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BLYTHEVILLE, (ARK.)' COURIER NEWS ORGANIZED RELIGION IN GOUNTY WEDNESDAY.' JULY Some of the Pastors and Church Buildings Serving the Religious Life of Blytheville YEARS OLD liinrrant Preachers Brought W o r d lo Sctllcrs i n Forties Christianity's earliest foothold in /Irkiimas IIMS gained nearly -ISO years BBS when DsSoto assembled his band of gold-seeking adventurers and a group ol curious Indians about a lowering wooden cross, planted on the bank of the Mississippi river. ( That was 12S years before I'ne next while men were to set foot on Arkansas sail, however, omi exactly three centuries before there was to be anything resembling a Christian religions organi/^ition in Mf r si!Aip]>i counly. It was In 1811, five y:>.iru after the establishment of the county's first school .that 15 families whc. lived aloncr Use Mississippi river from Osccola lo Rosa beiiaii to hold rcliriot/s services. They worshipped in an 18-foot log cabin near nix- ora, iv'nlch was about the center of the scattered settlement. Trm Itoilircry, Hinci-ant Preacher The services were Irregular, bc- in? , conducted by an Itinerant pre-iclier wl'o would slop at the settlement for a few days, hold services, and move on to anothel sccllo i lci\lng an appointment for his return tho nest year. This minister was Hie Rev, Tom Roclgerr.. His congregation trudged for miles over swamp trails and tlusuih rane brakes, Tlroy sail? from memory the only hymn they knew. "Hark From Ihe Yomb/'be- cni> e tl c " were no hymn bonks. Tills SOUR n-as usrd to open and ch^e each service. It was in 1850 that 1113 county's fint "camp merlins" was held. A lar-= shed was built mar Osceola on th- sIL 1 now occunled bj- tho Lin Williams home, Fumilins llvlna ne.ircv evt-Midfd (he '.iosi)!talily of ll-cir honi", to those who attended this and similar gatherings which were lield later. Tiles? service' were held by preachers from other, stales w'V.o wore doing "mis- sioniiry work." Although the. smiliicrn. part ol the riimlv was S cll!c;l lon£ before tin- BUthevilIe s'jcilon. residents of tin vlciniU ha;t churtft service? as ^irl\ m 1853, In what was known us the S>cimore srh.iol house, sc cil -*d b"i iiise il was erected of .sy- r-morc lo^s This building slood on the iiDri'nwest corner of'the old Sawv^r umeleiy: an;| was torn down in 1803. James R Ruddcll served as superintendent of the SiL'Jiv s hcol for many years. Morris Virsl I'.istor Tre first resident pastor In Mississippi county was (he Rev. Francis C. Morris, a Presbyterian minister ficm Ihe Tusciimbhi Presbytery of Alabama, who was-.sent (o Osccoh in 1857. As a religious leiclei he is said to have worked with such fervor that, he ruined hi' health ' I'c began his work by building the csunly'K first church and n homo for his family. These he creeled-'on the ground of which a part, is now used as Violet ceme- t"rv He and his wife and theli sons and daughters "labored un- c"vm»l} among, both th c Presbyterians nnd those of other beliefs whs vo«htpp?d with them," This chur-h was destroyed by a tornado in l&,i and it was.27 years before I'ne members of this denomination again worshipped in a building thej owned Early records do not reveal much about what, remuneration these pioneer ministers received, but it Is c rtam that their pay was small, and living necessities were usually contributed by members of the c-n-jre-'itjjn ( o supplement the m:r.3cr salaries. Elylhc Ccmcs Here. A ' ort time alter the Rev. Mr. Mc.ris took up,his work there was con^denble