Faulkner County Church History

If you have any Faulkner County area church information, please send it in to me so that I can post it here for researchers.

Old Texas Church,Harmony Baptist

Conway Area Church Listings

Updated Sept. 5,2017

Log Cabin Democrat

Centennial Edition

From the LCD Centennial Edition 1873-1973

Special thanks to Co-CC Becky M. and to Becky R.

"Church groups in Europe were encouraged to send immigrants to America by the United States government. Grants of land were offered to anyone who would settle in the vast new lands west of the Mississippi which were opened to settlement after the Civil War. The railroads also recruited the unemployed for settlement on their extensive land grants in order to gain capital by conversion of land into ready cash. Thus numerous Catholic families began to enter this county. At this period in Faulkner history several Catholic families had already settled at Conway. The first family was that of Jacob Schichtl, who lived a mile east of Conway. Schichtl erected his new home on the Lewisburg road in 1874. He had arrived in Conway by train and retained rooms at the Markham hotel (1314 Oak St.) for his family until their log cabin could be completed. Two years later, in 1876, the Edward Lachowsky, James Schneider, John Heber, V. Wurzelback and H. Rapple families came to Conway. The Log Cabin of Nov. 7, 1912, ran a list of the 1876 Catholic residents. They were Joseph Leinhart, Fred Nahlen, Caspar Dum, Edward Lachowsky, Jacob Hiegel, George Simon, Edward Scholl, Julius Jackquet, Peter Mayor, Conrad Rumker, Theo Thessing, Fredrick Halter, Anthony Moix, Phillip Nabholz, Hubbard Grummer and Herman Imboden. E. Jacob Hiegel, born July 22, 1840, in Wieterswiller, Alsace, France, was an 1876 immigrant. He had for a time lived in New York City, but then had moved further west into Ohio. Hiegel was a farmer and upon moving to this county purchased 40 acres of land about three miles east of Conway. Jacob Erbach had planned to settle in Wisconsin before leaving his homeland. However, reading a paper, Lechtern Stern, on the boat with was transporting his family to America, he was encouraged to settle at Conway. In January 1878, the Rt. Rev. Edward Fitzgerald, D.D. Bishop of Little Rock, made several appeals for clergy to help him minister to his scattered flock. The first priest to respond was a Rev. Brehm, a German speaking priest who was born in Canton Urie, Switzerland. He migrated to this area in May of 1878 and began to care for the scattered Catholic families along the new Little Rock-Fort Smith Railroad at the tiny villages of Conway, Morrilton, Germantown and Atkins. Father Brehm rode the train between Little Rock and Atkins in his ministry to Catholics in the Arkansas River valley accompanied by Bernard Mamment, Conrad Rumker and A. Kehres. He held mass in the Conway area at the home of Jacob Schichtl, but with no regularity because of the demands upon his time of this scattered flock. The first Holy Mass was offered on an improvised altar in the Schichtl home. The Holy Ghost Fathers of Zanesville, Ohio, persuaded a group of their parishioners to migrate to Arkansas in 1878, under the leadership of a Rev. Strub. Late in 1878 the Hiegel, Balmat and Simon families arrived by flatboat. They left the flatboat at the old Butterfield stage landing on the Arkansas River near Toad Suck Ferry Bridge. Father Brehm returned frequently to this area, the railroad extending to him the courtesy of free travel, where he was a frequent and welcome guest at the Thines home, from which he returned home with well-packed baskets of good food. Prices were high in this area while cotton the farmers produced was worth from five to ten cents per pound. Father Brehm could stay in Arkansas only a short time because his health failed. In 1879 he returned to his native Switzerland. The next group to answer Bishop Fitzgerald's call were the sons of St. Benedict who also came from Switzerland and settled at Subiaco. Close in their wake, in 1878, came the Holy Ghost Fathers, who shared the Arkansas River Valley work with these Benedictine fathers. The Very Rev. Joseph Strub, C.S. SP., a war chaplain, had settled in Piqua, Ohio and Sharpsburg, Pa. Father Strub made two trips into Central Arkansas and to Little Rock as provincial of the Holy Ghost Fathers. His plan was to open a mission at Conway. In addition, the Holy Ghost Fathers persuaded a group of their parishioners to migrate to Arkansas and to join with other of their faith at Conway. Many misfortunes were encountered by these hardy Catholic immigrants. Some were unsuited to the climate. Some of their land had a cloud upon its title. Often their small crops failed and they thus lost their mortgaged lands. It is interesting that Father Strub, who responded to this bishop's plea, was to write June 22, 1878, "that I had decided to locate a Holy Ghost Fathers colony at Conway as the center of a Saint Joseph colony. I would serve the Polish colony at Marche, the French colony at Morrilton as I first intended, the German colonies at Conway, St. Vincent and Atkins." The first parish priest was the Rev. John P.C.L. Welms, who came to Conway in the autumn of 1878, along with Brothers Leo and Genes. Father Welms was to consolidate this Catholic group into a parish of about 85 families of Swiss, French and the predominant German nationalities. For those who are interested in local firsts, the first Catholic marriage in Conway was that of William Wurzelback and Margaret Heel. The official marriage record, however, lists this marriage as William A. Hummer, 30 and Margaret Heel, 34, on Dec 27, 1878, by Father Strub. The first infant burial was that of John J. Ficker, which occurred Nov. 4, 1879. The first adult burial was that of the wife of John Wurzelbach, which occurred Sept. 13, 1878. The first St. Joseph confirmation class was held April 24, 1881. It is believed that Josephine Schichtl, born Sept. 10, 1878, was the first Catholic infant born in Faulkner County. She was baptized Nov. 24, 1878. A church was built by the parish in 1878. There as no rectory here in the early years of this parish history and is was necessary that the priest live in private homes until a rectory could be financed and completed in December of 1878. There is some conflict as to how the parish acquired the present church property. One source relates that it was purchased from the Little Rock-Fort Smith Railroad Co. for $50. Of course, the site was within the section given Robinson and the deed, therefore, came from him. Father Welms encouraged the parish to begin its church. This was to be a frame building, modest, 62 feet long and 42 feet wide, but it boasted of an 80-ft steeple. During 1879 a Rev. Richarz came to serve the parish needs." NOTE: Many of the Declaration of Intent for the listed individuals are posted in the archives and on the Faulkner USGENWEB: http://www.rootsweb.com/~arfaulkn/declarations.html
"The Methodist church had stood on Front Street near the oil mill on Mill Street since the days when it first became a mission in 1883. This first building had been used a community church, courthouse, school and lodge hall. Conference records say there has been a Methodist church here since 1870, when services were held in the railroad work camp. Services later were held in box cars set out on a siding. and then in the railroad depot building when it was built. In 1871 a center was erected and a locate minister, John H. McCulloch, who had moved here in 1871 from Bradley County, held services. He then settled on the north edge of the hamlet. March 13, 1873 Nan Tyler transferred title to the Front and Mill street property to the Methodist church. By 1882 the Methodist church had 88 members. Earlier, in 1879, John J. Roberts was appointed the first regularly appointed pastor. J.J. Tarleton, Abel C. Ray, W.R. Knowleton, H.C. Jolly, Burton Williams and T.A. Graham held services prior to the arrival of a Rev.. Roberts. J.F. Hall was appointed pastor in 1882 and was paid $267.86 for the year. A little is known of this period 1874-1881. Cotton sold for about $36 a bale. Farm hands received $10 per month. Day labor was available at Conway at the rate of 50 cents to $1 per day. At this time dressed lumber sold for $7 a thousand board feet. So it was in 1883 that the Methodist church began to think about erecting a new church building for their exclusive use. April 7, 1883, A.P. Robinson sold them land at Prince and Locust streets and plans were made for a frame structure to be constructed here. The Davis Exxon station now stands on this site. A well house separated the Methodist church and its neighbor, Green School. In May, 1883, work began on this new church. Robinson drew up the working drawings from a picture which the pastor, J.F. Hall, had torn from a book. The church money was raised by subscription headed by P.H. Prince. It is reported that $2,500 was raised in one day. No known photograph or drawing of this building exists. It is reported that the four saloons gave $100 each. W.W. Martin gave $100. Max Frauenthal, of the Jewish faith, gave $150. The building was constructed by day labor to save costs. J.A. Pence constructed the pews in his woodworking shop. The stone foundation cost $58 to complete. Thus is went, day by day, until March 1, 1884, it was completed. The spire was 87 feet from the ground and required $20 worth of gold leaf to cover the dome. As the church grew it became necessary to seek another site and to provide a larger building for the Methodist church. April 15, 1898, Mrs. Annie Durham deeded the church land at Prince and Clifton streets. It was here that a new $8,000 church of brick was erected. The cornerstone was put down Oct. 17, 1898. The cost of this new undertaking had been provided by 53 subscribers who had pledged the cost. Papers were removed in 1913 when the building was razed to make room for a large building on the same site. These papers revealed the Conway church paid its pastor $800 in 1897. Total church budget for that year was $1,313. Its membership was 180. A local newspaper had been included in the cornerstone. Its date was Oct. 17, 1898, and revealed that Hendrix College opened with 60 boarding students. The city of Conway was in the midst of a smallpox scare. It had been announced on August 15, 1913, that a new $40,000 church would be erected. George W. Kramer of New York was to prepare the plans of that new edifice. Thus it was during the week of Oct. 12, 1913, that the Methodist Church began to meet in the public school auditorium, as the 1898 building was being taken down. Six columns of Batesville marble arrived in Conway for this building Aug. 3, 1914. They were 30 inches in diameter and 22 feet in height. There is some information concerning the growth of this church. As noted, 53 subscribers from a membership of 180 paid for the 1898 church. In 1900 the church had a total of 103. The pastor's salary that year was part of a $620.60 total budget. It is reported that W.W. Martin contributed $75 for that year. By 1904 there were 705 members of the Methodist church. It is not known what brought about this dynamic influx of members. The old meeting house on Front Street was torn down in 1904 and moved to another area to erect a Negro church, called White's Chapel. The Methodist Church World War I flag had 76 stars representing its men's sacrifice and willingness to participate in community and national efforts. By 1924 the membership was 1,596 and the total budget for all causes was $18,000. Oct 1, 1953, 79 per cent of a $150,000 education building fund for First Methodist Church was pledged. This excellent education building was completed to the north of the present sanctuary, as was a small, intimate chapel during 1955. The 1969 budget was $109,397. Four hundred seventy families and individuals pledged this new budget. A new youth building was constructed on a site after a campaign fund was held by the church in April, 1969. This new structure cost $200,000, with repayment planned over a three-year period. Completion of the new building was completed and dedicated in 1970."
"Colonial Missionary Baptist Church was dedicated Nov. 14, 1968, at Hillman and Davis streets in south Conway. This church had been organized on Highway 64 North as the North Conway Missionary Baptist Church. The new $75,000 edifice was erected on an acre site by Williams Brothers Construction Co."
"A new Assembly of God Church erected its sanctuary at Robinson and Mitchell streets after its first auditorium and church building had been destroyed by the 1965 tornado which devastated the eastern portion of Conway. Several people in the area of this church took refuge in the building from the storm. One such traveler was killed by falling debris."
"Harlan Park Baptist Church began July 10, 1966, as a mission of First Baptist Church with 22 members in a dwelling owned by Hendrix College on Independence Street. Sept. 1, 1966, it moved to the G.E. Owen home at College Avenue and Locust Street, where it was organized Sept. 18 with 32 charter members. The Rev. Allen T. McCurry, then missionary of the Faulkner Baptist Association was the first pastor until March, 1967. A new sanctuary was begun in 1967 at a site on Hartje Lane in the south part of Conway. Church membership at this time was 50. The new sanctuary seats 150, has a pastor's study, 12 classrooms and two nurseries with a kitchen. The building of cut-stone veneer was erected by R&W Const. Co. of North Little Rock at a cost of $50,000. Pastors of this church have been McCurry, Bill Brown, 1966-68; C.W. Caldwell, 1968, and Gerald Jackson, 1969-71."
"The Bible Missionary Church at 607 Fifth Street was another church destroyed by the 1965 tornado. The church rebuilt and occupied a new sanctuary in January, 1967. L.G. Milburn is the pastor. The following is a list of Conway mayors. The records for this period, 1875-96. are very irregular. From 1875 until 1906, annual elections were held in April. After the 1906 elections the terms were for two years. 1875-Lorenzo D. Pearle 1876-E.C. Farmer 1877-78-Edward Munroe Merriman 1879-Able F. Livingston 1880-George W. Bruce 1881-John N. Walton 1882-John Harrod 1883-84-Homer Case 1885-John Allen Pence later resigned, Homer G. Case, elected Sept. 28, 1885 1886-John Ingram 1887-Asa Peter Robinson 1888-W.G. Farmer 1889-George W. Rice 1890-94-William W. Martin 1895-John T. Young 1896-98-William W. Martin 1899-John Allen Pence 1900-William W. Martin 1901-E.A Bolton 1902-05-William W. Martin resigned June 27, 1905 1905-W.H. Martin, acting. Frank E. Robins, elected July 3, 1905 1906-08-Frank E. Robins, resigned Oct. 7, 1908. Opie Hartje, acting until Oct. 28, 1908. A.J. Witt elected Nov. 13, 1908. 1909-A.J. Witt 1910-W.H. Duncan 1911-W.H. Duncan 1912-W.H. Duncan 1913-W.H. Duncan 1914-Frank Jones 1915-Frank Jones 1916-J.C. Dawson 1917-J.C. Dawson 1918-G.W. Bruce 1919-G.W. Bruce, died on Nov. 11, 1918, George Shaw, acting. W.D. Cole elected Nov. 30, 1919. 1920-25-W.D. Cole 1926-32-H.D. Russell, resigned to become postmaster March 29, 1933. Fred Gordy served two weeks until March 29, 1933. B.G. Wilson elected. 1933-39-B.G. Wilson, died August 28, 1939. S.T. Smith acting until October, 1939. Alph Hamberg elected Oct. 25, 1939. 1932-42-Alph Hamberg 1942-44-James J. Kane, resigned April, 1944. George Muse acting April 19, 1944. 1944-49-George Muse 1949-53-Edgar B. Parker 1953-57-M.M. Satterfield 1957-61-Edgar B. Parker 1962-present-Walter Dunaway"
The Presbyterian Church in Conway was organized at 11 a.m. Feb. 21, 1892, by the Rev. T.J. Horn and Dr. T.C. Barrett, under the auspices of a commission of the Arkansas Presbytery. Charter members were Mr. and Mrs. C.M. Hoskins, Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Witt, Dr. and Mrs. D.R.B. Greenlee, Mr. and Mrs. John T. Young, Mr. and Mrs. T. M. Moore, P.T. Simmons and wife D.R. Fones, John P. Witt, George Uzzell, G.T. Haws, Mrs. J.R. Martin, Mrs. Daisy Underhill, G.W. Rice, Miss Pearl Uzzell and Miss Helen Uzzell. Thus the young church was organized. The next meeting was held on the second Sunday in March, 1892, in a one-room building on Railroad Avenue that had built for a justice of the peace office and was loaned by one of the elders, A.J. Witt. This small building was very near the V. Yeager barber shop, about where Lachowsky Plumbing Co., now is located. The seats in this stark building were mere planks laid across blocks of wood. The church was a mission and recieved $25 a montj from the Mission Board. An additional $25 was raised locally. The minister came once or twice a month. His usual schedule was to arrive by train on a Thursday for a prayer meeting that night. He then visited Friday and Saturday and preached twice on Sunday. From the records of John A. Pence, cabinetmaker, we find that in late September, 1893, a raised platform was installed in the church building. The pulpit was installed Oct. 24, 1893. The minister was provided at the same time, with a desk and two book cases. The church women gave a turkey dinner at the Hotel de Hines sample room for 25 cents per plate in an ear when cotton sold for 8.75 cents a pound. It is not revealed on the newspaper account of this meal the reason for this fund-raising event. The Rev. John F. Baker of Texas was the first Conway pastor. He had as elders D.R. Fones, John L. Young and A.J. Witt. His deacons were J.P. Witt, P.T. Simmons and T.M. Moore. The Rev. O.B. Wilson was the first resident pastor. The church then met in the public school building on Locust Street and was purchased from the Baptists in 1908. Dec. 19, 1908, they purchased the Baptist building for $2,300. The purchase price included land, building, pews and most of the furnishings. They could not, of course, accept the baptistry. Upon the occupancy of the building the group found it necessary to add a steel ceiling. A colonnade in front was covered for walks and they added new steps to the front of the building. This new work was completed July 6, 1909, and the church was first used for worship Aug. 15. The 1908 membership of the church was 73. The Rev. A.M. McLaughlin was pastor when the first services were held in the newly decorated sanctuary. A record in the Log Cabin of 1918 revealed that J.W. Boyer, pastor, received a salary of $1,800. Other pastors in these early days have included the Rev. O.B. Wilson, J.I. Norris, F.E. Maddox, C.A. Boyerm R.L. Jetton, R.P. Henderson, C.M. Campbell and J. Russell Cross. The Rev. John Shell is the present pastor.
College Church of Christ occupied its $100,000 educational building late in 1966. This 5,900 square foot building has 23 classrooms, and office and an assembly room which is used as the church auditorium at Bruce and Donaghey Streets near the campus of State College of Arkansas. This new church had 100 members in 1966.
A new church, the Baptist Tabernacle, was completed April 14, 1966. This church, at 1620 Donaghey Ave. has a congregation numbering forty. The new sanctuary seats 200 and was erected at a cost of just over $20,000 by Starkey Bros. Construction Co. The name was changed to Bethel Baptist Church in 1970.
The new sanctuary of this new church was built in 1966. The church was designed by Ray Bowman of Bethany, Okla., and contains 6,240 square feet. The auditorium on West College Avenue seats 250 with an educational unit of 15 classrooms and was erected at a cost of $75,000. Dean Clements is the present minister.
"The Christian Church was organized in Conway in the spring of 1886 under Elder J.J. Setliff. There were 30 charter members. In its early history it had no church building, but Sunday services were held in various Conway churches. Arkansas Christian College was organized in 1889 at Pinnacle Springs. Other Christian churches in this county were at Duncan's schoolhouse east of Conway and at Otto in the eastern portion of the county. A sanctuary was erected at 1930 Elizabeth Avenue to house the Conway Christian Church."
The German Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in Conway in the summer of 1884 under its first pastor, the Rev. F. Herzberger. This community consisted of only 12 families, as most of the recent German immigrants were a Catholic. Its devout members, however, were able to erect their church building in the fall of 1884. Their church was built on the southwest corner of Robinson Avenue and Faulkner Street on a site now occupied by the Church of Christ. The Log Cabon of Feb. 15, 1940, reports that John A. Pence, cabinetmaker, and a member, helped build the Lutheran Church building. This building was built if wood, Pence used hand or fott operated tolls and machinery. He donated the gothis window frames and entrance of the church. The German language was used in worship as its members did not fully understand English. The Rev. August Frederick King was pastor in 1888. The pastor in 1897 was J.H. Kleiman. For various reasons the Lutheran church disbanded at Conway, but during 1966 Peace Lutheran Church built a new $55,000 sanctuary on Hartje Lane at Donaghey Avenue. A temporary church had been established at Baridon and Erbach Streets Oct. 4, 1964. It had grown to a membership of nearly 100 by 1971. Starkey Construction Co., erected the design of John L.E. Broadman of Cape Girardeau, Mo., on a five-acre site. This church, perhaps the most modern in Conway, has a seating capacity of 134 with an area which will seat 100 other upon conversion from an educational department.
The Rev. James S. Upton interested in his church, First United Methodist, in establishing a second Sunday school. On Mother's Day, May 1, 1947 Wesley Memorial Methodist Church was organized. Dr. John S. Warren of Hendrix College was named pastor. The new church had 13 charter members. In October, 1947, the Rev. A.H. Dulaney was sent as pastor of the new church. Thirty-eight members were then on the roll. A brick building was erected and first used Dec. 5, 1948, under the guidance of the Rev. Mr. Dulaney. Educational rooms have been built at the site of the church youth. In 1955 the church enrollment was 253.
"This church was established in 1900. That original congregation purchased and used the old Methodist building at Locust and Prince streets, using the name of St. Mark's, until the spring of 1912, when lightning struck and burned this building to the ground. The Episcopal Church had been held here at irregular intervals, the last meeting being in February of 1912, when a Bishop Winchester held services. The building was struck by lightning at 4:30 a.m. and burned to the ground three hours later. Conway had a new water system, but insufficient water pressure allowed the fire to spread to the cupola and then to the roof of the church. After the fire the congregation diminished for lack of a minister, and after 30 years the present mission was organized in January of 1842 under the name of Saint Peter's. Charter members of this new church were Miss Jessie B. Montgomery, Anne F. Culleney, Mrs. H.O. Moore, Josephine P. Donnell, J. Glenn Metcalf, Benjamin Owen, Mrs. H.I. Lane, Mrs. R.R. Coldsborough and Mr. and Mrs. David M. Driver. The Rev. George W. Culleney had come on the field in October of 1941, and his efforts brought about the new church. A chapel was arranged on the sun porch of the Culleney residence at 619 Mitchell St., where worship services were held until early 1944. The Rev. Mr. Culleney left Conway at the end of 1943. Lay leaders David M. Driver and J.Glenn Metcalf carried on the work. A temporary church was decorated in 1166 Winfield St., while the present church was being built on Mitchell Street. The present church was dedicated with 17 members on its roll, Sept. 24, 1944. In March of 1945, John M. Allin was sent to Conway as vicar. He remained here until January, 1950. The membership at that time had risen to 50. This new edifice was consecrated Feb. 18, 1949, on the freeing of the church from its building debts. The work was carried on by Dr. George L. Sixbey and John S. Powers, as lay leaders, until the Rev. Charles B. Hagley Jr., came to the field in June, 1951. By 1953 the church had 50 communicants, which was a 10 per cent increase over the 1951 church enrollment. New parish rooms were erected during 1952. Income of the church that year was $2744.88, which slightly overran expenses of $2673.33. The Rev. Sylvan W. Law was named Dec. 22, 1956, as vicar of Saint Peter's. He was succeeded by Rollo Rilling, Lemuel Parks and the Rev. A.W. Krumbach, the present vicar."
One night in 1919 after a revival meeting, a husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Moore of Dallas decided Conway needed a Nazarene church. The new church first met in private homes, and finally, in 1920, a building program was begun. The Nazarene church, thus organized the church and it was accepted by the District Assembly at a meeting in Little Rock as a formal Nazarene Church. The Rev. J.W. VanArsdale was appointed the first pastor in 1919. Otto Sullivan and his father donated the lots for the church building at Polk and Factory Streets. The small congregation erected a sanctuary here that was used until 1922, when under the pastorship of the Rev. S.C. Pritchett (1920-1921), the church sold this property to the Assembly of God and purchased a site on Grove Street. The Rev. S.D. Slocum accepted the call to the church in 1921 and remained long enough to build another building which was to serve the congregation until 1935. Other pastors served the Conway church: W.B. Pinson, 1923; Horace Blackshear, 1924; A.G. Ridout, 1925; W.O. Hardy, 1926; George Langford, E.D. Simpson and O.E. Tapley, 1927; J.A. Russell, 1928-30; F.K. Smith , 1931-35; U.D. Diibble, 1935-37; K. W. Hendrickson, 1937-53; Harold Latham, 1953-62; Clyde Montgomery 1958-62; and Jack Dell, 1962 to present. In 1935 the church moved again. They purchased land on Faulkner Street and built a beautiful rock edifice in 1937 under the Rev. Mr. Hendrickson. A parsonage was purchased at 515 Center Street. In 1956 this rock church burned and the congregation built a modern red brick sanctuary and educational building. In 1963 the church sold its old parsonage and purchased a new residence for its minister at 9 Rebecca Lane. This church has sent out 14 former members to become ministers or wives of ministers.
