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Chapter V
Fifth Sunday Meetings and Debates

Any history of this association would be incomplete without an account of the "Fifth Sunday Meetings".  The origin of these meetings reach back to Colonial days when Baptist preachers and churches were few and far between.  Elias Keach, a Baptist preacher in the Deleware [sic] Valley, with preaching points on both the Jersey and Penn. Sides of the River, by 1692 had developed a set-up where he had one anual [sic] meeting (district association), and four quarterly meetings each year.  By this method he was enabled to multiply his services to the churches and pastors.  The Fifth Sunday Meetings are commonly called Quarterly Meetings in some parts of Virginia and the Carolinas even today.

The first account of these meetings in this association that the writer finds is in the minutes of the first session for 1881.  A motion was passed "that this association hold a minister's and deacon's meeting to be held with Liberty Church, Cherokee Bay on the first fifth Sunday after Oct."  And this was followed by a motion that the moderator appoint a committee of three to write subjects for essays for this meeting.  In other words this committee was to make out the program by choosing several topics to be discussed (perhaps the discussions were to be written out beforehand and read before the body.)

The first detailed account of one of the programs is found in a copy of the Clay County Courier.  This states that "Current River Bible Institute" met with Richwoods (Shiloh) Church, June 28, 1889, beginning Friday evening."  Some of the features on the program were these:

Query No. 1.  Can we consistently engage in union meetings?  S. K. Dungen
Query No. 2.  Does The Bible support the principles of prohibition as held by the party? D. W. Smith
Sermon:  "The Mission of the Church", by F. C. Neely
(This sermon was for criticism by the body).

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Sermon:  "Systematic Christian Giving", by M. V. Hinson
Exegisis [sic] of Matt. 3:11 by Dennis W. Reynolds.  (He was a layman).
Query No. 3.  What are the Keys?  A. Aorner
Sermon on Ministerial Education by W. P. Kime.

It might be well to state here that the selection of the fifth Sunday for the time of these general meetings was very naural [sic].  Nearly all the churches in those days (we could say all for this association) were what we call fourth-time, or half-time churches.  This means that the pastor preached only once a month of [sic] twice a month to this church, and in this left fifth Sundays open for the preachers.  What would be more natural that that [sic] they would have a general meeting for the purpose of instruction, inspiration, and fellowship.

The next information that we find on these meetings of any importance is a detailed account of a meeting held with Mt. Pleasant East Church July 28 30, 1893.  This was called Current River Baptist Bible Institute", at this time.  and [sic] seems to have been well organized with a "president" and "secretary", and even had an "Introductory Sermon" very much like the annual meeting of the Association.  It opened on Friday afternoon at two o'clock and continued throughout Sunday noon.  These excerpts from the "Clerk's" account of this meeting give us a pretty good picture of what took place.

"T. J. Watson talked on the matter of deacons, followed by G. Townzen and S. K. Dungen."
"The question, Was Christ's body human or divine, was talked on by Elder A. Connor, G. Townzen, J. A. Wheetley, and F. C. Neely."
"The matter of missionary work was discussed by S. K. Dungen, W. T. Griffith, G. Townzen, F. C. Neely, J. A. Wheatley, A. Conner, T. J. Watson, and Mr. McCann"
"Introductory Sermon was preached by F. C. Neely" (Saturday 11:00 A. M.)
"The matter of the immediate state of man's soul was discussed by F. C. Neely and others."
"Is it baptistic to hold meetings with other denominations?"  (Discussed by three).
"What relation is baptism and salvation was discussed by F. C. Neely, and his views were indorsed by the body."
"Two essays were presented by Sister Mollie Neely and one by Rosie Patrick which were read before the body and heartily indorsed."  (Note:  Molly Neely was the wife of F. C. Neely.  This is the first time this writer has found where women took any public part in these associational

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meetings, or the annual meetings.  They were not elected as messengers from the churches until after the turn of the century).
"Adjourned to meet on Friday before the next fifth Sunday at 2:00 o'clock."
"W. T. Griffith, Mod., R. R. Black, Clerk."

The "Query Box" which is referred to in some of these programs, was a box placed on the platform for the purpose of depositing questions to be discussed.  Anybody could write out a question to drop it in the box and coul [sic] designate someone in parcular [sic] to discuss it.  sometimes these were not vital questions, viz, "Where did the foolish virgins go for oil?" was discussed in one meeting, but for the most part it served a worthy purpose.

After 1900 these meetings were referred to simply as "Fifth Sunday Meetings."  In connection with a published program found in the Clay County Courier under date of September, 1906, this explanatory note was added:

"These fifth Sunday meetings are for the discussion of doctrinal points as held by Baptists, and to more clearly understand the Holy Scriptures.

On December 28 31, 1905, a joint meeting was held at Biggers for the State Line and Current River Associations.  Some of the features of this program were as follows:

Introductory sermon by D. K. Foster.  Subject:  "An Ideal Church."
What is the great need of Baptist churches today?  J. A. Wheatley.
What must be done to awaken a better interest in missions among Baptists?  S. M. Shaw.
Is it Scriptural for churches to pay their preachers a stipulated salary?  Knox Belew and W. F. Bridges.
Who is to blame for the sale of liquor?  E. T. Lincoln
Sunday Schools.  S. W. Brumfield and L. F. Maynard

The pattern of these meetings changed some through the years as we can see from the accounts given above, but the time, the purpose, and the general plan of the meetings did not change much, and remain about the same today wherever they are held.  These meetings were the occasion frequently for the ordination of deacons or preachers, or even the dedication of a church house, as was true with Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, March 31, 1907.

The value of these meetings to the preachers, laymen, and

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churches in those days was tremendously great.  in them points of doctrine were clarified, difficult passages of Scripture were discussed helpfully, matters of church polity [sic] were often settled, new and young preachers were given an opportunity to exercise their gifts before the brethren, and the fellowship of pastors, laymen, and churches was wonderfully enriched.  One of our seminary professors, Dr. W. W. Barnes, states that he had his theology fixed when he was a young man by attending the Fifth Sunday meetings in North Carolina.

Current River Association discontinued these meetings about 1930, and instead began to hold what is called "Monthly Workers Conferences."  These meetings were held for several years on Sunday afternoons, and the purpose was two-fold:  fellowship, and to give emphasis to Sunday School and Training Union work.  At present these meetings are held on the Monday evening following the second Sunday in each month, and the program consists of a cooperative lunch followed by a meeting of the executive Board, and then a service of devotion, discussion, and preaching.  Usually the Sunday School Training Union, or the Woman's Missionary work is emphasized in the discussions.  Ths [sic] type of general meeting has taken the place of the "Fifth Sunday Meeting" for the following reasons:  1.  Most of the pastors have had theological taining [sic] in college or seminary, and do not find the same need which our fathers found.  2.  More churches are full-time now and the fifth Sunday is not an open Sunday for all the pastors. 3.  A definate [sic] need is met by using these meetings to promote the Sunday Schools, Training Unions, and Woman's Missionary Societies in the churches of the association.


This history book would be incomplete if it did not give a brief account of the religious debates which were frequently held back in the days of our fathers.  These "discussions" as they were sometimes called were usually held with the elders of the Church of Christ, frequently referred to in those days as "Campbellites."  One congregation in a community either the Baptists of the Church of Christ would challenge the other for a "public discuss-

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ion of their doctrinal difference." and [sic] if the challenge was accepted each church would choose a debater to represent its side [sic] Dr. Bogart of Little Rock was sometimes secured by the Baptists, and is still regarded as an outstanding man for that purpose.  Elder E. H. C. Kenner was regarded by the Baptists as more than a match for anyone the opposition could find, and Eld. J. A. Wheatley was widely reputed as a strong man in this type of work.

The question usually chosen by them was worded this way:

"Resolved, that the church of which I am a member, called the Baptist Church, is a true New Testament church in history, doctrine, and practice."

In that case the Baptist speaker would affirm and the Church of Christ speaker would deny.  But if it were worded to affirm that the church of Christ is a true New Testament church, etc., as it frequently was, the Baptist speaker would have the negative side.  These debates usually lasted about four days with a two-hour period in the mornings, another two-hour session in the afternoons, and a preaching service at night, taking it time about that is one preaching one night and the other the next.  Great members came to hear these discussions and it was not unusual for them to be held out under a brush arbor to accommodate [sic] the crowds.

But sometimes these sessions were held only at nights with an hour given to each speaker.  We have space to mention only a few of these debates.  J. A. Wheatley debated J. Will Henley at Success and at the same place E. H. C. Kenner debated Joe H. Blue.  (We are sorry that we do not know the dates of these debates).  About 1911 or '12 J. A. Wheatley debated Joe H. Blue at Pleasant Grove, in which Eld. R. L. Powell was moderator for the Baptists and John J. Kennon was moderator for the Church of Christ.  The discussions were held during the day and the night sessions were given to preacing [sic].  Five were received for baptism by the Baptist church at the close.  Eld. W. E. Sherrell represented the Baptists and Joe H. Blue represented the Church of Christ in a discussion held at Mount Pleasant church.  The Clay County Courier carried this item in its Oct. 11, 1895, issue:

"A religious (?) debate was engaged in by Elder J. H. Peay of the Baptist Church and John Rush of the Christian Church at Union Church

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near R. A. Hawthorn's this week.  The gentlemen debated for three and a half days as to which was the better route to Heaven the Christian or Baptist and it was finally decided that the Baptist gentleman had a shade of best argument.  * * *"

These debates were fruitfull [sic] of both good and evil.  No doubt that many people were made to think deeper and to search the Scriptures more in regard to their doctrinal beliefs and that was good.  But on the other hand, doubtless, much unkind feeling was aroused and prejudices were deepened by them.  At any rate, they have come to be almost wholly a thing of the past.

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Chapter VI

Sunday School, Training Union, and W. M. U.

These three organizations deserve a long chapter in this book but the author finds his time and space so limited that he can give but a very brief account of them.

The earliest minute of State Line Association (1879) that we have had a report on Sunday Schools but reported simply that "the churches have not reported any Sabbath Schools of interest."  It was possible that the churches did not have any to report but it is significant that a report was on the program.  The first minutes of Current River Association also had a report on "Sabbath Schools" but it simply recommended that the churches "keep up Sabbath Schools to the purpose of instructing the young and rising generation."  A year or two later it was stated that only two churches had schools.  Thus we find that our earliest minutes show that the Sunday School was regarded a part of church work.

Very little empasis [sic] was put on Sunday School work through the associational meetings prior to the coming of Bro. W. O. Taylor as missionary in 1935.  He came to this work about the same time our Sunday School Board began the so-called "Five Year Program" which was simply a definite plan for promoting Sunday School work in all the churches of the association through an associational organization.  Bro. Taylor succeeded in a remarkable manner in getting a good staff of officers, getting them to attend state and associational meetings and thus to improve the work in churches and organize new schools.  At one time he led the association to hold the distinction of having a Standard Associational Sunday School which was one of the few, if not the only one, in the Southern Baptist Convention at that time.  Mr. Norace Adams has been Assocaional [sic] Superintendent ever since 1935.

THE ASSOCIATIONAL TRAINING UNION work has followed about the same course as the Sunday School work.  A "Five

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Year Program" was launched at the same time the Sunday School work was, and was built on the same idea that through an associational organization, and special meeting once a month, the work along this line could be improved.  In 1936 nine churches had Training Unions with a total enrollment of 372.  Mitt Bennett of the First church, Pocahontas, was B. T. U. Director for the association from 1936 to about 1941 when Tillman Tipton of the Biggers Church was elected to that office.  He still serves in that capacity.  In 1946 ten churches out of the sixteen listed had Training Union work, and the total enrolment [sic] was 531.

THE ASSOCIATIONAL WOMAN'S MISSIONARY UNION (W. M. U.) work began back in 1924 when Mrs. O. H. L. Cunningham organized the women of the association, but so far as we can learn the organization did not function wel [sic] and soon died out.  About 1830 [sic] the work was renewed under the leadership of Mrs. F. W. Varner, wife of the pastor of the Pocahontas Church.  Her report to the association in 1931 reads in part as follows:

"* * * Your Associational Superintendent * * * and Mrs. Clifford Price, Young Peoples' Leader of Pocahontas, together with Mrs. M. C. Bennett of Pocahontas as Secretary-Treasurer are anxious to cooperate with you in any and all enterprises mentioned in this report;  as will also Mrs. L. C. Haynes, Stewardship Chairman, of Success, and Mrs. Haas, Hospital Chairman, of Ravenden Springs."

Mrs. Varner came to Corning October 15, 1931, and organized a missionary society with eleven members.

Others who have served as Associational Superintendents are Mrs. Golden Neely (1933), Mrs. J. S. Compere (1934, '35, '44), Mrs. Dollie Smith (1938, '39, and '41), Mrs. George Jimerson (1940), Mrs. Harvey Gray (1943), Mrs. Sallie Park (1945), Mrs. Ruth Bly (1946), and Mrs. L. C. Tedford who serves in that capacity at present.  Mrs. Norace Adams has served as Young People's Leader for about ten years, but Miss Magdelene Hubbard serves in that office at present.  Mrs. J. C. Lewis is Secretary-Treasurer at present.  Six churches in the association have one or more of the W. M. U. organizations with a total enrollment of 169.  They are Corning, Biggers, Reyno, Pocahontas, Success, and Hopewell.

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Chapter VII

Minutes of 1881 Session
Historical Tables
Pioneer Churches and Services (W. E. McLoud)

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1881 First Session

Minutes of the organization and first annual meeting of the Current River Missionary Baptist Association held with the Antioch Church, Randolph County, Arkansas, October 7th, 8th, and 10th, 1881.

Officers:  Arthur Conner, Moderator;  Julius A. Leroux, Clerk.

From a series of experiences, we the churches of Jesus Christ being legally baptized upon a profession of our faith in Christ, and convinced of the necessity of a combination of churches to perpetuate a union, and communion amongst us, and to maintain and preserve a correspondence with each other, we therefore propose to maintain and keep the order and rules of our Association according to the following form and plan of government:

1st.  The Association shall be composed of members chosen by the different churches in our union not exceeding three messengers from each church who on producing their letters shall be entitled to seats.

2nd.  Letters from different churches to express their number in fellowship, those baptized, received by letter, dismissed, restored, excluded, and dead since the last Association.

3rd.  The members thus chosen and convened shall be denominated Current River Association of United Missionary Baptists, being composed of sundry churches lying and being in the states of Missouri and Arkansas, who are to have no power to lord it over God's heritage, nor to have any ecclestiastical [sic] powers over the churches, reserving the right to withdraw from any churches acting accordingly.

4th.  The Association when convened is to be governed by regular and proper rules of decorum which they are hereby authorized to form for themselves.

5th.  The Association shall have a moderator and clerk who shall be elected annually by the members present.

6th.  New churches may be admitted into this Association who are to petition by letter and delegates, and if upon an examination they are found orthodox and orderly may be received by the Association, the Moderator giving the right hand of fellowship.

7th.  No query shall be discussed in this Association coming from any church until it has been first thoroughly discussed in their own church.

8th.  Every motion made and seconded is to come under the consideration of the Association except it be withdrawn by the member who made it.

9th.  The Association is to endeavor to furnish the churches with the minutes of the Association in proportion to their contribution from each church and to be distributed amongst the churches.

10th.  The clerk shall keep a regular file of the minutes of our Association.

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11th.  The minutes of the Association are to be read and corrected if necessary and signed by the Moderator and Clerk before the Association rises.

12th.  Amendments to this plan or form of government may be made at any time by the majority of members present when they deem it necessary.

13.  Sec. 1.  The Association in case of any church failing to attend may inquire the cause.

Sec. 2.  May appoint any member or members with their consent to transact any business of the Association.

Sec. 3.  May admit visiting brethren.

Sec. 4.  The Association shall have power to adjourn to such time and place as it may think proper.

Presbytery organized the Current River Association,

Elder A. Conner, Elder J. J. McGuire, Elder W. C. Trice, J. A. Leroux, Clerk.


Service was opened by singing a hymn, "I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord," and prayer by Elder A. Conner.  The Introductory Sermon was delivered by Anthony Foster, from the 19th chapter and 6th verse of Revelation.

On motion Elder A. Conner was nominated Moderator, pro tem;  and J. A. Leroux, Clerk, pro tem.

1.  Motion to adopt the constitution of Cane Creek Association.

2.  Motion to solicit a presbytery to organize the Association consisting of Elders F. C. Trice, J. J. McGuire, and A. Conner.

3.  Motion to adopt the rules of decorum and the articles of faith of the Cane Creek Association.

4.  Motion to receive the Covenant of Cane Creek Association and sealed with prayer by Elder J. J. McGuire and delegates extending the right hand of fellowship to each other.

Recess until 4:00 P. M.

1.  Called for letters to organize.

2nd.  Proceeded to elect a moderator and clerk by private ballot resulted in electing A. Conner, Moderator, and J. A. Leroux, Clerk.

3rd.  Called for correspondence from sister Associations, received from Cane Creek, W. C. Garrett, Elder Wash Pomero (?), Goel Cochran as messengers.  They were invited to seats by moderator and extended the right hand.

4th.  Motion to hold election by private ballot to name the Association.  Carried to name it Current River Association.

5th.  Motion for Moderator to name certain committees.

1st.  Committee on Preahcing [sic] Delegates from Antioch Church, Brothers Tomas Cherry, D. Blackburn, J. L. Futrell.

2.  Committee on Arrangements Brothers J. T. Watson, L. W. Patrick, J. J. McGuire, with Moderator and Clerk.

3rd.  Committee on Resolutions Berry Wright, H. McCrary, and R. R. Black.

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4th.  Committee on Itineracy J. J. McGuire, J. A. Leroux, and A. Foster.

5th.  Committee on Publication W. T. Boyd, G. Townsend, and J. T. Watson.

6th.  Committee on  Sunday Schools F. C. Trice, W. T. Boyd, and George Gibson.

7th.  Committee on Obituaries R. R. Black, H. M. McCrary, and D. Blackburn.

8th.  Committee on Correspondence Berry Wright, F. C. Trice, and James Mulholem.

9th.  Committee on Destitutions Berry Wrights, J. A. Leroux, and Anthony Foster.

Motion to adjourn until Saturday morning, 9 o'clock.  Closed with prayer by Elder L. W. Patrick. 
Preaching at night by Elder F. C. Trice and A. Foster from the 10th chapter and 35th verse of Acts of the Apostles.


Opened by Elder A. Foster reading the first psalm, and singing, and prayer.  The Moderator called the Association to order and proceeded to business by calling for the report of the Bill of Arrangement.  Received and the Committee discharged.

1st.  Called the roll of delegates.

2nd.  Read the rules of decorum.

3rd.  Motion to call reports read, received and committee discharged.

Committee on Itineracy

"We your committee on itineracy beg leave to make the following report:  That we as an Association, though young, have a great work to perform, and we are surrounded by territory destitute of peraching [sic], and especially Baptist preaching, therefore we would recommend to this body the importance of having an itinerant or missionary preacher in the field to preach to the destitution and to the churches when not in the destitutions."  -- A. Foster, J. J. McGuire, J. A. Leroux, Committee.

Committee on Resolutions

"1st.  Resolved that the churches where they call their pastors they make provisions for their support, and we recommend that the sister churches pay special attention to their needy, and our brother deacons be made diligent in doing their duties toward our ministers and the poor and needy.  3rd.  We recommend that our ministerial brethren preach one missionary sermon, or more each year, that they may cultivate missionary principles wherever they go.  4th.  We recommend that each church hold two communion meetings each year.  5th.  Recommend that this Association report in their minutes the names of all the ministers in their bounds, both ordained and licentiates.  6th.  Resolved that whereas we feel the necessity of the teaching of the whole duties of the churches and members with the pure Gospel.  7th.  Resolved that our ministers be urged to make a full report of their sermons, exhortations, public prayers, miles traveled, etc., and their pay for the same.  8th.  Resolved that the Clerk

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furnish the publishers of the paper that this Association has adopted, with two coppies [sic] of each of our minutes.  9th.  We recommend to this body that they use their influence against the use of ardent spirits as a beverage." Berry Wright, Robert Black, Hugh McCrary, Committee.

Committee on Publications

Motion to receive the same and committee discharged.

"We your committee on publication beg leave to make the following report:  Resolved that we recommend to this body the following described literature, namely, the 'Baptist Flag,' published by D. B. Ray of St. Louis, Mo.  Also his text book on Campbellism and the Baptist Succession, also the 'Baptist', published by J. R. Graves of Memphis, Tenn.  We further recommend that the Bible remain thoroughly read and studied than heretofore in being the Book of all books.  Resolved, that offer the following resolution that the churches hold regular prayer meetings." W. T. Boyd, J. T. Watson, G. Townzend, ommittee [sic].

Committee on Sunday School

Motion to receive on Sabbath School beg leave to report as follows:  That we would recommend to the churches the importance of keeping up a Baptist Sabbath School, to the purpose of instructing the young and rising generation; that we buy our books from the Baptist Publishing Co." F. C. Trice, W. T. Boyd, G. W. Gibson, Committee.

Committee on Obituary

Motion to receive report and committee discharged.

"We your committee on Obituary beg leave to make the following report, that there has died in our bounds during the last year Sister Gambill of Mt. Pleasant West, Ark.  Sisters Marshall and Bellomy of Antioch;  Sisters McCann, Magee, and Cole of Shiloh, Ark.

1st.  Resolve whereas the good Lord has seen fit to remove from our midst those dear sisters, we would bow in submission to His will.  2nd.  Resolve that we sympathize with the bereaved families, and friends of the deceased in their afflictions believing that our loss is their gain.  3rd.  Resolved that a copy of these resolutions be spread upon our minutes and a minute be given to the families of the deceased." Hugh McCrary, D. Blackburn, R. R. Black, Committee.

Committee on Correspondence

Motion to receive the report and committee discharged.

"We your committee on correspondence beg leave to make the following report:  We would recommend that we open correspondence with Cane Creek, State Line, Spring River, and Bethlehem Associations, and that we correspond by minutes." F. C. Trice, James Mulholen, Berry Wright, Committee.

10.  Moderator appointed Brother W. T. Boyd and R. R. Black committee on finance.

11th.  Motion to have recess until after preaching by Elder L. W. Patrick and W. Powers, alternate.  Text, the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father who art in Heaven."

12th.  (After recess).  Motion that Brother Dennis Reynolds act as delegate instead of D. Blackburn for the time being.  (Antioch church).

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13th.  Committee on Destitutions.

Motion to receive the report and committee discharged.

"We your committee on destitutions beg leave to make the following report.  Our destitution is extremely great, there being a long scope of country west of Current River and east of Black River from Walnut Ridge to ridge east of Corning and extending on the west of Black Rover [sic] as far as Neelyville, Mo." J. A. Leroux, Berry Wright, Anthony Foster, Committee.

14th.  Motion to hold the election by private ballot to fill the stand Sabbath resulted in the election of Elder L. W. Patrick, and A. Conner, alternate.

15th.  Election by private ballot where to hold the next Association carried to hold it with Mt. Pleasant East, Ark.

16th.  Election by private ballot who shall preach the next introductory sermon, elected J. J. McGuire and A. Conner, alternate.

17.  Motion to have 500 minutes printed and brother clerk superintend the printing and distribution of the same.

18.  Motion and carried to call this Association the "Current River Missionary Baptist Association."

19.  Motion to go into an examination of Brother W. T. Bond as requested by his church for ordination.

20.  Motion for delegates of Liberty Church to choose three ordained ministers out of this body and set the time for this ordination.  A. Conner, J. J. McGuire, and A. Foster were chosen.

21.  Motion that the Association recommend to Mt. Pleasant West, Ark., the propriety of the ordination of F. C. Trice.

22.  Motion that we have a traveling missionary the ensuing year and to choose him by private ballot resulted in electing J. J. McGuire.

23.  Motion that we take a public collection on the Sabbath for the benefit of Bro. F. C. Trice, resulted in geeting [sic] $6.25.

24.  Motion to take a subscription individually for the traveling missionary, amount $44.50.

25.  Motion to adjourn until Monday morning at 9 o'clock and closed by prayer led by Elder W. Powers.

Preaching Saturday night by Elders J. J. McGuire and G. Townzen from the 4th chapter and 34th and 35th verses of St. John.

Preaching on Sabbath at 11 o'clock by Elders L. W. Patrick and A. Conner, alternate;  from the 11th chapter and 17th verse of Revelation.

Met for the ordination of W. G. Boyd at 4:00 P. M., opened by singing "Go Preach My Gospel, Saith the Lord," and prayer by J. J. McGuire, and sermon from the 24th chapter and 14th verse of St. Matthew, and proceeded to question and give charges by Elder J. J. McGuire, and ordination prayer by Eledr [sic] A. Foster;  preaching Sunday night by J. J. McGuire and W. G. Boyd from the 13th chapter and 30th verse of St. Matthew.


Association met pursuant to adjournment by reading the 43rd Psalm and singing "Amazing Grace," and prayer by Bro. A. Foster.

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1st.  Motion that we call for volunteer messengers to different Associations as correspondents.

1st.  To Cane Creek J. A. Leroux, A. Conner, T. J. Watson, G. Townzen, W. G. Boyd.

2.  To Spring River J. J. McGuire, A. Foster, and Berry Wright.

3.  To State Line A. Foster, W. S. Boyd, D. Blackburn, and J. J. McGuire.

4.  To Bethlehem A. Conner, James Mulholen, F. C. Trice, and T. J. Watson.

2nd.  Motion that this body recommend to the several churches that their clerks keep their books in good order and a form was written by J. J. McGuire for clerks to work by, which was as follows:

1.  Resolved that we recommend to the churches the necessity of kepeing [sic] strict records of all the proceedings.

2.  The names of all the preachers.

3.  His text.

4.  The members present.

5.  Those received or dismissed, and how.

6.  Contributions received and for what purpose and who by.

7.  All other business transacted.  J. J. McGuire.

3rd.  Resolve that we as a body recommend that the churches composing this Association instruct their messengers to continue with the body until the business of the body is completed. W. G. Boyd.

4th.  Motion that Brother Dennis Reynolds act as Association treasurer.

5th.  Motion that the moderator appoint seven members to constitute a missionary board two from Antioch church and one each from the other churches.  Antioch, Brother Dennis Reynolds, and Joseph Hennen;  Mt. Pleasant, West, A. Foster;  Mt. Pleasant, East, R. R. Black;  Shiloh, W. R. McGee;  Liberty, R. F. Riley;  Emmeaus, J. A. Leroux;  these to meet four times a year and report the collections made.

7th.  Report of finance committee $8.30, additional amount $1.20.

7th.  Motion that the money be put in the funds of the clerk for defraying the expense of printing of minutes.

Recess until after 11:00 o'clock preaching by Elder T. J. Watson from the 19th chapter and 25th verse, and G. Townzen, 19th chapter and 26th verse of St. Matthew.

After recess:

8th.  Motion to turn over the subscription list to the missionary board.

9th.  Motion and by ballot that this Association be held with Mt. Pleasant East, Ark., commencing on Friday before the 2nd Lord's Day in October 1882, A. D.

10th.  Motion to hold a ministers' and deacons' meeting to be held with Liberty Church, Cherokee Bay, Randolph County, on the 1st fifth Sunday after October, or the first month that has five Sundays in it after October.

11th.  Motion that the Moderator appoint a committee of three to write subjects for essays appointed Brothers Berry Wright, Hugh McCrary, and Robert Black.  (For the Fifth Sunday meeting).

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12th.  Motion to return the thanks of this Association to the brethren and friends of Antioch Church and surrounding country in general for their kind hospitality during our stay among them.

13th.  Motion to adjourn to meet with Mt. Pleasant East, Ark., Friday before the 2nd Sunday in October A. D. 1882.  Closed with prayer by Elder A. Conner, and singing "I'm Going Home" and extending the parting hand to each other.

A. Conner, Moderator.
J. A. Leroux, Clerk.


1.  The Moderator shall take the chair at the hour to which the Association shall be adjourned and after prayer shall proceed to business.  It shall be his duty to keep order and he shall be entitled to the same privilege of speech s [sic] any other member, provided the chair be filled.  But in no case shall be given a vote unless the Association be equally divided.

2.  Only one member shall be entitled to speak at the same time, and he shall arise and address the Moderator, and in no wise shall he be interrupted unless he digresses from the subject in question, and in no wise cast any reflections on those who have spoken before him, but shall fairly give his own views without sophistry or criticism.

3rd.  No member shall speak more than three times on any one subject without leave of the Association.

4th.  No member shall address another by any other appellation than that of "Brother" when sitting in council.

5th.  The Moderator shall not interrupt nor prohibit a member from speaking until his speech [sic] is finished unless he violates the rules of decorum.

6th.  The names of all the members shall be enrolled by the clerk and called as often as the Association may desire.

7th.  No member shall absent himself from the Association without leave of the Moderator.

8th.  Every case taken up and decided shall be announced by the Moderator.

9th.  Any member who shall violate any of the foregoing rules shall be reprimanded as the Association may think proper.


1.  We believe in one true and living God, Father, Word, and Holy Ghost, and these three are one.

2.  We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, and the only true rule of faith and practice.

3.  We believe that by the voluntary transgression of one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, so death has passed upon all men for all have sinned and are by nature the children of wrath.

4.  We believe that Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man, and through his meditorial death the way of salvation is made

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possible for God to show mercy upon all who come unto Him upon the Gospel terms.

5.  We believe that believers are justified in the sight of God only by righteousness of Christ imparted unto them by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

8 [sic].  We believe that saints will persevere in grace and not one of them be lost.

7.  We believe there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust and a general judgment;  and that the happiness of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked will be eternal.

8.  We believe the visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, composed of men and women who have given themselves to the Lord and attained fellowship with each other, having agreed to keep up a Godly discipline according to the rules of the gospel.

9.  We believe in revealed religion by the operation of the Spirit, agreeable to the word of God and that Jesus is the general head of the church, and the government thereof is with the body.

10.  We believe that none but legally baptized believers have a right to commune at the Lord's table, and that no person has a right to administer the ordinances of the gospel except he be legally called and qualified.

11.  We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances of the Gospel to be continued until his second coming;  and that true believers are the only fit subjects of baptism, and immersion the only Gospel mode.

12.  We believe that the Lord's day should be observed and set apart for the worship of God, and that no work of worldly nature be transacted thereon work of pity, mercy, and necessity excepted.


Antioch Church delegates Thomas Cherry, D. Blackburn, J. L. Futrel.  Recieved [sic] by letter 2, dismissed by letter 2, excluded 10, dead 2, (members) total 57.

Mt. Pleasant West delegates F. C. Trice, Anthony Foster.  Recieved [sic] by baptism 1, by letter 2, by reclamation 3, dismissed by letter 1, dead 1, total (members) 37.

Shiloh delegates George Gibson, William Magee, H. D. Sheppard.  Received by baptism 2, by letter 1, by recommendation 1, dismissed 2, excluded 1, dead 3, total (members) 36.

Mt. Pleasant East delegates.  R. R. Black, Eli Miller, James Mulhollen.  Received by baptism 2, by letter 2, dismissed by letter 3, total 34.

Emmeaus (Mo.) delegates J. A. Leroux, W. A. Jackson.  Received by letter 5, restored 16, total 21.

Liberty delegates Berry Wright, W. S. Boyd, Hugh McCrary.  Total members 27.

Churches, names of clerks, time of meeting, post offices of clerks, pastor's names:

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Antioch.  Clerk, D. H. Reynolds, P. O. Cherokee Bay, Ark.  Time of meeting, Saturday before the 4th Sunday.  A. Conner, Pastor.

Mt. Pleasant West.  Clerk, D. H. Sharp, P. O., Pittman, Ark.  Tie of meeting Saturday before the 3rd Lord's Day.  Pastor, J. W. _____

Shiloh.  Clerk, George  Gibson.  P. O., Corning, Ark.  Time of meeting, Saturday before the 2nd Sunday.  Pastor, J. T. Watson

Mt. Pleasant East.  Clerk, R. R. Black.  P. O., Corning, Ark.  Time of meeting, Saturday before the 3rd Sunday.  Pastor, A. Conner.

Emmaus.  Clerk, J. A. Leroux.  Time of meeting, Saturday before the 1st Sunday.  P. O., Doniphan, Mo.  Pastor, A. Conner.

Liberty.  Clerk, R. F. Riley.  P. O., Cherokee Bay.  Time of meeting, Saturday before the 3rd Sunday.  Pastor, L. W. Patrick.

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Year Where Held       Moderator               Clerk             Preacher
1873  Howell Valley      R. O. Tribble
1878  ?                 H. C. Kirkpatrick
1879      Liberty           R. O. Tribble           W. S. Holland      R. O. Tribble
1880      Pleasant Grove      R. O. Tribble           W. S. Holland      Emmanuel Richardson
1882      Pleasant Hill      H. C. Kirkpatrick       W. S. Holland      M. M. Jackson
1883  Alton             W. S. Holland           A. P. Couch       Jesse Roach
1886  Many Springs      J. B. Roach             Robert G. Pratt      J. B. Roach
1887  Mill Creek       H. C. Kirkpatrick       Robert G. Pratt      S. D. Williams
1888      Concord           D. A. Pressley          A. R. Kirkpatrick      M. M. Jackson
1889  Witt's Chapel      D. A. Pressley          J. S. Anderson      D. A. Pressley
1890      Bethany           C. A. Fowler            J. S. Anderson      E. T. Lincoln
1891      Baker's Creek      J. W. Wicker            J. S. Anderson      J. W. Wicker
1892  Mud Creek       S. C. McCullough        J. S. Anderson      J. S. Anderson
1893  Hollow Spring      E. T. Lincoln           A. N. Downey      E. T. Lincoln
1894      Antioch           I. H. Witt              A. N. Downey      A. C. Fowler
1895  New Home        E. T. Lincoln           J. S. Anderson      G. M. Wells
1896  Witt's Chapel      O. H. L. Cunningham      J. S. Anderson      O. H. L. Cunningham
1897  Oak Grove       E. T. Lincoln           Knox Belew       J. B. Roach
1898      Concord           Isaac Stephens          J. W. Tyer        C. A. Fowler
1899      Bethany           Knox Belew             J. W. Tyer        E. T. Lincoln
1900      Antioch           Isaac Stephens          W. H. Karnes      Isaac Stephens
1901  New Home        I. H. Witt              Tobias Chastain      E. T. Lincoln
1902  Witt's Chapel      J. F. Rorex             Tobias Chastain      J. F. Rorex
1903  Poynor            Knox Belew             Tobias Chastain      J. A. Wheetley
1904  Oak Grove       Knox Belew             Tobias Chastain      Knox Belew
1905      Bethany           Knox Belew             Tobias Chastain      J. N. Weaver
1906  Union             Knox Belew             Tobias Chastain      O. T. Finch
1907      Antioch           Knox Belew             Tobias Chastain      Knox Belew
1908  Witt's Chapel      E. T. Lincoln           Tobias Chastain      F. P. Turner
1909  New Home        E. T. Lincoln           Tobias Chastain      Omitted
1910  New Hope No. 2      W. S. Looney            Geo. Looney            J. C. Diceton
1911  Poynor            W. S. Looney            Geo. Looney            J. C. Diceton
1912      Bethany           W. S. Looney            Geo. Looney            James Sconce
1913  Oak Grove       W. S. Looney            Geo. Looney            James Christian
1914      Richwoods         W. S. Looney            Geo. Looney            A. P. Scofield
1915  Union             W. S. Looney            Geo. Looney            G. W. Savage
1916  Witt's Chapel      W. S. Looney            John D. Kerley      W. A. Cummings
1917      Ravenden Springs      W. S. Looney            John D. Kerley      E. T. Lincoln

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Year  Where Held        Moderator         Clerk             Preacher
1918  New Hope No No. 2     W. S. Looney      J. W. Weaver      W. F. Dorris
1919      Antioch           W. S. Looney      C. H. Carter      E. T. Lincoln
1920  Vernon            W. S. Looney      C. H. Carter      W. H. Bradford
1921      Bethany           T. R. Dollahan      Mert Waldron      Roger M. Baxter
1922  Oconee            T. R. Dollahan      J. W. James       L. D. Summers

Note:  No minutes could be found for the years 1873-78, 1881, 1884, and 1921.  In all probability the association failed to meet one year between 1879 and 1888, for the session in 1879 was the seventh and the one in 1888 was only the fifteenth.  There is possibility an error in the list of moderators as Eld. J. A. Allison says that he was moderator for one year but he does not remember the year.

Year  Where Held        Moderator         Clerk             Preacher of Int.      Sermon
1881      Antioch           A. Conner            J. A. Leroux      Anthony Foster   
1882  Mt. Pleasant East  A. Conner            ?                 ?
1883  Shiloh            A. Conner            R. R. Black       Thomas J. Watson
1884  Mt. Pleasant West  A. Conner            R. R. Black       A. Conner
1885      Antioch           A. Conner            R. R. Black       W. B. Richardson
1886  Mt. Pleasant East  A. Conner            R. R. Black       David A. Sharp
1887      Hazeldell (Mo.)      A. Conner            R. R. Black       A. Conner
1888      Antioch           T. J. Watson      R. R. Black       T. J. Watson
1889  Shiloh            A. Conner            R. R. Black       W. A. Clark
1890      Antioch           A. Conner            R. R. Black       Frank C. Neely
1891  Mt. Pleasant West  J. B. Rutledge      R. R. Black       C. Kate
1892      Hazeldell (Mo.)      A. Conner            R. R. Black       E. H. C. Kenner
1893      Hopewell          F. C. Neely       R. R. Black       ?
1894      Corning           J. J. McGuire      R. R. Black       W. A. Clark
1895  New Hope        J. J. McGuire      R. R. Black       O. H. L. Cunningham
1896  Mt. Pleasant West  J. J. McGuire      R. R. Black       F. C. Neely
1897  Shiloh            F. C. Neely       R. R. Black       O. H. L. Cunningham
1898  Union (Ran.)      S. K. Dungan      R. R. Black       W. A. Clark

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Year  Where Held        Moderator         Clerk             Preacher of Int.       Sermon
1899  Reyno             S. K. Dungan      R. R. Black       W. F. Bridges
1900      Corning           S. K. Dungan      Kirby Foster      J. H. Peay
1901  New Hope        W. F. Bridges      Kirby Foster      E. T. Lincoln
1902  Mt. Pleasant West  D. H. Sharp       Kirby Foster      J. F. Rorex
1903  Datto             J. A. Wheetley      Kirby Foster      Ben M. Bogard
1904  Reyno             J. A. Wheetley      D. Blackburn      Ben M. Bogard
1905  Reyno             J. A. Wheetley      F. C. Gambill      D. H. Sharp
1906  Union (Ran.)      W. F. Bridges      ?                 Bro. Newman
1907      Landmark          W. F. Bridges      W. F. Bridges
1908      Independence      J. A. Wheetley      D. Blackburn      R. L. Powell
1909  Knobel            R. L. Powell      A. L. Burson      D. K. Foster
1910      Pleasant Grove      J. A. Wheetley      Robert Black.      R. L. Lewis
1911      Biggers           R. L. Powell      F. C. Gambill      R. L. Powell
1912      Hopewell          R. L. Powell      F. C. Gambill      W. E. Turner
1913      Success           R. L. Lewis       W. F. Gambill      J. A. Smith
1914  New Home        R. L. Powell      W. F. Gambill      R. L. Powell
1915  Mt. Pleasant East  R. L. Powell      Charlie Blackburn      C. A. Fowler
1916  Union             W. F. Bridges      D. Blackburn      R. L. Powell
1917  Moark             R. L. Powell      D. Blackburn      C. Watkins
1918  New Home        R. L. Powell      J. D. Redwine      W. T. Cummins
1919      Independence      R. L. Powell      G. N. Jones       D. H. Sharp
1920  Datto             R. L. Powell      G. N. Jones       W. T. Caldwell
1921  Union             R. L. Powell      G. N. Jones       G. B. F. Stovall
1922  Shiloh            Knox Belew       G. N. Jones       C. A. Fowler
1923      Biggers           Knox Belew       W. H. Cherry      E. T. Lincoln
1924  Witt's Chapel      Knox Belew       G. C. Faulkner      A. H. Autry
1925      Success           C. M. Myrick      Arthur Park        L. G. Miller
1926  Skaggs            Knox Belew       Arthur Park        L. D. Summers
1927      Hopewell          Knox Belew       Arthur Park        J. A. Allison
1928      Ravenden Springs      Knox Belew       Arthur Park        Knox Belew
1929  Moark             Knox Belew       H. W. Johnston      A. H. Autry
1930      Pocahontas        Knox Belew       H. W. Johnston      Knox Belew
1931  Shiloh            Knox Belew       H. W. Johnston      F. W. Varner
1932  Mt. Pleasant West  Knox Belew       H. W. Johnston      G. E. Neely
1933  Oak Grove       Knox Belew       H. W. Johnston      J. M. Metz
1934      Biggers           Knox Belew       H. W. Johnston      H. W. Johnston
1935      Corning           Knox Belew       H. W. Johnston      L. F. Bain
1936      Ravenden Springs      Knox Belew       H. W. Johnston      J. S. Compere
1937      Hopewell          Knox Belew       H. W. Johnston      W. E. Chadwick
1938  Moark             Knox Belew       H. W. Johnston      J. S. Compere

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Year  Where Held        Moderator         Clerk             Preacher of Int.       Sermon
1939  Mt. Pleasant West  H. W. Johnston      Arthur Bennett      C. C. Cunnngham
1940      Success           H. W. Johnston      Basil Goff        Alvin Allison
1941  Reyno             H. W. Johnston      G. E. Neely       H. E. Williams
1942  Shiloh (Ran.)      H. W. Johnston      H. E. Williams      C. F. Gwinup
1943  Shiloh (Clay)      H. W. Johnston      H. L. Waters      H. E. Williams
1944  Attica            H. W. Johnston      R. W. Johnson      U. L. Higgins
1945      Corning           W. Harry Hunt      E. Clark Secoy      R. W. Johnson
1946      Hopewell          W. Harry Hunt      L. C. Tedford      L. C. Tedford

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In order to complete the picture of Baptist activities from the days of our grandfathers until now in this association, it seems necessary to add a few notes and comments which cannot be placed under any of the other headings in this book.

At the meeting of State Line Association in 1887 the Hollow Springs Church near hardy sent two sets of "delegates" as they were called then, and two letters.  he [sic] moderator appointed a committee to investigate the cause for this dual representation.  The committee reported after a few hours that they found that the Hollow Springs Church had become divided over the question of holding the Lord's Supper at night, and the church had decided by majority vote that this ordinance should be held only after dark.  But a minority revolted against this action and each faction sent its separate representation to the association.  The committee recommended had [sic] it was not Baptistic for a church to commit itself to observe the Lord's Supper only at night, and that the minority delegation should be recognized.  The association accepted the committee's recommendation.

The minutes of that session also reported that a "large and orderly" congregation met at the hour of 11:00 A. M. on Sunday to hear Elders R. O. Tribble and S. D. Williams preach.  (It was common practice then to have two sermons on Sunday morning).  The report reads that Elder Tribble finished his sermon and Bro. Williams took over and was preaching and "seemed to have the whole congregation spellbound when his discourse was cut short by a rainstorm."  (This indicates that the serves were held out under the trees or under a brush arbor which was commonly done at these special meetings).

It was customary in those days for churches to bring controversial matters before the association for counsel.  The association did not pretend to speak with authority in the affairs of the individual churches, but the opinions expressed by the association were as a rule respected by the churches.  But the associations refused to consider any matter of controversy in the churches un-

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less the churches had exhausted every means of settling it peacefully before bringing it to the association.  A deacon had baptized some converts over in Lawrence County and perhaps had assisted in organizing a new church and the matter was brought before State Line for its opinion in the 1887 session.  The "Report on Queries" was as follows:

"1.  No unordained minister has authority to organize or assist a presbytery in organizing a Baptist Church.

"2.  No unordained person is authorized to administer the ordinances of the church.

"D. A. Pressley, M. M. Jackson, R. O. Tribble."

These brethren were not infallible as we can see, for Baptists have not generally conformed to their decisions in these matters.  It was observed that these queries came before Current River Association a few years later and it was decided that one ordained minister was sufficient to organize a church, and "that no person should administer the ordinances unless legally qualified."

In 1887 Current River Association had some kind of financial difficulty with J. M. Vanmeter and H. H. Williams.  The minutes read as follows on this matter:

"On motion and second Bro. Scaggs and Roberts be appointed to go to Bethel and take the depositions of parties there in the case pending between J. M. Vanmeter and the Association and they be requested to notify Vanmeter of the time and place.

"On motion and second Squire Wisener was employed in the matter as counsel for the Association."

A motion carried that after the matter had been settled our treasurer notify the clerks of the various churches of what is behind on the debt to H. H. Williams.

It is so unusual for an association to take a controversy before a court that the author made a special effort to learn the details of this controversy but he did not succeed.  It might be well to note here that Mr. H. H. Williams was lated [sic] baptized by Bro. F. C. Neely into the fellowship of Landmark Church.

