The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., June 7, 1940; page un-numbered, but appeared between pages 4 and 5


     The three Methodist churches of Hood River valley, located at Pine Grove, Odell and Hood River, will unite in a special commemorative service and potluck dinner in honor of the Rev. Frank Spalding and the Rev. H.C. Clark, in the dining room of the Asbury Methodist church of Hood River, Sunday evening, June 9, at 6:30 p.m.
     The Revs. Mr. Spalding and Mr. Clark, both retired Methodist ministers, and now living in Hood River, played a very important part in the building and establishing of the Methodist churches in Hood River valley.
     Frank Spalding first came to Hood River in the summer of 1886, and established the old Belmont church near Frankton. This was the first church of any denomination to be built in Hood River valley. This church is no longer in existence, as it was later incorporated with the present Asbury Methodist church. Mr. Spalding says that the first sermon he preached here was in the old Frankton school building. That same year he organized a Bible class at Pine Grove and Crapper (Oak Grove). He also preached in other parts of the valley. In 1910, he returned to the valley and served as pastor of Pine Grove church. After that, he went to Brazil as a missionary, and upon returning to the United States he served as pastor of Asbury Methodist church from 1918 to 1923. Upon his retirement from the ministry, he came to Hood River to live. Mr. Spalding is 78 years old, having been born on January 11, 1862.
     The Rev. Mr. Clark came to Hood River in 1904, and served as resident pastor of the old Belmont church. He was a circuit rider for the Hood River circuit. While here, he conducted the first church services to be held in Odell. He organized that church, and added it to his lengthy circuit. Mr. Clark tells interesting stories of his circuit. He preached three sermons each Sunday, at Mt. Hood for the morning service, at Pine Grove in the afternoon, and at Belmont in the evening. The next Sunday he would make the rounds of Odell, Crapper and Belmont. He also preached at Ruthton part of the time. While he was here the helped build the present building used by the Pine Grove church. In 1907, he left Hood River, serving other charges at Cascade Locks, White Salmon and other points in eastern Oregon.
     Mr. Clark was born May 7, 1854. He joined the ministry when he was 29 years old, and has been serving his Savior ever since. Although retired from active ministerial work several years ago, he is still active in the work he loves. Regularly he visits the sick, calls on strangers, is superintendent of the Home department of the Sunday school and teaches an adult class of the Asbury Methodist church.
     An informal program will be held around the tables with several short talks by members of the three churches. A feature of the program will be the singing of the old-time hymns that were sung in the days of the pioneers. Mrs. Ed. Lage will lead this song service.
      All are invited to bring baskets and their own table service. Special invitations are given to the pioneers who were members of the congregations of these former ministers.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer