Our HistoryLearn About Fairland's History
Fairland Holiness Church began meeting in 1932, but in some ways our church began in 1931, at a two room schoolhouse at the Fairland community, near Fouke, AR. Mr. Robert Stewart moved to this area eighteen years earlier from Alabama. The Stewarts had attended a Holiness church before they moved to Arkansas and were disappointed that there was none close by. Robert Stewart met a Holiness minister in Texarkana one day and invited him to hold a revival in the Fairland Community School. Many were touched by the ministry of Bro. Pate and this sowed the seeds for the establishment of the Fairland Holiness Church.
The Fairland Church began meeting in the old schoolhouse but this soon ended when a fire destroyed the school, leaving the community without a school or church. Bro. Beet was the 1st pastor of the church and they began to meet in houses for prayer meetings until a building was built. In 1933, Jim and Rose Ellen donated 1 acre of land adjoining the school property for the building of a church. It was a 30X40 building, constructed of rough lumber, sawdust floors with no ceiling. The heat came from a wood stove and light from gas lanterns. During the depression era, the congregation dwindled down very small. Many people left to find better jobs but there were some faithful people that kept the church open. In later years, these people’s names may have been forgotten but their work has made it possible for many people to hear the Gospel.
The office of deacon has been a very important and influential work in our church. Boose Stewart, Wiilie Bohn and Herbert Bohn were the original deacons of the church. The spirituality, leadership, and prayerful, holy lives that these men lived are great examples to everyone. Their influence is still felt in our church today. Although there were others that served in this important office, one man came after Bro. Herbert resigned that was unmistakable a force in the spirituality of our church. This spiritual man was Don Earl Harrison. Bro. Ben Shaw was pastor of the church for 32 years and was a tremendous pastor. His vision inspired the people to witness, build and do great things for God. His prayer life and spirituality also compelled people to be prayerful and worshipful. His practical, anointed preaching won people’s hearts over to the ways of holiness and righteousness. He was and still is a selfless servant that deserves honor.
Another person that deserves honor is his blessed wife, Opal Lee. She worked tirelessly to make Fairland a church of excellence. Her sacrifice, wisdom and godliness are to be commended. There came a time when it was obvious that there would have to be a change of leadership. The deacons were getting older and it was time to start looking for qualified men to take this office. Bro. Robert Bohn, Bro. Dwaine Bohn and Bro. Wayne Holden were chosen to serve the church as the deacons and have proven to be men of highest character. They continue in the same conviction and spirituality of their predecessors. We have great confidence in their prayer lives and spirituality. Fairland can be assured that they have chosen men of “honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom” to appoint over this business.
Bro. Shaw announced to the church that he would be resigning but would like to train a younger preacher to step into the role as pastor. After some praying, the deacons and Bro. Shaw agreed upon Lloyd Shuecraft to come to the church. In June of 1996, he came to Fairland and worked with Bro. Shaw until 1998. In January of 1998,Lloyd Shuecraft was voted to be the pastor by 100% of the church. The Shuecraft family, Lloyd, Sherry, Titus, Luke, John Mark, and Stephen are very happy to be a part of the Lord’s work in this wonderful church.
With church attendance increasing, it was decided to build a new auditorium adjacent to the original church building. The congregation began worshiping there when it was completed and the sanctuary was dedicated in 1975. As the church grew, there was the need to purchase 2 ½ acres south of the sanctuary. The new sanctuary was completed in 1988. With growth, there was also the need for storage buildings. In 1996, the old tabernacle was tore down and a metal building replaced it with much needed room to store things. In 2004, a remodeling project was started for the sanctuary. Magnificent woodwork is seen around the baptistery and sound room. Other trim-work was added to the beautified sanctuary. Bro. Sammy Bumgardner and Bro. Randy House were the skilled workmen that did this amazing work. The completion of this work was in 2005 right before camp meeting.