De Queen (Beacon Hill) Seventh-day Adventist Church

A Brief History of De Queen, Arkansas

De Queen Church Organized in 1900 and 1903

The De Queen Church was first organized about 1900, but had dwindled to almost no members by 1903. It was revitalized and reorganized by A. E. Field. In April 1905, Eddie Taylor, a young canvasser, reported that he found ten adult Sabbath keepers in De Queen (Taylor, 1905).

De Queen Church Reorganized in 1922

In May 1922, the De Queen church was reorganized with twenty-one members by Elder Ellington B. Hopkins. They wanted to build a church so Mrs. Hopkins solicited in nearby towns and raised $135.00. The church members hauled logs to the sawmill and got rough-cut lumber to build the church. The little church was soon erected and finished (Hopkins, 1922). The church was later moved from its original location to the present site on top of Beacon Hill. Even after being somewhat enlarged, the building was only about eighteen by thirty feet. Well over one hundred Sabbath school members were crowded among the benches and school desks since the same little structure had to serve, not only as church, but also church school building (Lusk, 1943).

A New Church and New Name in 1942

On the tractor are Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Lale with a neighbor girl. The other three standing are, from right to left, Elder W. H. Westermeyer, William H. Elder, Jr., district leader, and G. W. Wolcott (Westermeyer, 1948).

Forty years later, the De Queen members built a beautiful white building, trimmed inside with natural pine. Many local visitors said it was the most beautiful country church in the surrounding district. Besides a large auditorium with ample seating space, there was a pastor’s study, and a classroom. The whole building was heated by an underfloor furnace (Lusk, 1943). The conference president, Elder I. C. Pound, came to hold the dedication service on September 6, 1942 (Record, 1942). At the time of the dedication the name of the church was officially changed from the De Queen church to the Beacon Hill church (Lusk, 1943). In April 1948, the lay members, under the leadership of G. W. Wolcott, started a Bible Service Training class. After six months of studying, twenty-four new members were baptized with eleven more still studying. One couple, Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Lale, and a neighbor girl came into the church under this effort. They lived seventeen miles from the church and their only means of travel was a tractor, so that is how they arrived for every mid-week prayer meeting, and on Sabbath mornings they were among the first ones to arrive at church every week (Westermeyer, 1948).

A New Church in 1970

Construction of the new Beacon Hill church in 1970. Photo courtesy of the Southwestern Union Record.

Construction began on a new church in June 1969, and the entire construction project was handled by the dedicated church members. The new De Queen church became a reality rather than a dream when the members moved into the new building on February 7, 1970. Through much sacrifice and the blessings of God the members had the church paid for before they could get moved into it. The church had a seating capacity of 260, and was dedicated Sabbath, April 18, 1970 (Hoover, 1970).

Beacon Hill church on Red Bridge Road in De Queen, Arkansas. Photo courtesy of Stephen Burton.

Citations

(1942, Sep. 9). Southwestern Union Record, p. 3.

Hopkins, E. B. and M. B. (1922, Jun. 6). Ibid., p. 4.

Hoover, T. O. (1970, Mar. 28). Ibid., p. 5.

Lusk, W. A. (1943, Feb. 3). Ibid., p. 3.

Taylor, Eddie. (1905, Apr. 25). Ibid., p. 2.

Westermeyer, W. H. (1948, Oct. 20). Ibid., p. 2.