Sulphur Springs Seventh-day Adventist Church

A Brief History of Sulphur Springs, Arkansas

Sulphur Springs Church Organized in 1894

Elders J. B. Beckner and W. F. Martin held tent meetings at Sulphur Springs in the summer of 1894. There were not many who attended, but the people were liberal with their donations. Before closing the meetings, five were baptized, and a church of seventeen members was organized on Sunday, June 24, 1894. Six or eight others were keeping the Sabbath, and it was hoped they would soon be baptized (Martin, 1894). The Sulphur Springs church was admitted into the conference at the August 16, 1941, conference session (Beckner, 1941).

sulphur Springs Church reorganized in 1908

Apparently the first church disbanded and in December 1907, Elder Watts asked H. Clay Griffin to go to Sulphur Springs and organize a company of believers into a church (Griffin, 1907). On January 4, 1908, Elder Griffin organized a church with ten members, and ordained officers (Griffin, 1908).

Sulphur Springs Company Organized in 1969

Over the years the members of the church became scattered. Then in January 1969, Mr. and Mrs. G. A. Shain called on Mrs. Bessie Nye, one of the faithful isolated conference members, and they discussed starting a branch Sabbath school in the area. Before leaving, they knelt and prayed earnestly that God would bless their efforts by providing a place for them to meet. There happened to be a family that was wanting to settle in the Gentry area and was contacted by the Shains about this time. They were impressed they should settle near Sulphur Springs and help establish the Adventist work there. They had been praying that they might be led to a dark territory* where they might work for God. The branch Sabbath school was started and their first service was held June 20, 1969, with thirty-nine people present (Voss, 1969). They began to meet in a store building in Sulphur Springs (Sherrill, 1973). The Lord blessed the efforts of these workers, and they were organized as a company on Sabbath, October 25, 1969, with fifteen charter members (Voss, 1969). This company purchased the building that had once served as the Sulphur Springs bank. The members did a good job in giving the building a facelift. The outside was very attractive and the inside was beautiful as well. They laid wall-to-wall carpet in the sanctuary. They also had two rooms in the back of the building for the children’s divisions (Sherrill, 1973).

Sulphur Springs Church Organized in 1973

On Sabbath, February 24, 1973, the Sulphur Springs company was organized as a church with twenty-eight charter members (Sherrill, 1973).

Charter members of the Sulphur Springs church along with Elder E. Frank Sherrill, Elder P. I. Nosworthy, Elder E. E. Johnson, and Pastor Larry Dittberner. Photo courtesy of the Southwestern Union Record.
Sulphur Springs church in 1973. Photo courtesy of the Southwestern Union Record.
Sulphur Springs church on West Spring Street in Sulphur Springs, Arkansas.

*A dark territory was an area where no active Adventist work was being done.

Citations

Beckner, J. B. (1941, Nov. 6). Review and Herald, p. 14.

Griffin, H. Clay. (1907, Dec. 31). Southwestern Union Record, p. 2.

Ibid. (1908, Jan. 21). p. 2.

Martin, W. F. (1894, Jul. 24). Review and Herald, p. 426.

Sherrill, E. Frank. (1973, Mar. 24). Southwestern Union Record, p. 8.

Voss, Howard H. (1969, Dec. 27). Ibid., p. 10.