The first meeting for the Pilgrim Rest No. 2 Missionary Baptist Church was held in the Happy Bend School House on December 29, 1937. Several Christian families living in the Happy Bend Community of Atkins, Arkansas saw a need to organize a church in the community to spread Christianity and do good service for God, their children and future generations. At this meeting, a Covenant and Eighteen Articles of Faith were adopted, the church was named, and meeting times were set for the first and third Sunday of each month. Services were held in the schoolhouse until a sanctuary was built in 1941.
Rev. L. Embry was elected as the first pastor of Pilgrim Rest No. 2 Missionary Baptist Church. In 1956, Rev. Howard Landrum became pastor, serving nearly 50 years, the longest tenure of any pastor of Pilgrim Rest. Following Rev. Landrum’s retirement, Rev. Paul Erby became the pastor of Pilgrim Rest, where he has served since 2002.