Mansfield Methodist Church
Compiled by Earle Overton

Submitted by Curtis A. Hannah

The year 1973 marked a half century for the present United Methodist Church building. The membership set aside a special Sunday, (December 30, 1973) to honor all those people who had served before and who left so much.

The planning committee asked for a brief resume of the local church to be presented as part of the program of celebration, and after looking through some old record books and talking with some people, the following report was given by the chairman of the Board of Directors, Earl Overton.

Mr. Latt Caldwell loaned the minutes of the organizational meeting of the first Sunday School. They are as follows:
"The First M.E.C.S. Sunday of Mansfield, Arkansas was organized in the School house on Sunday No. 24 89. H.C. Sadler having been appointed Superintendant by the fourth quarterly conference of 1889. There were present 48 of which No. 43 were enrolled. H.C. Sadler, superintendent appointed T.F. Martin assistant Supt., R.C. Hill was elected treasurer, C.H. Patterson, Secretary, and T.F. Martin, Librarian.

The following is a historical article written by Mr. A.M. Allen:

"At that time there was a church house on the hill near our present high school plant called Bowman Hall, with an organized Methodist Episcopal Church--but not very strong. Soon after the town site was located, Mr. H.C. Sadler came with his family and settled at the new town and organized a Union Sunday School at the Bowman Hall Church. Shortly a school house was built and as the Union Sunday School was not altogether a success, Mr. Sadler withdrew and organized a Sunday School in the School House.

About that time, the Southern Methodist conference sent Rev. J.M.C. Hamilton to Mansfield and he organized a Southern Methodist Church and for a short time services were carried on at the school house. The congregation grew and about 1888 they built a church house on land secured from J.W. Harper, where they worshipped until 1923 when the present brick building was erected."

From Mr. Allen's article there was an organized Methodist Sunday School meeting at the Bowman Hall Church but not very strong. Mr. Sadler organized a Union Sunday School which also met at the Bowman Hall. The new town built a school house on the block just southeast of the present church building and because the Union Sunday School was not a success, Mr. Sadler organized a Methodist Sunday School in the new school house, and the minutes recorded previously in this article were indirectly the minutes of that organizational meeting. The group met in the school house until they bought land and built a church building two blocks west of the present building, meeting there until they built the present building in 1923.

The Rev. R.T. Cribb was pastor at the time the new building was built. Those serving on the building committee were: Mr. A.M. Allen, Mr. T.A. Cherry, Mr. C.C. Graves, Mr. W.D. Halliburton, Mr. John Lile, Mr. Rhad Ray, Mr. Latt Caldwell, Mr. J.F. Graves, Mr. G.K. Dixon, and Mr. J.C. Brown.

The pastors who have served the church have been the Reverends: J.M.C. Hamilton, J.J. Galloway, S.S. Key, Eaton Wilson, Sam Goddard, Lewis Wolf, M. Weaver, W.B. Aston, J.M.C. Hamilton, M.A. Fry, A.M. House, J.E. Lark (1911-13), Colquit (1913-14), C.H. Shermen (1915-17), Patchell (1917-18), Charles Bumpers (1918-19), Adams (part of 1919), Snell (1920), Lane (part of 1921), Blevins (part of 1921), Schooley (part of 1921), R.T. Cribb (1921-24), A.T. Stewart (1924-1928), C.H. Sherman (1920-31), W.T. Thompson (1931-33), H.F. McDonal (1933-35), J.E. Lark (1935-36),Elmus C. Brown (1936-40), J.H. Waters (1940-41), J.W. Faust (1940-44), Charles Wages (1945-46), James Chandler (1946-49), J.M. Harrison (1949-51), James M. Meadors, Jr. (1951-53), W.T. Watson (1953-54), Willis Harl (1954-56), Fern Cook (1956-58), Kenneth Renfro (1958-62), Otha Strayhorn (1962-66), J.J. Clark (1966-68), Jerry Canada (1966-69), Felix Holland (1969-71), Robert Tackitt (1971-72), Robert Hester (1972-73), John Benham (1973-74), Charles Reed (1974-76), Joe A. Hutto (1976 - )