Early Churches Of Benton County The Benton County Democrat (1950) - Now the NWA Democrat Gazette - Century Of Progress Edition
Pioneers settlers were usually God-fearing people and due to that fact they welcomed, in the early days before churches were organized, any wandering preacher, whether he was of the denomination of their choice or not.
Some of the early churches formed in Benton County were at War Eagle, organized before 1839, by Rev. James Mayfield. It was the Methodist Episcopal Church. Another early Methodist Church was organized by Rev. Walter Thornberry in the south part of the county. It is still known as Thornberry Camp Ground. In 1844-45 the Methodist in this part of the country split and the churches in this county united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, leaving the original church without an organization in the county.
Some of the early preachers of the above church were: Rev. Swaggerty, Elder Mattox, Rev. H. H. Scroggs, Rev. William Buck, Rev. J. M. Jackson, Rev. John Welch and Rev. LaFayette Mason.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was formed in this county about 1830 and was call the Woods Church, the next one at Pea Ridge, the next at Bentonville, Maysville and Siloam Springs.
Early Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Bentonville
Revs. Andrew and John Buchanan were the first preachers of this denomunation. Rev. John once said that until the Civil War, he had preached in every county in the state. Rev. Peter Carnahan, F. T Carlton, Rev. Johns and Rev. J. D. Rush were some of the other early ministers.
The first Baptist Church was formed at the home of William Reddick, in 1842, known as Twelve Corners. It was organized by Elders J. F. Mitchell and Charles B. Whitely. Another church had been organized about 1832, but it was just across the Benton County line south of War Eagle. My grandfather preached at Twelve Corners in 1866. [Article may have been written by Alvin Seamster.]
Some of the early preachers were I. R. Hall, J. B. Stark, W. F. Green, G. W. Setser, Joseph Setser, E. J. Hogan, G. P. Rodgers, A. J. Maxwell, J. Dunagin, J. C. Robertson, J. W. West and S. B. Ford.
Early image of the First Baptist Church in Bentonville
The first Christian Church organized in the county was on Spavinaw, but the date is unknown. The next one was organized by Elder Larkin Scott, in his own home for a time until after the Civil War. Bentonville organized their church in 1865, with Larkin Scott as the minister - he also organized the church at Wire Springs, in the Callis and McKissick and Oakley neighborhood, Mr. W. Y. Oakley being a son-in-law of Mr. Scott. In 1887 Mr. Scott, who was 70 years of age, baptised Uncle Dick Bennett, who was 109 years of age.
Some of the other early preachers were E. T. Russell, S. R. Beaman, Prof. J. R. Roberts, W. S. Herman, J. C. Lawson, John Leonard, Dr. G. W. Robinson, M. l. Inman and Elder Inman.
Early image of the First Christian Church in Bentonville
Of the Presbyterian Church, there was only one of this kind organized in 1844-45 at the headwaters of Osage, by Cephas Washburn, who resided there and was a missionary to the Cherokees. He preached there until about 1852 when the church was reorganized in 1852 at Bentonville, by Joshua Green, W. K. Marshall and A. W. Morrison. Rev. C. M. Richards and D. C. Boggs were others who preached to this congregation.