The Work Begins
In 2002, the 150 member Fort Smith Spanish Church congregation, which was renting a church in town, decided to rent a church in the nearby town of Clarksville and start a new congregation (Aguila, 2002). In 2005, Elmer Catota, along with members of his family, traveled from their home in Fort Smith to Clarksville, driving 100 miles every Friday evening and another 100 miles on Sabbath to meet with fellow Spanish-speaking people in Clarksville. They had a vision of starting a new congregation. Under the leadership of district pastor, Elder Ramiro Alvarez, visitation, Bible studies, and evangelism soon led to a small group of people meeting in the all-purpose building of the Clarksville English church (Newsletter, 2007).
A New Church in 2006
In early May 2006, a couple from California, Ken and Ana Dunton, who were visiting friends in Clarksville, met the Spanish church group. They were very impressed with what they saw. Learning that the English congregation was wanting to sell their church property for larger facilities, and that the Spanish congregation was hoping to buy at least the Community Services building, the Duntons told Brother Catota they would help them buy the property of the English congregation and very generously purchased the entire property and gifted it to the Spanish group (Newsletter, 2007; Young, 2010).
Clarksville Spanish Company Organized in 2006
Through their faithful efforts the Clarksville Spanish company was organized on December 9, 2006, with thirty-five charter members. Their church was dedicated in March 2007 (Newsletter, 2007).
(2007, Feb. 1). Newsletter, Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, pp. 4, 5.
(2007, May 1). Ibid., p. 4.
Aguila, Jose Del, and Benavides, Raudel S. (2002, Jun. 1). Southwestern Union Record, p. 9.
Young, Mary. (2010). Clarksville SDA Church History. Unpublished.