Winfred D. Polk Archives
For The Arkansas Conference United Methodist Church

​​​​​​Newspapers

Click above to read or download copies of the Arkansas Methodist Newspaper issues beginning with 1884.

History of The Evangelical United Brethren Church​from the Mennonite Encyclopedia

The History of the Little Rock Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1890-1929

​by Charles Henry Giessen

Part One, Part Two, Part Three

Rev. Giessen served Geyer Springs MEC, South, while he was a student at Hendrix College, and graduated Hendrix in 1930.  After completing seminary at Duke University in 1933, he continued to serve in the Little Rock Conference.  Then from 1954 until his death in 1972 he held appointments in the Louisiana Conference.  

This thesis was written while he was a student at Duke Divinity School.

 

The Polk Archives attempts to have a file folder for each Methodist church that has ever existed in Arkansas,

and each Methodist pastor that has ever served in Arkansas.

We also have bound histories of about 100 different local congregations in Arkansas.

These are available for viewing at the Winfred D. Polk Archives at Hendrix College.

History of The Church of the United Brethren in Christ, by Daniel Berger, 1910, Otterbein Press, 682 pages

The Wye UMC pictured here (located in Wye, Arkansas)was the only EUB congregation in Arkansas at the time of the 1968 merger.

William Capers (1790-1855) Catechism for the Use of Methodist Missions.  

Dr. Josh Williams reports that this is the version used in Arkansas, prior to the Civil War in the Methodist missions to slaves.  To view text of volume, click here.

​​​​​The History of the Evangelical United Brethren Churchby J. Bruce Behney is available from Cokesbury by clicking here

This definitive history was the result of many years of painstaking research, presenting a comprehensive account of an important American denomination that became part of United Methodism.

Two Centuries of Methodism in Arkansas 1800 to 2000, by Nancy Britton - 2000
Two Centuries of Methodism, Page 1-100

Two Centuries of Methodism, page 101-200

Two Centuries of Methodism, page 201-300

Two Centuries of Methodism, page 301-403

Two Centuries of Methodism, Index
 
  Nancy Britton is the first layperson and the first woman to write a comprehensive history of Arkansas Methodism. A historian, genealogist, and seventh-generation Methodist, she lives in Batesville, Arkansas, and is a member of the Central Avenue United Methodist Church there. The book was a labor of love. Along with many stories and anecdotes, the 423-page book begins with some of the earliest known Methodist preachers who traveled around the state in the first decades of the 1800s. There are stories about worshipping in brush arbors and at campgrounds. Later narratives tell of Methodist orphanages, hospitals, and schools and colleges.  The book includes eight appendices detailing early pastoral appointments, a glossary of terms peculiar to Methodism, and lists of church leaders and award winners. The book is full of photographs, many never published before, and the most extensive appendix features mini-histories of more than 800 local Methodist churches in the state.  This hard-cover book is a bargain for $16, which includes postage.

If you would like to purchase a copy of Nancy Britton’s "Two Centuries of Methodism in Arkansas,” contact the Arkansas Conference Archives at  arkmethodist@conwaycorp.net.

Methodism in Arkansas, 1816 - 1976, by Walter N. Vernon
To download this book, click here (twenty three parts):
Vernon, Chapter 1, page 1 - 24  

