A Brief History of Mountain Home, Arkansas
The Work Begins
There were some scattered Seventh-day Adventist families living in Baxter County at least as early as 1942. Occasionally pastors from other districts would visit and hold meetings, but apparently regular services began in Mountain Home in the fall of 1947, meeting in the Wesley Chapel (Baxter, 1947). On April 15, 1951, Elder Lee J. Meidinger held a series of meetings in the Midway Theater community building in Mountain Home (Baxter, 1951). Later, church services were held in the OYR clubroom at 815 South Baker street, and by 1959 had been moved to a building at 221 Hillcrest Road.
Mountain Home Church Organized in 1962
In the fall of 1961, Elder Ernest A. Lemon held a series of evangelistic meetings in an airatorium on Highway 62 East (Cree, 1982). As a result of these meetings, several people were baptized and the Mountain Home church was organized with eighteen members in May 1962 (Lemon, 1962). Day after day, the members, old and new, searched, phoned, and advertised for a place to meet, yet could find no building. Finally a small cabin in a trailer park was offered if they would remodel it. They jumped at the chance, and met in the small converted house at 1025 East 9th Street at 2:30 and 4:00 p.m. on Sabbaths. Then a new convert sold her home and contributed the entire amount to the purchase of property on which to erect a church building, a church school, and a home for the aged. Thanks to this contribution, the church was able to buy a fifteen-acre tract of land on Highway 62 West for a church (Cromewell, 1963).
A New Church in 1965
Ground-breaking for the first structure on the fifteen-acre site was on December 8, 1963. Several buildings were planned for the tract. The first building was a structure 30 feet x 60 feet that would house the congregation until the proposed church was erected. It would also serve as a church school (Evans, 1964). The members met for the first time in their new church on January 23, 1965 (Berg, 1965). In 1974, a new building was added for the church school, including a recreation room and kitchen. Members of the church added three new Sabbath school classrooms in 1981 (Record, 1981). Pastor David Copsey was the coordinator for the building program, drawing up the plans, estimating the materials needed, and keeping the project going. One major expense that was not figured in the budget was the baptistry which cost $700, but there were enough pledges to cover the expense. The remodeling project also included a twelve foot extension to the sanctuary, which gave room for the baptistry and a choir loft, in addition to enlarging the rostrum. Nearly 3,000 square feet were added by this expansion project (Cree, 1981). The dedication of this new expansion of the Mountain Home church was April 3, 1982 (Cree, 1982).
A New Church in 1989
On Sunday, September 18, 1988, the Mountain Home church held a ground-breaking ceremony for a new sanctuary. It was to be located in front of the existing church on Highway 62, west of the city. The new church, of frame construction, 48 feet by 109 feet, was designed to seat 200. (Record, 1988). The new Mountain Home church was dedicated on March 5, 1994 (Woodruff, 1994).
(1947, Sep. 12). Seventh Day Adventists Schedule Announced. Baxter Bulletin, p. 1.
(1951, Apr. 12). Services to Start at Midway Sunday. Ibid., p. 9.
(1961, Sep. 21). Meeting Features Special Tent. Ibid., p. 9.
(1963, Dec. 12). Groundbreaking Held Sunday for Church Building. Ibid., p. 22.
Berg, Merle. (1965, Feb. 24). Southwestern Union Record, p. 3.
Cree, Kay. (1981, Oct. 15). Ibid., p. 12F.
Ibid. (1982, May 27). pp. 12E, 12F.
Cromewell, Joe W. (1963, Feb. 6). Ibid., p. 3.
Evans, I. M. (1964, Jan. 15). Ibid., p. 3.
Lemon, E. A. (1962, May 30). Ibid., p. 6.
Woodruff, William L. (1994, Jul. 1). Ibid., p. 2.