There is no way to understand the history of a great people without becoming acquainted with some of the individuals who have a leading part in making the history. Therefore, we are presenting in this chapter, several biographical sketches. Obviously, it would be impossible in a little book of this kind to give a lengthy account to any one individual, or to give brief accounts of all who have helped to make Baptist history in this part of the state. The author has made his selections on the following basis: First, he has given an account of every pioneer preacher on whom he could get sufficient data to do justice to the subject. Second, he has given a brief sketch on every preacher who has been licensed or ordained by any one of the churches of the association, so far as he was able to get the name and sufficient data to justify mentioning them. Third, he has endeavored to give an account of every missionary the associations have employed, every officer who held an associational office for any length of time, and the present associational officers. In writing up these sketches the author has given more space to the older men than the younger ones, and he believes this will be appreciated by the younger men.
MILTON DREW BOWERS
One of the most talented and influentian [sic] Baptist Preachers in Randolph County in his day was M. D. Bowers. He was born August 8, 1850 in Palmyra, Tennesee [sic], and was the son of Joseph and Sarah Francis Wall Bowers. He was baptized about the year 1868 at Old Jackson by Elder Jesse Pratt, whose daughter, Lucinda Ann, he married in 1872. They had fifteen children, eleven of whom grew to adult life and eight still survive. He aaatended [sic] some rural school in Lawrence and Randolph Counties but gained most of his education by his fireside burning "mid-night oil". He was ordained to the ministry at about the age of twenty and soon proved to have unusual gifts as an orator. He had a musical voice, a good delivery, and an appealing manner of speech. He was outstanding as a debater and had several debates with the elders
of the Church of Christ. He had the unusual experience of baptizing his own father, his mother, his brother, and his brother's wife, all the same day. He was pastor of Shiloh (Randolph) church fourty [sic] years. Other churches he served included First church, Pocahontas, Datto, Tuckerman, Myrtle (Mo.), and Witt's Chapel. We find record that he was elected moderator of Spring River Association in 1888 and again in 1899. It is possible that he served at other times in that capacity, but we have no records to confirm it.
He died December 10, 1914, and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Pocahontas.
Sylvanus Bishop is mentioned in this book because he was the leading spirit in the organization of the Corning Baptist Church. He donated the ground on which the first church house was built and gave freely of his money and skilled labor in building the first house and remodeling it later. He was clerk of the Corning church from the time of its organization until his failing health forced him to decline the office in 1902. He came to Corning
In 1877 from Logansport, Indiana. He was a wagonmaker by trade. He died December 7, 1904.
JOHN WILLIAM BLACK
For more than forty years J. W. Black was a prominent member of the Corning Baptist Church. He was born in Illinois, Dec. 3, 1858. His wife, Mary L. Gold, was the daughter of a pioneer Baptist preacher in Illinois. J. W. Black was baptized in Current River by O. H. L. Cunningham about 1901, and was a messenger to the association that fall. He took an active part in associational meeting and affairs, and at one time was a vice-moderator. He was ordained a deacon by the Corning church in 1934. He will be remembered a long time by the churches in the territory about Corning because he took pride in helping them build new houses. He was in the lumber business, and gave generously to his own church and to all other worthy causes. He died March 21, 1944, and was buried in St. Louis.
ROBERT R. BLACK
Robert R. Black served as clerk of Current River Association for seventeen or eighteen years which is longer than any other man has ever served as an officer of this association. He was born in Tennessee, March 5, 1849, and when he was four years of age his parents moved to Arkansas and settled on a farm about a half mile north of Palatka. He lived on that farm until his death which occured [sic] May 20, 1926, which gave him the distinction of living for 73 cosecutive [sic] years on the same farm. He married four times and was the father of 21 children. He was a charter member of Mount Pleasant East Church and served as clerk of that church 54 years. He was a messenger to Current River Association in 1881 when it was organized, and was possibly elected clerk at the next session which met with Mt. Pleasant East Church. (The minutes for this session could not be located). But we have record that he served clerk from 1883 – 1899 inclusive. His funeral was conducted by Eld. R. L. Powell and the attendance was said to be the largest ever witnessed at a funeral in that community. He was
buried in the Black Cemetery which was named after him because he gave the land for it.
FRANK W. BRIDGES
Among the preachers who have left their names written large upon the pages of this association's history was Frank W. Bridges. He was a prosperous farmer in the southeastern corner of Randolph County, as well as an able preacher. He was born in High Point, N.C., Oct. 2, 1853. He was baptized by M. D. Bowers in 1882, and was ordained in the Union Baptist Church, July 19, 1891. He was married to Mary Francis Taylor and to them were born three children. He had only a common school education but a good library and was one of the best read men in the county. He conducted revivals in various churches and communities in Randolph, Lawrence, and Green Counties, and served as pastor of the following churches: Brookings, Evergreen, Skaags, and Union. The latter church was near his home and he served it for many years. He took the side of the Landmarks w hen the split came and Union Church was not represented in this Association after 1922. He was elected moderator of Current River Association in 1901, 1906 and 1907 and 1916. He preached the sermon in 1899 and 1907. He died in Walnut Ridge, Ark., April 24, 1937, and was buried in Duty Cemetery in Randolph County.
ARTHUR CONNER (also spelled Connor)
Among the pioneer preachers in this part of the state none have left their footprints upon the sands of time more plainly than Arthur Conner. He was born in Richmond, Virginia, May 22, about the year 1812. There was considerably [sic] uncertainty about the year of his birth. It is said by some that one of his war records gives his birth in the year 1804, and some say it was earlier than that. But the date on his tomb is 1812. If this is correct he lacked less than a month living 100 years. He served as a soldier in the Mexican War and helped clean out the Alamo after the battle. He was converted in Tennesee [sic] and rode horseback 20 miles to join the Dyersburg Baptist Church, and was baptized by Elder John C. Smith. He was ordained to the ministry in Tennessee, about
1860, and came to Arkansas about the time of the war between ste [sic] states, and served as a soldier during the war. His first ministerial work in this part of the Kingdom was as a missionary for Cane Creek Association, which was composed of churches both in Missouri and Arkansas. While he was a man of little education, he had seen much of life, and was an influential preacher, and a most interesting conversationalist. He was the leading preacher among the Baptists in these parts from about 1865 until old age laid her enfeebling hand upon him.
He organized Shiloh church near Corning in 1866, and Mount Pleasant East the following year. He served both the churches as pastor, and among others he served Union (later Success); Antioch (later Reyno); Indian Creek; Emmoius, (Mo.); Hazeldell (Mo.); and for many years was part-time missionary for Current River Association. His report to the Association in 1887 was as follows:
"Miles traveled 500, sermons preached 140, exhortations delivered 30, baptized 22, ordained 2 deacons, recieved [sic] for labors, $140.20."
He led the movement to organize Current River Association and thus deserves the epitaph on his tomb: "The father of Current River Association." He was elected moderator of the Association ten times, and preached the Introductory Sermon twice. He kept preaching until near the close of his life. The Clay County Courier carried this item on him Sept. 8, 1905:
"Rev. Arthur Conner, probably the oldest citizen in this county, has just made a remarkable recovery considering his age, 92, from a very dangerous illness at his home on the state line northeast of Palatka. The venerable gentleman and Rev. T. J. Watson closed a revival at Mount Pleasant East Church, in that neighborhood two weeks ago."
A short while before his death he announced that he would preach his last sermon at Shiloh and sent word out far and near for whosoever would to come. A great crowd gathered to hear him in this final discourse which he preached on crutches. He died April 18, 1912 and was buried in the Richwoods Cemetery (Shiloh), with Eld. R. L. Powell officiating. But on May 12th, following, another service was held in his honor at Shiloh church. People brought their dinner and Eld. E. H. C. Kenner of Poplar Bluff, Mo., preached the memorial sermon. His monument has this inscription on it:
"Asleep in Jesus"
"Elder A. Connor, the father of Current River Association was born May 12, 1812, and departed this life, April 18, 1912. Dedicated by the membership of Current River Association to the memory of a truly good man."
OSCAR HUGH LEE CUNNINGHAM
Eld. O. H. L. Cunningham was born January 25, 1864, near Dyer, Tennessee. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Arkansas and settled on a farm near Pittman. He was covnverted [sic] in his 'teens and was baptized into the fellowship of the Mt. Pleasant West Church, and in early manhood was ordained to the ministry by that church. He attended Abbot Institute which was the forerunner of Ouachita-Maynard Academy. He served as a part-time missionary for Current River Association in 1902, and at times served as pastor of some churches in Mo. The churches in Arkansas which he served include Reyno, Corning, Oak Grove, and Mount Pleasant West. He was gifted as an evangelist and scores of people were converted under his preaching. Among his converts were three men who came to be very influential laymen in their churches and the association – J. W. Black, Ben Legate, and Anderson Berry. He was a moderator of State Line Association in 1895 and 1897. He married Laura Legate of Pittman and to them were born four children. His son, Chester, is a Baptist minister living in Seattle, Washington. He died April 21, 1939 and was laid to rest in the Pittman Cemetery. His tomb bears this inscription: "A Baptist Minister 48 Years".
JOHN WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM
The subject of this sketch was a younger brother of O. H. L. Cunningham, and was born near Pittman July 31, 1876. He was converted at the age of twelve and began preaching at the age of 20. He was baptized, licensed, and ordained to the ministry by the Mt. Pleasant West Baptist Church. He attended Ouachita-Maynard Academy in 1901 – '02; and attended William Jewel College from 1906 to 1909. He had a large portly physique, a well-trained intellect, a fine spirit, and was gifted as an evangelist. He enjoyed the gift of gaining the confidence of people and was looked to by many for counsel in many matters. He preached the first sermon that was ever preached in the town of Success while serving as missionary under the Current River Mission Board in 1902. He served the following churches in Arkansas: Oak Grove, New Hope, and Success. He spent most of his ministerial life in Missouri, serving as pastor, associational missionary, and field man for colleges. He built eight church houses, the last one being the beautiful structure at Steele, Missouri. He completed and dedicated this house in 1942 and the next year retired from the active work and moved back to Success.
