Ola Seventh-day Adventist Church

A Brief History of Ola, Arkansas

The Work Begins

“My husband is going to corner you on the Sabbath question, and is going to find out why you keep Saturday for the Sabbath,” said a woman to J. W. Ladd, of Plainview, Arkansas, in 1921. J. W. Ladd had recently moved into the neighborhood. Ladd replied, “Please tell your husband I shall be very glad indeed to meet him, and shall be glad to have him ask all the questions he wishes about the Sabbath.” But before this neighbor had an opportunity to talk with Ladd, his daughter from Hot Springs, brought him a copy of the book, Christian Sabbath, by Carlyle B. Haynes. Then a member of the church at Hot Springs learned of his interest and sent him several copies of the Present Truth. And when he finally met J. W. Ladd on the Sabbath question it was to inform him that he was fully convinced of the truth taught in the book and in the Present Truth magazines (Potter, 1921).

A Sabbath School Organized in 1925

In 1925, as a result of meetings held in the Sunlight schoolhouse in J. W. Ladd’s neighborhood about two miles south of Plainview, several people took their stand for the truth. A Sabbath school was organized and the interest continued to stir the neighborhood. People began studying their Bibles as they had never done before (Record, 1925).

Plainview Church Organized in 1964

On July 18, 1964, Elder L. C. Evans organized a church of twenty-two members at Plainview. Some of the members of this church had been members of the Russellville church until it disbanded in 1961 (Minutes, 1964). A church building was already under construction on Cleveland Street at the time of the organization (Beeler, 1996). The new church was dedicated on September 17, 1966 (Minutes, 1966).

Ola Church in 2009

Forty years later, the Plainview church debated whether to sell their property and build in a new location or spend the money to refurbish their older church, even though it was in an undesirable location. They put up a For Sale sign and put an ad in the newspaper to see how God would lead. Meanwhile a friend knew of a piece of land in nearby Ola at the junction of Highways 7 and 28 and negotiated for a purchase. By the time the members knew the property was available, the Lord had sent a buyer for the old church (Jeys and Sandberg, 2008). The members rented a Methodist church while they raised money for a new church (Jeys, 2009). The Plainview church was renamed the Ola church in the spring of 2006 as plans continued to be made to build the new church in Ola (Minutes, 2006). In April 2008, the ground was prepared. After numerous storms with a lot of rain, the slab was finally poured June 13. The Mennonite community built the trusses and installed them during July. Gas and water lines were laid and county inspections were completed. The tile was laid by a church member and Bo Hutchinson was a great painter. In April 2009, the Ola church occupied their new building for worship. The grounds were landscaped and the parking lot paved and plans were made for the dedication (Jeys, 2009).

Ola church on South Scenic 7 Drive in Ola, Arkansas. Photo courtesy of Elder Stephen Orian.

Citations

(1925, Mar. 17). Southwestern Union Record, p. 1.

(1964, Jun. 12). Executive Committee Minutes. Shreveport, LA: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of SDA.

(1966, Aug. 3). Ibid.

(2006, May 18). Ibid.

Beeler, Charles R. (1996). A History of Seventh-day Adventists in Arkansas and Louisiana 1888-1996. Keene: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, p. 145.

Jeys, George and Sandberg, JoLynn. (2008. Sep. 1). Southwestern Union Record, p. 19.

Jeys, George. (2009, Sep. 1). Ibid., p. 20.

Potter, E. R. (1921, Nov. 22). Ibid., p. 1.