Churches

Church organization in 1908, location unknown.

Remember the Sabbath, and honor the place where I am worshiped. I am the Lord.

Leviticus 26:2 ICB


Church and Tithe Statistics
History of Individual Churches, Companies, and Groups

The Work Begins

The Sabbath message was introduced into Arkansas and Louisiana by Adventists in northern states sending tracts and publications to friends and relatives in this area. Canvassers also came, working mainly in the northern and central parts of Arkansas, and around New Orleans in Louisiana. Home Bible readings and neighborhood meetings were the result of this early work. As interests grew and became known, workers came from other states, where the work had begun as early as 1858. This early work in Arkansas and Louisiana was done by individuals with no headquarters and no general organization.

Early Sabbath Schools and Churches In Arkansas

In 1884 workers were sent by the General Conference to Arkansas to hold tent meetings in Springdale. Over the next two years, by use of public tent meetings and canvassers, the work spread from Springdale to about one-third of the state. These tent meetings resulted in people signing what was known as a “Sabbath Keeping Covenant” in which they pledged to keep the “commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” by supporting Sabbath meetings and Sabbath schools. These early groups of Sabbath keepers were then organized into a Sabbath school, or a church when a few had been baptized.  

Arkansas Churches

In July 1886, Elder Dan T. Jones, president of the Missouri conference, stated that in Arkansas there were 107 organized Sabbath keepers in the Springdale and Siloam Springs area, 120 in the state, and about fifty others keeping the Sabbath that belonged to no organization (Jones, 1886). Churches in the state included Springdale, Star of the West, Cincinnati, Robinson, Hindsville and Siloam Springs, along with interests in Little Rock and Fayetteville. By 1888, when the Arkansas Conference was established, there were ten recognized churches: Brentwood, Cincinnati, Hill Top (Harrison), Hindsville, Little Rock, Malvern, Mt. Pleasant, Springdale, Star of the West, and Siloam Springs. Sixteen Sabbath schools were organized which included Benton, Brentwood, Cincinnati, Eureka Springs, Hill Top, Harrison, Little Rock, Lonoke, Malvern, Mt. Pleasant, O’Day, Siloam Springs, Springdale, Star of the West, Texarkana, and West Fork (Youth Instructor, 1888).

The Work in Louisiana

In Louisiana, the work was mainly centered in the city of New Orleans. Upon learning of the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition that was to be held in there in 1884 to 1885, and seeing the opportunity to contact people from all over the world with the gospel, the General Conference sent the Texas Conference president, Elder Robert Meek Kilgore, to open a city Mission in New Orleans. The principal factors contributing to church growth were annual camp meetings, canvassing, and tent crusades and the few workers in Louisiana were constantly involved in one of these methods of spreading the message.

Louisiana Churches

By 1886 there were two churches, New Orleans and Marthaville, neither of them very strong. Other early churches that were established in Louisiana by 1901 when the Louisiana Conference was organized, were those in Hope Villa and Mansfield (The Daily Signal1901) and New Orleans No. 2, a black church. Sabbath schools and companies included Bastrop, Hammond, Lake Charles, Shreveport, and Welsh. At the end of the year, the conference reported six churches and one company, 178 members, and two ordained ministers (Bulletin, 1902).

Manual for Ministers Published in 1926

A new manual that explained the accepted format for common services was published in 1926. Genuine morocco leather for $1.00 (Review, 1926).

History of Individual Churches, Companies, and Groups

Churches are listed by general location which may not reflect the church’s actual name or suburb. List reflects mainly current organizations. Other churches came and went over the years.

Alexandria area, LouisianaLockport, Louisiana
Alma, ArkansasMagnolia, Arkansas
Amity, ArkansasMalvern, Arkansas
Arkadelphia, ArkansasMammoth Spring, Arkansas
Batesville, ArkansasMandeville, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, LouisianaMarshall, Arkansas
Benton, ArkansasMarthaville, Louisiana
Bentonville, ArkansasMena, Arkansas
Berryville, ArkansasMinden, Louisiana
Bogalusa, LouisianaMineral Springs, Arkansas
Bonnerdale, ArkansasMonticello, Arkansas
Booneville, Arkansas Mountain Home, Arkansas
Brentwood, ArkansasMountain View, Arkansas
Clarksville, ArkansasMt. Ida, Arkansas
Clinton, ArkansasNew Iberia, Louisiana
Conway, ArkansasNew Orleans area, Louisiana
De Queen, ArkansasOla, Arkansas
Decatur, ArkansasOzark, Arkansas
Denham Springs, LouisianaPine Bluff, Arkansas
DeRidder, LouisianaPocahontas, Arkansas
El Dorado, ArkansasRogers, Arkansas
Fayetteville, ArkansasRussellville, Arkansas
Forrest City, ArkansasSearcy, Arkansas
Fort Smith, ArkansasSherwood, Arkansas
Gentry, ArkansasShreveport, Louisiana
Glenwood, ArkansasSiloam Springs, Arkansas
Gonzales, LouisianaSlidell, Louisiana
Hammond, LouisianaSpring River, Arkansas
Harrison, ArkansasSpringdale, Arkansas
Havana, Arkansas Springtown, Arkansas
Heber Springs, ArkansasSulphur Springs, Arkansas
Hot Springs, ArkansasTexarkana, Texas
Houma, LouisianaTontitown, Arkansas
Huntsville, ArkansasUmpire, Arkansas
Jonesboro, ArkansasVan Buren, Arkansas
Jonesboro, LouisianaWaldron, Arkansas
Lafayette, LouisianaWest Helena, Arkansas
Lake Charles, LouisianaWest Monroe, Louisiana
Lincoln, ArkansasYellville, Arkansas
Little Rock, ArkansasZachary, Louisiana

Citations

(1888, Sep. 5). Youth Instructor, p. 6.

(1902). General Conference Bulletin, First Quarter, p. 596.

(1926, Feb. 4). Review and Herald, p. 23.

Jones, Dan T. (1886, Jul. 6). Ibid., p. 16.