The collection contains church records and personal documents of long-time residents of the community. It also contains school and educational material, including journals of the Arkansas Teachers Association (A.T.A.).
Pilgrim Missionary Baptist was an African American church established in 1888 with Reverend Wesley Gains as its first pastor. The church is located in the Pilgrim Community of Solgohachia, Conway County, Arkansas. It started as a brush arbor, before a building was constructed. Although, the first structure was destroyed by fire, the congregation eventually rebuilt. It is the second building that is believed to be standing today. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist was a part of the Cypress Creek District of the Regular Missionary Baptist Convention, associated with the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Incorporated. African American families migrated to the area from South Carolina. However, due to an eventual decline in population, neighboring communities comprised of Pilgrim, Bethlehem, and Pisgah later consolidated to form North View Community. Over the years, children were educated at Pilgrim School which began in the church before a story-story school was built. They later attended North View School (1932-1961), a four room Rosenwald (now North View Community Center), and Conway County Training School (renamed East Side High School), in Menifee, Arkansas. As people moved away, and death claimed many of the elders, the congregation of Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church dwindled to only four members. Pilgrim closed its doors in December 1998 with Reverend H.J. Heaggans serving as its last pastor. The four remaining members transferred to Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, in Springfield, Arkansas. A local cemetery preservation group was established in 2007 to maintain the cemetery located across the road from the church on two acres of land. The cemetery with over 125 known burials is still in use by the community.
Document, 8.5" x 11"
Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church records, MS.000610
Arkansas State Archives
Arkansas State Archives
Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church records, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.
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United States History