An entire region made up of congregations whose preachers were bi-vocational seems to have created mixed feelings for Officer. On the positive side, those preachers followed in the footsteps of Paul, the apostolic missionary who worked to support himself. Officer noted that to the church at ancient Thessalonica the Apostle wrote, "Ye ought to follow, [imitate] us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you; . . . "
But Officer knew from experience that strong financial support for missionaries and for their efforts led to success:
The different religious communities (denominations) sent missionaries to this country with the Indians when they came years ago, sustained them by their missionary societies through their boards, sent men to assist them when the interest demanded, sent teachers, and helped to sustain them. They sent money to aid in building institutions of learning, and had the assistance of the Church extension funds to aid in building church houses.Officer noted that when he first came to I.T. ten years earlier, he could not build on the work done by J. J. Trott, who had worked among the Cherokees some twenty years before. After his death, the mission outpost Trott had established "went down," so much so that his own children "took membership with the denominations in their communities."
In the mid-1880s the Disciples' American Christian Missionary Society had sent Isaac Mode to evangelize the Creek Indians living in and around Wetumpka. Various hardships, especially Mode's inability to acquire the Creek language, "were of such a nature that he did but little, and from some cause resigned."
Besides those failures, Officer had always known a variety of "religious neighbors" in I.T. who collaborated in "a kind of a union of action to spoil our efforts." Sabotage by outsiders was accompanied by "men claiming to be Christian preachers who seemed not to care for the cause." The progress that Officer and his colleagues witnessed in I.T. had not come easily. He and other Stone-Campbell missionaries had overcome difficulties that were "hard to imagine."
 R. W. Officer, "Indian Territory," Octographic Review 33 (December 18, 1890), 6. The date of Officer's report is uncertain. The article appears after an editorial preface: "The following document had the misfortune of being delayed in Bro. Officer's hands before it was sent to us, and of being delayed in our hands after reading this office. Publisher."
 Ibid. For a brief discussion of Mode's failed mission, see Stephen J. England, Oklahoma Christians (St. Louis: Bethany Press, 1975), 42.