 Vernon, Chapter 2, page 25 - 41

Vernon, Chapter 3, page 42 - 53 

Vernon, Chapter 4, page 54 - 66

Vernon, Chapter 5, page 67 - 76

Vernon, Chapter 6, page 77 - 90

Vernon, Chapter 7, page 91 - 101 

Vernon, Chapter 8, page 102 - 117

Vernon, Chapter 9, page 118 - 134

Vernon, Chapter 10, page 135 - 168

Vernon, Chapter 11, page 169 - 184

 Vernon, Chapter 12, page 184 - 205

Vernon, Chapter 13, page 206 - 22

Vernon, Chapter 14, page 230 - 254

Vernon, Chapter 15, page 255 - 276

Vernon, Chapter 16, page 277 - 293

Vernon, Chapter 17, page 294 - 324   

Vernon, Chapter 18, page 325 - 347

Vernon, Chapter 19, page 348 - 37

Vernon, Chapter 20, page 372 - 390

Vernon, Chapter 21, page 391 - 406    

Vernon, Epilogue, page 407 - 441

Vernon, Index, page 442 - 478
   
Walter N. Vernon, Jr., historian and minister, was born in Oklahoma. The son of a Methodist pastor, the family spent many years moving around in Oklahoma and Texas. The Vernon family spent the first three years of young Walter's life moving to different Methodist congregations. After pastoring a large Methodist church in Dallas, Vernon became an assistant editor at the General Board of Education of the United Methodist Church. He was promoted to secretary of the curriculum committee, and his duties expanded to include responsibility for all of the church's school publications. Vernon also devoted considerable time and energy to documenting and preserving the history of the Methodist Church in the United States. He published several books, along with his "Methodism in Arkansas."

 

The History of the Negro and Methodism in Arkansas and Oklahoma , by Woodie D. Lester
To download this book, click below.
Lester, Chapter 1 to 8, Pages 1 to 72

Lester, Chapter 8 to Index, Pages 73 to 144 
The Little Rock - Southwest Conference 1838 - 1972: W. D. Lester saw a need for a history of the Black Methodists in the State of Arkansas.  Never before had anyone attempted to record the affairs of black Methodism.  This book is the first attempt to deal directly with the origin and development of black people in the M.E. Church, South, the M.E. Church, the Methodist Church and the U.M. church from the days of slavery. Rev. Lester worked for three years seeking facts and traveled for many miles without compensation.  He tells the stories of district superintendents unpaid for their work, gratefully accepting food.  He tells of the aid of the American Red Cross when river bottom land was flooded and they were forced to flee to higher ground. The Southwest Conference no longer exists, but with much gratitude to W.D. Lester, its story will not be forgotten.


Centennial History of Arkansas Methodism:
A History of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in the State of Arkansas, 1815-1935
by James Arthur Anderson - 1935

To download this book, click below.

Anderson, Chapters 1 to 4, Pages 1 to 38

Anderson, Chapters 5 to 14, Pages 39 to 143

Anderson, Chapters 15 to 23, Pages 144 to 251

Anderson, Chapters 24 to 31, Pages 252 to 366

Anderson, Chapters 32 to 36, Pages 367 to 470

Anderson, Chapters 37 to Index, Pages 471 to 556
James A. Anderson began his ministry in Arkansas in 1879.  He was a pastor and later became the editor of the Arkansas Methodist newspaper. Along with his ministry in Arkansas he rendered valuable service as a trustee of Hendrix College and Galloway College. Anderson was considered a close observer with keen knowledge, and always fair with controversy. By formal invitation from the Little Rock Conference and the North Arkansas Conference, he wrote this history of Arkansas Methodism.  This Story of Methodism's first hundred years preserves the memory of heroic and splendid accomplishment of our church.

History of Methodism in Arkansas, by Horace Jewel - 1873
To download this book, click below.
Jewell, Chapter I to V, Pages 1 to 37

Jewell, Chapter VI to IX, Pages 38 to 96
Jewell, Chapter X to XVI, Pages 97 to 191
Jewell, Chapter XVII to XVIII (part), Pages 192 to 256

Jewell, Chapter XVIII (part) to XIX, Pages 257 to 296

Jewell, Chapter XX to XXI, Pages 297 to 357

Jewell, Chapter XXII to XXVII, Pages 358 to 400
Jewell, Addenda, Pages 401 to 445

This is the first published attempt to tell the story of Methodism’s birth in Arkansas. In 1869, the Little Rock Conference passed a resolution to see a well written history of Methodism in Arkansas, although nothing came of this. Rev. John Steele of the White River Conference began the undertaking a collection of materials, but he was called away by death before it was finished. Rev. Horace Jewell gathered this material along with district, quarterly and annual conference records.  Jewell added stories from the preachers, letters from friends, verified dates and endeavored to present a connected history of Methodism in Arkansas. Rev. Jewell wrote, "If this History of Methodism in Arkansas should inspire our people with a greater love for Church and a greater zeal for Christ, by recounting the noble deeds of those who planted the Church in the early days of our State, I shall feel that my labors have been richly repaid."

Published Books on the History of Arkansas Methodism

There are five published attempts to tell the story of Methodism in Arkansas.