The Fayetteville Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was organized about 1834 or 1835 at the home of Lodowick Brodie. Among its first members were Mr. Brodie and wife, Martin Frazier, Dr. Adam Clark and wife, David Reise and wife, a Mr. Avard and wife, a Mrs. Anthony, Mr. and Mrs. John Skelton, and a Mr. Cardwell and wife. They held services in Mr. Brodie’s house, and after the completion of the first court-house used that as a place of worship. Their first church, which was afterward burned during the early years of the war, was built in the spring of 1840, and it was about 1868 that their present brick structure was erected. David Reise was the first class-leader, and among their earliest ministers and circuit riders were Rev. John Havel, Rev. Bump, Rev. Avery, Dr. Adam Clark, Rev. Custer, Dr. John Hunter, Dr. Sanders, Rev. William Cobb, Richard Cardwell and Rev. Carlyle. After 1840, among those who preached here were Revs. Young, Ewing, Lively, Thomas Stanford, Benona Harris, and Rev. Danley.

The Elm Springs Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is a very old society, organized probably in the earliest thirties, by Rev. H. G. Joplin, its pastor. The earliest members received into the church, of which information could be obtained, was Margaret S. Webster in 1834, John B. Webster in 1839, Kilby Saunders in 1851, Sarah E. Deavers the same year, Rev. Jacob Pearson the same year, M. W. Wasson in 1852, Zachariah Ennis the same year, Marion D. Steele in 1857, Mary E. Steele in 1854, Catherine M. Glover in 1855, Sultana D. Pearson in 1858, Thomas F. Webster in the same year, and Elizabeth A. Webster in 1860. The society erected a neat frame structure in 1850, and on their reorganization in 1866 their present building was put up. It is a frame, valued at $400. Rev. Joplin’s successors are W. A. Cobb, G. Boyd, J. Banks, T. Stanford, M. D. Steele, H. M. Granack, E. J. Downe, S. D. Gaines, D. Sturdy, W. H. Corley, T. J. Smith, J. F. Hall, James A. Walden, C. R. Taylor, P. B. Summers, B. Williams, B. C. Matthews and J. M. Clayton. The church was reorganized in 1866, by Rev. M. D. Steele, and the officers were J. P. Simpson, W. S. Deavers and J. P. Birch. The present membership numbers fifty-four persons.

Sulphur Springs Methodist Episcopal Church, South, belongs to the Prairie Grove Circuit, and was organized about 1850. Larkin Tanksley, class-leader; Green Harrison, steward; Mrs. Tanksley, Mrs. Green, R. J. West and wife, John Mock and wife, Robert Houck and wife, Mr. Larabee and wife and a few others were the original members. They erected their first church soon after organization, about five miles south of Prairie Grove. It is of hewn logs, and cost probably $300. It still serves as their house of worship. The pastors of the society have been Revs. David Carethers, L. P. Linely, Thomas Stanford, John Mathis, W. W. Mathis, Dr. Andrew Hunter, J. W. Shook, —– Woods, T. J. Smith and all others who preached at Prairie Grove. Their membership is fifty-one.

The Illinois Chapel Class of the Prairie Grove Circuit was probably organized as early as 1842, and among its first members are Mr. Ross and wife and James Young and wife. Rev. Young Ewing traveled the circuit in 1852. The church is three miles east of Prairie Grove.

The Stonewall Class of the Prairie Grove Circuit was organized by Rev. P. B. Hopkins, August 6, 1887. For its first members and officers there were J. N. Wheeler, steward; H. Davenport, class-leader; Jesse Wheeler, J. P. Bennett, Sarah Bennett, S. E. Davenport, J. H. Davenport, A. Allen, Ada Bennett, M. J. Sanders, F. E. Mahery, J. Mahery, Mittie Parker, S. J. Bates, Mary Wheeler, M. A. Taylor, Tenna Bates, Virgin Mahery, F. A. Taylor and M. E. Allen. The society hold services in a school-house three miles west of Prairie Grove.

