Protestant Religious Services and Missionaries of Guam

The Guam Recorder
News Letter of Island Affairs
June 1936, Vol. XIII, No. 3

Editorial Staff
Director, The Governor of Guam
Editor and Business Manager, Lt. K. A. Thieme, U.S.N.
Associate Editor, Mrs. S. I. Higgins
Social Editor, Mrs. R. E. S. Kelley
Secretary, R. K. Stone, Y2c., U.S.N.

Article courtesy the Richard Flores Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center

Image of the Cover, the Table of Contents, Page 8, and Page 15

Page 15

The first protestant religious services believed to have been held in Guam, were conducted by Major A. C. Kelton, U. S. Marine Corps, Commanding Officer of the first battalion of Marines to occupy the Island. Sunday evening services were held by Major Kelton during the latter part of 1899, in the Recreation Hall of the Marine Barracks in Agaña, in that part of the building now occupied by the Public Market.

About, or shortly before, the arrival of the first American Naval Governor, Captain Richard P. Leary, U.S. Navy, and the Battalion of U.S. Marines on the Station Ship, Yosemite, on 7 August, 1899, there were two brothers, natives of Guam, who had been away from the Island for a number of years, but who had returned after the American occupation to do missionary work among their people. They were Mr. José Custino and his young son José, and Mr. Luis Custino and his adult daughter Rosa. They came to Guam from Honolulu, T. H., and it is thought that they were connected with the Salvation Army, or at least with the Y.M.C.A., for they brought with them a quantity of Y.M.C.A. literature. They began preaching the new gospel among their relatives and friends.

Mr. José Custino, Sr., leased the stone building on the North side of the Plaza and immediately East of the quarters now occupied by the Commanding Officer of the U. S. Naval Hospital. Mr. Custino with his family occupied this building as a dwelling as well as a meeting place for religious services. Sunday evening services were also conducted in this building by Major Kelton for the service personnel.

During the year 1901, the Reverend Francis Marion Price with his wife, two married daughters with their husbands, Mrs. Alice Price Logan, and Mrs. Ana Price Foster, and a Miss Channel, arrived to do missionary work and to train native missionaries. Reverend Price, shortly after his arrival, and acting as a representative of The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, purchased from Mr. William Coe, an American-Samoan who had been appointed acting Governor before the arrival of Captain Leary, the section of land known as "Adelup", (Adilog, Adilug, Devils Point, Missionary Point). Two two-story frame dwellings and two other buildings which were used for quarters for boarding-school pupils were erected. The two dwellings that are now located adjacent to and East of the present Mission Church in Agaña, were erected on the site now occupied by the dwelling known as the Quarters of the Commanding Officer of the Station Ship, U. S. S. Gold Star.

During the year 1902, the Mission property in Agaña was acquired with a stone building then located on it, at, or about, the present site of the first dwelling next to, and east of the Mission Church on Dr. Hesler Street. This building was used as a church and for school classes in English. Reverend Price is believed to have been a member of the Congregational Church. He was the first regularly ordained protestant minister and missionary to carry on missionary work in Guam. He was relieved by Reverend E. B. Case, during 1903. Reverend Case remained and continued the work begun by Rev. Price for seven years. He was obliged to leave due to the lack of funds. The appropriation allowed by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions having become exhausted, and the small congregation being unable to support their Pastor, the mission was left to take care of itself to the best of its ability until the arrival of Revernd [Reverend] Arthur U. Logan with his wife. Reverend Logan was sent out by the General Baptist Foreign Missionary Society after many requests for a Pastor by the local mission. Reverend Logan remained until the arrival of Reverend D. R. Thomas in 1922. Reverend Thomas was relieved by Reverend A. I. Luttrull in 1925, and he, in turn, was relieved in a short time and was sent home due to ill health.

It was through the efforts of Reverend Logan that the present church was erected, and the two Mission dwellings on Dr. Hesler Street East of the church were removed from Adelup and re-constructed upon their present sites. The first services were held in the new church in 1921. The present property occupied by the Mission was acquired by the General Baptist Foreign Missionary Society by cession from the American Board of Commissioners for the Foreign Missions Service, 10 November, 1911, through the efforts of Reverend Arthur U. Logan, acting as representative.

During the interval between the departure of Reverend Case and the arrival of Reverend Logan, a period of approximately two years, the Reverend José Aguon Flores, the first native of the Island to be ordained a minister, was in charge of the mission. Reverend Flores was a member of the boarding established by Reverend Price. Among others who attended this school were;

Miss Amalia Santos, deceased wife of G. Ito, Japanese Tailor.
Miss Dolores Salas, deceased wife of Francisco Taitano, Field Extension Agent, I. G.
Miss Rosario Taitano, wife of John Taitano.
Miss Maria de Leon
Miss Dolores Flores, wife of José Sablan, father of the present Pastor, Rev. Joaquín Sablan.
Miss Juliana Flores, wife of Jesús Cruz.
José Flores, Plumber, P. W. Dept.
Manuel Torres, Farmer, Yigo.
Joaquín M. Taitano.
José S. N. Taitano and Family.
One Japanese - Osaki (Believed to have been an employee of the Hiki Trading Co.)

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