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From the GRAND PRAIRIE HERALD, Hazen, Arkansas, dated Thursday, February 26, 1970.
The history of the Center Point Baptist Church was written by the late Naomi Hendricks McCuin, granddaughter of Sylvanus Minton, a charter member and organizer of the first Center Point Church. This article was brought to the Herald office for publication by Mrs. Essie White. She had obtained this history from her late husband's Lum White, mother, Mrs. Sally White. It is printed below in its entirety.
I surely could not pass from this world satisfied without letting Center Point Church know who was the first church I ever belonged to and still love, and give a brief history of Sylvanus Minton in his declining days.
In November 1870, Sylvanus and Virginia Minton, his wife, and E.P. Minton, his youngest son and family, emigrated from Cherokee County, Alabama to Prairie County, Arkansas. Both were Baptist ministers. They visited with William and Rebecca Hendricks, Sylvanus Minton's oldest daughter, for a fortnight, then moved to Jonesboro, Arkansas, where he had other sons located. He spent 2 years there, then returned to Prairie County, Arkansas, and took up abode with William and Rebecca Hendricks, to spend his declining days with his oldest daughter and son-in-law.
He was then an octegenarian; he was a man of strong will and a sound mind and being firm in the faith, was interested in the Lord's work. When he found there was no organized Baptist Church, he was very much concerned and began to make arrangements with Rev. William Paterson, a Baptist minister who had recently moved into that community. There being no church house nearby, they agreed to meet in an old log cabin in 1874, procure the services of another minister (Dr. Gilbert, a Baptist minister was a practicing physician) and organized a church. They interviewed him and he was eager to assist.
They met with 5 Baptists as charter members, Mrs. Nancy Sewell (daughter of Sylvanus Minton), Mrs. Charlotte Dicus from Scottsboro, Alabama, Mrs. Isbell from Tennessee, Sylvanus and wife, Virginia Minton, went in as charter members, being five.
The first service they held to receive members, Mrs. Martha Camp united with the little band of worshippers; also, George T. Petty and perhaps others. Sylvanus Minton suggested they call their little organized band, Center Point, after his old home church in Alabama, where he had served as pastor years previous to moving to Arkansas. Sylvanus Minton was the founder of the Center Point Church. Before they built a church, they held services in a log cabin that was built for a school house for that community. They held a revival and had a number come in on profession of faith and were baptized by the pastor, Rev. Gilbert. Many came in from other states by letter. Sylvanus Minton was elated over the progress of the little church and lived to see them have a comfortable building to worship in and call their own. They built in 1878. John Morris, a grandson of Sylvanus Minton, was among others that united with Center Point Church and made his desire known that he wanted to be a minister and was licensed to preach. He was a mere boy of 19. He was a devout Christian, was ordained to preach and did until the Lord called him home at the early age of 26. His passing was deeply mourned by his friends and loved ones.
Sylvanus Minton parted this life, November 9, 1880 at the age of 78. Rev. Gilbert preached his funeral.