Viney Grove Methodist Episcopal Church, South, another member of the Prairie Grove Circuit, began its existence in 1853, under the guidance of Rev. David Carethers. P. B. and Lucinda H. Tucker, James Branenburg and Thomas West (two officers of the church), Adeline Howel, Armind West, James West and Jetta West constituted the first membership. The first church, a log house situated on the prairie west of the present Viney Grove, was built in 1854, but suffered destruction during the late war. The next church, erected in 1869 at Viney Grove, was built at a cost of $1,200. It was dedicated by Bishop G. F. Pearce in 1869, but was burned in October, 1844. The present house, a good frame structure, was built in 1885, at a cost of $1,500, and has not yet been dedicated. The society numbers seventy-six persons. The pastors, beginning with Rev. David Carethers, have been Revs. Young Ewing, Jordan Banks, Walter Thornburg, J. W. Shook, W. W. Mathis, —– Gering, Thomas Stanford, L. P. Linely, G. A. Danly and others mentioned among the Prairie Grove pastors.

Zion Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is a member of the Elm Springs Circuit, and was organized in 1857 by Rev. John S. McCarven, with the following members: Richard W. Cardwell, class leader; Mary L. Cardwell, William H. Cardwell, D. Cardwell, Jane C. Ford, Amilla Ford, W. H. Eidson, Susan Eidson, Wilson Cage, Mary B. Cage, David Willeford, Martha Willeford and Mary J. Ruth. The first building was erected in 1857; it is a frame house, valued at $500, and is located six miles northeast of Fayetteville. Their pastors since Rev. McCarven have been Revs. Josiah A. Williams (P. C.), Thomas Stanford (P. E.), J. Banks (P. C.), J. W. Shook (P. E.), M. Granade (P. C.), William Mathis (P. E.), E. J. Dawn (P. C.), J. M. Clayton (P. E.), T. Wainwright (P. C.), James A. Walden (P. E.), T. J. Smith (P. C.), J. J. Roberts (P. E.), J. F. Hall (P. E.), David Sturdy (P. C.), James A. Anderson (P. E.) and William Mathews (P. C.). They have fifty members.

The Prairie Grove Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is the center of a considerable circuit bearing its name. The society was organized in 1869 by Rev. David Sturdy, with the following as a partial list of members: W. D. Rogers, steward; L. T. Sanders, class leader; John Mock, S. E. Rogers, Martha Rogers, Julie Rogers, Margaret Mock, M. J. Sanders, Martha J. Mock and Mary A. Mock. They erected a good frame church in 1880, at a cost of $1,500, and dedicated it the following year, Rev. R. S. Hunter officiating. The pastors of the society have been Revs. David Sturdy, J. Atchley, Jerome Haralson, W. H. Carley, R. M. Tydings, S. J. Stone, J. F. Hall, P. B. Summers, C. R. Taylor, J. P. Calloway, S. N. Burns, B. H. Greathouse, T. J. Reynolds, Young Ewing, J. A. Walden and P. B. Hopkins, the present incumbent of the pastoral office. The congregation numbers 107 members. It was for several years an appointment on the Cane Hill Circuit before its organization, and services were held in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Mount Carmel Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is on the Cincinnati Circuit, and was made a separate society in 1877 by Rev. T. F. Bremer. Samuel Gilbreath, Luretta Gilbreath, J. J. Clayton, Lewis Collins, Sallie Collins, N. J. Christian, Elizabeth A. Christian, E. M. Tullis, Mary Holt, H. Fosselman, E. Fosselman, Carol Moore, Isabell Washington and about ten others constituted the original membership. They have a small pine church building, valued at about $175, located about three miles east of Cincinnati. It was built in 1866. Revs. T. F. Bremer, Robert Johnson, J. W. Stone, —– Dikes, P. B. Hopkins, W. M. Baldwin and J. H. Meyers, the present incumbent, have filled the pastoral office. The membership is now twenty-four persons.

The following list of appointments for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Washington County was obtainable:

1874–J. A. Walden, P. E.; J. J. Roberts, Fayetteville Station; W. H. Corley, Fayetteville Circuit; J. Harolson, Boonsboro Circuit; R. M. Tidings, Viney Grove Circuit; J. E. Martin, White River Circuit.

