ference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1872 and in 1881 had gone to the Creek Nation as presiding elder of the Creek District. He spent nine years in the Creek and Seminole nations, four of them at the Seminole Female Academy at Sasakwa. In 1889 he was appointed principal of the Chickasaw Orphans Home and Manual Labor School at Lebanon and was reappointed in 1892 and 1897. Besides owning and managing the Western Christian Advocate, Derrick also served as president of the First National Bank at Marietta, Chickasaw Nation. 1
The first editor of the weekly Advocate was the Reverend J. M. Gross, pastor of the Broadway Methodist Church in Ardmore. Shortly after its founding, the newspaper was adopted by the Indian Mission Conference as its organ, and the conference discouraged members from working for rival religious papers. After the first year, Gross resigned and P. R. Eaglebarger became joint owner and editor. 2
In the fall of 1905, Derrick sold his interest in the Western Christian Advocate to the Reverend J. B. McDonald, presiding elder of the Cherokee District of the Indian Mission Conference. Well known as a preacher in the Little Rock and White River conferences in Arkansas, McDonald joined Eaglebarger in forming the Advocate Publishing Company. On September 21, 1905, the Advocate appeared at Ada, Chickasaw Nation, and was edited by Eaglebarger. In December, the conference resolved to seek consolidation of the Advocate with The Arkansas Methodist (established in 1881). The consolidation occurred on January 10, 1906, and the Advocate was absorbed on January 31, 1906. Published at Oklahoma City and Little Rock, the Advocate took on The Arkansas Methodist's volume number and format. Although Eaglebarger remained one of the editors and the Advocate was the official organ of the Arkansas, Little Rock, White River, and Indian Mission conferences, the Indian emphasis quickly declined. On December 26, 1906 (Volume 25, Number 50), the name was changed back to The Arkansas Methodist.
Until the newspaper was absorbed, its format changed little. Each issue contained sixteen pages of four columns each. While it contained much clipped material--mainly inspirational, instructional, and religious--the Advocate published a large quantity of news from the Indian Territory. Regular columns contained news of the Woman's Home Mission, churches, mission work in various towns, the Epworth League, the circuits, foreign mission societies, and notices to preachers. Occasionally, there were columns in the Creek language, consisting mainly of letters from native preachers. The paper contained other items of local interest such as obituaries and articles on church activities and education.