Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Submitted by Virginia Campbell
The following information was taken from the fall 1986 issue of the Van Buren County Historical Journal
MINUTES OF THE EARLY CHURCH IN VAN BUREN COUNTY, ARKANSAS
written by Stella Bradford Kellermeyer
I have a book called "Sowell's Chapel Church Book" dated May 10, 1873. It was given to me by my Aunt Mollie Hensley, she was the sister of my father and the wife of Johnny Hensley. My parents were John Mathis Bradford and Effie Bell Clark Bradford. My father's parents were Daniel and Artie M. Bradford and my mother's parents were Dr. James R. and Sarah Church Clark. Dr. Frank Clark, one of the outstanding pioneer doctors of that day was my mother's brother. The first entry in the book is dated March 3rd, 1883 at Middle Settlement, Arkansas. Aunt Mollie told me there was at least 10 years or probably more years of the minutes missing. The book is called the "Church Register of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The book was published by the Cumberland Presbyterian Publishing House, Nashville, Tennessee, 138 Church Street. Every meeting called "Sessions" met on Saturday afternoons and was always opened with prayer by the pastor, or one of the elders or deacons. I can never name them all, I do not know all the people who had a part in establishing and serving the early church for so much of the record is lost. I am proud of the fact that so many members of my family were among the leaders in their communities and the church. My great grandfather Bennett Bradford and my grandfather, Daniel Bradford and his brothers, John and Lewis Bradford and their families were faithful workers and members all their lives. I do not remember the old Sowell's Chapel but my mother told me where it stood, south from the old Mt. View School House, does anyone remember the old spring? It was close by. The old settlement, Mt. View, Star Mt., Eglatine schools and Church houses served the communities and county and state for every good purpose. That was where we went to school and church, besides serving the church they had their lodge meetings, debates, spelling bees, Christmas celebrations, etc. The children of several generations in the different communities got good and lasting education in their little one room school houses. I well remember Rev. J. B. Fortner and many many more who carried on this work....
THE FIRST REGISTER OF ELDERS WERE:
J. B. Graam, 1867, R. (Richard) Campbell, 1870, Bennett Bradford, 1875, T. Cook, 1880, N. A. Hensley 1881 N. M. Buie, 1881, Daniel Bradford 1886, G. W. Crouch, 1882, Lewis Bradford, January 1, 1892, John Williams, August 8, 1896, James Hooten, 1882 Deacon, Daniel Bradford 1886, Deacon, Elijah C. Campbell, 1886 and John Bradford 1892, Deacon.
NAMES OF MEMBERS:
Nancy E. Huggins, Arley Sowell, George Sowell, John Weaver, Sarah C. Weaver, Pop Hensley, Elizabeth Weaver, Manila Weaver, Marinda Weaver, Sinth Hensley, Rosa L. Crouch, Tennessee Wilson, James Huggins, R. Hensley, Sarah Hensley, Lewis Bradford, Daniel Bradford, James Bradford, Mahala Ann Cook, Joseph Huggins, O. K. Privitt, Lizzie Privitt, William Caldwell, William Campbell, Marion Linn, Nancy Higgins Rebecca P. Clinton, Lilliam E. Harper, Elvina Huggins, Sintha Sowell, James B. Fortner, Martha J. Fortner, Nancy A. Campbell, Richard Campbell, Elizabeth Campbell, Bennett Bradford, Thomas Cook, Nathan A. Hensley, Elizabeth Huggins, Louisa Gillam, Mary M. Huggins, Permela Hensley, Mary A. Caldwell, Ed Boles, Sarah E. Boles, Nancy G. Linn, Nancy Weaver, George Crouch, John Davis, J. T. Layton, Mary H. Layton, J. L. Childrers, Jane Childrers, Caroline Bradford, Isaac Carol, Leroy Huggins, Alice Williams, W. W. Williams, Maria J. Buie, Eliza Ann Hensley, Calvin L. Williams, Martha Ann Williams, John R. Braam, Anna Christifer, Ellen Huggins, J. H. Webb, Laura E. Childers, Emaline Bradford, Rodah M. Berry, O. P. Manker, Jane Manker, Martha A. Cook, Mary Weaver, Della Campbell, William Holder, Artie M. Bradford, Mary Ship, Nancy J. Tyler, Betsy Ann Cook, Jane Hooten, Anna Huggins, Margaret A. Harness, Rena Holder, Sinner Graham, Laura Mills, M. E. Fortner, S. H. Fortner, Josie Bradford, Arta Campbell, Eliza Graham, Mary A. Bradford, Trinda Estes, Margaret Bradford, Nan Williams, Lottie Sturtevant, David Bean, Almer Manker, E Estes, Bell Williams, Janie Bradford, Josie Bradford, Artie Eoff, Nan Williams Lotie Nixon, Louisa Malden, Andy Malden, Lizzie Hensley, Martha Hooten, Salina Bradford, R. B. Dunlap, J. W. Lincycomb., Chloe Lincycomb, Mathis Bradford, Rosa A. Bradford, Mara A. Langler, J. E. & Effie Langler, J. B. Graham, Nancy Bradford, Mandy Bradford, Lizzie Bradford, Lillie Brown, Ollie Campbell, Effie C. Bradford, E. A. Milligan, Mary Holley, S. R. Feemster, Josie Harper, Sina Arnold, Betsa Ann Cook, Levy Davis and Larrah Mills.