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THE HISTORY OF MARION CO AR
CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE
County Church
Presbyterian Church
Pages: 513-514

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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 Presbyterian Church

       (Page 513) Presbyterian work in the Bull Shoals area began in 1947. Meetings were held in the schoolhouse until 1951 when services were held in the Methodist Church. Services were conducted by Rev. Claud Crigler, a Baptist minister, and students from Arkansas College, a Presbyterian supported school.
       In 1952 ground was given for a church by Charles Woods, Sr., the promoter of Bull Shoals. The ground was cleared by the congregation with Robert Doom, a student preacher, and Dr. George McKee of the Mountain Home Church supervising. Wilbur Gordon of Bull Shoals was the architect and builder.
       The first service was held July 3, 1953, to organize-with the service being conducted by Dr. John Spragins, Superintendent of Home Missions, and Dr. George McKee on July 12, 1953. Fourteen charter members were received: Earl and Reba Braley and Sharon (now Mrs. Duane Thompson), Wilbur and Jane Gordon, Charles Hefton, Mrs. Roy Hicks, Ruval Earl Johnson, Mrs. Paul Lingle, Mrs. J. S. Mendenhall, Mr. and Mrs. Pete Quinton, Nell and John Terman. Earl Braley and John Terman were elected as the first Elders.
       The first budget was $57.50 per month. The first ordained minister was Rev. Roy Hicks, who was ordained at Cotter and served both churches; the first meeting of the session took place on July 21, 1953, with Rev. Roy Hicks as the moderator; the first congregational meeting was held August 2, 1953, when the first trustees were elected-Wilbur Gordon and Pete Quinton.
       The Women of the Church were organized on July 21, 1953, with Mrs. J. S. Mendenhall as president. The first "Fellowship Hour" a supper, was July29 with 28 present. Also in July, Sunday School was organized with John Terman as the first superintendent. Nell Terman taught the Adult class and Reba Braley taught the children's class. The record attendance was established in February 1957 with the arrival of Garld and Ardna Short and children-Tarla (now Mrs. Donald Kilgore), Coyla (Mrs. Karldon Hudson), Roger and Jill. They came from Decatur County in Iowa.
       In 1958 Garld Short was elected as Sunday School Superintendent and served for 13 years until the Sunday School closed due to lack of attendance.
       In 1954 boundary lines of Presbytery were changed and we were transferred from Washburn to East Arkansas Presbytery, now Arkansas Presbytery Union.
       (Some brief, interesting items about manse.) A meeting on May 28, 1954, authorized a committee to make plans relative to possible amount of $5,000 promised as a loan from General Assembly's Committee. The Building Committee was asked to "keep the cost under $5,000 if at all possible" and application for the loan as authorized August 8, 1954, at a congregational meeting was approved. The manse was completed by 1955 with most of the work by members.
       Ministerial changes then took place as Rev, and Mrs. Hicks left; (Page 514 Top) Dan Zeluff served as a supply during summer, 1955; then Dr. John Crocket accepted the charge and on July 19, 1955, the first Presbytery meeting was held here.
       The first baby was baptized on November 20, 1955-Jeannie, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Hager of Rueter, Missouri. Dr. Crockett had married the baby's parents and had also baptized her mother.
       Dr. Crockett left in 1956 due to ill health and Rev. Walter Brown came on the field in June of 1958 as the permanent pastor. During the interim, Rev. H. H. Patrick of Flippin supplied the pulpit most of the time. 1958 proved to be an exciting year... THE DAY THE CHURCH CAUGHT FIRE... Nothing was lost since the furnishings were carried out by willing helpers. Damage was estimated at $3500. Services were held in the Community Building while the church was being repaired.
       The first formal wedding was that of Coyla Short (daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Garid Short) and Karldon Hudson (son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Hudson) all of Flippin, on September 1, 1963. The service was performed by Rev. Walter L. Brown. Rev. Brown served the church faithfully until his retirement in 1965. During that time his wife died.
       Many improvements were made to the property, items of furniture added, hymn books, altar, organ, altar Bible, and carpeting were all added through memorial gifts. Now, kitchen appliances have been installed recently.
       The year of 1966 began with a membership of 60. By the time Rev, and Mrs. Fazekas arrived on the field from Kentucky on August 1, 1966, there were 52 active members, and a membership of 185.
       The area around Bull Shoals during the early 1960's went through some slow progress, questionable as to what direction it would take; then, suddenly, by 1966 tourism began to flourish, retirees began building homes and the boom started. This also meant growth and progress to the church.
       The session consists of nine members and there are two trustees. The first Elder to be elected after the organizational meeting in which Elders Braley and Tennan were elected was John Carter in 1954.
       The choir is ably directed by Mrs. Margaret North, also the organist. Mrs. North has served as organist since the fall of 1965. For several years Laurence O'Connor directed the choir until health reasons forced him to resign. Mrs. Mable McKee is the assistant organist and choir director.
       The Lord has blessed us so far, to this point in history, (Ebenezer) 1976. May we look forward with His help and guidance as we plan ahead. We are a happy, active, loving congregation, and we feel with God's help we will carry on in His name.

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Linda Haas Davenport