Berryville Seventh-day Adventist Church

A Brief History of Berryville, Arkansas

The Work Begins

Beginning June 3, 1897, Elders J. A. Sommerville and H. Clay Griffin began a four-week series of tent meetings in Berryville. At the end of the meetings eight or ten people began keeping the Sabbath (Sommerville, 1897).

The Group Begins

Charter members Vinnie Jones and Janice Purdom in 2002. Photo courtesy of the Southwestern Union Record.

The Berryville church had a new beginning in 1936, when Ralph E. Cash held meetings in Berryville. In 1958, Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Areman moved to Berryville from California, and discovered they had been neighbors and friends of Bill and Janice Purdom, who were living in Berryville. Together they organized a branch Sabbath school and met in the community schoolhouse, the grange building, or the Latter-day Saints church (Carner, 1958). The Aremans showed a series of Bible study films and on September 13, 1958, seven were baptized in a little creek (Gunter, 1998).

Berryville Company Organized in 1959

On February 28, 1959, the Berryville branch Sabbath school was organized into a company (Record, 1959) and continued to meet wherever they could find a place – the home economics building at the county fair grounds, the United Methodist church, or in private homes (Gunter, 1998).

New company organized at Berryville on February 28, 1959. Photo courtesy of the Southwestern Union Record.

Berryville Church Organized in 1974

Charter members of the Berryville church in 1974. Photo courtesy of the Southwestern Union Record.

Darrel and Sondra Cox led out in the work at Berryville for several years. After Darrel’s death, Sondra donated land on which to build a church and church school. On March 2, 1974, thirty-seven members were organized into a church with thirty-seven charter members. In 1975, a new church and school were built out of town on Cisco Road (Sherrill, 1974).

A New Church in 1998

Two acres of land were purchased in 1988 in a more convenient location on West Highway 62 for the present building. The Berryville church on West Highway 62, was dedicated debt-free on March 28, 1998. Three of the charter members were present for the dedication: Vennie Jones, Daisy Workman, and Susie (Workman) Gates (Gunter, 1998).

Berryville church on Highway 62 West in Berryville, Arkansas. Photos courtesy of Marvin Gunter.


(1959, Mar. 18). Southwestern Union Record, p. 10.

Carner, Joe. (1958, Oct. 15). Ibid., p. 5.

Gunter, Marvin. (1998, Jun. 1). Ibid., p. 10-11.

Ibid. (2002, Jul. 1). p. 28.

Sherrill, E. Frank. (1974, Apr. 13) Ibid., p. 7.

Sommerville, J. A. and Holbrook, H. Clay. (1897, Jul. 26). Review and Herald, p. 12.

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