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Portland Members Dig for Fossils

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Portland Members Dig for Fossils

Armed with trowels, claw hammers, small picks, and putty knives, they arrived for a weekend of camping, digging, and learning about ancient history.

Fossil, Oregon, is a town built on an ancient lake or ocean bed and is known worldwide as a great place to dig for leaf, plants, and small aquatic animal fossils buried in layers of sedimentary rock. It is one of the few places in the U.S. where digging for fossils on public land is allowed.

The weekend had a bit of a wet start, unusual for the Oregon desert country. Sabbath services were held in a motel room filled with camping chairs. Portland pastor Rex Sexton gave a Bible study focusing on how the fossil record is not only compatible with the biblical account of creation, but provides support for Scripture rather than refuting it. 

Following the study, members went to the nearby Paleo Center to view fossils and hear a presentation on the types of fossils in the area. Sabbath afternoon everyone went on an educational hike at the nearby Clarno Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds. It made for a beautiful Sabbath afternoon stroll surrounded by immense rock palisades displaying various layers of different types of rock formations, some with petrified trees and other fossils protruding out. It was a vivid reminder to everyone of the majesty of God’s creation.

Following a relaxing evening around the campfire, members rose early on Sunday to pack their cars and head over to the fossil bed located behind Fossil High School. There, armed with small digging tools, they set to work searching for evidence of ancient plants. Some diggers worked aggressively on the hillside uncovering layers of sedimentary rock, while others carefully split the layers apart to uncover the fossils. The dig was successful with nearly every participant managing to dig up at least one fossil. The weekend was a great way to bring brethren together and provide them an opportunity for a hands on lesson to gain a deeper appreciation for creation and Bible history.