SOME ARKANSAS BAPTIST HISTORY
J. L. Brown
From the Baptist & Commoner - Little Rock, Ark., Aug. 1, 1928, pg. 4 & Aug. 8,
1928, pg. 3
Via Eld. W. M. Owen, via Eld. Ben M. Bogard has fallen into my hands an old
leather bound book. This book was first the property of Jamestown Baptist Church
(Cedar Grove), but later fell into the hands of the Denmark Baptist Church
(known as Independent Church). The book does not tell as how it came to change
hands and as the change took place about 81 years ago, 6 years before I was
born, I'm not going to tell you, but will content myself by giving you some
points of information, followed by some personal reminiscent notes.
The Cedar Grove Baptist Church, now known as the Jamestown Baptist Church, 7
miles northwest of Batesville, in Independence Co., Ark., was organized in the
state of Tennessee on the 1st Saturday in Sept. 1842.
After the organization the church removed enmass to Ark. & settled in Greenbriar
Creek that empties into White River above Bateville.
The church was organized with 16 members. The following is a list of its charter
members: Bird Pate, Reuben Pate, Nancy Hankins, John Pate, Daniel James, Malinda
James, Thomas Hankins, Verlinda Hankins, Gordon Hankins, Emanda Hankins,
Presilla Hankins, Malina Fouse, David Hankins, Elizabeth Hankins & Henry T.
In the group are 16 names
In 1877, just 35 years after its organization, that church in conference elected
me to serve as pastor. I have served it as pastor first & last, 20 years, and
was personally aquainted with 5 of her charter members, viz: David Hankins,
Elizabeth Hankins, his wife, Daniel James, Malinda James, his wife and Henry
Only 2 of them are James,
And Malinda James I state
Was at first Malinda Pate,
They had 8 Hankins in this house
Only one Malinda Fouse,
While the record plainly states
That the other 5 were Pates.
Jamestown was named after Daniel James.
Daniel James & Malinda James were the parents of Pheba Dumas, who is over 80
years old & lives alone just across the road from the Jamestown church house.
There are 5 generations of their posterity living near Jamestown.
David & Elizabeth Hankins were the parents of Bob Hankins at Locust Grove, Mrs.
Susan Pate of Oklahoma, and Elizabeth Fike, wife of W.W.(Bud) Fike at Mountain
View. Henry Hawkins was the father of Andy Hankins at McHug, and grandfather of
Henry Hankins in Oil Trough, and Birdie Fink of Newark. Thomas Hankins &
Verlainda Hankins were the grandparents of Dan Lovel at Jamestown, and the
great-grandparents of Cloud Lovel at Locust Grove, Adda Lovel of Batesville &
Sarah Luna of Mountain View. These mentioned are not kinfolks; I have not room
to mention all of them.
Before I quit talking about the Jamestown Church I must tell you that John M.
Barnes & Harriet (Helms) Barnes, his wife, were members of the Jamestown Church.
John was church clerk when I began preaching there over 50 years ago. They were
married near Jamestown on the 19th day of December, 1865, 62 years ago last Dec.
You that have my "Brown Scrap Book" turn to page 117 & you will find a poem
written on their golden wedding day.
I should have stated in my other article that when the Jamestown Church was
organized in Tennessee in Sept., 1842, that it was organized by the following
preachers: Duke Kimbrough, Isaac Kimbrough, A. Bowers, Elder Morris.
THE CHURCH AT DENMARK - About 1846 Elder John Goad moved from Kentucky & settled
at Denmark. Some of the Hankins & Pates & Lovells from Tenn., also settled in
that section. So we read that they met at their meeting house on the 8th day of
Aug., 1846, at which time they appointed Bro. Willis Hankins to procure a church
At their Sept. meeting Brother Gordon Hankins was elected church clerk & they
recieved a book from Bro. Willis Hankins for keeping their records.
Although holding their regular meetings they never organized & declared
themselves a church until Jan. 28, 1847.
Elder John Goad served as pastor from the organization of the church till 1863.
He was elected in 1850 to serve for a term of 5 years.
Among the names of the members we find Dr. P.S.Middleton, Dr. Tom Vick, Thomas
Gifford, Aaron McDougal, John Ranson, Samuel Hammonds, Wesley Thompson, Willis
Hankins, Nicholas Lovel, Sam L. Coffman, Tom Vinson, James Robert Scantlin,
Elijah Fraser, Felix Pickard, Thomas Mason, Polley Rushing, Owen, et al.
Moving into the Union Hill settlement only a few miles from Denmark in 1872 I
became personally aquainted with most of the above named persons. I held
meetings with Dr. Parks S. Middleton in 1876, at which time he was pastor at
Pleasant Plains. Dr. Middleton was a fine old man. His daughter, Mrs. Sue
Collins, is living at Pangburn. Bro. Middleton had 2 sons, William & Robert,
that were Baptist preachers (both dead). Robert Middleton's family lives at
Bradford, Arkansas. Dr. Turner Vick was one time my family doctor. His son, S.
B. Vick, was a preacher. I preached with him in my early ministry. He was
grandfather to Elder Carlin Vick, also of Robert Vick, here in Little Rock.
Samuel L. Coffman, for some 15 years clerk of the church, was a man of
unimpeachable character. Elder W. E. Owens, of Bald Knob, married Sam Coffman's
sister, Laura, over 50 years ago. My brother married one of Sam Coffman's
daughters, Rhoda. Sam Coffman is grandfather to Bro. John Coffman that works in
the bank at Keo, ond of Nanie Throgmarten, at Bradford; also of Robert & Carlin
Vick & Dr. Ed Fraser.
Elijah & Holland Fraser are grandparents to all the Frasers at Bradford, Union
Hill, McCrory & other places. John Wesley Thompson's grandsons, Joe, Frank &
Henry, live near Hickory Grove in Jackson Co.
Aaron McDougal (Buck), was the father of Jim McDougal at Bradford, while Jim's
wife is the granddaughter of Elder Thomas Mason; Will Mason in Uncle Lomey's
William McDougal was the father of Mrs. George Fraser at Bradford & grandfather
of Elder "Dock" Scroggins at Union Hill. John P. Ransom was the grandfather of
the Millikin brothers at Bradford.
Nicholas Lovel was uncle to Dan Lovel at Jamestown. Nicko Lovel married Nancy
Good, daughter of Elder John Good, (Would this be Goad?) Mrs. James Westmoreland
(Nattie?) at Bradford is their daughter.
Bro. Felix Owen was the father of our Bro. W. E. Owen, at Bradford.
Robert Scantlin was grandfather to all the Scantlins about Bradford & Union
Polley Rushing was the grandmother of Dan & Dick Moore at Newark.