Special service to commemorate Henderson's founding

Henderson State University had its beginnings on Nov. 6, 1889, when Arkadelphia civic leaders and members of the Methodist Episcopal Church held a town meeting to discuss the establishment of a Methodist college for Arkadelphia and southern Arkansas.

After an attempt to locate Hendrix College in Arkadelphia failed, leaders moved forward with their original plan to establish a separate Methodist college.

Founded March 24, 1890, the college was incorporated as Arkadelphia Methodist College.

In celebration of Henderson’s 125th anniversary, the university will commemorate its founding at a special ceremony at 2 p.m. April 20 entitled “The Town & The Gown.” The event will be held at Arkadelphia First United Methodist Church. The public is invited.

To mark the role of the town and church in the establishment of Henderson, city and church leaders will participate in the church-like service.

“The Town and Gown represents and shows that our university values the history associated with the Methodist church and the City of Arkadelphia,” said Paul Hankins, interim alumni coordinator at Henderson. “We are eternally entwined.”

The hour-long program includes a prelude, processional hymn, words of welcome, anthem, The Reddie Hymn, a blessing, and other special presentations.