “Joab Powell, Homespun Missionary”. It was copyrighted in 1935 and gives an overview of his life though the primary focus was really on his influence establishing a Baptist church network in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Uncle Joab as he was called (and he is my great-great-great grandfather) was born July 16, 1799 in the hill country of NE Tennessee. He married Ann Beeler and had 14 children, two who died young. They moved from Tennessee to Missouri, just outside Independence. When the Baptist church in the region went through a division in the early 1850’s, he moved with his family to western Oregon on the Oregon Trail in 1852. The family settled in different parts of the area and even one son near Prineville OR. I am descended from their son, Peter Powell, who had a donation land claim here in Berlin. Uncle Joab was fairly illiterate though had a great memory and with Ann reading scripture, he could memorize passages to share. He established Providence Church which is between here and Scio, Oregon. He and Ann are buried next to the church.

Joab PowellJoab Powell