Antioch Baptist Church was organized July 28, 1925, about two miles west of Conway. A.D. Gray, minister, S.W. Colton and W.A. Campbell, Deacon J.I. Robinson and a Mr. Lancaster, along with 10 charter members, worshipped for a time under a brush arbor. July 24, 1927, a vote was taken and plans were made to erect a tabernacle at Duncan and Davis streets. The church worshipped here until it burned. They then met in the courthouse and at a small brick school building on the north end of Conway. Oct. 15, 1939, the church voted to construct a new building at 217 Ash Street. By 1955 the church had a membership of 235. A modern design building was occupied in late March, 1971, on the same site by this church group. Pastors have been A.D. Gray, R.L. Douglas, Harris Crittenden, Hoyt Chastain, G.S. Richardson, E.C. Pearrow, E.T. Burgess, James Ivy, J.E. Cobb, Wallace Glover, Kenneth Brown, J.W. McCracken, Kenneth Brown again, Clyde Coleman and Jim Sayers.
The Church of Christ in Conway was begun in the fall of 1904 at the home of J. Clarence Dawson. A few members of this faith lived in this srea. Dawson moved here from Alma in March of 1904. In June, 1905, R.H. Johnson of Atkins, after a week's meeting, organized a congregation. he appointed J.C. Dawson and A.L. DeArmand as elders. W.A. Townsend and P.H. Jameson were named deacons. Twelve members began meetings in a private home. The old Methodist-Episcopal church building at Locust and Prince streets was rented. During 1905 meetings were held here. In the summer of 1906 the small group purchased a site on Robinson Avenue between Faulkner and Center streets. A small frame buidling was erected here and after remodeling it stood as a meeting for the congregation until it was torn down in 1919 for another building. Even though the congregation then numbered only about 75, they were able to erect a $10,000 sanctuary. The Bible School enrolled about 100. In 1930, three classrooms were erected and finally, in 1949, a complete education department was completed with seven classrooms. In 1951 the congregation decided to build a new church building at Hairston and Davis streets and to support a new Chruch of Christ, which was called the Northside Church of Christ. A new auditorium of the Robinson and Center Chruch of Christ was dedicated in October, 1965. This new building was built at a cost of approximately $100,000 by Nabholz Construction Co. The old church was remodeled to provide educational rooms.
Central Baptist Church was organized Oct. 9, 1952, at the Legion Hut in Conway following a tent revival held where the present church is lcoated under a meeting held by the late Rev. A.R. Reddin. The church was organized with 23 charter members at Watkins and Lee streets. The Rev. Mr. Reddin was the first pastor. G.D. Cardin was the pastor its second year. A new sanctuary has been built on Watkins Street.
Second Baptist Church began as a small mission and Sunday School of the First Baptist Church. This church was organized by G.E. Owen in the old Grand Theatre. Its six charter members met the second Sunday of February, 1922. They were G.E. Owen, Mr.. and Mrs. G.M. Walthall, R.C. Neal, C.V.Hinkle and Erza Hinkle under Elder W.C. Hamel. The Rev. A. A. Dulaney, a teacher at Central College, was the first pastor. By October, 1922, the church felt secure enough to purchase the old Church of the Nazarene building at Polk and Factory streets. This small building was twice enlarged and wrecked once by a windstorm. By 1927 the church had grown to a membership of 175. Its school had an enrollment of 200. In 1926 the church had even lettered out 40 members to organize Nutter's Chapel Baptist Church. E.F. Simmons was named pastor in 1927. The Rev. Hugh Owen became pastor of this church from 1942-48. The Rev. William West became pastor on 1957, and still serves. The church built a sanctuary in November of 1953 which served until 1971. Jan. 19, 1968, construction plans began on a new $262,000 auditorium which was completed in the winter of 1971. This new auditorium seats 1,000 and was designed by Horace Piazza of Little Rock. The church budget for 1969 was $78,000. Four hundred persons attend the Sunday school with 150 in the Baptist Training Union program. The church also has operated a kindergarten for five-year-olds since 1962.
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