1833- Among the First White settlers were William Sturgis and William Chambers who spied out the land and built cabin and water power on what is now Cedar Falls. Both were professing Christians.

1830’s- Iowans were quick to organize churches.

1840s- The Methodist Church sent out circuit riders to travel throughout the settled portion of the state. Each circuit rider typically had a two-week circuit in which he visited individual families and conducted sermons for local Methodist congregations. Because the circuit riders' sermons tended to be emotional and simply stated, Iowa's frontiers-people could readily identify with them. The Methodists profited greatly from their "floating ministry," attracting hundreds of converts in Iowa's early years. As more settled communities appeared, the Methodist Church assigned ministers to these stationary charges.

1840- The first of the Bands started to enter Iowa: (Bands were named after the seminary they went to)
The Yale Band (Illinois) :Led by Asa Turner established schools for Illinois including Knox College and Illinois College, and later moved to Denmark to start a school there.

1843- At the same time the Iowa Band came to Iowa from the east. Theologians state that out of the 5 bands that traveled to the west, the Iowa Band was the most impacting and successful of them all. The Band went with the attitude of making a covenant with the land and God and working that covenant out in all the inhabitants that lived in Iowa. They were the first organized group with a mandate from God to reach out the Sauk and Fox (Mesquaki) .

Iowa was known for its beauty and drew many a large group of people due to the testimonies of those that had seen it. Iowa was famed by its beauty. Many artists and writers helped bring the pioneers to this land with the facts and drawings stating that, in all the free world, there is no place that freedom is expressed or seen with such creativity; as if God had set this territory aside for his glory and creativity to draw men to him. The creativity of God was said to be in fullness in Iowa.

Iowa actual means beautiful place in many native tongues and even holds the idea of the great Creator of the world’s home and resting/ dwelling place.

The Iowa Band

The Iowa Band knew all of these things and set out with the mission to establish God’s Glory and His Word in the Beauty of His Holiness.  (For pdf files of the book "The Iowa Band" click  here.)

- The spirit with which these home missionaries went forth was ably expressed by one of the Iowa Band when he said: "The understanding is among us all, that we go west not for a temporary purpose, unless the great Head of the Church shall make it so. We go to remain permanently -- to live and die there -- and God grant us grace to carry out this purpose."

- The group was made up of 12 ministers, all trained at Andover Theological Seminary, who agreed to carry the gospel into a frontier region. The twelve original prospective home missionaries were Daniel Lane (leader of the Keosauqua Academy where he stayed and trained young people), Harvey Adams, Erastus Ripley, Horace Hutchinson, Alden B. Robbins. William Salter(started Iowa College), Edwin B. Turner, Benjamin A. Spaulding (stationed in Muscatine), William Hammond, James J. Hill (Missionary to Mt. Pleasant), Ebenezer Aiden, Ephriam Adams (scribe) and C.E. Brown who came earlier in the Maquoketa area. (Bates was an Iowa native that joined.)

- The group arrived in 1843, and each minister selected a different town in which to establish a congregation. Many stayed in the above mention towns while others continued on west past Iowa into Kansas and Nebraska.

- Out of the 12 men, 5 were apostles and prophets, and 2 of them oversaw and pushed forward the work of God (Brown and Bates). The Iowa Band's motto was "each a church; all a college."

- After a number of years, when each minister worked independently, the ministers collectively helped to establish Iowa College in Davenport. Later church officials moved the college to Grinnell and changed its name to Grinnell College. The letters and journal of William Salter, a member of the Iowa Band, depict the commitment and philosophy of this small group. At one point, Salter wrote the following to his fiancee back East:
"I shall aim to show that the West will be just what others make it, and that they which work the hardest and do the most for it shall have it. Prayer and pain will save the West and the Country is worth it, "Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered. "

Reformation in Iowa

The Iowa Band is also known as the most influential group of leaders in the reformation of 1830-1900. They alone were the group of individuals that established the reformation in Iowa.

While attending Lyman Beecher’s Church (Oberlin, OH) in 1842, 5 of the 11 men received a prophecy that was the mandate of the Puritans and God’s purpose for America. Beecher prophesied,” if this nation is, in the providence of God, destined to lead the way in moral and political emancipation of the world; it is time she understood her high calling, and was harnessed for the work." First one had to recognize that "it is equally plain that the religious and political destiny of our nation is to be decided in the West and hinges on Iowa. There is the territory, and there will soon be the population, the wealth, and the political power. Whatever we do, it must be done quickly; for there is a tide in human things which waits not -- moments on which the destiny of a nation balances, when the light dust may turn the right way or the wrong. And such is the condition of our nation now. Mighty influences are bearing on us and a slight effort now may secure what ages of repentance cannot remove away. We must reveal the Kingdom to the whole nation while we may. All -- all who are alive must be enlightened, and reached by the restraining and preserving energies of heaven.

These 5 men took that confirmation of the call and with Beecher’s laying on of hands, went to Iowa in 1843, were set apart in a school in Keosauqua, and set out for the NE corner to establish, “ God’s Living Word in the hearts of all men”.

1845 - 3 of the 5 men of the Iowa Band moved on further to the West, reason for either God or Gold, leaving 2 men to establish what God purposed in this great land; Charles E Brown, and John Bates, an apostle and prophet team.

1846-1857 - New leaders arise in Iowa. Bates and Brown establish Maquoketa as an Antioch for all passing through missionaries and preachers. Iowa begins to have the reputation of being a land where, “the evincing the power of the Word and Spirit of God is, to awaken the conscience and lead men into all truth”

1857 - Strawberry Point; revival breaks out. Eye witness accounts state, “some remarkable manifestations of Divine power, not only in conversions, but in leading converts to scriptural views of his kingdom and ordinances”. This year marks a year of unusual revival and prosperity. In one meeting alone there were over 600 salvations, and baptisms (Acts 2 style) came to a very unpopulated area. Many were Native Americans. At this time, Waterloo was only around 75 families large. (375 people approx.)

A Point of Decision

During this time, the Church was at a decision point: Prophet Bates addressed every denomination and leader in the state at the time; “Brethren, we need more of the spirit of God, more of a Missionary spirit, individual zeal, and enlarged benevolence in sustaining Sabbath Schools, and a better support could and ought to be given by the Churches to those ministers who labor in word and doctrine. Let us take heed that we are not absorbed too much in war. We are Christians as well as patriots. The first honor is to be self-denying and ready to die as martyrs in the cause of Christ; the next honor is to be self-denying and ready to die as patriots in the cause of our country.”

The Church in Iowa never made that decision. Instead of embracing martyrdom, they embraced causes of social and personal injustices, rather than Kingdom advancement. Ministry to the natives stopped and so did Ministry to the Lord. The Saul structure and man’s purpose began to establish themselves in Iowa and the people’s heart. This is the veil that was over NE Iowa. Iowa entered a stage of politics and growth without the plans of God as a corporate unified Church. Men’s agendas began to take hold, and the covenants of the pioneers and the Iowa Band were soon forgotten due to war with God’s purpose and war with brothers (Civil War).

Few know, but a Mr. Robert Parham from Muscatine, was in this meeting. Robert had a desire to see Iowa become the place of God’s glory like so many others that were touched by the mandate of God. Robert had a son named Charles, the father of the Pentecostal movement, who moved to Kansas to take his revelation of tongues to a people and land that desired the works of God. Iowa missed her destiny as the creative land of God between the two rivers, often called the living waters, to have the purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit be restored to the Church. But that was not the whole purpose. As we know, the whole purpose was to establish a land of creativity and training so the Glory of God and His Living Word would go forth to all nations!

1859 - Marked the year of destitution C. Brown states, “It has been a year of very limited spiritual fruitage, and great destitution, the Church has fallen asleep”. Churches were burned and the out reach to the native Americans was ceased due to war. The Church lost its cause of martyrdom and the Kingdom, and chose the cause of patriotism. Politics entered the Church in NE Iowa, and hope became deferred. Innocent blood was shed in war and pride. Darkness and sleep entered the Church.

God's Mandate

The Iowa band came with the mandate of Is. 25.6-7, and Is. 2.2-3:


Is. 25.6-7
6And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
7And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.

Is. 2.2-3
2And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
3And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

It is Iowa’s destiny to be a mountain for God. The Church broke the covenant and mandate with God 150 years ago. Now it is being restored for such a time as this.

What the Iowa Band Established:

  • Oberlin College (Ohio) 1842
  • Iowa College 1846
  • UNI 1845
  • Grinnell 1859
  • First Christian State Convention 1845
  • Over 600 churches
  • 200 schools and bible classes
  • A sending center at the church in Maquoketa 1845
  • Organized the civil government in Burlington and Iowa City and Des Moines
  • Established a sending and training center for young people in; Keosauqua, Denmark, Maquoketa, Burlington, and Muscatine. 1845 - 1857
  • Trained almost nearly 10,000 missionaries and leaders for the cause of Christ
  • All in a 12 year span of time

Dutch Sheets and Chuck Pierce: Prophetic Words over Iowa

God is restoring the 150 year breach of the church and its slumber and is awakening her to the covenants and purpose of God. Every man that worked the ground as a pioneer and a minister cut covenant with God and Iowa. Iowa is productive and the largest supplier of natural food not because of the natural soil, but because of the men and women’s lives that were poured into the land. God will restore the breach and 150 years of creativity and revelation will flow forth once again from this chosen state to the nation and the world.

  • Iowa is a Jericho; it must fall first for the rest of the nation to fall to God’s purpose once again.
  • The restoration of 5 fold function will appear in fullness in Iowa.
  • Iowa is a revelatory state, It will export revelation to the nation and the nations to bring change.
  • Iowa is an apostolic state that will loose strategy and the sound of heaven to the nation.
  • The Next Great awakening would come out and be birthed in Iowa
  • Iowa has the finishing anointing to finish the cause and destiny of our nation

Covenant Blessings

- Because, if God is comparing this state to Jericho, [then] one of the things [that] HE [is] saying [to us] is that HE wants to begin bringing forth covenantal blessings from this state.

- HE [hasn't] said that to any other state, by the way. I've not said that anywhere else we've been. Don't get the idea [that] we get this hot, fresh, wild teaching and then just go sprinkle it everywhere. This is special! This is very special! This very word should be treated as holy!

- HE said, “I'M taking back MY earth!” Iowa … “And I'M going to arouse, from here, the sleep. Revelation is gonna flow out of Iowa that awakens people in the nation and the nations of the earth. It's MY covenantal heartland.”

- “From Iowa, I want to feed the nations of the earth, and not just physical food, but the Bread of Heaven! I want you to glean, from the four corners --- and then the center --- of this state, the wealth of Heaven! And I want you to export it to the nations, so I can awaken a people! So I can bring forth MY Covenant! So I can bring Jubilee into the Land and let the oppressed go free --- to set at liberty the broken and the bruised. I want to restore! I want to let the captives go free! I want somebody to run throughout the land and say, ‘FREEDOM! LIBERTY !'” Ring the bell of freedom.

- We're seeing the fullness of HIS five-fold grace gift anointing being released. And so, I don't want to say much about this one, but just to say that I see, at Jericho, the picture of what will happen when we come to the fullness of ministry gifting. There is completion of Jubilee, inheritance, the enemy being taken out, taking the Land, and all [of this] is connected to the restoration of the ministry anointing of Jesus [which will] be fully flowing through the Church in Iowa.

- And in these cornfield states, I feel like God's putting an anointing on you to set a course that no one else can set for our nation. You're farmers… You're called to get up early… It's part of the inheritance of these states. And so, you have the authority to come into agreement with God and set a whole course for this nation.

A Grass Roots Movement

“In the southwest corner [there] was going to be a grass-roots movement that would begin to emerge and bring political change into the very center and the very heart of the state.” And then HE said that the Church is going to blossom. And there's going to be a move of God in the northwest corner of the state. The Spirit of God is going to come down. And where it's never blossomed before, all of a sudden, the Church will begin to blossom with revelation. There will be a break through of worship in the northwest corner.

Then HE showed me the southeast corner and said, “Much weeping will begin to cause a river to arise and tear down a throne in the southeast corner.” HE said that there is a throne there that has been erected, “but the weeping of MY people will cause the throne to decay and fall.” Then HE says that there is a kingly anointing rising up in the east [portion of the state] that will affect the Middle East.

