Oakland Methodist Church was founded in 1849 by James Ford; a settler from West Virginia. He and his son William built the first church building in 1862. This building was a one-room log structure and served as both a Church and School located near Holland in Faulkner County, Arkansas.
The following church records were donated by Charles D. Parsons; a great-great grandson of John W, and Amanda Garrett Jackson; early settlers and members of Oakland United Methodist Church.
A History of Oakland School
By Charles E. Parsons
Life for the rural Southerner in the years before and after the Civil War was quite difficult. Therefore; the presence of a church and school in a community must have been pleasing. During these years, many pioneer families moved into the Holland community in central Faulkner County, Arkansas.
Jams Ford a settler from West Virginia, founded Oakland Methodist Church in 1849. He and his son William built the first church building in 1862. This building was a one-room log structure and served as both a church and a school.
In 1866, James Kirby parsons and his family came from Alabama and homesteaded near the church and school. Making the journey with him were his sons William Burford and Thomas Nelson and his daughter, son-in-law, Martha Caroline and Sila H. James and all of their families. All of William B.’s sons-Alyes, James, Elisha, Hiram,and Marion; Thomas N.’s children-Chambus and Josie; and Martha and Silas’ children-Ira, William K., Rosa, Elizabeth, Rufus, John W., Mary, Angeline, and Amanda attended school in the log church/school house. Stories are told of how the students sat on backless, split-log benches while attending to their studies. Their children, in turn, attended school in the old log building. Other families in he community whose children attended school at Oakland during the 1870’s, 1880’s, and 1890’s were the William Caters, the Bart E. Butlers, the I.D. Dowdys, the J. J. Ferrys, the Albert G. Durans, the William D. Killoughts, the Joseph Lavenders, the B. F. Lackeys, the John L. Smiths, the J. W. Handcocks, the Shannons, the Langleys, the Bryants, the Lovils, and others.
The last record of any school being held at Oakland was in 1899. The teacher at the time was C. C. Jones and the directors were Revern Albert G. Duran, James W. Parsons, and J. W. Handcock. The only other record of any teacher was J. H. Hall, who was a teacher at Oakland in1890. By 1903 some of the students who were attending school at Oakland in 1899 were going to school at Holland, 1-1/2 miles north of Oakland, so it is presumed that Oakland ceased to hold school about 1900. The old log building stood until 1950, when it was town down and replaced by a concrete block building, which stands today. The cemetery that surrounds the old building site was begun in September 1967. Marion Parsons, son of William B. Parsons book a case of the chills about a month after his 7th birthday and died in 6 hours. Shortly before his death he had requested to be buried on the church grounds, and his father carried out his wishes. Marion Parsons has been recorded as the first person buried in the cemetery.
File 1 – Oakland United Methodist Church Membership books and history, Book I: 1852-1863 and Book II: 1866 – 1870
File 2 – Oakland United Methodist Church Membership Book III: 1870 – 1875
File 3 – Oakland United Methodist Church Membership Book IV: 1885 – 1912
File 4 – Oakland United Methodist Church Membership Book V: 1912 – 1936
File 5 – Oakland United Methodist Church Sunday School Register year 1915 – 1916
File 6 – Oakland United Methodist Church Sunday School Register year 1918 – 1919
File 7 – Oakland United Methodist Church Sunday School Register year 1922 – 1923
File 8 – Oakland United Methodist Church Sunday School Register year 1923 – 1924
File 9 – Oakland United Methodist Church Quarterly Conference Records years 1922 – 1924
File 10- Oakland United Methodist Church Quarterly Conference Records year 1925 – 1926
End of Box 1
End of Collection