In April of 2012, I visited Arkansas for the first time. I was in discovery of my Porter roots, and spent time with my cousin, Robert Fulford, who is the Great Nephew of my father Walter Porter. The area of Arkansas was very rural. I stayed in Dermott, and did exploring in some of the nearby towns.
My cousin drove me into Lake Village, Chicot County, Arkansas and I had him pull over when I came across New Hope Missionary Baptist Church which had a cemetery on its grounds. I was so excited and exclaimed I would take pictures of all the graves around the church. Of course, I did not, but I intend to on my return visit. I will be more prepared to do so, and might possibly index the cemetery as it is not very big, but will require a few hours to accomplish.
New Hope Missionary Baptist Church has the reputation as being the Oldest Black church in the State of Arkansas.
The Placard on the grounds stated:
Jim Kelley, a slave, organized this church in 1860. His owner allowed the use of this plot of ground on which to build a church. On May 15, 1873, Mr. & Mrs. William B. Street deeded the property to the trustees of the church. New Hope Missionary Baptist Church claims to be the oldest Black Church in the State of Arkansas.
The church is still in operation today. The address is:
New Hope Missionary Baptist Church
Commerce & St. Mary’s Streets
Lake Village, AR 71653