New Salem United Methodist Church

On October 7, 1984, Phena Fincher interviewed Linda Callicut; a member of the New Salem United Methodist Church, about the church.

The interview goes as follows...

Phena: Linda, when was the New Salem United Methodist Church founded?

Linda: It was founded, or established, around 1884 by H.C. Bowles, and J.J. Jordan, who gave the first 3 acres for the church, and the men came together to erect, and cut, and hew the logs for a log church. The work began with J.W. Jordan(?), J.B. Snead, A.L. Jordan, J.K. Waddle, and J.G. Bowles. When the work was finished, the church was organized by J.J. Jordan and Uncle Bert Beacham. This log church stood for 37 years.

Phena: Well, that answers what was going to be another question for me; whether or not the building standing now was the original building, but you said that it was a log church they erected and it was in use for 37 years.

Linda: Our first pastor was G.W. Logan.

Phena: G.W. Logan was the first pastor. What happened to the original church?

Linda: I'm not sure if it fell down, or was burned down, or what, but in 1920, a frame church was erected, and in 1920, it was rebuilt or refurnished into the country church that we now have.

Phena: You have since done some work in addition to that, haven't you, within recent years?

Linda: Yes, in 1982, we added a small classroom which we are very proud of.

Phena: I'm sure you are, and you use it for a number of things. I went to church there and Sunday School there myself all the time as a child, and we all met in the sanctuary, because it was a typically 1 room country church, and each class got in their little corner, but I learned a lot of truths from the card(?) class in that church.

In addition to the minister that you mentioned there, do you remember any of the other early pastors? I believe that Rev. McAfee, or something, was there...

Linda: And David Bowles. He came from New Salem as a boy and grew up there, and he is buried there now.

Phena: And he entered the ministry. Do you have any other people who went into the ministry from New Salem Church?

Linda: Joey Callicut(?). And he does come for our homecomings and preaches our revivals, and we are really proud of him.

Phena: How would you say that the services have changed over the years?

Linda: I think they are a lot smaller. I think they originally, with the larger families they had probably, maybe, all day services, Sunday or morning and evening services, and today we only have actual preaching services twice a month, and we have Sunday School the other Sundays.

Phena: But you are carrying on in the tradition...

Linda: Oh yes, and there's a lot of love in that church.

Phena: That's a lot of what it is all about, isn't it? During what years would you say the membership was probably the greatest?

Linda: I would say the first 35 years were the biggest. Today we have about 5 families that regularly attend, so we are really quite small. At times, we have 10-12, and on a big Sunday, we have maybe 20 at Easter.

Phena: And that's exciting, isn't it? Well, it has a very dear place in my heart and I appreciate you talking with us. Is there any interesting story that you could share with us regarding the church? I know that you have not been - you're a fairly recent member of the church.

Linda: I joined the church last year. I've attended several years, but just joined it last year, but we've had a lot of fun; like when we added on our room - the beat fingers, and this and that, and laughing, and you'd freeze some mornings when you went up there to work, but we had a big time building it.

Phena: The Christian fellowship that you had during that, strengthening the church, was wonderful. I surely do appreciate your comments and the things that you've told us about the church and we hope that it will continue to be a very definite factor in the Christian community for many years yet to come.

Linda: I hope so.

A copy of the original interview can be found at the Prescott/Nevada Co. Depot Museum, Prescott, AR.