this church is the oldest Lutheran church in Arkansas. it all began in 1843, when six families from Germany immigrated to this country and settled in Fort Smith. On June 7, 1868, the present congregation -the First Evangelical Lutheran church- was organized. in 1896, plans began to build a modern church edifice. the cornerstone of the present church was laid on October 12, 1902 and the building was dedicated on May 15, 1904.