Stories of interest to Arkansas Baptists ...


Williams Baptist College marks 5th year in U.S News & World Report top tier  

Henry Pineda of Green Forest., receives his bachelor’s degree from Williams Baptist College President Tom Jones during 2014 commencement exercises in May.WALNUT RIDGE – For the fifth year in a row, Williams Baptist College (WBC) is ranked in the top tier of Southern liberal arts colleges by US News & World Report. The magazine released its 2015 college rankings on Sept. 9, showing Williams to once again be a top tier institution.

"This is a great affirmation of the quality education provided at Williams Baptist College. The data and our peers at other colleges and universities confirm what Williams students and alumni have known all along, which is that WBC is an outstanding institution of higher learning," said Tom Jones, WBC's president.

Located at Walnut Ridge, Williams is ranked 59th among colleges in the South. The rankings are based on a variety of statistical data, as well as reviews from administrators at other colleges.

"The US News rankings place WBC in the company of other fine institutions in this region of the country," Jones said.  "We appreciate this distinction and what it says about the good work being done at Williams."

WBC is a four-year, liberal arts college owned and operated by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.


North American Mission Board's disaster relief leader appointed to FEMA council

WilsonALPHARETTA, Ga. – Fritz Wilson, executive director of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) for the North American Mission Board, was one of 12 new appointees to the National Advisory Council (NAC) for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Wilson was selected for the three-year term from among 200 outstanding leaders from across the U.S. that includes elected officials, first responders, scientists, emergency management specialists and cyber security professionals.

Established following Hurricane Katrina, Wilson said the 35 member council is an "advisory board" that studies service gaps and recommends possible solutions to the FEMA Administrator in the areas of disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation.

"It's a high honor to represent Southern Baptists and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief," Wilson said. "I am humbled to serve. Southern Baptists are willing to do whatever it takes to bring help, healing and hope to communities in need."

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October is Pastor Appreciation Month

With October fast approaching as Pastor Appreciation Month, now is the time for churches to begin making plans to honor, recognize and encourage their pastors.

A church can honor its pastor in a variety of ways, including by planning a surprise recognition for him, presenting him with a certificate, holding a time of prayer for him or presenting him with a monetary gift or other gift. 

For the past several years, the Arkansas Baptist News has offered special ad rates for churches that want to place a special recognition in the newspaper that will be seen by thousands of fellow Baptists across the state. For additional information and example ads, visit arkansasbaptist.org/pastor-appreciation or call 800-838-2272, ext. 5161.

For more information about how to honor your pastor visit arkansasbaptist.org/pastor-appreciation.

The North American Mission Board and LifeWay Christian Resources also have Pastor Appreciation Month resources available on their websites – namb.net/honoring_pastors and lifeway.com/Article/pastor-Ideas-for-Pastor-Appreciation-Month-in-October.


IMB moves forward on pilot funding program for short-term missionaries

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) – International Mission Board (IMB) leaders briefed trustees at thier Aug. 26-27 meeting on a pilot funding program to allow for greater numbers of short-term missionaries (who serve two- to three-year terms) while forging deeper partnerships with churches.

Under the initiative, based on the model established in 1977 by the Southern Baptist Convention's Mission Service Corps, more than 50 percent of short-term missionaries' financial support will continue to be provided by Southern Baptists through the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. The remainder, set at $15,000 per person per year, will be raised by the missionaries themselves.

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David Platt to lead SBC’s IMB

Platt preaching in 2011.ROCKVILLE, Va. (BP) – Alabama pastor and author David Platt was elected president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board Aug. 27 by board trustees, meeting at the IMB's International Learning Center in Rockville, Va. 

Platt, 36, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, a Southern Baptist congregation in Birmingham, Ala., will take office effective immediately as president of the 169-year-old organization, the largest denominational missionary-sending body among American evangelicals. More than 4,800 Southern Baptist international missionaries serve worldwide.

Platt succeeds former missionary, pastor and Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president Tom Elliff, 70, who has served as IMB president since March 2011. Elliff asked the agency's trustees earlier this year to begin an active search for his successor. Elliff and his wife Jeannie plan to r

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