Reverend Nicholas Hayland



       Nicholas Hayland was born September 25, 1846, in Jemshög, Blekinge, Sweden.  Was baptized in Karlshamn, April 15, 1871, by E. Wingren.  He studied in Sweden from 1861 - 1870.  B.U.T.S.(Baptist Union Theological Seminary, original name of Bethel Theological Seminary) 1872-1873.  D.B. 1873.  (Pastor Hayland has the distinction of being the first person to graduate from Bethel College and Seminary.) Ordained, in Wahoo, Nebraska on January 20, 1877.  Was a Missionary in Iowa and Nebraska until 1881.  Rev. Hayland was Pastor in Omaha, Nebraska, California in 1881 to1882.  When Pastor Hayland left California he went to a church in Seattle until he was called to preach in Portland.

     On October 1, 1885 Rev. Nicholas Hayland came from Seattle to take over for Olaus Okerson who was interim pastor at this time.  He had a very fruitful ministry in Portland.  Rev. Hayland had studied in Sweden and also in Dr. Edgren's school in Chicago.  Dr. Edgren's school was the beginning of Bethel Seminary.  Rev. Hayland was the first graduate of Bethel Seminary.  Rev. Hayland spoke several languages, was an able preacher, a musician and an organizer.  Rev. Hayland played the organ and directed the choir as well. 

       The choir was made up of two girls, Mr. and Mrs. Hayland, and a few other female non-members.  The male voices in the choir were young men interested enough in the eligible women to walk two to five miles each way to the services.  In spite of Rev. Hayland's abilities, he often preached to a congregation of less than twenty at the Caruthers Street church.  Most members lived  on farms away from the city and could not get to church more than two or three times a year.

     Pastor and Mrs. Hayland knew that the church was located too far from the Swedes, so they started looking for a new site on which to build an new church.  Rev. Hayland canvassed the mills and businesses in the area and Mrs. Hayland went house to house asking for money for the church.       

     In 1887 the church and property on Caruthers Street was sold, and the church had $2,000 with which to pay for a new building.  A lot was purchased on Eleventh Street (which later became Twelfth) between Flanders and Glisan in Northwest Portland.  Building began in April, 1886, and finished 390 days later at a total cont of $4,300.  The building was dedicated at 3:00 p.m. on August 21, 1887, with six visiting pastors in attendance.  Rev. Nelson from Tacoma preached at the opening services.  The new building contained an auditorium, Prayer meeting room, and a parsonage.  Only $400 was needed to pay off all debts.

Click on Link to see photo of Church building on 12th & Glisan.

     The Young People's Society was organized under Rev. Hayland on January 4, 1888, with a membership of seventeen.  The aim of the society was to promote Christian fellowship and encourage spiritual life.  The first president was L. Larson.  Rev. Hayland later took over the leadership until he left in 1889.  Early activities included the distribution of tracts, hospital and jail visitations, and visits to ships in port to invite Scandinavian sailors to attend meetings at the church.  They also supported missionaries and maintained a string band.  A number of young people went into full-time Christian service as a result of their experience in this group.  

     He served in Los Angles during the years 1890 to 1891, at Oak Valley, California during the years 1892 till 1898, Tacoma, Washington during 1898 till 1900.  Rev. Hayland died in Tacoma on March 14, 1900.

    "When Christ, who is your life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."  Colossians 3:4

Return to Former Pastors Return to History of Bethel Return to Church History1885
Return to Home Page Return to Harley's Notes