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Boughton Baptist 125

By submitted, 05/15/18 1:07 PM

PRESCOTT – On any given Sunday on Nevada County Road 35, you might hear the sound of a church bell sounding the invitation for worship. This same bell call has
beckoned the surrounding community of Boughton for the past 125 glorious years. These years have been blessed by divine favor from its establishment in 1893.
On June 3, 2018 Boughton Baptist Church of Prescott will celebrate this milestone of 125 years of dedicated service to the Lord. The pastor as well as the
congregation invite you and your family to join this historical celebration.This joyful moment could not have been made possilbe without the first step of its
founding pioneers.

The church was formed and built in the summer of 1893 by community members seeking a place to worship closer to home. In those days , Boughton was becoming a
booming town located around the railroad and well known for its local cotton gin. Boughton, Arkansas is located about 7 miles from Prescott near the Nevada-
Clark County border. This now township, contained its own doctor office, mercantile, hotel and even a country style school house. Amoung its buisnesses, was
Five Way Market owned by Earl and Eunice Ingersoll and commonly named as it was at a busy intersection of modern day Highway 67 and county road 35. At its town
borders ran two highly used natural creeks , the Little Boughton and Cold-Run Creeks. So, it was only fitting to build the santcuary at the center of all this
new growth.

The structure was a single room santuary that housed two sections of wooden slatted pews. These pews had no cushion on the seats so you can imagine that sitting for hours
was a truly humbling experince. The summers alone that was spent in the sanctuary was indeed warm due to the lack of contempary air conditioning which until tore
down remained out of the house. Winters were warmed by a single heater set in between the isle of pew rows. I can imagine that seats closest to the heat were more popular during these colder days.
As the heat rose it warmed the Mason Lodge which was permitted in 1895 for contiued community envolvment.

At the completion of the church, J.R. Parker would be the first in a line of many to minister behind the pulpit. Souls were saved and the congregation grew. With each new con-
vert, the individual would be baptisted but not in a modern day fashionable indoor baptistry. In that infant year, all new members as well as some old rededicated persons would be
baptisted in Cold-Run Creek where it is joked that ” it is so cold that even the fish wear sweaters in June just to swim there!” This is still used today as a current list of newcomers
to the church are planned to be dunked in late May of this year.

Not all days have been such a joke. The church as well as the community have seen the world around it in less that juvial states. Boughton saw The Great Depression, World
Wars 1 and 2 , theVietnam Conflict, Dessert Storm, the Gulf War even as current as the 9/11 tradegies. Through it all, the Love of the Father was still preached. War was not
just fought against people but also against mother nature herself. Time had been good to the old structure, allowing her to stand intact until 2003 with only additions
being modern bathrooms and educational spaces. Additional seating areas were added during mid century which were used to accomdate larger membership and to
include a large ventalation fan for extreme heat relief.

During these years of prosperity inside the church, outside in the township the status was greatly changing. Major cities like Hope, Prescott and Arkadelphia influeced
community people to move as more jobs were readily avaialbe. Soon the Country School would merge with Prescott and the business would begin to retire.
As the founding fathers grew old and passed away, younger generation became less involved in the small country tabernacle. Most would have childeren of their
own and move away joining larger, city crowds leaving just found memories of the faithful few that had began this journey that we now hold so dear. The faithful would
continue the honor of the Lord worship in the same place until it was time to say goodbye to the legacy that had been bulit within the four walls.

Saying Goodbye to the building would be difficult but memories of the past would remain. With heavy hearts the members along side out of state volunteers
from Birdville Baptist Church located in Birdville, Texas erected the now current house of worship and then removed the oldest and orginal structure as there
was no way of salvaging the building due to the danger it would pocess to the new Fellowship Hall as well as the new Sanctuary. The journey has been sweet as grace
has been preached now for these 125 years by more than 40 different men of God. Some pastors holding the office for a decade while others were just a few years. Most
married however some were only bachelors filling the postioned while stationed at Ouachita Baptist Universtiy. Unique occasions have occured in the linage of pastors
as fathers have held the office then years later thier sons have recieved the ministry call also.

The faithful have grown, making church history as more that 100 people attended this year on a single Sunday. The current pastor Bro. William (Joey) Christopher
marked the occasion by delivering a full length sermon from atop the roof also marking a first in the location’s memories. Reaching 125 years has been a dedicated
milestone, gaining wonderful new fellowship however heaven gained many more saints. On June 3 2018, we celebrate the dedication of decades of christians who without
thier commitment today’s worship may not be possiple. Boughton Baptist Church invites you and your family to join in the Homecoming celebration of 125 years with
special services at 10 am with food and fellowship to follow. Come and be Blessed!