Our History

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Cavanaugh Church began in 1962 as a mission. One year later Cavanaugh Free Will Baptist Church was officially organized and moved into our original building which was located at 7817 Holly Street in the Cavanaugh community of Fort Smith, Arkansas. We began with 32 charter members and Rev. Dick Shipley as our pastor.

Our church was blessed and grew. With faith that God would continue to bless us, we purchased land and built a new sanctuary and educational building at 2825 Grinnell Avenue, our present location.

Six years later, a small gym and fellowship hall was added. This building now houses our childcare ministry, the Cavanaugh Children’s Center. Our Children’s Center consists of childcare program for children ages 2-5 years old and also provides a Christian kindergarten program for 4-5 year olds.

In 1992, we began construction on a new 650 seat sanctuary. The building also includes six Sunday school classrooms, three classrooms for our Wee Worship and a choir rehearsal room. Our new sanctuary was completed in June of 1993. With our new sanctuary, the original sanctuary became our Family Life Center.

We added a 10,000 square foot Administration and Education Complex in 1999 which has offices for the staff plus nine classrooms.

Over all, Cavanaugh Church has approximately 50,000 square feet of space dedicated to worshipping and honoring God.