Smyrna Methodist Church
Hwy 36 & Jaybird Lane
East of Center Hill, Arkansas
Phone: (501) 279-1010
circa 1854 Vernacular Greek Revival Church
Listed in National Register of Historic Places on 7/20/1992
Smyrna Church is available to rent for weddings and events. Call 279-1010 for more information.
Known as the oldest church building in Arkansas, Smyrna Methodist Church was founded in 1856.
When the building was lifted several feet for substructure restoration, a white oak stump was discovered beneath the structure, in a relatively well preserved state. Core samples were taken from various sills, posts, studs, rafters, and joists of the building. After experts, called dendrochronologists, from the U of A Tree Ring Laboratory in Fayetteville, studied the samples taken from the building and the tree stump, it was determined that lumber used in building the church did indeed come from the white oak stump, as well as several other trees from the immediate area. Some of the logs that were used in the construction of the church started growing as trees between 1614 and 1638. The oldest log in the church was 242 years old when it was cut down back in 1856.
In 1997, Methodist Church Officials donated the building to the City of Searcy, with the understanding the city, White County Historical Society, and Searcy Arts Council would work together towards restoration of the structure. This is being done by the Smyrna Church Preservation Committee, through donations from private parties and grants, along with volunteers, and other interested parties.
Outside restoration has been completed, while work on the inside of the church continues.