One of the most beautiful buildings in Bradley is the Bradley United Methodist Church sanctuary:
This building was dedicated in 1949. The following article appeared in the Lafayette County Democrat of Friday, May 13, 1949, and is reprinted here by permission.
“METHODIST CHURCH AT BRADLEY TO BE DEDICATED MAY 15TH
Sunday, May 15th, at 11:00 a.m., Bishop Paul B. Martin will dedicate Bradley’s new Methodist Church building. He will be assisted in the service by Rev. J. M. Hamilton, District Superintendent, and several former pastors. Rev. Edwin Keith will preside.
Mrs. J. M. Allen and Miss Hortense Hamiter will have charge of the music. Dinner will be served on the lawn.
Mrs. J. W. Camp and Mabel McGill were appointed to select the committees for the occasion and have chosen the following:
Invitation—J. M. Allen, Mrs. J. W. Camp.
Worship—Miss Hortense Hamiter, Mrs. J. M. Allen, Mrs. J. W. Camp.
Reception—Mrs. W. A. McGee, Mrs. L. B. Hamiter, Mrs. Mabel McGill, J. B. Edwards.
Decoration—Mrs. Mabel McGill, Mrs. Ed O’Neal, Mrs. T. H. Dismukes.
Dinner—Mrs. George Davis, Mrs. L. G. Middlebrooks, Mrs. L. B. Hamner, Mrs. J. W. Meek, Jr.
Publicity—Mrs. Aletha Allen.
The church building was started in 1946, under the leadership of our pastor, Rev. M. E. Scott, and was completed in the summer of 1947. The first service was held in it August 9, 1947, with Rev. M. E. Scott preaching and Rev. J. A. Simpson, pastor at that time, presiding.
The building is a brick veneer which cost approximately twenty thousand dollars. It has a seating capacity of approximately one hundred and twenty-five, pastor’s study, seven Sunday school rooms and two rest rooms.
The building committee was comprised of the following members: J. B. Edwards, J. W. Meek, L. E. Taylor, Lee Crabtree and J. M. Allen.
This summer marks the forty-sixth anniversary of the organization of the Methodist church here.
Plans for this church began to be formulated in the summer of 1902 by the late D. D. Hamiter. The first step was to get a building site. On September eleventh, 1902, an acre of ground was deeded to D. D. Hamiter, J. H. Hamiter, and T. J. Evans, trustees of the Walnut Hill Circuit of the Little Rock Conference, by the Red River Land Company for that purpose. On December 3, 1904 an adjoining strip of land was deeded to them by T. J. Evans.
For some reason the organization of the church was not consummated until the summer of 1903, when the late Dr. J. L. Cannon graduated from Southern Methodist University and was sent here as a substitute for Rev. George N. Campbell.
The charter members of the church were Mrs. Lula Brock, Mrs. Lena Adams, Mrs. Lucy Ham, Mrs. Henry Hanson, Mrs. Dora Garner, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Price, D. D. Hamiter. All have passed on except Mrs. Dora Garner, Mrs. Lula Brock and Mrs. Henry Hanson.
Under the direction of Dr. J. I. Cannon a frame building was started but was not ready for occupancy until the latter part of 1904. In the meantime, preaching services were held one Sunday afternoon of each month in the Lodge Hall above what was known as Brock & Smith store and post office on Pilot Avenue.
During the left of the church the following ministers have served as pastors, J. L. Cannon, C. W. Musgrove, R. J. Roland, J. J. Mellard, R. J. Raiford, W. C. Hilliard, H. W. Hansford, M. K. Rogers, A. P. Flowers, Roy E. Fawcett, J. A. Save, G. W. Cannon, C. E. Whitten, R. R. Moore, A. W. Hamilton, M. E. Scott, J. A. Simpson, [and] Edwin Keith. D. D. Hamiter served continuously on the board of Stewards from the Church’s organization until his death in 1931.
Under the leadership of Rev. Edwin Keith, last year, the old frame church building was converted into a lovely six room and bath parsonage.
During World War II, the church kept a list of all its members entering the services. This list contains 34 names. All the boys returned except one.
Sunday School has been held regularly since March, 1912. Jack Meek is the present Superintendent. The Sunday School assumed the responsibility of furnishing most of the parsonage when it was completed last year.
The W. S. C. S. was organized in 1920 and has met regularly since that time. Mrs. J. B. Edwards was the first president. The present incumbent is Mrs. F. P. Adams. They have chosen as their special project the beautifying of the grounds of the church and parsonage.
The Methodist Youth Fellowship was organized in 1946. Mrs. J. M. Allen is Superintendent of Youths’ Work.”
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Below is an image of the cornerstone of the Bradley United Methodist Church:
J. B. EDWARDS
J. W. MEEK
J. M. ALLEN
L. E. TAYLOR
PAUL E. MARTIN, BISHOP
A. J. CHRISTIE, DIST. SUPT.
M. E. SCOTT, PASTOR
LLOYD HELMS, CONT.”