Description of Antioch Meeting-House by Bishop T.A. Morris

The Antioch Meeting-House on Wolf Creek in Pike county, Arkansas described   
by Bishop T.A. Morris of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1841.             
                       Saturday, November 27, 1841.                          
Saturday morning we resumed our journey, and soon found that all the mud and 
water which adhered to the wheels became congealed. It froze all day -- was  
cloudy, windy, and unpleasant. In the evening we forded a large creek called 
Antoine, and soon after reached Wolf creek, where we had appointed to preach 
on the Sabbath. We called, as previously advised, on Colonel John Wilson,    
who keeps a public house, but had the kindness to entertain us gratuitously. 
His wife, children, and servants, are members of our Church. This was in the 
corner of Pike county. The Colonel has on his place two valuable springs,    
one chalybeate and the other weak sulphur, and pleasant to the taste.        
                        Sunday, November 28, 1841.                           
On Sabbath, at eleven o'clock, we commenced public service in Wolf creek     
meeting-house with eighteen persons; others came during the sermon, some     
after sermon, while brother Clark was exhorting; and after the congregation  
dispersed we met others going. This irregularity, as to the time of the      
meeting, grew partly out of a misunderstanding as to the hour appointed for  
preaching. Moreover, it is a free house, where some appoint to commence at   
noon, and then delay as much longer as suits their convenience. As this is   
said to be the best chapel in the south part of the state, it may be of some 
interest to read a brief description of it. The walls are made of hewed      
logs, about twenty by twenty-four feet in extent, with a wooden chimney in   
one end, and a place cut out for a chimney at the other end, which is        
partly closed up with slabs. In the front is a large door, with a center     
post, and double shutters, on the principle of a barn door. Immediately      
opposite, on the other side, is a pulpit, which projects some six feet from  
the wall, the forepart of which is so high that when the preacher kneels to  
pray he is nearly concealed from the view of the people. Behind this pulpit  
is a window without glass, the shutter of which is neither long nor wide     
enough to close it, and, consequently, lets a double stream of air upon him. 
The roof is made of clapboards, between which and the floor there is no      
ceiling, though there are some naked poles laid across on the plates; and    
the cracks between the logs are neither chinked nor daubed; and though they  
were once partially closed by nailing on thin boards, these have been mostly 
torn off, to afford light and a free circulation of air.                     
The day was cold, and the people appeared to suffer. In the evening we found 
a large fire kindled in the front yard near the door, to which the people    
could retreat when too cold to hear the preaching; when one class were       
warmed they would return into the house, and another cold set could give     
place to them. No blame was attached to them for this procedure; for,        
judging of the feelings of others by my own, it was an indispensable         
arrangement. We had truly a chilly time that day throughout, temporally and  
spiritually. Next morning we concluded to measure the temperature of the     
atmosphere, hung out the thermometer, and the mercury stood only eleven      
degrees above zero, which was certainly extraordinary weather for this       
country the last week in November.                                           
                        Monday, November 29, 1841                            
Monday morning we crossed Little Missouri river, about five rods wide, for   
which we paid $2. The ferry-boat is keeled at the ends, and has nothing      
attached to conduct the wheels from the boat to the shore, so that where we  
led out, the carriages had to make a pitch of some fifteen inches; and the   
consequence was, the main bar of the hind spring of the buggy snapped in     
two; but we splintered and wrapped it with small cord, and in an hour        
resumed our journey. This was on the old road, which, for about two miles    
south of the river, is nearly impassable on account of mud, broken bridges,  
                               T.A. Morris                                   
Miscellany: Consisting of Essays, Biographical Sketches, and Notes of        
Travel, by Rev. T.A. Morris, D.D., one of the Bishops of the Methodist       
Episcopal Church. Cincinnati: Published by L. Swormstedt & A. Poe, for the   
Methodist Episcopal Church, at the Western Book Concern, corner of Main and  
Eighth Streets, R.P. Thompson, Printer, 1854, pp. 306-308. Edited.           
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