He was married first to Frances Marshal at Reyno and they had five children. She passed away in 1937, and in 1938 he married Miss Mary Payne of Gilliam, Mo. She died April 24, 1947, and he died June 8, 1947. Both are buried in the Pittman Cemetery only a few yards from the doorstep of the Mt. Pleasant Church house.
Anthony (Uncle Tony) Foster was born in Woodville, Ky. In 1883, and was the son of George and Emilly Mahann Foster. He was converted an baptized in Kentucky, and was educated
In Blandville Academy in that same state. He was ordained to the ministry before coming to this state. He married Sarah Ann Sharp, daughter of Eld. Henry Sharp, and sister of David A. Sharp mentioned elsewhere in these sketches. They had only one child – D. K. Foster, also mentioned in this book. He served as pastor of the Mt. Pleasant West church, and others in that section of Randolph County. He assisted in organizing Current River Association and preached the first sermon for that first session. He died in 1893 and is buried in the Pittman Cemetery.
C. ALEXANDER FOWLER
C. A. Fowler was born in Indiana Nov 5, 1851, or '52 and moved with his parents to Arkansas about 1860. When the war between the States broke out they moved back to Indiana, but returned to Randolph County about 1866 settling near Supply. He was converted at an early age and began preaching when he was about 19 years of age. He was possibly ordained by the Little Vine Baptist Church, later changed to New Home.
He was married to Isabell Rapert and they had six children. This wife died in 1895 and he later married Virginia Crowell and to them were born three children. One of his sons, W. Martin Fowler, was for many years a deacon in the Corning Church, and is now living at Kennett, Mo.
C. A. Fowler was much in demand as a pastor and preacher for revival meetings. Among the churches he served were, New Home, Mt. Pleasant West, Shiloh (Clay), Liberty (Yellow Hall), Poynor (Mo.), Ponder (Mo.), and Mud Creek. He was elected moderator of State Line Association in 1890, and preached the sermon in 1898 for that session. He preached the sermon for the Current River Association in 1915. He died May 14, 1928 and was buried in the Ingram Cemetery near Supply.
EMMANUEL M. JACKSON (same as M. M. Jackson)
Eld. M. M. Jackson was born in 1823 near Dalton, Georgia. He came to Arkansas about the time of the War Between the States and settled in Randolph County. He owned a small farm and preached to destitue [sic] communities, and served as pastor for
several churches in Northern Randolph County and in Missouri along the state line. The first account we find of him in the associational minutes is in 1879. He was pastor of the Bethany church at that time, and this is his report to the association:
"Traveled 475 miles, delivered 65 sermons and 15 exhortation, prayed fifty public prayers, organized one church, baptized 11 persons, received for such labors $18. All of which is respectfully submitted. M. M. Jackson."
In 1880 he was pastor of Bethany and Dry Creek churches, and was a messenger from Antioch. In 1888 he was pastor of New Hope near Dalton. He was married and had seven children, one of whom, Frank, became a Holiness preacher. Another son, John T., is a member of the Ravenden Springs Church. He preached the sermon for the State Line Association in 1888. He died June 8, 1891 and was buried in Antioch Cemetery.
W. P. KIME
The name of W. P. Kime deserves mention in the history of this association. He was born in Indiana July 18, 1861. Soon after his birth the Kime family moved to Wayne County Mo. Here he grew up and was baptized as a member of a missionary Baptist Church in 1878. He was ordained to the work of the ministry in 1884 by the Oak Grove Church in Wayne County. His father in law, Elder Henry Mabry, assisted in his ordination. He was a brother in law to Frank C. Neely mentioned in this book also. He came to Arkansas in 1888 and settled near Old Reyno. He led the Corning church in the erection of the first house, and
Preached the first sermon in the new building at Old Reyno erected about 1886. He also served as a part-time missionary for the association in those days. He left this section of the country about 1891 and served a great many churches in Arkansas and Oklahoma. He passed away in Little Rock in 1947 at the age of 86.
HIRAM C. KIRKPATRICK
Elder H. C. Kirkpatrick lived in Myrtle, Missouri, but much of his service was with Arkansas Churches and State Line Association. He was a better preacher than the average for his day and was in great demand. He was a missionary for State Line Association in 1878 and was elected moderator that year. He was elected moderator again in 1882 and 1887. In 1888 he was pastor of the Bethan [sic], Levanon, and New Salem Churches – the latter two being in Missouri. His report to State Line Association in 1888 was as follows:
"Miles traveled, 1950, sermons preached 108, conversions witnessed 19, pastor of three churches, baptisms 2, received cash or its equivalent, $94.45."
In 1887 he served Antioch Church (Old Reyno) as pastor. We regret that we could not learn more facts about this faithful preacher.
ELIAS HOUSTON C. KENNER
Eld. E. H. C. Kenner was born near Dixon, Mo., Nov. 24, 1849. His parents were originally from Tennessee. He bagan [sic] preaching in Missouri, in Pulaski County, in 1868. He made his home in Missouri but was near the Arkansas line and did much of his work in Arkansas. He was an able debater and held several debates with elders of the Church of Christ. In 1907 he had one of his sermons printed in booklet form entitled, "Campbellism vs. the Bible." He was pastor of Antioch Church in 1882, and was later called to the same church after it had moved to the present town of Reyno. He was pastor of the Datto Church in 1907. At one time he served as pastor of Union Church which was commonly called Hitt's Church. He died May 5, 1929, and was buried in Black Creek Cemetery in Butler County, Missouri. One of his
sons, George Thomas Kenner, is a minister, and one of his brothers, S. G. Kenner, has been an active layman in the Success churhc [sic] for several years. He preached the association sermon in 1892.
B. F. HOLFORD
Elder B. F. Holford deserves a little space in this book also. When Spring River Association met with Liberty Church near Biggers in 1873 he was the missionary for that association, and preached the Introductory Sermon. At that time Spring River Association embraced all of Randolph County as well as Sharp and much of Lawrence. This missionary must have done some good work in Randolph County, for he is credited with establishing Bethany Church in 1874. It has had a continuous existence since that date and has furnished several preachers for the Lord's work. he was a small but "spunky" man who did great work. He was a strong doctrinal preacher and added plenty of "salt" while preaching, so the congregation would not forget what he said. This made him the "most hated and most loved man in the whole country," as Bro. Knox Belew said, who knew him well. Bro. Belew used him in a revival at Old Walnut Ridge in 1911, and recalls that he stated then that he had been ordained about 50 years. He died in 1912 near Bald Knob, Arkansas.
ROBERT L. LEWIS
Eld. Eld. [sic] R. L. Lewis was another preacher who came out of the Mt. Pleasant West Church. He was born in Pittman May 3, 1857, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joab Lewis. He was converted and ordained by the Mt. Pleasant West Church. His father died when Robert was only eleven years old and he lived for a while with an uncle near Pocahontas. In addition to preaching, he taught school and was County Judge of Clay County for two terms. He married Jennie Malone and they had three children. He was an uncle of Bro. H. W. Johnston. Churches he served as pastor include Shiloh, Knobel, Rector, Piggot [sic] and Success. He preached the sermon for the Association in 1910. He died a few years ago in California and was buried in that state. He was moderator of the Association in 1913.
Elder Elijah Thomas Lincoln was born in Middle, Tennessee in the year 1849. He was converted and ordained to the ministry in that state and came to Arkansas a few years following the close of the War between the States. He moved to Randolph County and settled near what is now Ravenden Springs about 1880. The first record we find regarding his activities in the Association is that he was clerk of Dry Creek Baptist Church in 1880. This church reported J. Miller as clerk the year before and gave his address as Dalton. He was reported as ordained "Elder" and a member of Bethany Church in 1888. It was customary in those days for each ordained preacher to make a report to the association on his year's work. This was his report in 1888:
"Sermons preached 106, prayers 125, miles traveled 1195, exhortations 31, baptized 5, amount received from churches $63.95. (Work as a missionary) Sermons 4, conversions witnessed 4, days labored 8, helped organize one church. E. T. Lincoln."
The Treasurer's Report shows that he was paid $8.00 for the eight day of missionary work.
For many years he labored in Sharp and Randolph Counties as a colporter, traveling from house to house and community to community in a horse drawn vehicle. In this work he sold Bibles, religious books of various kinds, and gave away tracts. He spent the last years of his life in Maynard. Churches he served as pastor include Liberty (Yellow Hall), Mt. Pleasant West, Moark, Solid Rock, Biggers, Witts Chapel, Landmark, New Home (Near Ravenden Springs), and New Liberty. (He led in re-organizing Liberty church near Biggers about 1913 and gave it the name
New Liberty). He had the privilege of baptizing his brother, Andrew, after he had been a Methodist preacher for several years.
He was married and had five children, one of whom, Benjamin, is a deacon in the first Church, Pocahontas, and Dean of Southern Baptist College. He preached the sermon for the Current River Association in 1901. He was moderator of State Line Association in 1803, 1908, and 1909. He preached the sermon for this association in 1890, 1893, 1901, 1917, and 1919. This servant of God was what we would call a self-made preacher, but for many years he was one of the most useful preachers in this section of the state. For several years following the split in Arkansas Baptists in 1901, Elijah Lincoln stood loyal to the Convention like a mountain in a storm. He did much to help keep the churches and pastors affiliated with the work of the Convention. He deserves mention, too, because of his love for and loyalty to the Ouachita-Maynard Academy. He died in Maynard in 1929 and was buried in the Maynard Cemetery.
ANDREW JOHNSON LINCOLN
A. J. Lincoln, brother of E. T. Lincoln, was born in Middle, Tennessee. He was a Methodist preacher for several years, but through the influence of his brother, Elijah, he changed to the Baptist faith and was baptized by him. He was a good evangelist and held many revival meetings. He and his brother, Elijah organized the Ravenden Springs Church and he became its first pastor. He was pastor of the Biggers Church in 1913.
He made his home in Jonesboro where he died a few years ago.
ISHAM JONES LOONEY
Eld. I. J. Looney was born in Randolph County about 1850 and was the son of Jonathan Looney, and a brother to W. S. Looney whose biographical sketch follows this one. He married Rachel Roach August 5, 1869 and they had five children. He was converted and joined the Mt. Pleasant (United) Baptist Church near Ingram, but left this church because it was anti-missionary and was a useful Missionary Baptist preacher until his death. He was a char-
ter member of the Myrtle, Missouri Baptist Church and served as its pastor a few years. In 1888 he was pastor of Antioch and Baker's Creek Churches. In 1915 he was pastor of Witt's Chapel and was making his home in Maynard. He served at one time as Missionary for State Line Association.
He attended the meeting of State Line Association in 1916, but was reported dead from Witt's Chapel Church in 1917. He was buried at Maynard.
WILLIAM STUBBLEFIELD LOONEY
W. S. Looney was born in Randolph County, March 17, 1852. His father, Jonathan Looney, came to Arkansas from Tennessee and settled on Eleven Point River several years prior to the War Between the States. He was a farmer by occupation and an active worker in Antioch Church for many years. He was converted at the age of sixteen and baptized as a member of Mt. Pleasant (United) Baptist Church, but joined Antioch in 1889. He was married twice and had six children by his first wife and one by his last. His last wife was Nancy F. Pressley, daughter of Elder David (Uncle Dave) Pressley. She is still living, and makes her home with her son in Pocahontas. Bro. S. W. Looney was clerk of Antioch Church for a few years and moderator of State Line Association from 1910 – 1920. He died December 6, 1937 and was buried in the Antioch Cemetery.
JAMES J. MCGUIRE
Elder J. J. McGuire was a member of the presbytery which organized Current River Association. He was born in Tennessee and was one of a family of nine children. His father was one of a family of nine children. His father was John B. McGuire and his mother's name was Nancy King. They were originally from Virginia. He came to Arkansas about 1858. In 1860 he was a messenger from Indian Creek Church to Gainsville Association. He was a charter member of Mt. Pleasant East Church which was organized 1867. This same church ordained him to work in the ministry on the third Sunday in July, 1869. In 1878 he was elected pastor of this church. He became a member of Antioch Church in 1880,
was listed as a delegate from Liberty Church in 1883, but in 1885 was pastor of Antioch church and represented it at the association. He helped contsitute [sic] the Indian Creek Church (Possibly a reorganization of the old church by that name) and served as its pastor in 1871.
He was married and had four children. He had a brother named Jonathan who was a physician in the community around Datto for several years. This brother was an active Methodist and is said to have been a goood [sic] preacher himself, although he was not ordained.
The subject of this sketch was moderator of the association in 1894, '95, and '96. He was about six feet tall and wore a long beard, and was said to be a good preacher in his day. He was buried in the Hitt Cemetery near Success.
CHARLES M. MYRICK
Eld. Charles M. Myrick, son of Charles Wesley and Martha Tidd Myrick, was born in Belmont, Mississippi, Oct. 15, 1858. He moved with his family to Arkansas when still a child and grew [sic] Liberty Church in White County, Sept 11, 1886, and was ordained by the first Baptist Church of Arkadelphia, August 21, 1891. The presbytery was composed of R. S. Wallis, Mod., J. W. Conger, J. B. Searcy, J. J. Haynes, and A. Nelson. He was educated in Oauchita [sic] College.
He was first married to Miss Texanna Bost and had two children by this marriage. One of these is Rev. C. E. Myrick for several years pastor of a church in Memphis. After her death he married Miss Mary Kendall of Trenton, Ark. In 1906 and two children were born to them. The churches he served as pastor include Dalark, New Ediberg, Kingsland, Clarendon, Trenton, Maynard, Success, Heber Springs, West Helena, and Siloam Springs. He was twice principal of Ouachita- Maynard Academy about 1905 – 1907, and again, about 1923 – 1927. He was Vice-moderator of the association in 1923, and was elected moderator in 1925. He died in Siloam Springs, January 20, 1947 and was buried there.
ELDER L. W. PATRICK
Another preacher who was present at the time of the organization and who appeared on the program at that first session was L. W. Patrick. We regret that we do not know much about him but we think he deserves mention in this book. He was ordained to the ministry by the Shiloh (Clay) Baptist Church on June 8, 1879, by a presbytery composed of A. Conner, J. J. McGuire, and T. J. Watson – a trio of great old preachers. We find in the records that he served the three following churches as pastor: Shiloh, Mt. Pleasant East, and Liberty. He was pastor of the latter at the time of the organization of the association in 1881. He must have soon thereafter died for his name does not appear in the later minutes.
JESSE R. PRATT
The ministry of Jesse R. Pratt goes so far back taht [sic] we do not have a full account of his life and labors. He was born in either Ala. or South Carolina in 1804 but migrated to Illinois and was a soldier in the Black Hawk War. He was living in Mo. during the days of War between the States and fought on the Confederate side, however some of his brothers fought on the Union side. He was married twice and had children by both marriages. The last wife, Elizabeth Gibson, whom he married in Mo. They had several children. He was an ordained Missionary Baptist preacher when he came to Randolph County soon after the War between the States. He was an uneducated man but a powerful preacher. He was strong on "exhorting" as they called it in those days and used the "mourner's bench" with great success. M. D. Bowers was converted under his preaching and was baptized by him and later married one of his daughters.
Jesse R. Pratt was a pastor at Shiloh (Randolph), helped build a house of worship there, and perhaps founded the church. He was a messenger from Mt. Vernon (P.O. Jackson) to Spring River Association in 1873. He served several other churches and died in the vicinity of Mud Creek in 1888 and was buried there.
DAVID A. PRESSLEY
Eld. (Uncle Dave) Pressley was born in Tennessee, December 27, 1842, but spent most of his life in Randolph County. He was a farmer as well as a preacher as was true of most of the rural preachers of that day. He began preaching in August, 1868, and was a true gospel preacher until his death March 25, 1914. He was a messenger to State Line Association from Antioch Church in 1879, and made the following report to the association on his activities for that yer [sic]:
"I have rode 659 miles, preached 50 sermons, delivered 21 exhortations, prayed 50 public prayers, received for such labors $22.75 and $11 in pledges. D. A. Pressley."
He was pastor then at Lebanon, Mo. It was reported in 1888 that State Line Association had paid him $11.00 for eleven days of work as a missionary, in which work he had witnessed 23 conversions. He was pastor of the Concord and Oak Grove churches that year. He was a good singer and a preacher with unusual gifts as a revivalist and could stir a congregation up to "shouting temperature" within a short time. He was frequently called upon to make the closing address at the association which culminated with handshaking and tears. He was elected moderator of State Line Association in 1888 and 1889, and preached the sermon in 1889. He was married and had fifteen children. His youngest son, Gilbert, is a preacher living now in Ill. and his son, Horton, is a student for the ministry.
He was buried in the Roach Cemetery.
Elder 'Manuel' Richardson as he was known, died June 17, 1888. The minutes of State Line Association that year gives the following account of his life and ministry:
"Emmanuel Richardson was born in South Carolina, September 6, 1818. His parents were poor, so he was an apprentice and hence failed to obtain even a common school education. He professed faith in Christ in 1838, and was baptized by Elder Jesse Elye into the fellowship of the Missionary Baptist Church—he was licensed to preach the gospel in 1870 by the church at Pleasant Grove, and was regularly ordained to the full work of
the ministry by Elders H. Sharp, John Redwine, and Deacon Cochrane by order of the church at Pleasant Grove, Arkansas, on the 6th day of November, 1870. During his ministry (he) was pastor of Pleasant Grove, Lebanon, Oak Grove, Mount Pleasant, and Mud Creek Churches, also Pleasant Hill and Antioch. He was moderator of the State Line Association in 1881; was a man noted for his great courage and self-sacrificing devotion to his Master's work—spending much of his time preaching to the destitute without compensation, and was successful in winning many souls to Christ. He baptized many persons and was zealous in good works to his last hour which occurred at his home near Maynard, Randolph County, on the 17th day of June, 1888. At the time of his death he was a member of Witt's Chapel Church. During his last moments (which were long and painful) he manifested great patience and resignation and met death calmly, pssing [sic], we trust, direct to the arms of the Savior. He was married three times and left a devoted wife and three children to mourn his loss. * * * John Martin, W. Jones, Committee."
This just about tells all we know of him. We are told by some who remember him that he was a large man weighing around 300 pounds. He has several grandchildren living in this section who are good Baptists. Included among them are C.C. and E. W. Richardson of the Moark Church, and E. G. Richardson, and Mrs. Robert Anderson of Reyno. He preached the sermon for State Line Association in 1880. He was buried in Siloam Cemetery near Middlebrook.
Among the early laymen who played a leading role in the Association was Dennis W. Reynolds. He was born in Jackson County, Illinois, in 1840. His father was James M. Reynolds, a North Carolinian, who settled in Illinois soon after the war of 1812. He was married three times – first to Hancy Luttrell, second to Mrs. Mary Kelsey, and last to Matty Wilks. He and his last wife both died in April, 1924.
He came to Cherokee Bay in 1857 where he began for himself a mercantile business. He operated this until the outbreak of the War between the States. After serving in the war as a captain, he returned home and operated stores in Corning and Old Reyno many years. He was the first business man in Old Reyno, which was named for him. He was one of the outstanding men of the county in his day, being a large landowner and benefactor to many
people. He was a member of the Antioch Baptist Church at the time of the organization of Current River Association, and was named a delegate during the session to fill a vacancy from his church. He was elected to the Mission Board at that meeting and treasurer of the Association. He was clerk of Antioch Church for many years, frequently represented her at Associations, attended Fifth Sunday Meetings, and participated in the discussions.
JESSE B. ROACH
Eld. J. B. Roach was a useful preacher in Randolph County for many years. Like several others of his day he was converted and joined a United Baptist Church at first but left that church because of its anti-missionary beliefs. We regret that we could not learn very much about this servant of God but we give here the few facts we did find: He had a brother, Frank, who was a preacher, and a brother-in-law, D. A. Pressley who was a preacher. He lived part of his life in Missouri but spent the last years in Randolph County near Shiloh where he died. He was pastor of Rocky Point Church (Mo.) in 1888. He preached the sermon for State Line Association in 1883, 1886, and 1897 and was elected moderator in 1886. He served as missionary for State Line at one time. He was buried in the Roach Cemetery.
JOHN HAMONS CALHOUN SCONCE
Eld. J. H. C. Sconce was born near Ravenden Springs Dec. 1, 1866. His father was named Dan Sconce. He was converted and baptized by the Mirtle, Missouri Baptist Church, Hiram C. Kirkpatric officiating. He was ordained by the Mill Creek Church near Myrtle, Mo., about 1886. He married Mary Taylor November 1, 1883. He had very little education but he did pioneer mission work in many destitute places. He served as pastor of Bethany, Flat Rock, Myrtle,New Harmony, Eminence, Mo., churches, and several others. He was an active preacher for 54 years. He died June 14, 1945 and was buried at Eminence, Mo.
Elder James Sconce was also born near Ravenden Springs and
is a brother of J. H. C. Sconce. We do not know much about this soldier of the cross but we were told that he was converted and ordained by the Bethany Church and has served as pastor of it. He is still living.
Eld. I. Stevens was born in Doniphan, Missouri, about 1860. We regret that we have but little information on him but we do know that he was married and had eight children; that one son, Issac Tasso Stevens, made a Baptist preacher and lives in Missouri; that he was postmaster at Kingsville (near Ravenden Springs) for several years; that he lost his health about 1900 and moved with his family to Eureka Springs where he died. He was moderator of State Line Association in 1898 and again in 1900, and preached the associational sermon in 1900.
Elder H. Sharp came from Tennessee to Arkansas about the time of the War between the States and settled in Randolph County. He was ordained to the ministry by the Mount Pleasant West church October 8, 1868. He assisted in the ordination of Isaac Witt at Pleasant Grove in 1872. His only son, David H. Sharp was a leadin gpreacher [sic] in Randolph County for many years. We regret that we do not know more about the life and work of this early preacher. He was buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery (Pittman).
DAVID HENRY SHARP
D. H. Sharp was born in Ottowa, Tenn. (Graves County), March 28, 1841. His father, Henry Sharp, was a missionary Baptist preacher who helped "blaze trails" for Baptists in Randolph County. His mother, Pauline Cavender, was a very devout Christian and Baptist. She outlived her husband by several years and was a faithful member of Mount Pleasant West Church as long as she lived. In her last day she was carried to the church in a wheel chair to hear her only son preach the gospel. D. H. Sharp was educated in an East Tennessee private School, and was ordained to the min-
istry by the Mount Pleasant West Church. He married Isabell Vester and they had four children. He was better educated than most of the Baptist preachers in his day and had a good library. He was also a school teacher. He served as pastor of the Mount Pleasant West Church for about 40 years, and was at one time pastor of the Success Church and possibly served the New Home Churc [sic] some. His library which contained his personal ministerial records as well as much valuable material on the history of Mount Pleasant Church and Baptist affairs in that section, was lost when his home burned about 1910. He was loved and trusted by people of all faiths (and no faiths) and his counsel was sought and followed on domestic, civic, secular problems as well as matters of morals and church. He was elected moderator of the Association in 1902, and preached the associational sermon in 1886 and again in 1905. He passed on to glory May 7, 1922 and was buried in the Pittman Cemetery. The funeral service was held by Eld. O. H. L. Cunningham who had recieved [sic] baptism at his hands back in the 1880's. It was estimated that 2000 people attended the funeral which was held under the trees in front of the church.
ELDER R. O. TRIBBLE (the father of State Line Association)
Eld. R. O. Tribble, the son of Elijah and Rachel Tribble, was born in Franklin County, Tennessee, December 25, 1817. He moved with his father to Jackson County, Alabama in 1819 and lived there until he was grown. He joined the U. S. Volunteers in 1837, and went to Florida, and returned and married Adaline Hambree, Aug. 18, 1839. In 1841 he moved to the state of Missouri, and in 1844 to the state of Arkansas, and back to Missouri, in 1852. He was baptized by Elder J. R. Russel in 1854, and was ordained to the ministry in 1857. He joined the Confederate army in 1861 and was elected captain of a company in the army of General Price, known as Missouri State Guards.
His first work as a minister was in Richland Association in Missouri, and Concord Association in Arkansas. But after the War between the States was over he began preaching in Oregon and Howell Counties again and as a result of his labors organized Union Association out of the fragments of Richland Association that remained. He was the moderator and outanding [sic] leader in this asso-
ciation for a few years but because of the great territory it covered he secured letters of dismission for five churches on her south boundary and organized them as State Line Association in 1873. He was elected the first moderator and served as such most of the time up to 1879. He reported to the association in 1879 (at age of 62) that he had preached 30 discourses, baptized 17 persons, assisted in the ordination of two elders and three deacons, traveled 200 miles and had received for his labors $15.00. At the meeting a tribute of respect was paid to him in which it was stated that in all he had baptized over 500 souls, assisted in the ordination of 15 elders, helped organize over 30 churches, and organized two Associations. He preached the sermon for the 1879 session and was elected moderator for that session and the next.
Eld. Townzen was also present when the association was organized and preached one of the sermons during the first session. He was a member of the Mount Pleasant East Church at that time. He was ordained by that church October 16, 1883, He was a regular attendant upon the annual meetings of the association and frequently was on program. His report to the Association in 1886 reads as follows:
"Sermon [sic] preached 57; exhortations delivered 77; assisted in organizing 3 churches; baptized 2 persons; for my labors I asked nothing and received nothing."
It should be remembered that every preacher was urged to make a report to the association of his activities for the past year. He owned a good farm in the Palatka community and practice medicine some. In 1886 he was reported as pastor of the Hopewell church, and is said to have served Shiloh at one time. Possibly he served others but we find no record of it. This account of his second marriage appeared in the Clay County Courier in 1888:
"Married – at the residence of the bride in Palatka last Wednesday, Rev. Dr. Gideon Townzen, age 76 years, and Mrs. M. J. Heath, age 54 years, Esq. Henry Brown officiating. . . Dr. Townzen is well known in Clay county having been a resident 45 years. He is a practicing physician and a minister of the gospel, according to the tenents of the close-communion Baptist Church."
He later moved to Success and was living there in 1904 when he died. He was buried in Black Cemetery near Palatka.
FRANKLIN CASTLEBERRY TRICE
Elder Trice was a member of the presbytery which organized Current River Association. He was a messenger from Pleasant Grove West Church, and was listed as an "Elder"; however, he was only a licensed preacher for the minutes of this first meeting show that on motion and second the association "recommended to Mt. Pleasant West Church the propriety of ordaining him to the ministry." In 1883 he was listed among the ordained ministers. Our information on this minister of Jesus Christ is very limited. We found out these facts: He was born in Tennessee but was reared in Kentucky. From Kentucky he enlisted in the army and saw service in the Mexican War and also in the War between the States. In 1883 he was a member of Antioch Church and pastor of the Moark Church. But he died in Pocahontas sometinme [sic] that year and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery in that city.
JULIUS A. LEROUX
J. A. Leroux was the first clerk of this association. At that time he was a licensed minister and held membership in the Emmaus (Mo.) church which was a charter member of the association. (We find no record where this church ever represented in the association after that first time). And we find no record of J. A. Leroux ever serving the association in any way except in this first session. It is said upon good authority that he believed in "feet washing," and therefore left the Missionary Baptists and joined the Freewills. This is confirmed by a record Book A, Clay County court house, in which he is recorded as moderator of the "Fair-dealing Association of Freewill Baptists," under date of April 5, 1893. He died near Oxley, Missouri, a few years ago.
THOMAS J. WATSON
Elder T. J. (Uncle Tom) Watson was born in Clay County in what is commonly called the "Heelstring" community, January 18, 1841. We do not know the facts about his parents and early days, but it is possible that his father was Peter Watson who was pastor of the Cherokee Bay Chuch [sic] (Antioch) in 1858. This supposition is based on the fact that he was born in the vicinity of the Antioch Chuch [sic], and that he had a brother who bore the name of Peter. "Uncle Tom" was ordained to preach in 1868 and spent most of his life as a minister with the churches of Clay county. He married Mary A. Dixon Dec. 22, 1859, and to them were born eight children. He was the founder of the Hopewell Church and his wife gave it the name. He was present at the organization of this association and was pastor of the Shiloh church at that time. Other churches he served include Union (Clay County), Hopewell, New Hope, Antioch, and possibly other churches.
He was used in the ordination of many young preachers and assisted in organizing several churches. He preached the sermon for the association in 1883, and in 1888 was elected moderator and preached the sermon again that year. He made his home at Datto the last years of his life, attended the meeting of the association which was held there in 1920, and prayed the benediction. I [sic] was his last association. The minutes for the next year listed him among the dead from the Datto Church. This is the way it is given:
"Datto Church – Elder T. J. Watson was born Jan. 18, 1841; died December 1, 1920; aged 79 years, 10 months, 13 days. Bro. Watson (Uncle Tom) began preaching in 1868, and was in the ministry 52 years, and did most of his work in Clay County, Arkansas."
He was buried in the Nelson Cemtery [sic] near Reyno.
ISSAC H. WITT
One of the leading pioneer Baptist preachers in Randolph County was Isaac Witt, known by the older citizens as "Parson Witt." He was the son of Charles Homer Witt of Gibson County Tennessee. He came to Randolph County in the year 1868.
His wife was Mary Christiana Shelton, daughter of Jeremiah Sheldon, also a Tennessean [sic], and a missionary Baptist preacher. They had six children. In Dalton's History of Randolph County this description of Isaac Witt is found: "Isaac Witt, one of the pioneer Baptist preachers of central Randolph County . . . used to work all week in the fields with his children and on Sunday put on his starched, studded, front shirt and homespun suit and start out over a road, sometimes several miles long, to preach twice that day and return that night. The trip was usually made in an old-time one-horse buggy which was pulled by one of his ponies which had been hitched to a plow all week. Stuffed snugly in behind the seat was a few ears of corn or a sheaf of oats, because 'Parson Isaac' never knew for sure that he would be invited home by some brother who had 'hoss feed. Monday Morning would find him again at the handles of the plow. . . . The Baptist Church at Maynard is today known as Witt's Chapel, in his honor."
He was ordained to the full work of the ministry by the Pleasant Grove Church on Saturday before the first Sunday in May, 1872, by a presbytery composed of Elders J. C. Redwine, Henry Sharp, and E. Richardson. He was pastor of Bluff Springs Church in 1880, and held membership in it at that time. He was
Serving Pleasant Grove Church in 1883, and organized the church at Maynard (Witt's Chapel) in 1884. In 1887 he was a messenger to State Line Association from Mud Creek Church, and was pastor of Mount Pleasant West from 1884 – '86. He owned a farm near Middlebrook. After his first wife died he went back to Tennessee and married a widow who had been a boyhood sweetheart. He was an average preacher for his day – without formal education and had a slight impediment in his speach [sic]. He was elected moderator of State Line Association in 1896 and again in 1901. He died in 1903 and at that time was a member of Mud Creek Church.
JAMES A. WHEATLEY (Same as Wheetley)
Eld. J. A. Wheatley was born near Palatka in Clay County about 1865. He was baptized into the fellowship of Mount Pleasant East Church in 1882. He was ordained to the work of the ministry by the Hazeldell (Mo.) Church by a presbytery consisting of W. T. Laudermilk, J. F. Smith, and A. Conner. (the records in the Corning court house regarding his ordination were filed March 28, 1891.) He had only a common school education part of which was gained at Ouachita-Maynard Academy, but he came to be one of the leading Baptist preachers in this whole section of the state. He led in organizing the Datto Church in 1902 and served as its first pastor. He lived in Datto for several years along about 1907 and operated a mercantile business but all the while he was an active peacher [sic]. He was gifted as a debter [sic] and held many debates with the elders of the Church of Christ, and no Baptist who attended one of these debates ever felt that he should apologize for being a Baptist. Other churches he served in Arkansas included Success, Shiloh, Reyno, Witt's Chapel, Ravenden Springs, Richwoods, Pleasant Grove, New Home, Landmark, and perhaps Hoxie. His address in 1921 was Hoxie, Ark., and in 1922 he was reported as pastor of a church in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. He remained pasto rof [sic] that church through 1928 and is said to have built a fine church house there. From 1929 – '35 he was reported as pastor of Glenwood Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He lost his health about 1935 and retired from the active ministry but lived in Tulsa until his death a few years later. He was buried in Oklahoma. He preached the sermon for State
Line Association in 1903, and was elected moderator of Current River in 1903, '04, '05, '08, '10.
BIOGRAPHIES OF LIVING MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD SOME ACTIVE PART IN THE AFFAIRS OF THE ASSOCIATION
Norace Adams was born March 2, 1902, in Randolph County near Warm Springs. He was baptized by the Hopewell Church at the age of 21, and was made a deacon by that church in 1926. He attended public schools in Randolph Clay Counties, and Jonesboro Baptist College one term. He is in the hardware and furniture business in Corning, and is an active worker in the Corning Church. He has served as Associational Sunday School Superintendent since 1936 when the "Five Year Program" was inaugurated, and is actively interested in all the work of the association.
JOHN ALLEN ALLISON
J. A. Allison was born at Kingsville September 12, 1870, the son of Cornelius and Charity Baily Allison. He was converted at Kingsville at the age of 14, and was baptized eight years later by Eld. T. J. Robinson. He was educated in the common schools of Randolph County and at Ouachita-Maynard Academy. He was ordained by the Richwoods Church in Lawrence County, Feb. 24, 1895. The Ordination Council consisted of F. M. Bridges, T. A. Ponder, Robert Arnold, T. O. Robinson, Mod., and S. W. Aber-
nathy, Clerk. He married Fannie Arnold. He has served Shiloh Church (Randolph) as pastor a total of 35 years, and during that time held 33 of the annual revivals. He baptized 150 people into the fellowship of this one church. Other churches he has served include Richwoods, Union, Scaggs, Pocahontas, Witt's Chapel, Oak Grave [sic], Willow Springs (Mo.), Ravenden (Station), Antioch (Randolph), and Vernon. He led the congregations to build church houses at Vernon and Richwoods. He was a part-time Missionary for State Line Association at one time, and was a moderator of State Line Association.
He is a brother of Thomas Baily Allison, and an uncle of Alvin Allison. He has retired from the active ministry and makes his home at Ravenden Springs.
He preached the sermon for the Current River Association in 1927.
THOMAS BAILY ALLISON
Eld. T. B. Allison was born in Kingsville November 22, 1878, and was named after his uncle, Eld. Thomas Baily, who discovered the spring which has made Ravenden Springs famous. He was the fifth son in a family of ten children -- there were eight boys in all. He was converted at Richwoods at about the age of 26, and was ordained to the ministry by the same church in 1912. The Ordaining Presbytery consisted of E. T. Lincoln who had baptized him, Frank Bridges, and his own brother, J. A. Allison. He married Susie Young September 11, 1908, and they had eight children. The churches he has sered [sic] included Bethany and Old Walnut Ridge which he served eleven years. He held a good many revivals and baptized scores of people. He has retired and makes his home in Pocahontas.
Alvin Allison was born May 17, 1905, at Ravenden Springs, Arkansas. He is the son of J. C. and Mary June Simmons Allison. He was baptized in 1917 by Eld. T. B. Allison in Clear Lake. He was educated in the schools of Lawrence ounty [sic], and was ordained to the work of the ministry by the Cache River Baptist Church,
August 28, 1928. He was married to Ana Adline Marshall September 25, 1921. They have four children -- one son studying for the ministry. Churches he has served include Biggers, Reyno, Old Walnut Ridge, Walcott, Center Hill in Green County, Cache Valley in Green County, Oak Grove in Lawrence County, Arbyrd (Mo.), and is now serving Biggers for the second time. He preached the sermon for Current River Association in 1940.
Perhaps no other Baptist preacher has weilded [sic] as much influence in the territory covered by Current River Association as Knox Belew. Me [sic] was born in Randolph County November 11, 1868, about nine miles north of Pocahontas, and with the exception of only a few months he has spent all his life in and adjacent to this association. His fahter [sic] was O. W. Belew, and intelligent and influential man, who passed away in 1872. He was away from home attending the first session of Spring River Association when the subject of this sketch was born. It is a family tradition that he made the motion to name the new association "Spring River." Mrs. O. W. Belew was a charter member of Oak Grove Church.
Knox Belew grew to manhood on the farm taking care of his widowed mother, attending the short-termed local school, revival meetings, singing schools, and associational meetings. His family was blessed with musical talent and he inherited a good portion of it himself and had a good voice for leading singing. At the age of nineteen he taught a singing school at Old Reyno. His main teacher had been Professor J. E. Wilson.
He was converted and baptized by the Shiloh (Randolph) Church at the age of 14, but was ordained to the ministry by the Oak Grove Church. He preached his first sermon at the Johnson school house four miles nortwest [sic] of Pocahontas. His first pastorates were New Hope No. 1 (which was in the Oconee community, and Concord which was in an adjacent community. He organized a church as Manson in 1908 and served as its pastor five years, and also organized Union Church at Brockett. It was later moved to Petit school house. Other churches he has served include Bethany, Oak Grove, Hopewell, Shiloh (Clay), Moark, Datto, Reyno, Success, Landmark, Pollard, Brown's Chapel, Knobel, Lebanon, Poynor, Spring Hill, Ponder, Amely, Lone Star East, Brosely, and Old Walnut Ridge. His longest pastorate was with the Hopewell church which he serve 24 years and where he baptized about 500 members. He has baptized over 2000 persons during his lifetime.
He married Miss Della Kane in 1919, and they have three children. He makes his home at Oxley, Mo. Although he is retired from active service he is still hale and strong for his age and does some supply preaching. He was elected moderator of State Line Association five time [sic], and preached the Introductory sermon one time, and was electedm oderator of Current River Association 16 times and preached the Introductory Sermon twice.
JAMES SETH COMPERE, SR., D.D.
Dr. J. S. Compere will long be remembered in Current River Association for his work of love in the part of the Master's Kingdom. He was born in Charleston Ark., August 9, 1873. His mother was Isabella Mullins (an aunt of Dr. E. Y. Mullins), and his father was Ebenezer Lee Compere who came to Western Arkansas as a Missionary in 1866. The subject of this sketch entered Ouachita College in 1892 with no notion of studying for the ministry for he was not a Christian at that time. But in 1893 he was converted and baptized into the fellowship of the First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia. He attended Mercer University one term, but was graduated from Ouachita with the degree of "A.B." in the class of 1901. He was ordained to the ministry by the first Baptist church of Arkadelphia January 2, 1901. He was graduated from the South-
ern Baptist Theological Seminary with the degree of "Th.M." in 1903. Ouachita College conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1919.
He was married to Pen Lile of Waldo, Arkansas, June 7, 1896. To them were born seven children five of them lived to be adults. Their only son, J. S., Jr., is a minister. Dr. and Mrs. Compere went to Nigeria, Africa as missionaries under the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1905 and continued there until 1909 when Mrs. Compere's failing health forced them to come home.
He has served as head of the Bible Department in Ouachita College, assistant general secretery [sic] of the Arkansas Baptist Convention, Editor of the Baptist Advance, and pastor of the following churches: Waren, Fordyce, Lewisville, Stamps, Charleston, M., Hayti, Mo., and Corning. He was pastor of the Corning church from 1934 - 1939, and during his last year he led the church in the erection of the present house of worship. He has retired from active ministry and makes his home in Corning but still does some suppy [sic] work. Because of his varied experiences and his denominational loyalty, his influence has gone out to all part of this association. He preached the sermon for the association in 1936 and again in 1938. He was vice-moderator in 1934 - '36.
MRS. J. S. COMPERE
Mrs. J. S. Compere was born June 2, 1876, in Columbia County, Arkansas. Her parents were Mr. and Mrs. L. R. Lile who were pioneer settlers in that part of the state. She entered Ouachita College at the age of fifteen and was later graduated with the degree of A. B. She was married to J. S. Compere at Central College, Conway, Arkansas, in 1896. She is the mother of seven children, two of whom did not live to maturity. In addition to rearing her children she has found time to do much church service wherever she lived, working particularly with the young people.
Mrs. Compere took an active part in the work of "Little Rock City W. M. U." when she lived there, and led in putting on the first Daily Vacation Bible School ever held in Arkansas -- which was sponsored by the City W. M. U. While living in Missouri she was state trustee for the W. M. U. Training School of Louisville,
Ky., and was also a member of the Missouri Baptist Executive Board. For several years she was a member of the State W. M. U. Executive Board in Arkansas and in 1929 was honored by being made a life member of this board. At various times she has served as Superintendent of the W. M. U. of her association -- once in Hope Association, once in Pulaski County Association and three times in Current River Association, and once in New Madrid Association in Missouri.
MARTIN W. FOWLER
This good layman deserves mention as a product of the association as well as a useful worker in it. He is the son of Elder C. A. Fowler and was born in Randolph County near Supply Nov. 30, 1885. He was baptized into the fellowship of the Corning church in 1915 and made a loyal worker, serving as Sunday School Superintendent and as a deacon. He married Jessie Carter in 1907 and after her death married Mrs. Mary H. Terry of Kennett, Mo. They make their home in Kennett now. Mr. Fowler was an active worker in the association and served as treasurer from 1935 – 1940.
DAVID KIRBY FOSTER
D. K. Foster was born at Pittman, Arkansas, in 1882. He was the son of Anthony and Sarah Sharp Foster, his father being one of the leading Baptist preachers in that section. He was converted at the age of fifteen and was baptized by his uncle, David Sharp, into the fellowship of the Mt. Pleaant [sic] Church. He attended the local public schools and was a graduate of Ouachita-Maynard Academy. He was ordained to the work of the ministry by the Mt.
Pleasant West Church in 1904. He married Bessie Gerrish in 1904 and to them were born four sons, three of whom are still living. He has served as pastor of the following churches: Success, New Hope, Brookings, Calloa, Mo., Bloomfield, Mo., Doniphan, Mo., and for 27 years he has been pastor of the First Baptist Church of Caruthersville, Mo.
The subject of this sketch is a great lover of the outdoors, and gathers many of his sermon illustrations from his hunting and fishing experiences. He is listed in "Who's Who Among American Preahcers" [sic], and for many years has been a personal friend of President Harry Truman. The mother of this distinguished son of Current River Association had a rather unique relationship with preachers – her father was a minister, her only brother was a minister, her only brother-in-law was a minister, her husband was a minister, and her only son was a minister. He served as clerk of the association four years – 1900 – '03, and preached the sermon in 1909.
Earl Fitzgerald, Treasurer of our Association, was born in Henning, Tennessee, Oct. 2, 1894. He was baptized into the fellowship of the Hornersville Baptist church (Mo.) about 1926, and the following year was made a deacon. He moved to Corning in 1932 and operates a drug store. He has served as Associational Treasurer since 1940, and is also treasurer for the "Joint Executive Board" of Current River and Gainsville Associations.
CHARLES FRANKLIN GWINUP
C. F. Gwinup was born in Ashby, Oklohoma [sic], July 21, 1899, and is the son of Alice and Schyler Gwinup. He was baptized in Granite Oklahoma, April 15, 1926 by Elder A. E. White. He was married to Nola Marie Smith, March 20, 1921, and to them were born four children. He was graduated from the Alva, Okla. High school, the Northwestern State Teachers College (Okla.), Oklahoma Baptist University (with "A. B." degree), and from Southwestern Baptist Seminary (with the degree of "Th.M."). He served as pastor of the following churches in Oklohoma [sic]: Billings, Morrison, and Lambert; as pastor of the Poyner, Mo. Baptist church, and of the following churches in Arkansas: Smithville, Pollard, and Hopewell (near Corning). He became pastor of the last named church in 1943 and has served it full time since that date. He also seres [sic] as fulltime member of the faculty of Southern Baptist College as a science teacher. He is one of the most enthusiastic friends and promoters of the Ravenden Springs encampment, and a leader in our associational Mission work. He preached the associational sermon in 1942 and is vice-moderator.
WILLIAM HARRY HUNT
W. Harry Hunt, present moderator of the association, was born September 30, 1912 at Mt. Vernon, Missouri. He is the son of Alonzo W. and Cora Moore Hunt. He was converted at the age of nine and was baptized in October, 1921, by the pastor of the Mt. Vernon Church. He was educated in the public schools of Mt. Vernon, Southwestern Baptist College (Bolivar), Southwestern Teachers College (Springfield), from which he graduated with the degree of "A.B.". He graduated from Southwestern Baptist Seminary in 1943 with the degree of "Th.B." He was married to Bonna Braswell of Alton, Mo., May 15, 1938. They have two children. He was ordained to the ministry at Mt. Vernon in 1936. (His brother, Charles E. Hunt, was ordained at the same time). Churches he has served include Summit and Alton in Missouri, and the first Baptist Church of Pocahontas which pastorate he began in Dec. 1943. He has led this church in raising 30,000 on a new building. He was elected moderator of the association in 1945, and '46, and is to preach the sermon at the annual meeting in 1947.
HUBERT WILLIS JOHNSTON
H. W. Johnston the present Associational Missionary for Current River and Gainsville Associations, was born September 7, 1894, ta [sic] Datto, Arkansas. He was the son of H. V. and Minnie Malone Johnston. He was converted Oct. 15, 1917, and was baptized on the 21st day of the same month by Elder Jess Gray into the fellowship of the Datto Church. He attended the common schools of Clay County, and was cashier of the bank of Datto at the time of his ordination. He was ordained to the work of the ministry by the Datto Church in Sept. 1920. He married Della Edwards in March, 1914, and they have four children. He was graduated from Southern Baptist College in 1943, being a member of the first graduating class. Churches he has served include the following: Hopewell, Shiloh (Clay), Success, Moark, Biggers, Ravenden Springs, Pollard, Brown's Chapel, New Hope (Mo.), Poyner, Mo., Mt. Pleasant West, New Home. He has been associational Missionary since January 1, 1945. He led the Hopewell and Shiloh Churches to build new houses of worship while he was a pastor, and led the Success Church to re-model and add some Sunday School rooms. He served as clerk of the association from 1929 to 1940, served as moderator from 1939 to 1945, and preached the sermon for the association in 1934. He makes his home in Datto, and holds membership in the Success Church. He has the distinction of knowing more Baptist people (if not more people) in Clay and Randolph Counties than any other living person, and enjoys the love and confidence of all who know him.
RALPH BUELL KERLEY
Ralph Kerley was born near Maynard October 4, 1908, and was the son of Baxter and Annie Spencer Kerley. He was converted at Maynard in August 1926, and was baptized in Forche River near Middle Brook by Eld. C. M. Myrick in 1926. He married Helen E. Kelly in June 1932, and they have three children. He was educated in Ouachita-Maynard Academy, Jonesboro Baptist College, Arkansas State College, and Union University, Jackson, Tenn. He was ordained to the ministry by the First Baptist Church of Jonesboro in February, 1929. He has served as pastor of the following churches: Vandale, Sedwick, Ward, Walnut Street (Jonesboro), North Jackson (Jackson, Tenn.), Tyronza, Springdale (Tulsa, Okla.). He is gifted as an evangelist and under his ministry hundreds have repented and believed the Gospel.
L. F. MAYNARD
L. F. Maynard is the son of Captain John Maynard who came from Tennessee in 1884 and settled in the north part of Randolph County. Captain Maynard established the first store in Maynard and called it "New Prospect." The town which grew up around this place soon came to be known as Maynard. He married Sallie Adams of Missouri and to this union was born three children, one of whom was named Fayette – Rev. L. F. Maynard.
He grew to manhood at Maynard and began teaching school in the Abobtt [sic] Institute there which was the forerunner of Ouachita-Maynard Academy. He was one of the leaders in getting the Baptists to take over the Institute and gave generously of grounds and property to get the mission school established. In 1904 he moved to Corning having accepted a position as Cashier of the First National Bank. He wa [sic] soon made a deacon by the Corning church and proved to be very active in the affairs of the church.
He was licensed to preach by the Gillett Baptist Church, and was ordained to the ministry in 1919 by the Parkin Church. He held pastorates in Shreveport, La.; Hot Springs; St. Louis; Tampa, Florida; and Mobile, Alabama. At one time he was General Missionary for Missouri Baptists, and is now Goodwill Missionary to the Negroes in Mobile, under the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
LEANDER GLEN MILLER
L. G. Miller was born January 15, 1891, near Raymondsville, Mo., and was the son of W. T. and Sarah Johnson Miller. His father was a Freewill Baptist Minister. He was converted in Garfield, Mo., August 15, 1905, and was baptized near Oconee by Elder E. T. Lincoln. He finished at Ouachita-Maynard Academy, and attended Jonesboro Baptist College two years, Arkansas State Teachers College two years, and Union University two years. He followed school teaching for eight years, and served as Superintendent of Schools in Craighead County for a while. He was ordained to the ministry by the Oconoee Church on the fifth Sunday in July, 1920. he married Maudie Bailey, July 25, 1911, and they have three children. He has served as pastor of the following churches: Oconee, Skaggs, Witt's Chapel, New Home, Myrtle, Mo., Success, Moark, Biggers, Ravenden Springs, Egypt, Hermon (Mt. Zion Association), Philadelphia (Green County), Pisgah, Brooklyn, Leachville, Nettleton, Fisher Street (Jonesboro), and has been the pastor of New Liberty Church in Mississippi County for the past five years. He has received about 200 members into this church. He led the Moark and Nettleton churches to build new houses of worship, and led in remodeling the houses at Success, Myrtle, Fisher Street, Egypt, and Witt's Chapel. He preached the associational sermon in 1925.
DR. EDGAR S. MIZELL
Dr. E. S. Mizell was born in New Burnside, Illinois, January 11, 1886. He was converted and joined the Simpson, Illinois, Baptist Church in August, 1900. He moved to Datto, Arkansas, in 1904, and taught school in that vicinity about five years. He was married to Pearl C. Howlett of Datto in 1905 and to them were born six children. He was ordained to the ministry by the Datto Baptist Church in 1910. He was pastor of New Home (Kingsville) Church in 1910, and served Brookings and Peach Orchard from 1910 until 1913 when he resigned to enter Ouachita College. He was graduated from Ouachita College with the degree of A. B. in 1919, from Southwestern Baptist Seminary with the degree of Th.M. in 1922, and from Central Baptist Seminary (Kansas City)
with the degree of Th.D. (Doctor of Theology) in 1945. He served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Stuttgart, Arkansas, three years, West Helena seven years, and served churches in Oklahoma eleven years. In June, 1945, he accepted a position with Ottawa Baptist University, Ottawa, Kansas, as Secretary of Finance Promotion, and still serves in that capacity.
