Little River Baptist Church to celebrate milestone
Little River Missionary Baptist Church will celebrate a 90 year anniversary form 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. The church is located at 1208 North Country Road 309 off Highway 18.
“We have a wonderful time of fellowship, music, testimony and worship planned,” Pastor Jeff Knowlton said. “We have contacted some of the past pastors and Brother Elton McCann will be speaking. Thelma Veach will be leading the music and Lisa Stutts will be guest pianist.”
Brother Knowlton and his wife, Jessica, have been serving at Little River Church since Sept. 11, 2016.
“Early settlers came to Little River when it was swamp land,” Brother Knowlton said. “They preached the Word and the Word brought people into the community. The church still stands today as a beacon in the community. We have family members who have been part of the church for several generations. The church is a special place and Lost Cane is a special community.”
The Knowltons are excited to be part of the church family as it is growing.
“The Lord is blessing us,” he said. “We are not only having growth in numbers but we are growing spiritually. This little church, six miles out in the country, is reaching out.”
The services are live streamed through the internet and anywhere from 85 to 100 people watch it on Facebook.
“It is good for the people who can't get out or when they are sick and can't make it to church,” Brother Knowlton said. “I have people to call to tell me they watched it and it picked them up.”
The church was started when a group of people met Nov. 18, 1928, at the Lost Cane School to consider the organization of Missionary Baptist Church in the community. Some of the early organizers were Mr. and Mrs. M.I. Stutts, Mr. and Mrs. S.L. McCann, F.L. Bourland, Ed Bourland, Betty Bourland, Lena Bourland, Lestie (Stutts) Statler and Exie (Stutts) Lewis. Elder J.F. Manning was elected moderator and S.L. McCann clerk.
Land was donated for the church by Mr. and Mrs. Bob Veach.
Logs were cut and hauled for the church starting in December 1932. Construction of the building began in May 1933.
The church is not a building, it is the people. Little River Baptist Church has stood for nine decades. It is a tribute to the forefathers who saw a need for a place of worship and made it happen.
“We have been blessed,” Brother Knowlton said. “We have three new wonderful families that have joined us.”
The Knowltons and members are very active in the community. They participated in the Manila Lions chili cook-off, Manila farmers market and a nursing home ministry. Brother Knowlton is active in the newly formed Manila Ministerial Alliance.
The Knowltons are involved in Options on Main Street in Jonesboro, formerly the Pregnancy Center Resource.
Regular services at Little River are 10 a.m. Sunday school; worship service 11 a.m.; and 5 p.m. Sunday evenings. A Bible study is held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.