ARKANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY; Volume 38, Summer 1979, p. 146
F. E. Maddox:
Chaplain of Progress, 1908
BY LARRY R. HAYWARD*
In the first decade of the twentieth century, Texarkana
was a small, relatively young town in the southwest corner of Arkansas.
Though located in that part of America commonly labeled the Bible Belt,
it had a Presbyterian church whose minister---the Reverend Finis Ewing Maddox---preached
doctrines known as "modernism" almost a quarter of a century before
the climactic confrontation between modernism and fundamentalism at the
- Maddox was a child of the Bible Belt. Born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee,
in 1873, he grew up on a farm. From 1890 to 1893, he attended Southwestern
Presbyterian University in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he studied theology
privately under Joseph Ruggles Wilson, the father of Woodrow Wilson. Upon
graduation he served churches in Cleveland, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama;
and Greenwood, Mississippi, before becoming vice-president of his brother's
private girls' school in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he also taught "Mental
and Moral Philosophy." Maddox left the school in 1905 to become the
first minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Texarkana. Three years
later, he became embroiled in religious controversy (1).
- * The author, a graduate of the University of Arkansas, is a student
in the Master of Divinity program at
- Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He is at present working
at the University Interfaith Association, University of Tennessee Medical
Units, in Memphis.
- 1. Barbara (Overton) Chandler and Jolley Edward Howe, History of
Texarkana and Bowie and
- Miller Counties,Texas-Arkansas (Texarkana, 1939), 293, 324;
Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church, U. S.,
1861-1941, comp. by Eugene Crampton Scott (Austin, 1942), 427.