immigration to the north end of the county. Among the newcomers was (h; Rev. it. f Blyiie p Methodist minister from Camp meetings ->vcrc W. V. WOMACK First MetiKnil.ii Church 11AKMON HOLT First Church cf Ilic Naznrcnc CLYDR BEUN Full Gospel Chinch C h 11 rch es of BI y lliev il 1 e Have Grown Steadily in Number and Infiuence ;Siiice )Early Years At. the turn »f the century Hty- 707 in Sunday school and 283 In theville had only one church build- Training Unions. Olllccis of -the. l"a. NOW I'ncirc arc more than a church are: J, F. Tompkins. chalr- . dozen, serving organizations with n membership of niiproxlinulcly •10f<0, The small frame structure eral- cd by Hie Mcthodlste liere In 1882 hns been rcplnccd by Imposing bulldliiijs with np-to-d'ale ctnilp- metit.. Most of the congregations own houses for their pastors, " While the nrsl preachers of lily- llicv-lllc had no salary, today practically every church lias a full lime imstor. studying the word of God and taking care, of ncljMbors when in need were the activities of the first churches. Today the programs arc varied nnd missionary work is i»n important activity in practically all of the congregations. „•: 1'irtt Church SliHStan.ls . •While lho Methodisis boasled t'he first church in Hlyllievllle, the Bap- tlsts also had a stronghold in Uiis commiinlly at the same time, al- Ilioiigli the Hrsl Knptlst church was not formally orgnntas;;! nulli iQna. 11 was in 1892 that Ihe MethcKl- ist church was built on Lake street, now the site of Ihe Sudbury school, after Illythe Chapel had burned be previous ycnr. This huildiiij; is still standing O n Lilly street. : Tile Blythcville Mef.m^ist church became a "si a I Ion" In IQOI «'heh Hie Rev. J. T. self was pastor. . . . r. Other early pastors were: the Rev F. C. Sterling, tii c | lov , p. K Tay . tor, the Re v. A. M. R. nranswi "'"' I '« . P. w. McOcc The . . . e white Rlvei conference met at ulv fneville in: the fall O f 101 1 . It was In 1912 that the church name was clmn.vd to the First Methodist church. Pastors who have served since that time arc- Hie Rev. A. E. Hollow-ay, the Rev. ". K. L. Beardcn. tlic Rev. W T Thompson, fhe Rev. W. C Wall «>n. (he Rev. G. o. Davidson, the Rev. J. M. Ilughoy, the Rev Jef- Jers>n Sherman, (lie R CV p Q Rorie and (he Rev. \v. V. Wom- A modern churc'n, creeled on : t ho corner of Main ' b " r " c<1 seventh 128. Thc present building was be- Bim in 1927. .The church now has n ••'ember- ship of almost icoo. it Vias for its immediate aim, tn addition to the regular program O f teaching S. h .l n L nl , ltl """"e throush the , . . man of deacons; Fred \v. Oarlock, church clerk; W. M, Williams, treasurer; Harry Frllrlus, superintendent of Sunday school; Miss Luna B. Wllhelm, B. T. U. director; Mrs. Murray smart, oriinnlst. '_Ki>iscoi>al i\Il.ssEiin in 1902 The several Episcopalian families who hud moved to Ulythcville during (he early days started n mission here sometime before 1902 records show, missionaries , sent here by DisMop Brown, th-j Episcopal bishop of Arkansas at that. time. Ainons; the first to be sent w-as a Mr. France, who held services In homes and nt tho old toinihou.se. Tiie services continued .Intermittently until 1!H2, when the present church was built while Mr. Moblcy was aclfng as missionary. W. T. Obersl, Mrs. R. n. No- letrand Mrs. J. K. Sartaln were in charge of the construction. It JOHN J. THOMPSON Church of Immaculate Contention . ••—^---^ -^vSfSSS€i?:;--t ALFRfm CARI'ENTEn First Dapltst Church STUART H. SALMON First Presbyterian Church CARROLL H. CLOYD