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Future of Historical Church Uncertain


May 15, 2012 by Steve Winkler

By Steve Winkler

Almost fifty years before West Fork became an incorporated town in 1885, several settler families organized the first Christian Church in the county. The last four remaining members of that congregation have chosen other churches, and are no longer meeting in the building at 210 Garfield, according to long time member Kenny Miller.

The church’s future at this time is uncertain. “The bylaws say we sell it and donate the money to a Christian school or something like that,”  said Miller. He added that it would make a good city museum. The building is close to 60 years old, in good condition.

The West Fork First Christian is an independent Christian church not affiliated with the Disciples of Christ organization.

There have been many church associations in the history of West Fork, however in 1837 the West Fork Christian Church was organized and is considered to have been the oldest organization of the Christian Church in Washington County, as well as the first in the state of Arkansas.

One of West Fork’s earliest settlers, Eli Bloyed, was a charter member. The first members were followers of Alexander Campbell, an early leader in the Second Great Awakening of the religious movement that has been referred to as the Restoration Movement.

Steve Winkler

Steve Winkler is the publisher and editor of the Observer. Email him at

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