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County Church
Methodist Churches
Pages: 506-512

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History BookRESPECT THE COPYRIGHT: This book is still under copyright of the Marion County Historical Association and may not be used for any purpose other than your own personal research. It may not be reproduced nor placed on any web page nor used by anyone or any entity for any type of "for profit" endeveor.

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Bull Shoals United Methodist Church, 1948-1976
By: Mrs. Esther Larsen, Church Historian

       (Page 506) During the year of 1948 the Rev. Glen Bruner, who was serving the Yellville Charge, began coming to Bull Shoals to hold services every other Saturday night. These services were held in a little red schoolhouse on Block 19 of Mocking Bird Lane, known today as the C. C. Brown property. In 1949 he began preaching two Sunday evenings each month, and Rev. Crigler, a Baptist missionary from Cotter, was obtained for the other two Sunday evenings.
       The next pastor was the Rev. Paris J. Holifield, who came here June 1949. He held services every other Sunday evening, and on February 12, 1950, formally organized The Methodist Church of Bull Shoals. There were 13 charter members and they are as follows: Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Batchelder, Mr. and Mrs. K. C. Jopling, Mrs. Charles (Caroline) Woods, Sr., and son Charles, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Ernest J. Miller and children Ronald, Larry, daughter Connie and her husband Ernest Reider, and Mrs. Robert H. Watkins. (Page 507 Top) Of these 13 charter members, Mr. and Mrs. Batchelder are the only ones still with us and continue in their dedicated services to the church. He became the first church treasurer, a post he has held ever since, and Rosalie Batchelder was appointed by the pastor as local President of the Women's Society of Christian Service. There were so few members at that time that it did not become active until in 1952 when Mr. Florence Zarub was elected president.
       Meantime the church moved from the schoolhouse to the warehouse of the Bull Shoals Lumber Company. There were no pews or chairs, and boxes that were available served that need. The pulpit consisted of several boxes and a tub suitably draped. History reveals that the Cotter Methodist Church started its first services by meeting in the undertaker parlors, using the coffins as pews.
       Rev. Holifield continued serving the church during 1950 with the help of Rev. Crigler who preached two Sunday mornings a month, and on the other two Sundays, student pastors from the Presbyterian College at Batesville came to preach and help as needed.
       In 1951 the congregation moved to the old Annix Building, which is now the "Coast to Coast" store. The rough benches now used outside the Community Building served as church pews, and an old washstand as the pulpit. The heat as needed came from an old wood burning stove.
       The Rev. Theron McKisson of the Methodist Church in Yellville began to serve the church June 1951. Five new members joined the church. They were: Mr. and Mrs. Louis Zarub, Mrs. Helene Skora, Mrs. Kristine Kling; and Mr. Ben Clark. Of these, Mr. and Mrs. Zarub and Helene Skora are with us and are very active members.
       It became apparent that a church building was needed, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Woods, Sr., donated two lots for this purpose and a new building was started in December 1951. Ralph Batchelder worked almost single handed on this building for months, giving his labor and taking immense pride in his accomplishments. He was assisted by K. C. Jopling and other members. Numerous friends gave some of their time. This was the first church built in Bull Shoals. Donations were received from the Board of Missions, the Church District and various other donations. The Women's Society of Christian Service served their first turkey dinner in 1951 and cleared $23.50. They continued serving dinners several times a year, featured bazaars and other money making functions and thus were able to give considerable financial support.
