Date Original



This collection contains records of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Synod of Arkansas, collected by George William Thompson. They include minutes and correspondence related to the Arkansas Synod, as well as material related to restoration of the Dwight Mission. The mission was established in 1821 to serve the Arkansas Cherokees. It was first located in Russellville, Arkansas, and then re-established near present-day Marble City, Oklahoma, after the Cherokees were required to move to Indian Territory in 1828.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Presbyterian Church formed the Cumberland Presbytery (covering Kentucky and Tennessee) in 1802. In 1812, the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination began sending missionaries to preach the Gospel and establish congregations on the Arkansas frontier. Members of those new congregations wrote to their friends and family in the east, encouraging them to come to Arkansas. Many came in response, especially from middle Tennessee. The first Protestant service ever heard in Arkansas was preached by John Carnahan in 1812. He continued to travel the frontier and preach for nine years. In 1823, Reuben Burrow and Robert D. King began making circuits on the White, Red, and Arkansas rivers. The Arkansas Presbytery was formed on the White River in Independence County in 1823. Nearly 300 Cumberland Presbyterian congregations have been organized in Arkansas and over 1,000 pastors have been ordained. The records in this collection were found in the estate of Madge Thompson Hudgens, who was the only child of George William Thompson. He was a Presbyterian circuit preacher in Arkansas in the early to mid-1900s. George W. Thompson was born on December 8, 1873 in Batesville, Arkansas, and died in Fayetteville on August 7, 1953.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area






Resource Type



Cumberland Presbyterian Church records, MS.000994


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Cumberland Presbyterian Church records, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


Use and reproduction of images held by the Arkansas State Archives without prior written permission is prohibited. For information on reproducing images held by the Arkansas State Archives, please call 501-682-6900 or email at


United States History