History of the Restoration Movement

Hurley Harlan Dunn


Biographical Sketch On The Life Of Hurley Harlan Dunn

Hurley Harlan Dunn was born April 6, 1894, in Sebastian County, near Greenwood, Arkansas. He was the son of Franklin Wade and Martha Rebekah (Posey) Dunn. He was the tenth child born to his parents. Dunn's father was also a highly respected gospel preacher and farmer for many years in western Arkansas.

On September 7, 1913, Hurley married Miss Lundy Beatrice Floyd. To this union five girls were born: Mildred, Lucille, Geneva, Mescal and Nyna.

Dunn attended the rural schools of Sebastian County and had some credit from Arkansas State Teachers College in Conway, Arkansas.

He began preaching in 1933 at Lone Star congregation near Greenwood. He did evangelistic work entirely. As he said, "I preached in meetings from the gently lapping shores of the Pacific Ocean and eastward almost to the crashing waves of the Atlantic; from the Gulf of Mexico northward to Canada, but not beyond the borders of our nation." Dunn preached the gospel in 14 States.

He lived practically all of his life in Sebastian County and was extremely active in community affairs, in addition to his zeal for preaching the gospel. He served on the Greenwood, Arkansas, School Board for 25 years.

Dunn had one debate with a Freewill Baptist preacher, W. A. Hearon, at a mission point in Southwest Arkansas. Later he wrote of this debate, "I stayed on and preached in the evenings for ten days. The Lord blessed our efforts there, for there were only two members of Mr. Hearon's congregation left. I was so elated that I wanted to debate every week following. However, I soon realized it would not have been a good decision. I was considered a hard preacher, and debating would have made me more so. Brother Warlick, Brother Nichol, and our other great debaters did not allow their debates to affect their manner of preaching."

Through the years Dunn collected an enviable library, including some rare Restoration volumes, and he acquired a remarkably thorough knowledge of the Bible. He wrote articles for several gospel papers and a book of sermons with autobiography, "From Rages To Riches," published by the Gospel Light, Delight, Arkansas. Through independent study he became a powerful Bible preacher. He was self-educated, self motivated, and self supported; a farmer, school teacher, and community leader.

From the age of eight to fourteen, Dunn attended country schools. At the age of 15, he took the prescribed examination and received a second-grade license to teach in one-room schools, which at that time included grades one through eight. For several years he taught and farmed, while always studying his Bible. He carried a New Testament and memorized much of it while plowing. He saw the value of education and served on the Greenwood, Arkansas, school board.

When he was sixteen he was baptized by Joe Mays, a part Cherokee. From that time Dunn determined to preach. It was not until 1933, when he was 39, with only two girls still at home, that he was to begin evangelistic work. Then for 40 years he preached in meetings in Arkansas and other States, from coast to coast, baptizing hundreds of people. His audiences varied as he preached in tabernacles, under brush arbors, country school houses, in towns, cities, and hamlets. Many calls were for mission meetings, and his wife stayed with the farm to help pay his expenses. He never complained or asked for help. To the end of his life he said, "The Lord has been so good to me. How can I ever thank Him enough."

In 1941, he and Lundy were forced to sell their farm near Greenwood to the Government to become a part of Fort Chaffee. They bought another farm in the Dayton community, five miles from Huntington, where they lived for 35 years and greatly strengthened the church in that area. They were largely responsible for the erection of a modern church building at Dayton and the training of several young preachers.

Dunn died December 20, 1981, in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was survived by his widow, Lundy B. Dunn and by four daughters: Mildred Ralston, Geneva Guthrie, Mescal Johnson, and Nyna Keeton. One daughter, Lucille Andrews, preceded her father in death. He was also survived by one sister, Mrs. J. B. Waters of Huntington, Arkansas; seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Memorial services were conducted in Little Rock, Arkansas, by John Gipson and Danny Burleson of the Sixth and Izard Church of Christ, and by Larry Bridges, preacher for the Church of Christ in Dayton, Arkansas. Burial was in Little Rock in Forest Hills Memorial Park.

-In Memoriam, Gussie Lambert, pages 80-82

Directions To The Grave Of Hurley H. Dunn

H.H. Dunn is buried in Little Rock, Arkansas. In Southeast Little Rock take I-30 south of the I-430 Interchange and take the first exit (129 or 128). and go west on Otter Creek East Blvd. Go to the traffic light (Hwy. 5) and turn left. The numbers are very tricky here, but go south on Hwy. 5 for about a mile until you cross the Saline County line. Just a little further and you will come to the Forest Hills Memorial Park. The address is 10201 Highway 5 North, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72209. Office Phone:501-455-1067. You will pull in to the cemetery on the right, across from the funeral home. Enter through the gates and bear around to your first left. Garden Of The Pines will be on your right. Go toward the middle of the section and stop your car. Go in four plots and look for the grave marker GUIN. The Dunn plot is just behind. The grave says his name was Hurley H. Dunn, but this is a mistake. His name was Hurley Harlan Dunn.

GPS Coordinates
N34º 38' 809" x W 92º 26' 840"
Facing West
Section 1 Lot 435 Space 4

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