Located near Hackett - Follow Bethel Rd from hwy 45. It makes a 90 turn to the south then about 1/4 a mile makes a 90 turn back to the east. The Old Church is in that 2nd curve.
There is a tiny church that townspeople have told me is probably the oldest church in the area. I believe Matthew Horn was very likely the minister there.
I asked townspeople where the Methodist Church was and someone told me that the Coon Hunting Club on Bethel Road East, used to be the Methodist Episcopal Church South. I went out to see it and it has had concrete blocks put all aroud the outside. It looks like the school house on the "Little House on the Prairie" tv series. I was told that the inside still looks like a church and is in pretty good shape.
I called everyone I could think of trying to find the church records but was not successful. Neighbors only knew it used to be a church and was extremely old.
I fear it may be torn down soon. Is there anything that can be done to preserve it?:
The sign on the front of the building gives the name.
"I believe that is the little lost church on the old churches page. It's Bethel Methodist Church. It was off of the old Highway 45 between Bonanza and Hackett, but I couldn't tell you where. I wasn't driving, and it was a long time ago. During the 50s, I used to go to the annual church reunions with my parents and my grandmother, Mrs Charles C. (Viola) Bailey of Hackett, and the building looked better than this, but it was still a frame building. This picture is older than that, because it came out of my grandmother's photo album, but I don't have a date. Even as a teenager, I enjoyed the reunions, though I suspect it had a lot to do with the "...dinner on the grounds" part of the "all day singing and dinner on the grounds"....Bob.
Written by Iris A. Parham Horne as told to her by Ruth Helmer, Hackett, Ar.
May 23, 2008
RE: Methodist Episcopal Church South
On Bethel Road north of Hackett, Arkansas
Ruth is 75 now and she lived in the area as a child and went with her parents to the church for many years. She married and traveled the U.S. but they returned to live in the Hackett area.
Ruth says the old church was the first church built in the area and was raised in 1872. She has a 1936 calendar with a picture of the original church.
The church caught fire on a cold winter Sunday when Ruth was about nine. She could see the sparks flying up the chimney into the attic for a long time. Then flames began to appear, but Ruth did not say a word, because her mother had told her, no matter what, to sit still and be quiet and not say a word, so she didnít. The congregation soon noticed the fire and hurried to the well and quickly had the fire out with not much damage.
Later, in 1956, the church blew down in a storm and was rebuilt with cinderblocks. It was built using the same thin wood strips in the ceiling and maybe other areas, but just about everything else was not the original material. The pews were sold years later. Ruth does not know who purchased them. The inside walls are now cinderblock and the church is smaller than originally built.
It is located between section 10 and 11 on the platt map.