Entry Category: Religion - Starting with R

Religion

The number of people in Arkansas who believe in and practice a religious faith has always been high, with the greatest percentage identifying themselves as Christian and Protestant. Numerically, the largest denomination in the state is now Baptist, including its Southern, Missionary, Free Will, Primitive, and other branches. Because of privacy issues and the separation of church and state, it is difficult to arrive at exact statistics pertaining to church membership or affiliation. The U.S. government’s Census of Religious Bodies was discontinued in 1936. Early Religion in ArkansasPrior to European contact, little is known of Native American—in Arkansas, the Quapaw and Caddo groups—religious traditions. Attempts at reconstructions based on archaeology and later ethnography have been made, but recorded accounts begin …

Religious Society of Friends

aka: Quakers
Quakers in Arkansas, though small in number, have played an important role in education and race relations, providing teachers and schools for African Americans after the Civil War and organizing interracial programs during the school integration crisis. The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, began in England during the religious ferment of the 1600s through the ministry of George Fox. Quakers believed that all people could develop a personal relationship with God without the intervention of traditional priests or rituals. They worshiped in silence until led to speak by the spirit. They developed testimonies of peace, simplicity, equality, and integrity. Friends’ local congregations are called Monthly Meetings and may affiliate with Quarterly and Yearly Meetings based on both …

Roman Catholics

aka: Catholics
Roman Catholicism is the oldest form of Christianity in the state, yet it has remained the faith of a minority of the population. Catholicism first arrived in Arkansas via Spanish explorers and a French Jesuit missionary, and there were a few Catholics living at Arkansas Post (Arkansas County) during the French and Spanish colonial era of the eighteenth century. Once Arkansas became attached to the American Union by the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the area underwent a demographic and religious metamorphosis. A wave of Anglo-American Protestants overran the area so that, by 1850, Catholics made up approximately one percent of the total population of the state. The great European migration to the United States between 1840 and 1920, which contained …

Ronoake Baptist Church

The Ronoake Baptist Church is a Craftsman-style, historically African-American house of worship located near Gurdon (Clark County). Constructed in 1945, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 23, 2011. The church, also known as Ronoke and New Ronok Baptist Church, is still active in the twenty-first century. The church is located at the north end of Ronoake Baptist Church Road, north of the Gurdon city limits. The church was founded near Smithton (Clark County) in 1893. After meeting for several years on privately owned land, the church members began raising money by 1918 to purchase land on which they could build a permanent church. By the next year, land had been purchased near a cemetery …

Rudd, Daniel

Daniel A. Rudd was a lay leader within the Catholic Church during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who used his own experience and influence to usher in a sense of black consciousness among Catholics in the United States and to advocate for the equality of all African Americans. He published the American Catholic Tribune, organized the first Negro Catholic Conferences, and developed relationships with some of the most influential black and Catholic leaders in Arkansas. Daniel Arthur Rudd was born on August 7, 1854, in Bardstown, Kentucky. He was the eleventh of twelve children born to Robert Rudd and Elizabeth (Eliza) Rudd, who were enslaved to two different owners—Robert to Richard and Margaret Rudd and Eliza to Charles …