The Bossier Banner published a history of a small church in north Bossier Parish in its August 26, 1920 issue.
“Many readers of the Banner are familiar with the little white church known as Banks’ Chapel, situated beside the old Cottage Grove Cemetery, and the following historical sketch may prove interesting for a few of them:”
“During the year 1867, Rev. A. R. Banks, formerly of the Arkansas Ouachita Presbytery, took charge of the Rocky Mount Church, and about two years was duly called and installed [as] their pastor. As part of the congregation resided in the vicinity of Cottage Grove and Wright’s Chapel, an arrangement was made for Rev. Banks to preach twice a month at the latter place. During 1878 the church was moved to Collinsburg by the Methodist brethren, who claimed it, and thus left without a church, the congregation continued to hold services in the Cottage Grove Academy, which was kindly tendered for their use. They worshipped there until the new church was completed about a half mile from the site of Wright’s Chapel and the same distance from the site of Cottage Grove Academy, alongside the old Cottage Grove Cemetery and some fifty or eighty steps from the main road.”
“This church was organized June 19, 1880. The committee appointed by the Red River Presbytery consisted of Rev. W. C. Dunlap, Rev. A. R. Banks and Elder A. A. Lyon. They met at the Cottage Grove Church and, after a sermon appropriate to the occasion by Rev. Dunlap, proceeded with the organization. Thirty-four names were enrolled, most of them having been members of the Rocky Mount Church, but living nearer to Cottage Grove.”
“The Church was dedicated the following Sabbath—June 20, 1880. A dedication sermon
was preached by Rev. Dunlap and all the members sat down at the Lord’s table together. They had thirty-four members, a neat, new house of worship, entirely free of debt, and a flourishing Sunday school, all duly equipped for work in the Master’s vineyard.”
“A meeting of the congregation of Banks’ Chapel was called March 19, 1882 for the purpose of electing a pastor. A unanimous vote was given to Rev. Banks, who had served them several years, as stated. Mr. Banks accepted the call and the presbytery appointed a committee to install him over the congregation.”
“Rev. Banks served the church faithfully until August 24, 1887. He then asked for the congregation to join with him in a petition to the presbytery to dissolve the pastoral relation. They reluctantly consented and had to give up their beloved pastor. The same date a congregational meeting was held for the purpose of securing another minister. Rev. McCarty’s name was presented and he was unanimously elected.”
“Long may the old Cottage Grove Church stand as a memorial to the devotion, zeal and piety, as well as the liberality of those who contributed of their means to its erection, and who meet with their children to worship God after the Presbyterian Faith and order.”
The Bossier Parish Library Historical Center has in its holdings the history of numerous churches, schools and businesses in Bossier Parish, so pay us a visit.
Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org