First Christian Church -*~ —^Vull*L'^i=i':£7iS'.1,-:; lid le h f,c.i, an .uehitect.,. d.r.win, (: f the Ilm Mcl ho- tll.st ch.rdi, lowing it r.n it will rrpenr when First Presbyterian church, one of Blytheville's beautiful ai:;l \yiis dedicated April B, 10J3. The Baptist clmrch on October 15, 1908 Adcock lh« licv f \i Pnf^rs Hi Rev. c. C. liurke, 01 Marlumm. wiisj™ "«' old store building on West Rcv. j' M~ Fryar "tic H«v w l" miplonary until 1920. ttea Frank! Clnckasawba avenue. Tnc church LeRov'and the preset minister' Patrick became pastor. Gustavo '"« had several names. First it thc Rev Vernon F rhafa i !,', Drib, followed him. Allen Robin- W! " " vn "'"=' •"-•"—•'"- ••' ~r_'<."• veinon L. Chalfant, In son was made lay reader in 19211 until the church called LaRuc Wilmer. Tn 102-1 lack of membcr- Bhip compelled the congregation to return to n ini&s!on and Mr. Burke again took up his work of holding services montfily. Idcntincd with thc history of the First Presbyterian church is the name o! T. j. Mahau who, wifh 13 others, started the church in February, 1901, and who was one of its most outstanding members until his death. The .organization church has had several names. First it was the West Blytheville Missionary church. It was soon changed to thc Ciilckasawba Missionary church nnd in ign the name was changed to that used now. Two years after the church was formed, a iioii.se of worship was creeled on West Vine street,, and in igia the present building was dedicated At Hint time lhc Rev. A. E, Chapman was pastor. The Sunday- school annex was built in 1935 when the Rev. D. B, Cook was pastor, fhi.s e'nurch l s said to have done its best work during the lumber milling days of Blytheville and . . lollowcd two visits by the ncv R milling days of Blytheville and H. Latham, cvnngclfel and tip |)sonlc of that section say "Orand- Ucv. E. E. BhiEham nresided in motllcr s - E ' Morris made that Rev. E. E. Blngham presided ,.. the organization meeting, other charter members were Mrs Ma- 'Jian, Mrs. s. E. Vail (Mrs. Edna Mahan Smith), p. p. Satterlteld, Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Hale. Mr. and Mrs. C. J. crane, Mr. and Mrs F E. Chumblcv, c. W. Bcalc, Mrs W. D. Webb, E. E. Alaxandcr and J. E. Bell. The first pastor was thc Rev. J. s. Wood, who preac'.icct hall Ihe time lit Osccola. in isos the congregation had grown to 30 H was then that the lot at Main and Fifth streets was purchased for $1.000. Until June, 1003 the ,.. ,.,,. Pr «*yterians held n union Sunday . • • -- - -- • —i"i«.a lit "nome and ! -school with the Christian church oraart, thc paying of the debt on I nmt met alternately in that cMnrch .10 present educational building in | wllpl > the other church called a church." Althoug-,1 this clmrch has been without, a pastor for some time it maintains regular Sunday .school, young people's and women's work nnci holds church services occasionally, Thomas Bosun is superintendent ;,„[) j F Halsell is Junior deacon. Catholic; Congregation Grows Tnc original Catholic church in niytheville was built m the fall of 1909 when . approximately 25 members made up the congregation. Father pnerst was the first pastor, also serving the Osceola clmrch. This congregation has grown to 250 members and now owns and operates a school, and has n social hall (tho former church I'enn tl-"n starts j in this soction 1 '\titn thc Rev iir. Blythe, the- w. c R>c U H Moody, thc Sawyers and othn prominent families taking an active interest in promoting the CAM'S of religion. Wiile church work was gair.in? ground