       On January 27, 1952, the following members were received into the church: Mr. and Mrs. Everett Crow, Mrs. Marcine Zucco, Mrs. Sophia Rumbler, Mrs. Charles Woods, Jr., and children. There are others who have been members 20 years or more that we would like to mention-Albert Horton, Mrs. Bernice Layton, Mrs. Etha Sample and Mrs. Fern Disher. All of the members mentioned have given of their lime and varied talents.
       The church building was completed during 1952 and the first service was held in December 1952. Most of the pews were furnished by members and there were numerous donations and memorial gifts given. It is interesting to note that the first wedding was held December 18, 1952, when Allen Morrow and Betty Grissom took their vows. In 1976 their oldest daughter, Janet, was married in the church sanctuary. The first pianist was Helene Skora and the (Page 508 Top) First organist was Revis Henry. Rev. Diggs of the Cotter Church started sharing the pulpit in the fall of 1952 with Rev. McKisson, as he was serving four churches.
       In 1953 a cabin was bought from Mr. Owens and moved to the church grounds. It was used by the Sunday School for three children's classes. Their teachers were Bernice Layton, Florence Zarub and Juanita Smith. It served this purpose for many years.
       In June 1954 Rev. Olaf Olson, a retired Methodist minister living here, took the pulpit. This was the first full-time pastor. At this time a fine opportunity was presented to the official board of the church offering them all the remaining lots in the entire block on which the church is built at a price of $1200.00. The real estate company, namely, C. S. Woods families, agreed to pay one-half of this amount if the church would accept the balance of the obligation. The board took affirmative action.
       In preparation for Easter 1955, Ralph Batchelder made a wooden cross and presented it to Rosalie, who decided it should be a gift to the church. It now graces our chancel.
       Rev. Olson was forced to retire due to ill health and, in June 1956, Rev. Robert Howerton became the minister. We were once more sharing the minister with the Cotter Church. During his tenure, plans were made for an addition to the church, the basement was to be enlarged and to include a kitchen as well as classroom facilities. A successful rally was held under his direction as $3,000.00 was pledged. Donations were also received from the Board of Missions and the District. Work was started, but Rev. Howerton was transferred in 1957 and Rev. Gerald Hammitt took the pastorate and the building was completed. During Easter 1959, twenty-two members were received into the church.
       Rev. Jouston B. Farmer became the pastor in June 1959 for one year, and he was followed by Rev. J. J. Clark who served until 1963. It was at this time that Madelyn Henry contacted Representative James Trimble of the House of Representatives in Washington, D. C. in regard to a flag for the church. He responded, "It is a pleasure to send you a U. S. flag for the Bull Shoals Methodist Church. I am having the flag flown over the Capitol building and will send it to you in a few days."
       Rev. J. J. Clark was transferred and replaced by Rev. Moyers in 1963 and stayed until 1965. He was followed by Rev. Jewel Linam who served four years. During this time the church mortgage was burned and dedication service of our enlarged church was held January 29, 1967. It is of interest that two of his sons are also in the ministry.
       Rev. Ray Edwards came in 1969 and served until 1973. Our present organ was purchased at this time and dedicated. He was followed by Rev. George Cleary who served until 1975. A parsonage was started and completed in July 1975. Rev. Watt and family came in 1975 and became our first full-time pastor and the first to occupy the new parsonage. Our membership is 220 and the church is bulging at its seams. Once more, plans are being considered for a larger sanctuary.

