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Center Grove Methodist Church (Oak Grove School)

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1938. 7351 U.S. 270 E, between Bradford Ln. and Center Grove Dr., 6 miles east of Sheridan
  • (Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, A Division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, Travis Ratermann, photographer)

In the 1930s in rural Arkansas, school district consolidation rendered obsolete many of the hundreds of little one-room schoolhouses that dotted the state. They often were replaced by larger schools constructed by the WPA using local craftsmen. This one-story, frame, four-room structure, situated close to the highway and shaded by old oaks, is a well-preserved example. On the west and the north, the two double-door entrances, framed by Doric pilasters, are sheltered by steeply gabled porches supported on box columns. Illuminating the interior and enlivening the simple rectangular building are banks of tall multipaned windows. When the school closed in 1949 following the school district’s consolidation with Sheridan’s, it became the Center Grove Methodist Church. The congregation has been remarkably respectful of the building through the years. Except for the addition of a small steeple, the exterior remains unaltered. On the interior, two classrooms were combined to form the sanctuary, a third was subdivided into Sunday School rooms, and a fourth was left unchanged, its blackboard and cloakroom intact. The combination of church and school functions has a long history in the state, as many of the early one-room schools constructed by members of the community doubled as churches on Sunday.

Writing Credits

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors


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Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "Center Grove Methodist Church (Oak Grove School)", [Sheridan, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 205-205.

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