here otter settlements wcr^ not idle. The dsdicatiivi o! th? o!t hs? ed loj church on Carson Liki tool pla^e in 1853 when tnc Rev Bob Heely was In charge of tho c i r . culU Such families asAhe Wallers th" B"vel' and the DillinRham; were among thc Jtauncnest churci supporters in thc community am' they litemllj- flunj op;n thc rioor. of incir homes le> people from all parts ,of the "'county who came'tc attend the dedication. Itinerant Mefnodisl preacher: played a big part in carrying the Tiord of God to Louise ' chapel Frcnchmairs Bayou, Pecan Point Ores Bascu, and in fact everywhere that the thread of blur onoke nscended from settler's cab ln« These faithful campaigners Rodgrers, Woods. Ncely. steel; Rice Webb \v R Foster and Benon Harris dlspla.,ed tnc utmost con tempt for hardships and liuiver fearin, neither prowling void beast 1-alf savage Indians nor the dtadh malaria. O f the swampland The (Continued On Page 6} "- ^->"u.i=t: luiiii ncir new c, erece in 1927. The home was completed in 1310 other ' estimated value of Its prcp»r(.i- i= pastors have been- tho nnv ti ir S4J.OCO. - ....... uLimuig in ••••*•> n.i; ^im:i tunica canea n A " lu un<; lurnicr cmircn preparation for the erection of an | pastor, the Presbyterians moved to r ull(lin e > c " i0 ^ across from the auditorium the courthouse until t'.iclr new ncw c ' 1>lrch - «« tc rl in 1327. The iiaptisls Active J^arlv '" . . . The 25 Baptists who worshipped thn °'"" f ° r Sevcral 5'fars laic In . previously used for 'a Ecu- store r.nd saloon on what Is 'O',v East Main street, for regular K^fV" 1 ll wns 1QK before the Blytheville Baptist churc'.i' was or-' en. The Rcv. w. F. Wright •ttlcton. Ark., conducted a tent 11 „'"„ lcrc alld aft<:r l «-o weeks 1 called the Rev. Mr. WrijnT" io.. T,,e first baptismal service no.... y in 1903 linn of rhe Pi pastors have been: the .„,,. „. „. Patrick, the Rev. A. At. McLnucli- 1m, the Rev. T. J. Horns, c.ie Rev. H. II, Orr, the Rev. j. Walter Cobb. the Rev. Marlon A BOJ-JS 'he Rev. Marsh M. Callnway and the present pastor, the Rev. Stuart U. Salmon. The present, building whic'.i is one of the largest and most attractive church buildings here, was erected in 1321. Christians Orsaniu- Mrs. 1 .o. Wrstbrook is tin Mle remaining charter member of thc S4J.OCO. The pastor, tiis Rev. : John J. Thompson, who makes his home here and conducts regular services at the Church of thc Immaculate -i Conception. Ls also in charge o an ?«* Catholic •! Ih f. ., ~ - ... bi(»i [jv, \n (in Catholic activities In Mississippi county, tho churc'lirs at lliiffim and Osccola being served as mis 1019 the church ivas made a half 1 station with Dell. It became a full time station in 1320. Calvary Baptist Church •Twelve men and women met at the 'nome of thc Rev. T. R. shepherd In 1015 to organize the Lilly Street Baptist,church, now known as thc calvary Baptist church. This organization later moved to a store building on Lilly street, wnere the members worshipped' until 192( when they disbanded to join th... First Baptist church. A mission Sunday school was maintained in the store building. The present building on Lilly and Vine streets was erected in 1028 and was operated as a mission of I'ne First Bap- ^ 1:>1 j „, tis» church until 1932 when .the 1s pastor' Calvary Baptist church was or-' ganlzcd with 35 members. The beginning of the church of Christ in Blytheville was in the h c in e :;l:ows the Blythevillcii biggest church, tiic First Baptist, whic'.i has a membership of more (hail 1,100. v service and a radio broad- he Rev. Norman H, Rhodes It was in the .summer af ijprj that a news item was published saying the Rev. G. Langc, of Lafe. The church home of Ihe First Christian congregation. Ark .was of , .. , "" —* ' ""- >i>—• ••» i-iv iii t\,, _ \\u.