Cedar Grove Methodist Church
By: Mrs. Eula Ledbetter and Mrs. Mae Patterson
(Page 509 Top)

       There is no available record of the date of the building of the first church at Cedar Grove. However, it must have been around 1850, since the first member recorded was that of Mrs. Joe Burleson who joined the church during that year. This first church building was a two-story log building-the upper story was used for meetings of the "Grange" and the lower part was used for church services. Oldtimers used to relate that the building was burned by bushwhackers after the Civil War. The church was called Shiloah during that time.
       Prior to the building of the sanctuary of the present building, church services were held in the various homes of the community. The present Church-Cedar Grove Sanctuary-was built in 1872 or 1873 by donations from citizens. This was a Methodist church; however, people other than Methodist donated labor and money to its construction. Other denominations were permitted to hold services in the house when such did not conflict with the work of the Methodist people. Church sentiment in the community surrounding Cedar Grove was predominantly Methodist.
       Some of the most noted ministers who served the Methodist Church at cedar Grove in the early days were: Bill Dees and Bob Goundaback from Bellefonte; Parson Wade and his son, Rev. Lynn Wade who preached in the early 1900's; Rev. Bill Black, Rev. Jefferies; Rev. House; and Rev. Seay.
       Among the pioneer families who donated time, labor and money toward the building of the church were: Burlesons, Brookshers, Pierces, Hudsons, Browns, and Cunninghams. There were others who helped but there is no record of their names.
       During the first few years after the church was built, it also served as a place to hold school. Reubin H. Pierce and his son, William Lafayette Pierce, taught several subscription schools in the building.
       The church was later taken into the Yellville circuit, and ministers have been appointed to preach there regularly.
       In later years additional rooms have been built across the rear of the main sanctuary, and a vestibule has been added to the front. The church has been re-ceiled on the inside and new furniture has been installed with carpeting on the floor. A complete kitchen is equipped in one of the back rooms and tables are provided for serving meals. Recently, a water system was installed and restrooms were added. In 1974 an air conditioner and heating system were installed.
       The following is an excerpt from Rev. H. Lynn Wade's centennial Anderson's history: "Shiloah. . . This church produced one local preacher, R. L. Crow. John M. Cantrell and George Wade were licensed here. In 1920 when H. Lynn Wade was holding his first service in the church as Presiding Elder, Jasper Burleson said, 'The first sermon I ever heard your grandfather, J. H. Wade, preach was where you are standing; the first sermon your father, George Wade, ever preached was where you are standing, and the first sermon you ever preached was where you now stand."

Pleasant Ridge Methodist Church
By: Mrs. Mae Patterson and Mrs. J.V. Turnquist
(Page 510 Top)
Photo Pleasant Ridge Church
Pleasant Ridge Church, built 1848

       There is no positive date as to the birth of Methodism in Marion County, but records show that in 1836 the Conference held in Batesville was sending men with the gospel into this area, known as Pleasant Ridge. A church was organized about 1848. Circuit riders and local Christians carried on services. A log building was erected near the cemetery. This building served as a church and school and was heated by two fireplaces.
       Jerome Dixon deeded the land for the church and cemetery. The first trustees were: Calvin Summers, Jonathan Doshier, William Watts, James P. Smith, Robla Tatum, William A. Sims and John D. Mayers.
       The present church building was erected in 1887 and was remodeled inside and out in 1966.
       The records show that in 1868 the pastor was Rev. J. H. Wade. Other early pastors were: D. E. Evans, W. A. Dees and H. C. Jolly.
       The first Sunday in June has been named as Memorial and Homecoming Day.
       From the Centennial History by Anderson, we have: "Elisha Melton reared a large family near Pleasant Ridge and was an exhorter for years, known for his love and loyalty.
       Uncle Billie Sims was a very successful farmer, a friend to the preachers and their families. His wife, 'Aunt Mary Jane,' was a Saint".
       The Watts family came from Georgia and were a devoted family. From this family came the preacher, John H. Watts, who served in Arkansas for 12 years and then transferred to Texas. He married Mary Tennie Sims and they had several children. A son, H. Bascom Watts, became a minister.
       (Page 511 Top) Calvin Summers was a farmer and country merchant, frugal and industrious. He and his wife served the church in great faithfulness, and gave to the ministry two sons, David and Bascom.
       The Doshiers were a numerous and faithful family."

Ware's Chapel
By: Mae D. Patterson, Mrs. Sam Duren and Eula Ledbetter

       The following information on Ware's Chapel, Yellville Circuit 1900 A.D. is from Anderson's Centennial History.
       "Ware's Chapel was named for Dr. J. C. Ware, a county doctor who gave much thought, time, money and prayer to the church he loved. Newton Bearden, father of R. E. L. Bearden, was Sunday School Superintendent and Steward for many years. Ammon Thompson, father of Mrs. J. M. Cantrell, lived a long and useful life as a member of the church."
       Although the church was a Methodist Church, services were held by other religious groups. The Methodist preachers were supplied by the Yellville Circuit. Pastors of the Methodist Churches in Marion County were: Lee Bearden, W. H. Dyer, C. W. Lester, John Womack, W. B. Wolf, T. J. Taylor, D. U. Cline, W. W. Albright, L. B. Hankins, Q. L. Claude, D. L. Yates, B. A. McKnight, F. G. Villines, Sr., J. M. Fryar, H. W. Jett, H. J. Harger, Boyd Johnson, W. C. Smith, Silas Dixon, Farms McDonal, Charles L. Fry, W. G. Bruner, Pharis J. Halifield, Theron McKisson, M. L. Kaylor, B. W. Stallcup, M. J. Pollard, Ray Edwards, Rayburn Jackson, Aubra Hays, Elbert Bruner Browning, and Chris Cooper.

