Hot Springs Seventh-day Adventist Church

A Brief History of Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs Company Organized in 1888

Ernest and Florence Spring ca. 1935. Photo courtesy of the Southwestern Union Record.

In May 1888, Elder James P. Henderson visited various groups of Sabbath keepers throughout Arkansas. In the Hot Springs area he found several Sabbath keepers and organized a small company (Henderson, 1888). Several years later around 1907, Ernest and Florence Spring moved from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Hot Springs, followed shortly afterward by Florence’s parents, Amos and Mary Hacock. In Hot Springs they found Mary Cutter Belding searching for the truth.

Bonny Glenn Church Organized in 1908

Mary Cutter Belding (Ancestry, 2019)

Around 1875, the Cutter family moved to the Hot Springs area where their last three children were born (Ancestry, 2019). The second eldest son, Clarence William, became excited about the message of healthful living and began working as a colporteur (Record, 1903). He began sending literature to his younger sister, Mary Cutter Belding. The pastor, Elder Hacock, gave Bible studies to Mary and eventually baptized her in Mill Creek on July 27, 1906 (History, 2019). Mary Belding opened her home to hold Sabbath services around 1908 (Huddleston, n.d.). Will and Molly Cathey were also baptized, and on December 5, 1908, the little Hot Springs company was organized as the Bonny Glenn church under the guidance of Elder Hacock (Record, 1909). The charter members were Elder and Mrs. Amos P. Hacock, Mr. and Mrs. C. J Dart who were returning missionaries, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Spring, Mary Belding, and Mr. and Mrs. Will Cathey (History, 2019).

Mary Belding Huddleston, granddaughter of Gus and Mary Cutter Belding, painted this picture of her grandparents’ home where services had been held from 1908 to 1909, and donated the painting to the Hot Springs church. Photo courtesy of Kevin Burton.

Although Mary Belding’s husband, Gus, did not accept the Adventist teaching until 1949, he donated land to build a home for the Darts and some land to build a church (History, 2019). By August 1909, a new church building was nearly completed (Record, 1909). For the convenience of church members living in town, however, the church gave up their small church building and rented the second floor of the Carpenter’s Union at 307 Pleasant Street. In 1917, the church rented the Borchers building on Malvern Avenue (History, 2019). During this time the church became known as the Hot Springs SDA Church.

A New Church in 1957

In 1920, the church purchased property on St. Louis and Central Avenue. A one-room school met in a room in the northwest corner of the church. Also that year, Taylor G. Bunch baptized Arthur J. and Mariam Stumpf, who along with their three children and their spouses, have given years of service to the church (Bissell, 2004). On September 4, 1955, the church building caught fire and was nearly destroyed. The members arranged to rent the Nazarene church on Third Street for a few months while repairs were being made. Property was then purchased on Gardner Street and a new church building was completed in 1957. It was dedicated March 26, 1960, when Elder Martin Shane was the pastor (History, 2019).

Long-time members of the Hot Springs church L to R: Dwight Aitken, Virginia Aitken, Marge Overlees, Merna Spring, Earl Lyman, Pauline Homishak, Charles White, Pete Homishak, and Florence White (Record, 1999).

A New Church in Phases

Building chair Roger Trubey, school board chair Regina Ciupitu, and Pastor Andrew Adams break ground at the Weston Road site. Photo courtesy of the Southwestern Union Record.

In 1996 the Hot Springs church voted to sell their church and school plant so they could build a new facility. They also voted to purchase twenty acres located near the intersection of Highways 270 and 70. On January 15, 1999, the Hot Springs church property at 200 Gardner Street was sold to the Triumphant Temple, Inc. About a month later a group of Hot Springs Adventist church members gathered at their new building site at 401 Weston Road on Saturday evening, February 13, 1999, to witness the ground breaking ceremony for phase two of their three-phase building program. Pastor Andrew Adams, building committee chair Roger Trubey, school board chair Regina Cuipitu, and other members turned the first shovelfuls of dirt at the new building site. The building committee, with the expertise of contractor Julian Goslee, had begun work late in 1996. The completion of the fellowship hall in September 1998, ended phase one of the building plan. This building temporarily served as both the church and the school. The focus then moved to phases two and three, the school building and the sanctuary. The school building featured a day-care, three classrooms, a gymnasium, and a library, for grades K-8. Construction of the sanctuary began soon after the building for the school had begun, and these final two phases continued simultaneously (Bissell, 1999). The sanctuary, with a seating capacity of 500, was ready for worship and a grand opening was held for the new Hot Springs church November 9-11, 2001. The church was dedicated debt-free on February 4, 2012 (Record, 2012).

Hot Springs church on Weston Road in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Photo courtesy of Elder Stephen Orian.

Citations

(1903, Oct. 5). Southwestern Union Record, p. 2.

(1909, Aug. 17). Ibid., p. 2.

(1999, Apr. 1). Ibid., p. 17.

(2012, May). Ibid., p. 20.

(2019). History of the Hot Springs Seventh-day Adventist Church and School. Unpublished.

Ancestry Family Trees. (2012, Apr. 3). Mary Elizabeth Cutter. Retrieved from ancestry.com.

Ibid. (2019). Charles William Cutter.

Bissell, Juanita. (1999, May 1). Southwestern Union Record, p. 29.

Ibid. (2004, December). p. 8.

Evans, I. M. (1964, Jan. 15). Ibid., p. 2.

Henderson, J. P. (1888, May 22). Review and Herald, p. 332.

Huddleston, Mary Belding. (n.d.). Painting of Mary Cutter Belding’s home with plaque.