By Louie Graves
An appreciative crowd of about 70 filled the sanctuary of the old First Presbyterian Church in Nashville — and after an informative dedication ceremony, the structure will now be officially known as the 1912 E.A. Williams Chapel and Museum.
Freddie Horne, president of the Howard County Historical Society, served as master of ceremonies, and at the end of the program he presented plaques to two descendants of builder Williams — Tracey Cooley of Mineral Springs and Charlotte Williams Jeffers of Arkadelphia.
In between the welcome by Horne, and a prayer by HCHS member Rex Moorer, the audience heard from several historical society members, from Mayor Billy Ray Jones and from Shelle Stormoe of the Arkansas Department of Heritage who gave a history of the county, town, the builder and the church itself. After the ceremony Stormoe led a walking tour of downtown Nashville, and the rains held off. The museum’s new air conditioning system also worked well.
In his comments, the mayor noted that in any endeavor “there is always one that carries the torch.” He cited all the volunteers, but especially Horne for his leadership in restoring the building and the museum.
“Thanks on behalf of the City of Nashville.”
Other speakers included HCHS board members Maura Bissell, Scott Horne and Susan Nannemann.
The building is now available for weddings, receptions and small parties, Freddie Horne noted in his closing remarks.