-> jr.] llifi nif v ill <n fall of 1910 when the Rev. Mr, Lutherans cr ,™,le ,,„,.•, , , Catcberside got a few together tu i with a view of onen n<- a r ii-rf-r ,, worship at the old eourthouse. After | missicn here T™ "^cks ht l two weeks a Bible school was returned and amrU'd" for series started and communion service was to be held at st Stephen' F"held each Sunday. There are now 1 pal church its nres-.nl lr\ J ' >! ^.°" three ciders and four deacons who! first service had but nm" n--,-" serve this group which does not besides the Life <•; nlr i""tion h have a pastor at thb time. Bible services were \M Tr-K'Tn ^ school and communion services are. nrst, f.iircl and fifth 3 „ \£™ „, hew each Sunday morning and the [ each month wi'.h thc Mi'ssinn i»n, r young people meet on Sunday cv=-' of Ihe Western DisUirl sub™di •! " lllgs - • ! '»!,' this missionary entjrpri^ A A Jewish Sunday school was or-, Sunday school was starte-l bv Mrs ganizcd in 1023 with Mrs. Sam | Fr "'' «»'••>"» •• '—- •" " Joseph. Mrs. Walter Roscnthal Sam Orgcl in ciinrsc of the s... ices, held in homes. About this same time church services were started at the Masonic hall on Fri- s Rcichel a few rnont'^ bt-i and a '«l t'nerc are now 84 pupils ^rv-1 '""> Rsv, K. tl. Koerber. of Sil--- • i. -••... i,. ' '" Ehts ° M tilc h '5 h 8 rol 'I> »3 members when the Jewish Temple wa.s purchased late in 1924. The first services wers »c ImM • '""ii .*.-kvu.e ^(-niiiniijir ct ^^^^^^^T^^^^ later the Rev. James H. .Brook tutu VJAIVUUI DCIIIP SDrvCn H^ niic j moi, on viv,ua «ci^ thins from Ulythelille There a e ^ UCl «' '^, s - 8. Sternberj. later now five sisters in the school wiUi h ,Lf"\ ^E'',""? W ° ish " rd anci Sister M. Glrarda O S H L '''""d Jiedel. ln c congregation principal ' ' ' ~ I Brew by people in nearby town- I joining and now regular service Present • Baptist church )e builrthij. crcct- 2. Dur- 1C pastors H ' Dray ' lllC RCV ' Mr - M«"'. 0 Rcv - Mf- Fowlks, and thc or , Ir o PCrryma "- A[ '"= Doming " <hc. Rcv. L. D. Summers the Present brick auditorium was ere ' *d in 1912. The Ihrce stor" a ,n. x MS built in 192, , ilTdcr ,, e ,"^ crsjilp ot the Rev. w. w Kvm Pastors of recent years have b-en lAn , sf «f v - p "ryF. Webb, the R, Alfred s. Harwell and the Rev AJlreo carpenter, the present pas! •• "--a *i. -UJVA/tvc was called ar. 'We first pastor and so.well did thc congregation prosper (hat th c following year the pre.scnt clmrch u-ns brlit largely through lhc MTorts of th ; ' women, )words show. j. w. Uadcr was thc nrst person ever baptized in the new baptistry. Pastors who have followed (lie Rev. Mr Brooks have tarn the Rev. George Duffy, thc Rov, J. Murray Taylor, the Hcv. A P. Camron, the Rev. Howard Pe- Inrs, the !;„. c . E . ch ?,* V ', E V W ' scars ' thc '"--v. i-aui Marsh, tne Rev. E. K. Latimer, th? lev. V. E. Biittcnvorth an.