Rev. Teofil Gideon Sjolander
Gideon Sjolander was born in Sweden in the town of Ísthammar on September 16, 1883. He was converted in Hull, England on April 7, 1902. Gideon graduated from Bethel Theological Seminary in 1911. He married Maria Jacobson, of Berwyn, Illinois, on September 27, 1912. They were blessed with four children, Clifford Gideon, Deborah Marie, Carl Theodore, and Doris Elizabeth. He was ordained December 2. 1912 at Isanti North, Minnesota. Gideon served as student pastor in South Bend, Indiana and Bay Ridge, New York. Rev. Sjolander served as pastor in two churches before answering the call to Temple in 1916.
"Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts."
It was with these words that Rev. T Gideon Sjolander greeted the large gathering of church members and friends at the reception for him and his family on the 4th of October, 1916 as he accepted the call for pastorate at Temple.
Rev. Sjolander came from a family of pioneer preachers. His grandfather, father, and uncle were all pastors. When Gideon was young, he became a sailor and while in England he and the entire crew of his ship were converted. He entered the ministry and served churches in Minnesota before coming to Portland. Pastor Sjolander's messages were warm and spiritual with an evangelistic emphasis. During the First World War, ship building was prominent in Portland, attracting many people to the area, some of whom joined the church. Wages were good and money was plentiful and as a result, the church started a building fund in February, 1919 at the suggestion of The Young People's Society. In March, the trustees were instructed to look for a new location on which to build, In November, 1921, the church voted to purchase property at the east end of the Broadway Bridge near Interstate Avenue on Larrabee Street for $15,000. In 1924 when Rev. Sjolander resigned the debt was paid.
In July, 1920 Pastor Sjolander traveled to Sweden to preach in the same places his father and grandfather had ministered, and to lead some of his relatives to Christ. In his absence Emanuel Bjorkquist led the church. Pastor Sjolander's impartial, spiritual ministry was much appreciated by the church membership. He resigned in October, 1923, to become an evangelist in the East with the Swedish Baptist General conference.
Gideon's grandfather was named Olaf Carlson. Olaf had two sons named Carl and Allfrid. Carl Sjolander was the father of Gideon Sjolander and of Mrs. Frank Jarl and Nathaniel Sjolander, who also were members of Temple Baptist Church. Nathaniel was a brick layer by trade in the Portland area and constructed many masonry projects around the church. See the notes of Harley Hallgren
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy
laden, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28 KJV
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