Mammoth Spring Seventh-day Adventist Church

A Brief History of Mammoth Spring, Arkansas

The Work Begins

Elder James P. Henderson

Near Mammoth Spring in Fulton County, in April and May 1889, Elder James Power Henderson held meetings in a village church, and men left their work to listen, so that the church was filled even on weekdays. One family, who were already Sabbath-keepers, came twelve miles to attend. Some six years previously, while moving from Texas, they had camped one evening not far from where Elder Robert M. Kilgore was holding a tent meeting. They heard him preach one sermon, bought some literature, and subsequently began keeping the Sabbath. Until Elder Henderson’s meetings they had heard no further preaching, and did not know any other Adventists (Henderson, 1889).

Mammoth Spring Church Organized in 1889

Learning of another lady who was keeping the Sabbath in this vicinity, Elder Henderson went to visit her. She was eighty-one years of age, and was firmly established in the Adventist truth. Her niece in Washington City (now Washington D. C.) had been sending her Adventist literature for several years, and for two years or more the lady had been living out the truth. With a firm, steady hand she signed her name to the church covenant, and was baptized. Others in this area showed strong interest in the truth. This elderly lady then informed Elder Henderson of a widow lady and family nearby, who were “almost persuaded.” Henderson spent a few hours visiting with them and three of the family signed the Sabbath keeping covenant. The mother was baptized, and united with the church. When Elder Henderson left, twelve were united in church organization, and many others were deeply interested (Henderson, 1889).

Mammoth Spring Church ReOrganized 1962

Elder and Mrs. Ernest. A. Lemon (Record, 1960)

Apparently the church disbanded over the years, but in 1960 a branch Sabbath school was started by members in the district (Green, 1961). The Sabbath school grew quickly and the Mammoth Spring church was reorganized August 19, 1962, following evangelistic meetings held by Elder Ernest A. Lemon (Record, 1965). The group first met in the basement of a building. Elder J. A. Estey, who retired in Mammoth Spring in 1964, led the group in building a Dorcas welfare building which proved to be so nice that the Mammoth Spring services were moved there (Schneider, 1967).

A New Church in 1967

In the fall of 1966, the church members decided to begin construction of a new church building on the basement foundation of where they had previously met, although there were no funds available. Almost miraculously the building was erected under the direction of Elder Estey with donated money, materials, and labor as the townspeople looked on in amazement. Many of the neighbors commented on the attractiveness of the building on the previously unsightly lot. The average attendance went from fifteen to thirty-five (Schneider, 1967). The Mammoth Spring church at Fifth and Archer Streets held their dedication services on Sabbath, August 19, 1967 (Estey, 1967). In the summer of 1978, George Ellis, a teacher at Gentry Elementary school held evangelistic meetings in Mammoth Spring, helping the church to grow (Record, 1978).

Mammoth Spring church in 1967. Photo courtesy of the Southwestern Union Record.

Early in 1998, the members of the Mammoth Spring church worked to make their church more attractive. They painted the church, put up a new church sign and yard lights, and remodeled the two upstairs restrooms (Neptune, 1998).

Andy Cochran by the new church sign, with Gene McBroom and Ray Gene in the background sawing boards for the restroom remodeling (Neptune, 1998).
Mammoth Spring church on North 5th Street in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas. Photo courtesy of Google Maps, 2013.

Citations

(1960, Apr. 20). Southwestern Union Record, p. 4.

(1965, Apr. 7). Ibid., p. 3.

(1978, Aug. 10). Ibid., p. 12B.

Estey, J. A. (1967, Aug. 12). Ibid., p. 8.

Green, George. (1961, Oct. 4). Ibid., p. 4.

Henderson, J. P. (1889, Jun. 25). Review and Herald, p. 410.

Neptune, Rita. (1998, Apr. 1). Southwestern Union Record, p. 11.

Schneider, D. C. (1967, Sep. 23). Ibid., pp. 7, 8.