-l the IS'™" 1 '' C '^ d : "•« Present rf . „,„ nr,. M 1150 with an active mcmtorsliip Pi 710. . The properly is valued at JoS.OOO and the annual budget is 510,550. That its members are active is diOK-n in an enrollment of ' : . unnsler pr(!scia »as erected iii 1923. This congrr- gation has the distinction of having no building Indebtedness. The fame man w ; ;o organized the First Baptist church Elder W F. Wright, organized the Second ton. MCI., served as vacancy pastor for several months until lh- R CV H. J. Klelnriiensl, called b-,- the mission board as resident i»i5->l"n- ary was installed in September Church of the Immaculate Conception, where Catholics Blytheville -.lid vicinity worship. n-anch of the Mother Church, Fir.sl clerk; Mrs. Dosha Mick, Stella. Johnson a Mrs. Davis started ajarc to" be held Tr.e Rev. A. T. McAnall . S J CW CIcvcla » tl - °- «'ho has been around unday school r.upcrintcndent. Scr- felt, th c call to com \vere hslrt at die Hotel Noble odkt c'nurch hero, conducted a" re -...,, V.VIIMIIV vt.il il IV \M^\ <i , or ^ i " lizlctl thl> Ijli0 Street Methodist church, which W ns pu| on the circuit with one .service ea-h montn. During that winter hom-s were used for services. In the snrins of 1914 the tabernacle was moved «P to the .present location and boarded up fa- winter use. On July 5, 1815, ivcfson Morris moved (he first spade of dirt for the foundation of the present building Pastors liave been: (he Rev, Mr. Craig, the Rcv. Herman'Hays me Rev. Ira A. Brumley. the Rev.' Erf- gar Miller, the Rev. j. L Prultt, M. F. Johnson, (lie Rev. \v. M'. vn> Hftyti- J °' llcr ancl Carulhers - GroKlh iin s [( rpn ,;.,,,,,, Tlie Assembly nf ocxl churcli was organized here November 8. 1023 with about a dozen members and now has a membership of 300. The church on Lilly street, its nrst home, burned two years ago and since that time the congregation "as had services in us new 'nome at Ash and Seventh streets. Its aim of evangelism for tlic saving of lost souls and promoting God's work Is carried out by 11 services each week, which include Sunday school and church, a jail service young.people's work, choir practice, superintendent, of Arkamas orl'm ' Vi» i7^H Mm /.hll'l-M, ...IH. ^n ' ;• : 350 ular program is carried out by fjie ized the church with 32 u-'ii'ibr' i . . They lalcr secured a | 0 . ',"";; s "P3"ntcndcnt of corner of Vine anrf STOiiis "i. j Mho °l which has and prcctcd a rfuirch" Th-",^,1" I i?. 5 ' T11C 1>lliltlil ': bershlp has ,,o«- grown to m .'. V Vm = strccts ' 200 enrolled In the Simdas " ' Tne chief work of this chii "get people saved from tho members. N. w. Tranlliam is the Sunday a membership of at Lilly and Khool. in Sea Rescue ' per in its fulness, (hereby sprcVl- ing -scriptural holiness liirouor'oiit our territory." The Christian Scisr.cs Socsetv was commcndfd tor his bravery *h<-u the Vrciirh liner. Atbnlique. vis. dcilroyed by fire In Ihe Eng- Channel. lias <isl>£d to be i(1i:e as p. souvenir.. Even's leg'] «ns shattered when his tug was shovrd by 101:311 seas against tho burning li>;.'.l of the ship. ' . Ecfcre the wrcc:k of the-Atlan- tlijun nas taken to Glasgow '. to bo broken up. the brass b'sll. Jgiiir;: 70 pounds, was removed ind .sent en to Paris, •where t lie directors cf the French.- Line will present it to thc young officer. Special Police Guard • uSubways in London I.ONDOK (UP>—Ssvrrnl million persons (ravel on Landon'3.-. subway and street, burrs (-very .day, ciu.i-.varn. of thc fact, (hat they are brinr wniclicd and cuarded by a tanci nf .-.ccret poticr. The police, plalnclc-thes men and women, arc employed by th? London Passenger Transport Board and have full police pox- ers under a special act of parliament. i- .- ElythevUle was accente 1 ' ? Cnannel - llaj > asSed to be to the grapevine's growth over auiiwnuie was accepted as a • given the iog bell of the Atlftn- arbor. by r.ie.ins of Its tencSrtU Word of mouth communication was called "grapevine telegraph" during the Civil War. m allusion to the grapevine's growth over an / '