Thursday, October 5, 2017

Emmaus Church celebrates 150 years

The history of Emmaus Church will be celebrated Sunday, Oct. 8 during its 150-year anniversary and homecoming celebration.

The first Emmaus church was organized and built in 1867. All records, along with the church history, were destroyed by fire. The first church building was built approximately 25 years after Crittenden County was trimmed away from the original, larger Livingston County in 1842.
According to the church deed, on Oct. 8, 1895, Samuel Howerton purchased land for $10 and donated one acre for a new Emmaus Baptist Church for as long as it was used as a Baptist church.

The trustees appointed at that time were Albert Butler, J.C. Perryman and Andrew Greenlee.
The present church building, located near the banks of Claylick Creek, was built shortly after the land donation in the fall of 1895.

Information has been handed down from former members and today’s 85-year member, Mildred “Peachie” Long.

During the Great Flood of 1937, water covered the present church building, high up on the church windows, Long said. Men in a boat witnessed pews floating inside the church. Men also checked the depth of the water in the building.

Although some later records simply vanished, the following information is from Long’s memory. She’s over 90 years old.

Sunday school rooms were added in the 1950s. The record Sunday school attendance was 157. Later, the tall church ceiling was lowered to its present height. The church building has been modernized at intervals, including the addition of hardwood floors, new pews, aluminum siding, carpeting, running water, central heat and air conditioning, bathrooms and a metal roof.

Some of this information was prepared by Marilyn Long, a lifetime member of the Crittenden County Historical and Genealogical Society.