Churches

Transcribed by : Tina Easley

Rev.J.D.J. Faulkner furnished from Memory the information for the following ,interviewed , July 29, 1946.

Mt.Zion Church was organized in 1840 by Rev. William Nutt at the residence of Wiley Hutchins. Charter members were:Wiley Hutchison and wife, Sterling Newsom, S.W. Roberts and wife, R.Dennis and wife, Archibald Jones and wife , John Ferguson and wife, The first church was held in the log school house.

Fairview Church was organized in 1857. William Smith and his wife, Mr Bobo and wife, Mr.Duncan and wife, Mr.Gulley and wife and son were among the charter members. John Pierce was the first pastor.

Pleasant Grove Church at Finch was organized in 1872,with Thomas D. Lloyd as first pastor. Some of the charter members were Obadiah Newsom and wife, Robert Arnold and wife, W.D. Hester and wife.

The church at Freindship was organized in 1866. John Pierce was first pastor there. Charter members were:Wiley Thorn and wife, John McHaney and wife, Samuel Burton and wife, Mrs. Jane Sexton, Mrs. Charity Burton, Mr. Shearer and wife.

The church at Unity was organized in 1879. J.F.Mills was the first pastor.Wash Riley and wife , William Riley and wife, Mr. Harper and wife and two daughters, Wright Wetherly and wife, were charter members.

Epsaba Church was organized in 1875 by Rev.J.T. Edwards. Rev. G.H. Faulkner was pastor of that church for forty years and his son J.D.J. Faulkner was for ten years. Charter membrs were:James Hardy and wife, Joe Thorn, Matt Thorn, John Thorn, Carey Cole and Dowdy Cole.

Union Grove was organized in 1876 with J.T.Edwards as pastor, charter members were:G.H. Faulkner and wife, J.D.J. Faulkner , D.L. Fitzgerald and wife, Col. A.B. Johnson and wife, Mrs. Martha Gramling, Mrs. Sarah Rowe, James Troy and wife.

Center hill was organizd in 1883 with J.D.J. Faulkner as pastor, charter members were :John Craven and wife, John Turner and family, Mitt Grooms and wife.

Providence is one of the oldest churches of the county. Hezekiah Wright and wife, Newton Wright, Jasper Wright, Squire Bohannan, James Lax and wife, Benjamin Lax, Elija Haneline and wife and Mrs.Tabitha Rutledge were charter members.

Beech Grove Methodist was organized about 1850 by Rev.H.M. Granade. J.H. Breckenridge had been the sunday school superintendent for forty-two years in 1942.Charter members were:A.J. Breckenridge and wife,(Elizabeth), Joe Friar and wife, (Nancy) Henry Lovelady and wife Sarah, David Breckenridge and wife, George Taylor and wife Naoma, Jess Williams and wife.

Harvey's Chapel before there was even a school house at what is now Harvey's Chapel meetings were held at Edmonston's home . The first report from Edmonston's was given in 1859. During the Civil War, there was general lack of church work . In 1866, however a Sunday School was again organized at Edmonston's Class Book for the Society at Edmonston's on the Gainesville Circuit, Harrisburg District of the Arkansas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South for the year A.D. 1866 reads the first page of the class record . The following names appear:J.W. Edmonston, Zerilda Edmonston, Lucinda C.Wyatt, Caroline C.Meredith, Julia A.C. Edmonston, C.A.L. Percell, Elizabeth Freeman, Cynthia Whitworth, Amanda J.Whitworth, M.A. McClesky, Mary J.Webb, Elmira F. Thomas, Polly A. Stubblefield, Nancy D. Freeman, Martha A.Howard, Vincy A. Arnold, Matilda Edmonston , Matilda Edmonston, Malinda Edmonston, Melisa P.Whitworth, Penina J. Whitworth, Artemisa C. Edmonston, Emily P. Runnels, Luvana I.Boggs.

Wood's Chapel In the winter of 1860-61 , William Wood donated the land on which the log house was built. In this house Wood's Chapel was organized in the spring of 1861 under the leadership of Rev. Glassgo.The charter members were; William Wood, Thomas Wood, Sallie Wood, James Wood and wife, Durant Wood, Mike Wood(colored),Rev. Hezekiah Highfill and wife , Sarah Highfill, Mary Highfill, Mollie Wood, Harris Powell and wife, Anna Powell, Sallie Powell, Bettie Powell, Flora Ann McDaniel, Fannie Lloyd, Robert C.Bowlin.

First Methodist Church of Paragould in Feb.1883 , Rev. F.E. Taylor pastor of the Greensboro circuit came to Paragould and preached in and unfurnished building on West Main Street. This was the first sermon on record for the town of Paragould.Thirteen members were Dr.and Mrs. John M.Davis, Mr and Mrs. John N. Johnston, Mr. and Mrs. David King, Mr. and Mrs. E.P. Holt, Mrs. Mattie Hammonds, Miss Nannie Davis, Mrs.P.N. Moss, Dr. and Mrs. F.M. Scott. On August 18, 1883, W.S. Pruett deeded to the Methodist Church Lot 2 in block 6, with J.A. Dickson, John M.Davis, and John N. Johnston as trustees. Mrs. Wyse Cook donated the lots at the present corner of Main and Fourth streets for the present church location and on Sep. 19, 1924 the first shovel of dirt was moved by Dr. an Mrs. F.M. Scott surviving charter members.The building comittee was composed of R.W. Meriwether, C.A. Mack, H.S. Trice, L.U. Stedman and Louis Linke.

St.Mary's Catholic Church was organized by Monsignor John Eugene Weibel in Oct. 1883. Since there was no church building in Paragould at that time the first Mass was celebrated in the Commercial Hotel owner John Staudt.Soon after its foundation the small parish began to grow , the Kasper,Springle and Meistrel families moved to Paragould and were added to the parish.Rev. George Gleisner came to Northeast Arkansas and conducted services in Jonesboro, Pochontas and Paragould from 1887 to 1889. Father Weibel resumed the pastorate of St. Mary's in 1889 and bought the location on Second an Highland streets and erected a frame church. In 1890 the Olivetan Benedictine Sisters came to Paragould bought a lot close to the church and built a small school and convent.

First Baptist Church of Paragould on Feb. 4, 1885 a Baptist church named Beulah was organized with five members :J.C. Burnett, E.P.Holt, J.K. Pate, M.E. Tansil and Josie Burnett. There was questions about the parlimentary procedure of the orignal organization so on May 25, 1885 letters were returned to members and the church was reorganized.This time their was six members :J.K. Pate , J.C.Bowden , M.E. Tansil,Ethel Tansil, J.C. Burnett and Josephene Burnett,also: D.C. Norvell, W.S. Barker, Sallie Barker and Mary L. Wiley were received and J.K. Pate was elected pastor.