Let us not think that because our fathers had no automobiles and airplanes life was entirely without excitement.  We found in the files of the Clay County Courier for March 27, 1903, an item under the caption:  "FRACAS AT CHURCH."  This report told of "an awful fight by a man who was crazy drunk at the morn-

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ing service at Richwoods (Shiloh) four miles west of town."  It went on to say that Rev. H. V. Johnson was preaching and a drunk man came in and began to disturb his sermon.  A Mr. William Griggs assumed the duty of putting him out of the church and a fight ensued which resulted in the drunk man getting Mr. Griggs down under the preacher's buggy and Mr. Griggs taking out a pistol and firing at the drunk man but missing him.  The drunk man was finally subdued and loaded in a wagon and carried to the Corning jail.  A trial was held the next morning at which the preacher testified that Mr. Griggs would have been justified in killing the drunk."

Back in the days of our fathers our Baptist people in this section as well as in other parts of the country were sharply divided on whether it was right to hold membership in a secret order such as the Masons, Oddfellows, etc.  The Mount Pleasant Church West had a Masonic Hall above the auditorium and several of the preachers were Masons then.  But Bro. Emmanuel Richardson was opposed to secret orders and he came to Mount Pleasant to preach.  He made this remark when he got up to preach:  "I can usually handle Old Satan when he is under my feet but when he is just above my head I can't feel secure."

The early minutes of Current River Association contain a reference to Dr. Graves' paper published in Memphis which the Committee on Publications unfailingly recommended "except for his position on the Lord's Supper, which we believe to be in error."  The author made a special effort to learn what Dr. Graves' position was on this ordinance which could not be endorsed.  He found that it was the opinion of Dr. J. S. Compere, and this opinion was confirmed by Dr. W. W. Barnes of Southwestern Seminary, that Dr. Graves held that when a church observed the Lord's Supper only the members should partake of it.  In other words he did not believe that others of like faith and order who know themselves to be in good standing in their own church should be asked to partake of the Supper with them.

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(Used by permission)
W. E. McLeod

Most of the early churches built church houses as soon after they were organized as they could.  The houses were of the same type, built of logs, usually hewn, twenty to twenty-five feet wide, and as long as the timbers would permit.  The logs were notched down at the corners of the buildings in order to decrease the size of the cracks between them.  The cracks were closed by chinking them with small pieces of wood plastered over inside and out with lime or clay mortar, which made them air-tight.  The houses were usualy [sic] located near a spring.

The buildings were roofed with riven boards laid on ribpoles on a frame-work of pole rafters and riven laths.  If the boards were made of good cypress or pine timber, they lasted for many years, but some of the churches were situated where such boards were not available, in which case, oak
boards were used and did not last long.

Each building had one door, usually in the side, and as many windows as was thought necessary to let in light and air.  The doors and windows were provided with shutters of sawed planks, if available;  otherwise, of riven boards drawn smooth with a drawing knife.  The windows had glass in them if available.

The floor was made of sawed planks if they could be obtained;  otherwise, of hewn puncheons.  Some of the men in those days were very skillful in the use of the broad-ax and could hew timbers so straight and smooth that they would fit closely together and make a better floor than might be supposed.

The space over-head might be closed only by the roof, otherwise by plank or riven boards laid on joists.  Lumber was very hard to get in those days.

In one end of the house a large chimney fireplace was built for us in cool weather.  The house was comfortable in winter or summer, because the thick, tight walls served as insulation from the cold or heat on the outside.

The seats in the building were split logs or puncheons on peg

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legs driven into auger holes in the under sides.  They were hewn smooth on the upper sides.  They had no backs and were hard and uncomfortable and one's piety could almost be tested by how patiently he would sit on one of them through a long sermon.  They were arranged to face the pulpit which was placed on the side of the room opposite the door.  The seats in the corners of the room at the right and left of the pulpit were arranged in a different direction from the others so they would face the pulpit.  In one of these corners, the deacons and "pillars of the church" were supposed to sit, follow closely the preacher's sermon and punctuate at the right place with "holy grunts" or fervent "amens."  The space was therefore called the "amen corner."  The space on the other side of the pulpit was occupied by the devout though silent women except in singing.  Out in front of the pulpit, sat the other members of the congregation, the males on one side and the females on the other.

The regular services of the early churches were held monthly on a certain Sunday and Saturday before.  The business meetings of the churches were held on Saturday.  The Sundays were devoted strictly to worship, and were usually well attended.  If the weather was favorable, services might be held on Saturday an Sunday nights.  The buildings were lighted by homemade candles ranged along the sides on small shelves.  They might last through one service if it was not too long.  The preacher would announce the evening services to begin "at early candle lighting."

The services in the churches usually began by calling the congregation together by singing a hymn, as "Amazing Grace" or "Am I a Soldier of the Cross."  The congregation assembled, the preacher would announce another hymn, which he would read, two lines at a time, and the congregation repeat in tune after him.  The hymn finished, he or some other devout brother would lead the congregation in prayer.  He would then read a chapter from the Bible, announce his text and preach, probably for two hours.  The sermon over, the preacher would announce the "doors of the church are open for the reception of members" while a song was being sung.  That over, he would inquire if there were any announcements to be made.  He would then state that he would be "back again at his next regular appointment if not

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Providentially hindered."  He would then say, "If all minds are clear (satisfied, willing), let us stand together and receive the benediction," which was, "May the blessings of God and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you now and forevermore."

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The following books, minutes, and periodicals were consulted in the preparation of this work:

History of Missouri Baptists R. S. Douglass.
History of Randolph County Lawrence Dalton.
Memoirs of Northeast Arkansas (1889) Goodspeed Pub. Co.
Files of the Clay County Courier, Corning, Ark.
Minutes of Spring River Association (1873).
Minutes of State Line Association.
Minutes of Current River Association.
Minutes of Gainesville Association.
Minutes of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Association.
Minutes of Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
Minutes of the Southern Baptist Convention.
A Brief History of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Association Cooper, Powell, Holifield, and Thomas.
History of Black River (Mo.) Association R. F. Lidell.

In addition to the above we had access to the minutes of several churches, the records in the court houses at Corning and Pocahontas, and personal records in the hands of interested individuals.

NOTE:  The Samuel Colgate Baptist Historical Collection, Colgate University, Hamilton, N. Y., has minutes of Current River Association for the following years:  1890-1901; and it has minutes of State Line Association for the following years:  1881-'83, 1886-1909.  The Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist church has the original copies of minutes for Current River from the first session in 1881 through 1891 with the exception of 1882.  The office of the General Secretary of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention has minutes of State Line Association from 1900 through 1922, and for Current River from 1900 up to the present time with the exception of 1913.  (The Library of Southern Baptist Seminary has a copy for that year).  Mrs. Robert Anderson of Reyno has minutes of State Line for 1879 and 1888.