Rogers Seventh-day Adventist Church

A Brief History of Rogers, Arkansas

Rogers Church Organized in 1889

August 20-27, 1889, camp meeting was held in an oak grove near the little village of Rogers, with Elders Dan T. Jones, J. G. Wood, and R. S. Owen holding meetings for a week beforehand to gain interest. Elder E. W. Farnsworth arrived for camp meeting to find about thirty tents pitched and some people camping in their covered wagons. On Monday, August 26, 1889, eleven were baptized and the Rogers church organized (Farnsworth, 1889).

Rogers Church Reorganized in 1933

Elder H. C. Hartwell

Apparently the little church disbanded along the way, but in 1931 and 1932, a colporteur, Henry Vought, began working in Rogers. He did personal visits, invited people to Sabbath school, held a few Bible studies in various homes, and soon began holding regular meetings in the school house several times a week. He then asked the conference to send someone to help him, so Elder C. W. Rubendall and his wife came, held meetings and visited homes for ten days, and held a baptism on May 8, 1932. Eight were baptized, three joined on profession of faith, and several more were preparing for baptism (Rubendall, 1932). In July 1933, Elder M. L. Wilson held meetings in Rogers and reported a Sabbath school with a membership of approximately seventy-five with attendance up to one hundred. The baptized membership of the company was twenty-four (Record, 1933), and on August 28, 1933, Elder H. C. Hartwell organized a church of twenty-nine members (Hartwell, 1933). A few weeks later more were baptized, bringing the membership to thirty-five (Record, 1933).

A New Church in 1947

In 1947, a new Rogers church was built. It was covered with flagstone rock on the outside and included a church school room and a Dorcas room (Wells, 1947).

A New Church in 1969

Newly dedicated Rogers church in 1970. Photo courtesy of the Southwestern Union Record.

On March 27, 1968, the Southside Church of Christ was purchased by the Rogers members. This building had a seating capacity of a little more than 200. A full basement supplied ample room for the children’s divisions and for the Dorcas Society. The first Adventist service was held in this building July 20, 1968. The church members, some former members, and friends set about raising funds to pay for the building and by the first week in October 1969, sufficient funds had come in to make the final payment on the church. The sanctuary was then carpeted wall to wall, and a new piano was purchased. These too were paid for in full and on August 22, 1970, the church was dedicated (Sherrill, 1970).

Church Growth

In 1981, Dr. Neil Mullins decided he would like to pastor one of the district churches. After the conference president, Elder Bill Elder, and the pastor, Elder Mike Chappel, discussed the matter, Dr. Mullins was given the Rogers church. Just after camp meeting in 1981, Dr. Mullins “hit the ground running” and on April 17, 1982, six persons were baptized. Two more whom he had been studying with made their decision to be baptized and two others made decisions for rebaptism (Chappel, 1982).

The church was sold to the Rogers Spanish church in 2006. Photo courtesy of Google Maps, 2014.

A New Church in 2008

In 2006, it was voted to purchase seven acres of land for a new church (Minutes, 2006b). That same year, the Rogers congregation sold their church to the Rogers Spanish church and met in the all-purpose room of the Rogers Spanish church until their new church was finished (Minutes, 2006a). Their new church on North 33rd Street was completed in 2008.

Rogers church on North 33rd Street in Rogers, Arkansas. Photo courtesy of Stephen Orian.

On February 2, 2019, the Roger’s congregation met to celebrate the addition of six new classrooms to be used for children’s Sabbath school and for community outreach. They also dedicated the new building and a sizeable piece of land to the Lord (Record, 2019). 

Rogers Church in 2019


Citations

(1933, Aug. 9). Southwestern Union Record, p. 4.

(1933, Sep. 27). Ibid., p. 3.

(2006a, Apr. 24). Executive Committee Minutes. Shreveport, LA: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of SDA.

(2006b, Nov. 30). Executive Committee Minutes. Shreveport, LA: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of SDA.

(2019, Apr. 17). Celebration and Dedication. Retrieved from swurecord.org.

Chappel, Mike. (1982, Aug. 19). Southwestern Union Record, p. 12F.

Farnsworth, E. W. (1889, Oct. 29). Review and Herald, p. 682.

Hartwell, H. C. (1933, Sep. 6). Southwestern Union Record, p. 2.

Rubendall, C. W. (1932, May 18). Ibid., p. 3.

Sherrill, E. Frank. (1970, Oct. 10). Ibid., p. 6.

Voss, H. H. (1969, Oct. 25). Ibid., p. 7.

Wells, F. D. (1947, Jun. 11). Ibid., p. 4.