HISTORY OF THE FAIRVIEW UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

TEXARKANA, ARKANSAS

FAIRVIEW METHODIST CHURCH 202 E. 16th Texarkana, AR 
Submitted by Bill Sharp

In the early months of 1871 a group of Baptist and Methodist assembled at Boggs Springs, Arkansas in an effort to locate and secure a building in which they could share in the Texarkana area. At the meeting Mr. W. W. Wootten offered to donate some property to the group. Records from the Texarkana Title and Abstract Co. reflect that, ”W. W. Wootten and his wife Martha J. deeded to the trustees three acres of land on March 8, 1871. Thence running North 118 yards West of the center of said church.” (Union)  Evidently there was a building existing on the property from the words in the deed.

Today this property is across the street to the north of Spring Lake Park School and has been used as the Wooten Springs Cemetery for many years. 

The building, already on the donated property, served as a meeting place for the group of Methodist and the Baptist and they called it the Union Church. Since both only had half-time pastors they met on alternate Sundays. After the Baptist pulled out in 1876 to form another Baptist Church, which later became the County Avenue Baptist Church, the Methodist remained in the Union Church that was later called the Texarkana Mission. Pastors who served the Texarkana Mission from 1879-1890 were: D. F. Fuller, A. C. Emons, W. A. Coppedge, D. Q. Travis, P. R. Eglebarger, H. O. Stephens, Lee Sanders, F. J. Jones, and J. D. Hudgins. 

In 1888, a Methodist Missionary, Rev. G. C. Hardy, held a very successful revival at a location near what is now the intersection of 16th St. and State Line Avenue on the Texas side in Texarkana. Afterwards, Rev. Hardy bought a plat of land nearby in Texarkana, Arkansas with the hope that one-day a church would be built there. 

In September 1890, Rev. R. M. Powers, pastor of the State Line Methodist Church in the Texas Conference, helped to organize a Mission and guided the erection of a building on the ground purchased by Rev. Hardy. At this time the membership of the Texarkana Mission was transferred to the new Mission and the original building was closed. Some of our most faithful members were transferred with this group. B. B. Moore, A. E. Moore and S. E. Moore became members on February 1, 1885. Henry Moore was baptized in 1887. Ella Collins was age 15 when she joined the church and was baptized September 5, 1888. After her marriage, she became Ella Collins Dowd, the mother of Tillman and mother-in-law of Blanche Dowd. Z. R. Fisher, W. M. Benge, and Maggie Benge were also baptized in September 1888. 

When some of the charter members walked out of the church while discussing what to name the new church one of them said, “What a fair view”, while looking from one of the highest points in the city of Texarkana. The Church was a one-room frame building about 36x60 feet with a cupola above the church entrance housing a bell, which rang faithfully every Sunday morning. The men and women sat on opposite sides of the room with a low dividing rail between them. The church cost $600. In 1902, the Fairview Mission Church membership was transferred from the North Texas Conference, to the Little Rock Conference.  

A new church was built in 1912, costing about $10,000 but Fairview had a difficult time making the payments so First Methodist Church, Texas came to the rescue and helped them. In 1951 the Educational building was built and the pastor at this time was C. H. Farmer. This building was torn down in 1956 and the present sanctuary was constructed with a membership of 439 and the pastor was H. D. Ginther. The Flame and Cross project finally became a reality in 1989, after working for over a year by Ogle Carpenter and the United Methodist Women. It is made of steel, and was handmade by Bill Waits, who donated lots of time and energy. Today, we are a community of true believers under the Lordship of Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit.

 

Submitted by: Betty Meador Sharp

Sources:

Church Directory, 1989-1990 and 2000

Fairview United Methodist Church

By permission of Dee Nichols, Secretary

Photo by Bill Sharp

 

09/04/05