Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 21, 1967

A Visit To Bradley, Arkansas

Louis J. Sharp

Recently, I was privileged to meet with the church at Bradley, Arkansas. This is a new congregation about one and a half years old that seems to have a bright future. I was encouraged by what I saw and felt it might be of interest to others.

Bradley is south of Hope, Arkansas, near the Louisiana border. It is located in excellent farming and timber country. The community of Bradley itself has a population of about 750, but the surrounding area is well populated. Nearby cities are Lewisville, Texarkana, Stamps, and Magnolia (all in Arkansas) and Springhill, Plain Dealing, Shreveport, and Haynesville, (all in Louisiana.)

There is excellent leadership in the congregation. Brethren Whisenhunt and Redmond and their families formed the nucleus of the church. They are men of conviction, and are determined to have a faithful church in their community. Several people contributed $500.00 each to begin construction of a new building in which to meet. It is in a good location on highway 29. With this amount they started and then borrowed the rest of the money needed from the local bank. They are making good progress in paying off their indebtedness. They have constructed a neat and adequate brick building with four class rooms, two rest rooms, baptistry, and an auditorium that will seat at least 150 people. They have adequate land to build a larger auditorium when needed. They did not ask others to build for them, but with sacrifice, and good judgment, went ahead and did this themselves. They did receive a few voluntary contributions, but not as a result of a "brotherhood-wide" plea! Total cost was about $10,500.00 (held to this figure because the brethren did much of the work) plus $2,700.00 for the lots, which are already paid for.

Attendance has grown consistently. They now have about twenty members and fifteen children. They are highly respected in their community as people of integrity (brother Whisenhunt serves on the local school board) and they have visitors regularly from the community. They have baptized a few and some wayward brethren have been restored.

Brother Ross Saunders, of Paragould, Arkansas, was scheduled to begin working with these brethren as of September 1, 1967. He will receive his support from several congregations who want to have fellowship in this work. We, at Arch street, are happy that we can assist brother Saunders in this worthy endeavor. We feel that it is permanent, and will become self-supporting in a few months. These brethren want to be, and soon will be, self-supporting! They are few in number but strong in faith.

Brethren, this young congregation is making great strides forward with sacrifice and hard work. They are dedicated to the task at hand. I believe they have shown the right kind of example in the establishing of the cause of Christ in a new area. We are encouraged by the good work of these faithful few!

There are other people in many places doing the same. In many places in Arkansas, such work is going on, unheralded and unnoticed. We are assisting such work in other cities in our state, such as El Dorado, Magnolia, and Pocahontas. Faithful brethren are determined to plant the seed of the Kingdom! Let us take courage and press onward.