HISTORY OF THE CHURCH IN MABELVALE
Members of the Lord’s church were found meeting in three different homes in Mabelvale, Arkansas in the late 1930’s. However, in the early 1940’s the Mabelvale church of Christ began meeting on the corner of Main and Third Streets in a one room building on two lots. With encouragement and assistance from the minister, E. R. Harper and members of the church of Christ who met at Fourth and State Streets in Little Rock, the first few Christians numbering about twelve faithfully carried on the work of the Lord.
A three night gospel meeting in 1944 added two souls to the Church, and soon after, there was another soul added. These faithful brethren “abounded in the work of the Lord”, had a few visitors, and held classes with a visiting preacher every other Sunday.
As a result of some members moving away, the doors were closed in 1946, and the key was left in possession of the Fourth and State Streets Church. The paid for building remained closed until brother W. R. Arnold and brother Leander Hendricks opened the doors in 1947, and they invited young preachers from Harding to proclaim the gospel to the congregation. Later on, brother Earnest Martin preached regularly, and he and his wife labored for three years.
This congregation of the Lord’s people was greatly blessed, and more Christians moved into the area. The first elders to serve were W. R. Arnold, A. R. Lamb, William D. Morris, and Vol Rowlett. The first deacons were Harold Myers, Larmon VanWinkle, Ward Venable and Maurice Victory. In 1950 H. W. Robertson and family came to worship with the Church, and brother Robertson served as the preacher for eleven years and seven months.
Once again, this congregation of the Lord’s church was blessed with growth, and the small building no longer met the needs of the emergent church. A decision was made to acquire more property, and in 1958, land was purchased on Mabelvale West Road. Bonds were sold, and construction began on the new building.
Sunday, November 6, 1960 at 3:00 p.m. an Open House was held to commemorate the new building. Goebal Music held a six night gospel meeting adding souls to the Mabelvale congregation. This building remains a part of the church property today.
Beginning in 1962, the Mabelvale congregation was blessed with Godly men who served as full-time ministers to the congregation. Clinton Elliot served until 1963 when George Salyer came and served four years. Other full-time ministers were Ray Beeson (1967-1973), Paul Kidwell (1973-1979), Arnold Sexton (1979-1989) and since 1989, the present minister Dennis Gulledge. Associate ministers were Charles Jackson, Steve McIntosh, Paul Prescott, Everette McAnally, Dan Cates, Patrick Morrison, Scott Perry, Cliff Boyd, and presently Garrett McGilvray.
Currently, Roger Horton, Timmon King, Dale Morris and Gene Sullivan “shepherd the flock”. The ten men who serve as deacons are: Ray Bryan, Brad Horton, Jim Howell, Greg King, Waymon Minor, Mike Moore, Ken Sullivan, Wendell Thompson, Dave Tollett, and Paul Word.