THE SCHOOL BEGINS
At the conference constituency meeting in Clarksville, Arkansas, in August, 1893, the conference president, J. M. Rees, made an appeal for the establishment of a conference school at Springdale, Arkansas (Beeler, 1996). Others spoke in favor of it and it was voted for the Conference Committee to make the proper arrangements for establishing a boarding school (Rees, 1893). In 1899, the ten-grade school was started in the Springdale church with Daisy Yates as the teacher. Two acres of land were donated and a twenty-four foot by thirty-six foot two-story school was built free of debt. The 1900-1901 school year was taught by d E. Huffman. Huffman opened the school for 1901-1902 year assisted by Sadie Wilson, although due to sickness, the term was completed by J. C. Anderson (Field, 1902). The 1903-1904 school year began with twenty-four resident students, but plenty of room for more. J. S. Rouse was the teacher (Heermann, 1903).
The school closed for a short time and reopened in 1942, and is still in operation today (Knight and Hutchinson, 2001). In 1945, the original lot was sold and the church building moved to 612 West Grove Street, a quieter section of town. At this site, two schoolrooms were added. In 1955, the inside of the building was remodeled and updated (Knight and Hutchinson, 2001) and in 1961 a building program saw the completion of a new school and a community service room with a strong program in operation.
By 1969, realizing the membership was outgrowing this building, the church property was sold and a lot was purchased on East Highway 412. By 1971, a new brick building was completed to accommodate a two-teacher school with a large gymnasium and a kitchen. They opened that school year with thirty students. Church services were held in the gym until the new church was ready in 1979 (Knight and Hutchinson, 2001). In 1981, the new church was dedicated (Beamesderfer, 2000) .
Over the years, continued growth and the addition of a shopping mall next door made it necessary to move again. In February 2000 the property was sold and ten acres were purchased on West Don Tyson Parkway, on which to build a new facility to house a school, fellowship hall, multi-purpose gym, community outreach center, and sanctuary. Volunteers worked together to build a new church and school facility and the first worship service in the new sanctuary took place August 11, 2001, with 130 people in attendance (Knight and Hutchinson, 2001).
Beamesderfer, Bly. (2000, Jul. 1). Southwestern Union Record, p. 18.
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. 48.
Field, M. A. (1902, Dec. 8). Southwestern Union Record, p. 1.
Heermann, F. E. (1903, Sep. 21). Ibid., p. 2.
Knight, Mary and Hutchinson, Ruth. (2001, Sep. 1). Ibid., p. 5.
Rees, J. M. (1893, Oct. 24). Review and Herald, p. 12.