Carolina Methodist Church

The Carolina Methodist Church is located near Rosston (Nevada County). Constructed in 1871, the building and associated cemetery are the last remnants of the Carolina community. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 3, 1991.

The first settlers to the area began arriving around 1855, when the land was part of Ouachita County. Some evidence suggests that the church congregation was founded the following year. The land where the church would be built was purchased by the board of trustees for twenty-five cents on January 15, 1870, from the John W. Shell and W. C. Hatley families. The church building was likely constructed by the following year, and the property records were transferred to Nevada County upon its creation in 1871.

The church is a single-story, wood-frame building. Facing south, it originally rested on stone piers. Additional concrete piers were added to the building during a renovation project in 1977. Two sets of double-leaf doors are located at the south end of the building. The north end of the building includes double-hung windows opposite the doors in the south wall. Both the east and west walls contain three double-hung windows on the south side and a pegged door, followed by a fourth window. The structure is topped with a gable roof with composite shingles. The exterior of the building is covered in weatherboard.

The interior walls of the church are coved in planks. The windows and doors were constructed with wood pegs, and the pews were built from pine boards. A pulpit and mourner’s bench are also present, constructed from locally sourced wood. A balcony was formerly located in the rear of the church, containing a single pew for African-American worshippers. It is no longer present. A set of pews is located to the left of the pulpit for the choir. The building is mostly intact, with only the lower portions of the windows removed and covered with boards to prevent vandalism.

The building operated with a small congregation for decades. Served by a circuit-riding preacher, the church had fifty active members in 1931, and services were held at 3:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month. The church held both a piano and an organ. A freshwater spring is located near the church and provided worshippers water during the services that often lasted more than two hours. A cemetery is located approximately one mile east of the church building. It was begun in this location around the time the congregation was started and was not moved when the land for the church was purchased a mile away.

The building was last used for regular services in 1977. It continues to be available for community events in the twenty-first century. The church is located on the Camden to Washington Road, Rosston Segment, which is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

For additional information:
“Carolina Methodist Church.” National Register for Historic Places registration form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Office, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/NE0043.nr.pdf (accessed February 13, 2019).

Nevada County Depot and Museum. http://www.depotmuseum.org/ (accessed February 13, 2019).

David Sesser
Henderson State University

Last Updated: 02/13/2019