William Preston Berry was born October 3, 1861 in Harden County, Kentucky. He came to Arkansas in 1884 and lived in the Mount Vernon Community in White County. He met Lucendy Smith and they married March 17, 1886. They soon moved to the Mars Hill community.
In July of that year, Brother Tatum, a gospel preacher from Texas, came to his home wanting to hold a meeting. Daddy took him to the home of Mr. Jimmy Burns and Mr. Albert Boardman and they agreed to the meeting.
Mr. Boardman had a sawmill on his farm. The three men went to work cutting and sawing lumber to build a brush-arbor. They cut blocks and planks to make the seats.
When the meeting closed the three couples were baptized in a hole of water on Cypress Creek and it was our place to be baptized for several years after that. They continued to meet at the brush-arbor until the men got a meeting house built.
By the 1900’s the Bob Gunter family was added to our group. The parking lot was a hitching place for the horses. Families that lived too far to walk came in the farm wagon.
By the year 1910, I remember Brother J.C. Dawson, Sr., of Conway, came to preach for us in meetings. That was still “horse and buggy” days. The building was heated with wood (Gas and electric lights was unheard of in the rural areas).
In addition to Brother Dawson, Brother Clem Pool, of Austin, preached for us for several years. Also, Brother Al Jolly, of Little Rock, Brother Bill Harris, of Enola, and Brother Frank Wellman, of Jacksonville. Brother Jerry Riley started preaching for us at an early age. We still depend on him to help us.
I hope the Mars Hill Church continues to grow another 98 years.
I am one of your senior citizens and sister in Christ.
Reba (Berry) Diehl
Written: April 1984
Schedule of Service
Morning Bible Study 9:30 am
Morning Worship 10:15 am
Evening Worship 5 pm
Bible Study 6:30 pm