Monticello Seventh-day Adventist Church

A Brief History of Monticello, Arkansas

Monticello Church Organized in 1948

Laurence Paranto (Ancestry, 2015)

About 1946, Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Shain started a branch Sabbath School under a tree at Monticello. Two years later on Sabbath, April 3, 1948, was a high day for the Monticello company, as they became a fully organized church of seventeen members. This church was brought about largely by the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Shain who formerly lived in Benton, Arkansas. They were so thankful when Laurence and Frances Paranto moved to Monticello from Washington and helped in the district (Wells, 1948). The Parantos had sold their business in Washington and gone back to college to prepare to help finish the work of the Lord. They had heard about the need in Monticello and decided to establish a self-supporting school there (Carner, 1953). By 1950, the church had twenty-nine members and the Parantos were leading out. The Shains had moved away and started a branch Sabbath school near Eudora, Arkansas (Westermeyer, 1950).

A New Church in 1974

This is probably the pond on 7th Day Camp Road used for baptisms. Photo courtesy of Google Maps, 2019.

For many years members living in the Monticello area looked forward to having their own church building. For several years they met in the chapel located at the Monticello Farm School operated by Mr. and Mrs. Paranto. When the school closed in 1965, the members purchased property on which there was only a small house (Sherrill, 1974). A pond located on 7th Day Camp Road was used for baptisms (Bush, 2019). They met in the basement as they began to remodel, redecorate, and refurbish the building until they had an attractive church. The pastor, M. B. Reedy, and the members worked hard to complete the church so it could be dedicated. On Sabbath, December 15, 1974, the members and many friends met to dedicate the church to the Lord (Sherrill, 1974).

Monticello church dedication. Photo courtesy of the Southwestern Union Record.

A New Church in 1978

In October 1977, it was voted to sell the Monticello church property and purchase property on Highway 278 East (Minutes, 1977). Seven acres of land was donated for a new church and the old church sold for more than expected. The erection of a new church building began and many people volunteered their skills and labor until it was completed (Record, 1978).

Monticello church on Highway 278 East in Monticello, Arkansas. Photo courtesy of Stephen Orian.

Citations

(1977, Oct. 6). Minutes of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Conference Association. Shreveport, LA: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of SDA.

(1978, Oct. 19). Southwestern Union Record, p. 12G.

Ancestry Family Trees (2015, Sep. 19). Laurence Lyle Paranto. Retrieved from ancestry.com.

Bush, Debi. (2019, Nov. 11). Email to Rebecca Burton.

Carner, Joe R. (1953, Jun. 3). Southwestern Union Record, p. 9.

Sherrill, E. Frank. (1974, Jan. 26). Ibid., pp. 8, 9.

Wells, Frank D. (1948, Apr. 14). Ibid., p. 3.

Westermeyer, W. H. (1950, Mar. 8). Ibid., p. 3.