1875–J. A. Walden, P. E.; S. A. Mason, Fayetteville Station; D. J. Smith, Fayetteville Circuit; R. M. Tidings, Boonsboro Circuit; W. H. Carley, Viney Grove Circuit.

1876–J. A. Walden, P. E.; R. S. Hunter, Fayetteville Station; J. A. Hall, Fayetteville Circuit; T. F. Brewer, Boonsboro Circuit; A. Summers, Viney Grove Circuit; J. Shook, White River Circuit.

1877–J. A. Walden, P. E.; R. S. Hunter, Fayetteville Station; J. F. Hall, Fayetteville Circuit; W. J. Stone, Viney Grove Circuit; T. F. Brewer, Boonsboro Circuit; J. N. Pace, White River Circuit; D. C. Ross, Illinois Circuit.

1879–J. F. Hall, P. E.; F. A. Jeffett, Fayetteville Station; J. A. Walden, Fayetteville Circuit; W. J. Stone, Boonsboro Circuit; C. R. Taylor, Viney Grove Circuit; D. C. Ross, Illinois Circuit.

1880–J. F. Hall, P. E.; George W. Hall, Fayetteville Station; P. B. Summers, Fayetteville Circuit; J. W. Shook, Illinois Circuit; J. P. Calloway, Viney Grove Circuit; W. J. Stone, Boonsboro Circuit; J. H. Bradford, White River Circuit.

1882–S. H. Babcock, P. E.; T. J. Reynolds, Fayetteville Station; W. H. Corley, Springdale Circuit; D. C. Ross, Weddington Circuit; Frank Naylor, Goshen Circuit; W. A. Derrick, White River Circuit; S. F. Dykes, Boonsboro Circuit; S. N. Burns, Viney Grove Circuit

1883–S. H. Babcock, P. E.; W. Penn, Fayetteville Station; W. H. Corley, Springdale Circuit; T. J. Reynolds, Viney Grove Circuit; S. S. Key, Boonsboro Circuit; L. W. Harrison, White River Circuit; A. M. Elam, Brentwood Circuit; R. R. Moore, Goshen Circuit; W. A. Derrick, Weddington Circuit.

1884–J. A. Anderson, P. E.; M. E. Butt, Fayetteville Station; B. C. Mathews, Springdale Circuit; W. T. Keith, Cincinnati Circuit; L. W. Harrison, Illinois Circuit; J. A. Walden, Prairie Grove Circuit; P. B. Hopkins, Boonsboro Circuit; J. R. Maxwell, White River Circuit; D. C. Ross, Goshen Circuit.

1885–J. A. Anderson, P. E.; M. E. Butt, Fayetteville Station; B. C. Mathews, Springdale Circuit; L. W. Harrison, Illinois Circuit; J. A. Walden, Prairie Grove Circuit; P. B. Hopkins, Boonsboro Circuit; W. T. Keith, Cincinnati Circuit; J. R. Maxwell, White River Mission; D. C. Ross, Goshen Circuit.

1886–J. A. Peebles, P. E.; G. W. Evans, Fayetteville Circuit; B. C. Mathews, Springdale Circuit; H. A. Armstrong, Illinois Circuit; P. B. Hopkins, Prairie Grove Circuit, J. A. Walden, Boonsboro Circuit; J. H. Meyers, Cincinnati Circuit; D. C. Ross, Goshen Circuit.

1887–J. A. Peebles, P. E.; B. H. Greathouse, Fayetteville Station; J. M. Clayton, Elm Springs Circuit; H. A. Armstrong, Illinois Circuit; P. B. Hopkins, Prairie Grove Circuit; J. A. Walden, Boonsboro Circuit; J. H. Meyers, Cincinnati Circuit; J. R. Maxwell, White River Mission; J. H. Sturdy, Goshen Circuit.

Back to: Washington County, Arkansas History

Source: History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas. Chicago, IL, USA: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889.