Union Hill Baptist Church
Submmitted by Charlotte West
Union Hill Baptist Church at Formosa,AR was located on the Van Buren County side of the Van Buren/Conway at Formosa,AR (about one mile east of Hwy 9 on County Line Road).
According to Esther Brewer Oliger, daughter of one of the early church members (M G Brewer), this church was 42 years old September 24, 1924. I am not sure when the date of the last service was here held, but the Dan Crownover family was one of the last families to attend there.
Two of the church minute books and two record books of Sunday School meetings have been found and copies of those are available at the Van Buren County Historical Society for people to view. One of the books has been indexed and the other one will be done at a later date. The last dated item found was an associational report in 1968. There is not a list of the founding members, but I suspect that the M G Brewer family was among them or joined shortly afterwards. Other members included the Daniel Crownover family and the "Weck" Winningham family.
According to an article in the Van Buren County Democrat (date of article unknown) in 1899 'Uncle Weck" Winningham deeded two acres of land to the Union Hill Church and the Union Hill Cemetery. The cemetery is an acitve cemetery with 226 known people buried there. In the September 1887 minutes of the Thirteenth Annual Session of the United Association of the Missionary Baptist Churches held with Cedar Creek Church, Conway County,AR messengers from the Union Hill church were W. F. Winningham, M. G. Brewer and E. F. Neal. In these minutes the pastor is listed as J Mayall, and the clerk is Jas Roach. Also in the minutes, one person had been received by baptism, one by letter. There had also been two exclusions and four dismissed by letter. There was a total membership of 50. The total contribution to this association from this church was 85 cents (the largest contribution was $16.55 and the smallest was 50 cents). Only one church in this association gave the large amount of $16.55. The majority gave 50 cent and $1.00 contributions.
Some of the members of this church were charter members of the Formosa Baptist Church which was organized in 1924.
According to The Uniform Associational Letter (dated 1941), the Union Hill Baptist Church at Formosa belonged to the Faulkner County Baptist Association. Messengers to the associational meeting in 1941 were Bro. W A Goatcher, Bro O M Bowman and Bro Huston King. The alternates for the meeting were Miss G M Ayres, Mrs. W A Goatcher, and Mrs. W D Crownover. The pastor that year was W L Wright, and other ordained minister of the church was Rev. G M Ayers. The meeting days of the church was the 4th Saturday and Sunday ( Sunday School only was held other Sundays--according to history by some of the descendants of the members). The membership for that year was 66 with 11 baptisms and one by letter. Sunday School enrolment was 48. Value of the church and grounds was listed as $1,000.00. The church clerk was W D Crownover.
The wood building that the church met in at that time is listed as being built in 1924 with one room and could seat 300 persons. One of the children of one of the members of the church could remember when she was a child that the seats were wood benches (without a back) which became very uncomfortable when the preacher had a lengthy sermon.