Yellville Methodist Church
By: Mae Patterson and Mrs. Sam Duren

       In 1852 a frame building was erected as a place of worship for the people called Methodists, according to minutes of the Arkansas Conference of November 10, 1852, and had 228 members. Hugh A. Barnett was the pastor from the Fayetteville District.
       Marion County was on the border between the North and the South during the Civil War and Yellville was over-run by both armies. The original church building was destroyed by fire. (This is from Anderson's History, page 358.)
       In 1866 Rev. John Henry Wade, of the St. Louis Conference, came to Yellville to re-organize the Methodist Churches in Marion, Baxter, Boone and Searcy Counties, which had been destroyed during the Civil War. He remained on the Yellville Circuit during the remainder of his ministry. He was a great exhortor and organizer. Four of his children grew to maturity: John, George, Jonas and Mary. Rev. Wade died December 7, 1895 and is buried at Valley Springs, Arkansas. (Copied from Centennial History page 147.)
       In 1888 the second building built at Yellville was destroyed by fire along with a school owned by the church. In 1889 the third building was (Page 512 Top) built and still stands. This building is constructed of hand-made brick. The school building was not rebuilt at the same location as a much larger school was built and was known as the Academy or the Yellville Collegiate Institute. This building, in later years, was known as the Yellville School
       In 1876 Bishop John C. Keener held the Arkansas Methodist Conference at Yellville. In 1888 the Fourth Quarterly Conference was held at Yellville Circuit Camp Ground by P. B. Summers, Presiding Elder. W. R. Brookshire was elected secretary. Ten churches reported their support for the ministry, and they are as follows: Yellville, Pleasant Ridge, Shiloah (Cedar Grove), Liberty Friendship, Siloam, Camp Ground, DeSoto Springs, Dry Hill and Rea Valley.
           Signed: J. H. Bradford, Preacher.
       The Methodist Church in Yellville has used the same sanctuary since the church was built. The building has been remodeled several times and is now being re-decorated with some changes being made. An Educational building has been built, connected to the sanctuary by a covered walk.
       From Anderson's Centennial History of Arkansas Methodism: "Such names as the following have come down with reverence from the first: Isaac Wilson, William Sewall, Henderson Fee, Martha Tatum, Grandma Pugh (sister of preacher Ben Hall), Missouri Layton, Agens Hurst, Willis and Matilda Williams, John Cowdrey, Gus Layton, Mrs. Sue Layton, James Berry and wife, J. W Black, J. C. McDowell, Henry Young, Bob and Alex Hurst. (Material furnished by Mae Patterson and Mrs. Sam Duren.)
        The following is written by H. Lynn Wade from Anderson's Centennial History about the Liberty Church, 1850, of the Yellville Circuit: "There are four families who stand out among those who made Methodism possible here The Adams family, Keeters, Pattersons, and Cantrells. Adams was, for years, a steward and a class leader. His name stood for all that was highest and best in the county. Perhaps, the most potent religious and spiritual personality in this whole section was Elizabeth (Grandma) Cantrell, wife of William Cantrell, a Baptist preacher. Both remained true to their respective churches. They reared a large family, about equally divided between the two churches. Grandma, mother of Rev. John M. Cantrell, a Methodist minister, was a real leader-going from church to church on the circuit during revivals praying, exhorting and shouting until victory would result. She was known and loved by all."
       The Adams referred to above was Lynn Adams, grandfather of H. Lynn Wade and father of John Q Adams, Sr.

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