The Work Begins
In the summer of 1949, two recently baptized young people moved back to Nashville, Arkansas, from Oregon. They enthusiastically began working to spread the Adventist message in the area (Elder, 1949). In the summer of 1951, Mrs. Juanita Cossady started a branch Sabbath school in Nashville (Record, 1951). Many years passed before any further work was done in this area.
A New Beginning
About 2014, Gary and Jan Manly had been impressed by the Lord to move to the Nashville area to help Jonathan and Joy Baylon, members of the Umpire Church, plant a new church. This group was started September 23, 2015 (Baylon, 2017), with a group of Ouachita Hills College students faithfully attending each Sabbath. They went into the community making friends, giving away GLOW tracts and books, promoting upcoming outreach programs, and giving Bible studies. As a result of this work and an evangelistic series held by local members, Gary Manly, Jonathan Baylon, and Michael Smith, the Nashville group had their first baptism on August 15, 2015. During the summer of 2016, Josiah Payne and Natasha Brown spent ten weeks following up contacts, developing more contacts, conducting church and Sabbath school programs, passing out flyers for a prophecy seminar, and supporting a plant-based cooking class conducted at the city park. July 15 – 23, 2016, more meetings were held with Josiah using Share Him presentations for a prophecy series, while Natasha conducted a children’s program every night (Baylon, 2016).
A New Building in 2017
Before long, the Lord opened doors for the Nashville group to move to Mineral Springs, about seven miles away, where several members and a majority of their Bible study contacts lived. In early April 2017, Gary Manly received a phone call from a pastor of a local church in Mineral Springs. The church was going to close due to health concerns of the pastor’s father. The pastor and his wife had seen the Nashville church plant and felt impressed to donate everything in their church to it, as well as their space in Mineral Springs. They felt that the Adventist church would continue the Lord’s work in the area. The pastor’s father had been raised as an Adventist and his grandparents were devout Adventists. The pastor’s father also wanted to donate a folder of original letters that he had inherited from his parents containing correspondence with leaders of the church working with Ellen White (Baylon, 2017).
Move to Mineral Springs
The space the pastor had been renting would cost thirty per cent less and had twice as much room as the facility in Nashville. The Nashville church plant members moved on faith and decided to move the location to Mineral Springs. The Nashville church plant had its first Sabbath services in Mineral Springs on April 29, 2017 (Baylon, 2017). In December 2019, the name of the group was changed to the Mineral Springs group.
Return to Nashville
In 2022 the group moved back to Nashville and began meeting in the First Christian Church building on North Main Street and on June 16, 2022, the conference executive committee approved the name change back to Nashville SDA Group.
(1951, Nov. 14). Southwestern Union Record, p. 4.
Baylon, Jonathan. (2016, Nov. 1). Ibid., p. 17.
Ibid. (2017, August). Unexpected Blessings. Retrieved from issuu.com.
Elder, W. H. (1949, Jul. 6). Southwestern Union Record, p. 3.