The Spring 1998 ECHOES article by CLyde and Shirley Denney about the History of the Baptist congregations at Shiloh and Ione (Arkansas) continues with the following information. “In January or February of 1881 the church meeting house at Shiloh burned and in March the church voted to move its place of worship into the Union Church House at French Prairie, which was near the present French Prairie Cemetery northwest of Ione.” (15)
“The April meeting was held at the new facility and the minutes were headed: THE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH OF CHRIST. At the meeting, the members discussed plans for building a new house. The building committee reported. . . The plan was adopted and subscriptions were taken.” (15) The building was to be 36 feet long, 24 feet wide, with 15 feet between the floors.
“There was much discussion about where to build the Church house. The minutes read: ‘BROTHER WANN’S PLACE WAS THE CHOICE OF THE CHURCH IN LOGAN COUNTY, A COMITY [Committee] WAS PINTED (appointed) TO SELECT A SITE.'” (15) A second meeting was held on August 30, 1881, The building committee reported: “WE HAVE DESIGNATED A SPOT OF LAND ON FOUR ACRES NEAR WHERE N.B. MARTIN LIVES ON BROTHER SISTER BINNING’S PLACE.” (15)
The Dennys summarize what they found in the church records this way: “Nothing more was reported in the minutes of the Building until December 1882, which read; “THE CHURCH AGREES TO BUILD A HOUSE OF WORSHIP NEAR BELVA, ON A TRACT OF LAND GIVEN FOR THIS PURPOSE BY S. L. TAYLOR.” It was moved and seconded that the deed be made to the deacons of the Shiloh Church and their successors in office. The building committee was instructed to move forward as fast as possible in construction of the house.” (15)
Clyde and Shirley Denney report: “In the minutes of July 1882, there was ‘A CONFERENCE CALLED FOR REFERENCE TO FOOT-WASHING. AFTER SOME DISCUSSION IT WAS ENDORSED AS A DUTY, BUT NOT A TEST OF CHURCH FELLOWSHIP,’ so the practice continued.” (16)
The March 1883 minutes were headed ‘SHILOH BAPTIST CHURCH OF CHRIST.” In their article for ECHOES, Clyde and Shirley Denney report that this heading continued until 1896. (16)
“The minutes of September 1888 read: ‘THE MOTION PREVAILED TO APPOINT A COMMITTEE TO DRAFT A CONTRACT WITH THE METHODIST BRETHREN IN REGARD TO THE BUILDING AND DIVISION OF TIME FOR A CHURCH HOUSE.’ It would appear that the Methodists were also using this building as a house of worship.” (16)
This would make sense if you take into account the information conveyed in the obituary for Eliza Hope Dane Cartwright, which specifies that her religious profession was Methodist. As the person who lived closest to the church (across the dirt road) as well as who owned property immediately west of the church, Eliza is likely to have been one of the persons who attended the Methodist fellowship.
The April 1883 minutes relate that the church invited sister churches at Cedar Grove, Hopewell, Union Hope, and Whiteoak to visit with them sometime in May. Elder . . . S. J. Fuller of the Hopewell Church assisted J. N. Pennington in the service. Also, these minutes were the first time ‘communion’ was used instead of ‘sacrament.’ . . .” (16)
I have not made an attempt to locate records for what transpired at Shiloh after Dec. 1883 but based on what I have seen, it would make sense if those records are in the possession of the leadership of Shiloh Baptist Church or perhaps the Association of Missionary Baptist Churches in the Scott County area. On the other hand, given the intertwined histories of the congregations at Ione and Shiloh and their relationship to still other Missionary Baptist congregations in Scott County and Logan County, it is possible that these records are attached to the quarterly minutes of some other congregation.
This material has been taken from “A History of the Ione, Arkansas Baptist Church” by Shirley Denney and Clyde H. Denney ECHOES: Scott County Historical and Genealogical Society Journal (Spring 1998): 13-16.
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