Holiday Island church closes doors

Friday, August 20, 2004
it is a rare sight to see a closed sign for a church, particularly in what has been considered the Bible Belt, of which Northwest Arkansas is a part. Such is the case, however, for Dove Circle Baptist Church at Holiday Island, where the few remaining members voted to close earlier this month. The church, formed in 1988, leaves a legacy, having given rise to congregations now meeting at Holiday Island Baptist Chapel and the American Legion building on Highway 23 south of Holiday Island. CCN / Sheree Kuehn

In Eureka Springs and Holiday Island it is not unusual to see business come and go. It's not even unusual to see churches form and built.

However, seeing a "closed" or "out of business" sign on a church is a very rare sight, but that is just what happened last week at Dove Circle Baptist Church in Holiday Island.

The remaining members voted unanimously Wednesday night, Aug. 11, to close the church and disband the membership.

All properties were given to the North Arkansas Baptist Association, along with all financial matters and membership rosters.

Dove Circle Baptist Church began as a mission church of Penn Memorial, First Baptist Church of Eureka Springs, in February 1988.

Its first Sunday morning services were held at the Holiday Island Recreation Center. With the help of the North Arkansas Baptist Association, the church purchased the land in Holiday Island on Dove Circle Drive.

In July of 1988, a portable chapel, supplied by the Arkansas Baptist Association, was moved to the land and the members of Dove Circle started having services there. The small chapel could seat about 50 people.

The beginning of 1990, members of Dove Circle, friends, neighbors and about 40 Volunteer Christian Builders, began construction on a new church and it is standing on the land today.

In March of 1998, the members felt the need to expand to accommodate youth and young families, so again, the Volunteer Christian Builders were called to work alongside the members and a large activities building was constructed.

This building has a gymnasium, a commercial kitchen, storage rooms and many classrooms to accommodate growth and additions.

Since its inception in 1988, Dove Circle Baptist Church has had six pastors, four interim pastors and guest speakers too numerous to count.

The North Arkansas Baptist Association feels confident it can maintain the church facilities until they find a new congregation in need of church buildings.

As in all things, they said they will just keep praying and seeking the Lord's will in this situation.

Former members said it was sad to have to close Dove Circle, but they look forward to what the Lord will do there in the future.

It is with enthusiasm and anticipation we are waiting for God to bring new life back to the church buildings.

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