WILLIAM JEFFERSON MOCK
Elder W. J. Mock, son of R. Jefferson and Mary Pylon Mock, was born August 18, 1881, near Pocahontas. He was converted and baptized near Pine Ridge, Arkansas, April 1, 1912. He was ordained to the ministry by the Datto Church, April 25, 1920. Churches he has served in Arkansas include Pleasant Grove East, Datto, Richwoods, Current View, Corning Second, and Landmark. He has sreved [sic] two churches in Illinois – Rochell and Auburn in Rockford. He married Arkie Fountain and they had five children. He makes his home in Rockford, Ill.
FRANK C. NEELY
The name of Frank C. Neely is inseparably linked with the history of Current River Association. He was born Juy [sic] 19, 1864, near Grandin, Missouri, the son of Robert and Helen Davis Neely. He was married to Mollie Mabry June 2, 1887, and to them were born two sons – Golden English and Frank. After her death he married Mrs. Ann Coolidge of Corning in 1900. After her death he married Zona Owen in 1933. He was ordained to the ministry by the Od [sic] Reyno Church July 7, 1889, and began preaching as a missionary for the Current River Asociation [sic].
In 1892 he became
Pastor of the Reyno and Corning churches. He became pastor of the Corning church again in 1914. Other churches he has served include Shiloh (Clay), Eldorado Springs, Mo., Duncan, Oklahoma, Pocahontas First Church (1908) and is now pastor at Grandin, Missouri. His son, Golden English, is also a Baptist minister. F. C. Neely was twice elected moderator of the association – 1893 and 1897. He preached the sermon for the association in 1890 and again in 1896.
GOLDEN ENGLISH NEELY
G. E. Neely, on [sic] of Eld. F. C. and Mollie Mabry Neely, was born near Reyno, Arkansas, November 7, 1893. He attended Pocahontas high school, but graduated from Corning high school in 1914. He was baptized at Alton, Missouri, in July, 1907, and was ordained to the work of the ministry by the Ellington (Mo.) Baptist Church March 4, 1917. He attended William Jewel College from 1917 to 1920, and did some work in Southwestern Seminary. On December 29, 1916, he was married to Mollie George of Ellington, Mo. They have three children. He served as pastor of the Corning church twice, and other churches he has served include Bismark, Mo., Vandalia, Mo., and Madison, Mo. He makes his home in Mexico, Mo. And is serving some churches in that vicinity. He preached the associational sermon in 1932.
H. D. PALMER
Eld. H. D. Palmer was associational missionary for this association from April 1, 1943, through April 30, 1944, serving both Current River and Gainesville Associations under a joint-Execu-
tive Board. He was born July 24, 1889, in Tenelle, Georgia. He was converted and baptized near Dublin, Georgia, but moved to Texas and was educated in the public schools of Paris, Texas; Texas Christian University; and Southwestern Baptist Seminary. He was ordained to the ministry by the Dalton Baptist Church, Marlow, Oklahoma, November 25, 1934. He married Sarah Electa Lamkin in 1917. churches he has served as pastor include Braman and New Bethany in Oklahoma; and Barboursville in West Virginia. He served as missionary for the Black River Association in Missouri and for the Black River Association in Arkansas, and makes his home at Doniphan. He is now serving as missionary for Cane Creek Association in Mo.
JOHN Q. POND
Ths [sic] useful layman was born in Randolph County, but moved to Ripley County Missouri with his parents early in life and was reared there. He was converted in a Freewill Baptist Church near Middlebrook when he was about seventeen years of age. He united with the Witt's Chapel church in Maynard in 1902 and was baptized by Eld. M. D. Bowers. He attended the public schools – some in Missouri and some in Arkansas – and began teaching school when he was eighteen years of age. His last work as a teacher was in the Abbott' Institute at Maynard just before the Baptists purchased the property. He entered business at Maynard about 1900 and ran a mercantile store there for several years, then moved to Ravenden Station and is still operating a store there. He was a great friend to Ouachita-Maynard Academy as long as it operated, and still has a keen interest in all Baptist activities.
ROBERT L. POWELL
Another preacher who has made much Baptist history in this part of the state is R. L. Powell. He was born in Williamson County, Illinois, June 19, 1868. He was ordained in 1896 and was pastor of a full-time church in Williams County before coming to Arkansas. He came to this state and settled near the Landmark
Church in 1904. He was called upon to peach [sic] at the Landmark Church the first Sunday he was there, and has had more calls than he could fill ever since.
He organized the following churches: Pleasant Grove, Ebenezer, Boydsville, Second Church, Corning (1924), and Second Church, Piggott.
He built church houses at Hopewell (Green County), Independence (Mo.), Friendship, Mount Pleasant East, Boydsville, New Home, Wanderers Home, and Datto.
He has served the following churches as pastor: Landmark, Moark, Independence, Mount Pleasant East, Success, Datto, New Home, Knoble, Salem, Wanderer's Home, Providence, Naylor (Mo.), Friendship, Spring Hill, and Philadelphia.
During his ministerial lifetime he has baptized between 3000 and 4000 souls, married about 2000 couples, and held hundreds of funerals. He baptized 66 in one service for the Independence Missionary Baptist Church in Missouri. He serves Wanderer's Home and Pleasant Grove West as pastor.
Bro. Powell has always affiliated with the Landmark, or Associational Baptists, and the churches he serves now, as well as most of them mentioned above, represent in Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Association.
He was elected moderator of Current River Association twelve times, and preached the sermon for the association four times.
JOHN FRANKLIN ROREX
Eld. J. F. Rorex made his first appearance in this section of the state in 1899 when he came to be the first principal of Ouachita-Maynard Academy. He gave the young institution excellent leadership and made many friends for the school by his personal appearances before churches and associational meetings. He led in the erection of the main brick building in 1904.
He was born in Fackler, Alabama, January 3, 1870. He was converted near Russellville in 1883 and was baptized in Illinois Bayou by Elder E. D. Landers. He was educated in Ouachita College and Southern Baptist Seminary. (He holds the A. B. de-
gree from Ouachita). He was ordained by the Pottsville (Arkansas) Church in 1897. He married Claudia B. Marsh in 1900. They have one child – a daughter who is married to the Rev. A. C. Kruer, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Maryville, Missouri.
He served the following churches in Arkansas: Witt's Chapel, Eudora, and some rural churches. He served several churches outside the state and was at one time president of the New Mexico Baptist College. He was elected moderator of State Line Association in 1902 and preached the sermon that year. He preached the sermon for Current River Association that same year. He retired from the ministry July 1, 1941 and makes his home in Atkins, Ark.
JIM W. SHIELDS
Another Randolph County preacher who has served in both Arkansas and Missouri is J. W. Shields. He was born in the northern part of Randolph County in 1890. he attended Ouachita- Maynard Academy, 1907 – 1910, and began preaching in 1908 while a student there. He was converted and baptized into the fellowship of the Bethany Church, and after being called to the pastorate of this church he was ordained by it February 12, 1911. he has served as pastor of this church three different times. He has also served the following churches as pastor:
Many Springs (Bennett)
Union (or Mt. Zion)
The last three mentioned are in Fulton County Arkansas and are served by him at present. He married Ella D. Sanders, July 21, 1912, and they have nine children. He makes his home at Alton, Mo., Route 1.
MRS. SAM (DOLLIE) SMITH
Mrs. Sam Smith was born in Randolph County a few miles
Northeast of Pocahontas, June 22, 1883. Her maiden name was Dollie Parks [sic]. She moved with her parents to Clay County and settled in the Richwoods Community in 1887. She attended the Richwoods school, Corning high school and Ouachita-Maynard Academy, and taught school in Clay County for eight years. She was married to Sam Smith, October 24, 1907. Their only child died in infancy. She was baptized at the age of 13 into the fellowship of Shiloh Baptist Church by Elder T. J. Watson. At the age of ten she, with three other girls, were named on the finance committee to collect funds for the building of a new church house at Shiloh. She has been a Sunday School teacher since she was sixteen years of age, and has taught the intermediate girls class in Shiloh Church since 1930. she has also served as clerk of that church, Training Union Director, and W. M. U. president. In 1937 she received the "Blue Seal Diploma". The latter achievenment [sic] has not been attained by many Sunday School workers, and perhaps at that time she was the only one in the association holding that honor. She twice was elected Associational Womans Missionary Union President – 1938 and 1941, and was W. M. U. treasurer in 1934. Few women have meant as much to the association as she has. She makes her home in the vicinity of Shiloh (Clay) church where she is still an active worker.
Taylor Stanfill was born in Sharp ounty [sic], Ark., near Evening Shade, abut while he was a small boy his parents moved to Randolph County and settled on Eleven Point River near Dalton. He attended the common schools of that community and began teaching school in early manhood. He was converted on March 17, 1920, in a revival which was held by missionary J. B. Routh in the Oconee school house. Bro. Stanfill declares that he is definitely a product of the state missions, for there was not another Christian in his family at the time of his conversion. Missionary
Routh worked under the State Mission Board and in cooperation with State Line Association. Bro. Stanfill was ordained to the ministry Aug. 29, 1920, entered Maynard Academy in the fall of 1920, and was graduated from that school in 1923. During that time he served as pastor of Myrtle, Skaggs Ferry and Success churches. He was missionary for Current River Association for four months during the summer of 1923. State Line and Current River Associations had agreed to combine in one association under the name of Current River just a few weeks prior to the time he began his work. His report to the association that fall showed that he had twenty four conversions in his meetings, had 20 baptisms, and organized one Sunday school in addition to several other things. For these four months of service he was paid $500. He entered Ouachita College in the fall of 1923 and was graduated from that school with the degree of "A. B." in the spring of 1928. Churches he has served as pastor include Amity, Second Church of Arkadelphia, Murfreesboro, Mena, De Queen, and Baring Cross. He has served six years as City Missionary in Little Rock under the Home Mission Board, which position he gave up recently to become pastor of Park Hill Baptist Church in Little Rock. He has served as Recording Secretary of the
Arkansas Baptist State Convention since 1941.
