A simple entry in one of our denomination's history books led to a search, and a remembrance.
The Caruthersville Wesleyan Church in Caruthersville, Missouri, recently obtained a monument for a minister in the church's history.
It was during Pastor Kenny Lee's study for ordination in The Wesleyan Church in 1987 that he first became aware of Rev. W.S. Small. His name was in one of the textbooks, "The Days of Our Pilgrimage" on the history of the Pilgrim Holiness Church. According the textbook, the January 23, 1941 Pilgrim Holiness Advocate reported "the untimely death" of Rev. W.S. Small, a pastor of the African-American church at Caruthersville, Missouri. This information started a journey of finding out more about Rev. Small and his ministry in Caruthersville.
Pastor Kenny Lee contacted the archives of The Wesleyan Church and received the original article that was published in the Pilgrim Holiness Advocate. The article stated that the funeral was conducted by Superintendent W. O. Bottenberg in Caruthersville. The article even included a picture of Rev. Small.
After some research, it was discovered that Rev. Small was buried in Morgan Ridge Cemetery, a cemetery located less than half a mile from the Caruthersville Wesleyan Church. And it was also discovered that his grave did not have a monument. Rev. Small was born in Winona, Mississippi, on April 19, 1879 and died in Caruthersville, Missouri on January 2, 1941. There is very little other information on Rev. Small.
It was just recently that the idea came to obtain a monument for this minister who had served the church and people of Caruthersville.
Pastor Kenny Lee contacted Whitener Monuments, a local monument company, and a monument was donated. The monument was dedicated in honor of Rev. Small and his service to the Lord, The Wesleyan Church, and the community on Sunday, October 19, 2014, by the congregation of the Caruthersville Wesleyan Church.