The organized holiness camp meeting movement began after the Civil War with a camp meeting in New Jersey, and the impetus for its founding in Oregon came from a group of people who sought an organized movement like those which had already flourished for several decades in the East.
The Oregon Holiness Association was formed in February 1904 with 51 charter members during special meetings held in Portland by Indiana evangelist C.W. Ruth. The charter members took the words of Daniel 9:23 to be a message for them: "At the beginning of the supplication the commandment came forth, and I am now come to show thee, for thou art greatly beloved."
After occasional one-day meetings, the new organization, the Oregon Holiness Association, held its first summer meeting between June 30 and July 9, 1905 in the Sunnyside area of Portland, with the President of the National Association, Dr. C.J. Fowler, as evangelist. One participant said that "his prayers were always equal to a sermon."
Led by Association President LeGrand Baldwin, who operated a Portland bakery and attended the Friends Church on 35th and Main, later to be called First Friends, the second annual camp meeting was held on Mt. Tabor. One evangelist at that meeting was Lewis I. Hadley, later instrumental in the founding of Cascade College. One observer spoke of a service with the text, "Out of him shall flow rivers of living waters." The observer commented, "Surely the deep rivers of salvation were flowing and seemed to be gushing through our souls. On Sunday the tide rose still higher and it seemed we must let go and swim or be drowned."
Annual camp meetings continued, held once at 72nd and Woodstock and for many years at 33rd and Mason.
In 1925, the newly named organization, the Multnomah County Holiness Association, succeeded the Oregon Holiness Association. Its first camp meeting was held the following year--1926--at the new grounds outside of Portland at what is now 108th and Holgate with evangelist Willia Caffray. That was the first of the years of the continuous ministry of Multnomah Holiness Camp meetings.