JOHN MARION STEVENS
Elder J. M. Stevens was born in Rock Creek, Ill., December 19, 1882. He came to Randolph County about 1894, but moved later to Green County. He was married to Isone Breckenridge of Green County and they had three children. He later married Miss Laura Nicely and they had three children. He was a preacher in another denomination until after his second marriage. At the age of thirty-two he was baptized by Eld. Jim See into the fellowship of Stanford Baptist Church near Paragould. Soon thereafter he was ordained to the work of the ministry by the same church and pastor. He has served a large number of churches including the following:
New Hope No. 1
Pleasant Grove West
He has been successful in evangelistic efforts having baptized 100 souls during one year of his ministry. Sixty-eight of these were in the Union Church of which he was pastor. He is retired from active work and makes his home in Pocahontas.
WILLIAM OSCAR TAYLOR
Eld. W. O. Taylor was born Oct. 22, 1890 near Strong, Ark. He is the son of Wm. Jacob and Annie Green Taylor. He was baptized Sept. 15, 1907 by Ben Green. He was educated in the public schools of Union County, Ouachita College, State Teachers College, and Southwestern Baptist Seminary. He holds the "Th.M." degree from the latter. He was ordained in the Second Baptist Church of Arkadelphia, Nov. 5, 1913. He married Minnie Bell White, Oct. 1912. They have eight children. He has pastored a few churches including Wilmot, Parkdale, Plumerville, and Berryville in Arkansas, but has devoted most of his ministerial life to associational mission work. He founded the Ravenden Springs Encampment, has led in organizing about twelve new churches and building about that many houses of worship. He became missionary for Current River and Gainsville Associations, March 1, 1935, and continued as such until the fall of 1942. (A general account of his activities for that period will be found in the chapter entitled, "General History of Current River Associa-
tion.") He is now serving as missionary for Clear Creek Association and makes his home at Ozark, Ark.
LEROY CARSON TEDFORD
The subject of this sketch is the author of this book and the pastor of the Corning Baptist Church. He was born in Lonoke County, Ark., August 7, 1897 – the tenth child and the seventh son of a family of fifteen children. His mother was Mary Jane Burns and his father was Wm. Walker Tedford – a rural school teacher, farmer and ordained minister.
He attended Lonoke High School, and was graduated with the degree of "A. B." from Ouachita College in 1924. He attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary three years and was graduated with the degree of "Th.M." He was converted in his 'teens, and was baptized in Pigeon Roost Creek, Butlerville, Ark., by Elder Joe Johnson in 1915. He preached his first sermon in the Second Baptist Church of Arkadelphia in April, 1920, and was ordained to full work of the ministry at Hickory Plains, Ark., Oct. 30, 1921.
While a student at Ouachita College he served as pastor of the following churches: Elliot, Cross Roades (near Smackover), Manning, Glenwood, and Rosboro. While a student in Louisville he served Woodlawn in Union County, Ky., Zion in Henderson County Ky., and Sand Creek in Decature County, Ind. On finishing the Seminary he returned to Ark. And became a pastor of the Clarendon Baptist Church. He served this church two years and was called to the pastorate of the Clarksville Church which he served 6 years. From that pastorate he went to Bentonville Church which he served the First Baptist Church six and one half years. He moved from that field to Marion and served that church three years
And three months. He moved to Corning to accept the pastorate of that church July 17, 1945.
He has served as clerk of Arkansas Valley Association, Moderator of Clear Creek, Benton County, and Tri-county Associations and is now the clerk of the Current River Association. He preached the sermon for the association at its 1946 annual meeting. He is a member of the Arkansas Baptist Historical Commission, and is the Ark. Board member of the Southern Baptist Historical Society.
MRS. L. C. TEDFORD
The Associational Womans Missionary Union President is Mrs. L. C. Tedford, wife of the write of this book. They were married Oct. 16, 1928, and have two children. She was Leila Thomas before her marriage. She is a graduate of El Dorado high school, Ouachita College, and the W. M. U. Training School in Louisville. She did field work for the Ark. W. M. U. prior to her marriage. She was elected Associational W. M. U. president at the annual meeting in 1946.
TILLMAN S. TIPTON
Tillman Tipton is Associational Training Union Dir. Having served in that capacity since 1943. He was born at Old Reyno Aug. 7, 1902, the son of Ben F. Tipton who was a charter member of the Biggers Church. He was baptized and became a member of the Biggers Church about 1913, and has served as deacon in that church several years. He has been postmaster at Biggers since 1943.
HUBERT ETHRIDGE WILLIAMS
H. E. Williams, founder and president of Southern Baptist College, was born in Casa, Arkansas, April 8, 1913. He is the son of Robt. S. and Anna Emma Williams. He was educated in the public schools of Casa, Ark. College of Theology and Ouachita College and Southwestern Baptist Seminary. He holds the degree of "A. B." from Ouachita and did graduate study in Southwestern toward the degree of "Th.M." He married Beatrice Black Jan. 13, 1934, and they have three children. He was converted at asa [sic], Ark., Oct. 7, 1927, and three days later was baptized by Dr. C. V. Hickerson, who at that time was pastor of the First Baptist Church of Russellville. He was ordained to full work of the ministry by the Casa Baptist Church May 31, 1931. He has served as pastor of the folowing [sic] churches: Bigelow, Casa, Adona, Second Baptist Church, Russellville, Almyra, Harrisburg, Shiloh, Weatherford, Texas, Sec. Baptist Church, Conway, Rector, Pocahontas, Silverdale, and Arbyrd, Missouri. He founded Southern Baptist College in 1941 and has served as president of it since that time. (See chapter on, "Institutions" for details on this school). He is a young man with a strong physique, a brilliant mind and a talent for leadership and withal a Christian spirit. He was elected clerk of the association in 1942, and preached the sermon in 1941 and again in 1943.
HARVEY L. WATERS, head of the Bible Department in Southern Baptist College was born Aug. 8, 1882, in Pike County, Ill. He was converted in Perry, Okla., in 1904, and was baptized
About a year later in Mt. Sterling, Ill. He was educated in the public schools of Mt. Sterling, La Grange College, and Southwestern Baptist Seminary. He holds the "Ph.B." degree from La Grange College and "Th.B." from Southwestern. He was married to Miss Annie Pritchard of La Grange, Mo. In 1915, and has two children by this marriage. After her death he was married to Miss Lillian Jenkins of Batesville, Ark., and they have two children.
He was ordained to the ministry at La Grange, Mo., 24, 1909. Pastorates he has held in Ark. Include, Greenwood, Mena, Philidelphia [sic], Mt. Pisgah (The latter two are in Green County), Swifton, Fisher, Oak Grove (Attica), Reyno, and Mt. Pleasant West. He has preached in eleven States and has done pastoral work in Mo., Tex., Ill., and Tenn. in addition to the work in Ark. He has been on the faculty of Southern Baptist College as head of the Bible Department from the beginning in 1941. He served the first year without receiving a salary in order to help the school get started. He is at present serving Oak Grove Church as pastor. He is an able preacher as well as a good Bible teacher. He was elected clerk of the association in 1943.
L. F. BAIN preached the associational sermon in 1935. He served as pastor of the fololwing [sic] churches in this association: Biggers, Reyno, New Home, and Ravenden Springs. He came from Mo. And is now pastor of the church at Fornfelt, Mo.
HARVEY HICKS was born and reared at Success, but was converted in Little Rock, baptized by Homer Reynolds, and was ordained January 10, 1937. For eleven years he has served as pastor at the High Street Baptist Church in Little Rock.
HENRY C. DELANEY was born near Reyno in 1898 and was ordained by the Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in 1942. He serves as pastor of the Pleasant Grove (East of Corning), and makes his home near Corning.
EARNEST L. HOLLOWAY was licensed to preach by the Corning Baptist church in 1937. He is a graduate of Ouachita College and is now a student in Southwestern Baptist Seminary.
WINTON MIZELL was licensed to preach by the Corning church in 1937 and was ordained by Ione (Ark.) Baptist church in 1938. He is a student in Southwestern Baptist Seminary.
BASIL GOFF was ordained to the ministry by the Biggers Church in 1945. He is now pastor of Philidelphia [sic] Church in Green County.
LOREN JOLLY was born at Datto but was converted and baptized by the New Home Church. He was ordained in Ky. In 1941. He is now pastor of Hanley Road Baptist Church, St. Louis, Missouri.
RUSSELL DUFFER was born in Randolph County in 1908. He was ordained by the First Baptist church of Pocahontas in 1930. He is a graduate of Ouachita College and serves the Peach Orchard church as pastor. He has held 100 revivals and over 500 people have been converted in his meetings.
ROBT. W. JOHNSON was born in Indiana but he was converted at Hopewell Church and baptized by Eld. Knox Belew. He was ordained by this church in 1943. He is now pastor at Caraway, Ark.
SPURGEON W. WILKERSON was born in Sharp County, baptized in Batesville, and ordained by the First Baptist Church, Harrison, Ark. He is a student in Southern Baptist College and serves as pastor of the Ravenden Springs, Brown's Chapel, and Greenway Churches.
FRED LEWIS was born in Mo., converted at Nimmons, Ark., baptized by W. O. Taylor, ordained by Grace Baptist Church (Ark.), is a student in Southern Baptist College and serves as pastor of Columbia-Jarrett in this association.
LEWIS MOORE was born near Success, and was baptized by H. W. Johnston about 1938. He was graduated from Southern Baptist College in 1937. He was licensed to preach by the Success Church in 1936.
CLAY ROACH was born in Ky. In 1918 and was baptized in 1931. He was ordained by the Dublin Baptist Church of Ky. In 1942. He is a student in Southern Baptist College and serves as pastor of Reyno and New Home Churches.
RAYMOND SCONCE was born in Eminence, Mo., in 1918. He was baptized at Eminence and ordained to the ministry by the Myrtle, Mo. Church. He is a student in Southern Baptist College and pastor of the Bethany church.
JAMES B. BUSBY served as pastor of Success and Mt. Pleasant West churches while he was a student in Southwestern Baptist College from 1945 – '47. He was graduated in 1947 and will attend college in Texas next year.
THOMAS L. TEDFORD, was licensed to preach by the Corning Baptist Church in June, 1947. He is a student in Ouachita College.