A Veil is over the North East of Iowa

There's a veil over the northeast [portion of Iowa ]. God wants that veil lifted, because that means [that] there's great revelation [that] HE wants to bring into the northeast [corner of the state]. But there's a veil holding it. Something [is either] in the atmosphere or in the land, whether it be bloodshed or covenant breaking. There [are] four things to look at: bloodshed, covenant-breaking, idolatry, or immorality. [If one or more of these things] has occurred, [then it] has affected the land. And it's caused the land to be veiled. Therefore, God's purposes are not breaking forth. And, for God to show us that veil, that means HE wants us to break [through with] HIS purposes and rip the veil off.

And then, when I looked at the state from the heavens, I saw the northeast was totally bailed. It was desolate. There was a blockage from a movement of the Spirit of God. And it was actually causing an influence into the very center or heart of the state. The LORD said, “I want to lift the veil in the northeast.” I saw a sword come down into the government. And I saw this sword begin to divide and create confusion. There was confusion in the courts [and] in the systems of government here. And it caused the government, where it's always been underneath the veil, to begin to rise up in a new unity, a new sound, and a new release came into the civil government. Then the LORD said that there was a drought that was trying to surround the very heart of this state. But from the corners, you'd be able to penetrate the heart of the state. And, [since] the drought that was forming would not be able to take hold, there would be such a release. “And that what has been released this year, for the cornfields to blossom, will [bring] a greater release next year,” saith the LORD.

Change is now coming

Change is now upon this state.” What was will no longer be. “What has been asleep, now will wake up,” saith the LORD. “For I say, ‘I will have a people that begin to rise before the sun and make decrees, so that the order that I have for this state will be made.' I will have a praying group that rises every morning in the north, south, east, and west corners. They [will] begin to rise up and make a decree. And from their decree, I say [that] I will bring to birth MY very purpose in this state. And even though you've been submerged under Michigan and Wisconsin , I say [that] Iowa is now rising to the attention of this nation.

Even the leaders [who have not already done so] are going to begin to move into intercession. They are going to begin to preach with a new unction and a new anointing. The heavens are going to be opened up by the very Spirit of God, and the Word of God is going to begin to flow in ways that have, up to this point in time, been blocked.

And signs and wonders are going to begin to take place on the [school] campuses of Iowa --- at the high schools and junior high schools and the college campuses. The LORD says, “I AM inviting them with a Spirit of revelation and the miraculous signs and wonders. The signs and wonders will get their attention. The veil will lift, and I will bring revelation to them. And what you could not do in decades [on your own], I AM going to do in a day.”

The LORD says, “It'll be even upon those who are bound by tradition, lifelessness, and religious spirits.” The LORD says, “I AM coming to break that off of this state, and Iowa will be known as a wild place in the Spirit --- a radical place of revolutionary warriors, who move in radical zeal and boldness.

And right then, the full anointing shall break forth from the plains of Iowa . The fire of MY Spirit is going to begin to burn through the dross, to colorize wounds and heal [the hurts]. It's going to heal, not only physical and emotional wounds, but the Body of Christ is going to be healed in [awesome] ways… There is coming a Spirit of healing, harmony, and unity that is going to be by the fire of MY Spirit, because I AM no longer going to be persuasive and speaking in ways that try to woo MY people into this, but,” the LORD says, “I AM coming with a Holy Fire that is going to literally burn down walls that have separated and divided! And I AM coming with Holy Fire and passion [to] break into MY Church, even in places that they have not asked ME to. I'M going to do it anyway. I'M gonna move in and crash through walls and barriers. I'M going to lift fatigue and weariness off of MY people. MY leaders are going to be filled with fresh zeal, fresh fire, and fresh oil from MY Spirit.”


The Twenty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association:
Elmer Ellis, The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Sep., 1935), pp. 231-250
This article consists of 20 pages



ANNALS OF IOWA Volume 6 January, 1904 No. 4


ANNALS OF IOWA Vol. XII Iowa City, April, 1920 No. 4, The Iowa Band, Ephraim Adams, 1870