Workshops set to start in Jan.

The Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) will offer Compensation Planning Workshops starting in January. This workshop will be led by William Jaques Jr. from the ABSC and is for church ministerial staff and anyone dealing with church finances.

Topics will include proper salary structure for ministers, the importance of reimbursing for professional expenses and providing benefits and understanding what a minister’s housing allowance is and how to designate one.

The workshop will teach participants how to create a compensation structure that is compliant with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations for ministers. This structure recognizes the unique tax status of ministers and helps churches minimize their ministers’ tax liability in a way that does not violate the IRS code.

“Too many churches fail to understand the importance of compensating their ministry staff properly. This workshop helps churches understand how to compensate ministry staff in a way that will help prevent them from paying unnecessary taxes,” said Jaques, evangelism and church health team member for the ABSC.

The workshops will be held at various locations around Arkansas during the months of January and February.

Preregistration is required. To register and to view times and locations, visit This workshop is made possible by gifts from Arkansas Baptists to the Cooperative Program.


Interim ministry conference set for Feb. 17-18 at Camp Paron

PARON – The Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) is offering an Interim Ministry for Today’s Church conference Feb. 17-18 at Camp Paron. The event is designed to enhance and improve the skill of men involved in interim ministry or those desiring to get involved in interim ministry.  

The time between permanent pastors is a critical time for a church. The conference will prepare participants to develop a covenant with a congregation that clearly describes the responsibilities of the interim pastor and the congregation. Additionally, participants will learn how to study a congregation and determine where the church might need assistance. This is done to prepare the church for the coming of a new pastor.

“This conference will teach participants how to do interim ministry. It will give them tools to help churches stay focused on their mission as they prepare for their new pastor,” said Jimmie Sheffield, executive administrator for the ABSC and leader of the conference.

Sheffield said he feels that the conference offers a great opportunity for someone interested in helping churches that are between pastors.

“You could be a retired pastor or someone who wants to be a pastor but is not ready for full-time ministry,” he said. “This conference is perfect if you want to do interim ministry.”

The conference is a stand-alone workshop; but it is also a requirement for those interested in becoming an intentional interim pastor. The deadline for registration is Jan. 17.  

For more information and to register for the event, visit


Events focus on missions

Three Missions Connection 2014 events were offered in mid-November by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC). About 160 people participated.

The goal of the events was to give participants the opportunity to learn about missions partnership opportunities and to have their questions answered, said Bob Fielding, ABSC missions team member.
The event provided participants a chance to meet long-term missionaries and church planters from 10 locations.

“The presenters at this event are looking for partners – prayer partners, mission team partners, etc – so the 160 or so people who came were able to hear all 10 presenters and then go to three breakout sessions in the afternoon to get the ‘kitchen sink,’” said Fielding. “I’ve already heard that two couples are considering moving to Chicago to help with church planting.”

Laura Macfarlan, director of Heart Life Women’s Ministry at First Baptist Church, Siloam Springs, attended.
“I came away more inspired and equipped to pray and certainly filled with a desire to go!” she said.

 The events took place Nov. 13 at First Baptist Church, Fayetteville; Nov. 14 at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Cabot, and Nov. 15 at Central Baptist Church, Magnolia.

For more information, contact


2014 Missions GetAway and Camp-O-Rama set for May 16-17

Missions GetAway is a one night event for all girls in 1-6 grades and their adult female leaders. This weekend is to explore what missionaries do, experience cultures from around the world, and meet other girls who want to live out a missions lifestyle.

Missionaries from South East Asia will be with us sharing about their work. The weekend is for Girls in Action, Children in Action, and all girls in the church who want to learn more about missions. Cost is $40 per person. Missions GetAway will be held at the Tri-County Baptist Association Camp in Wynne. 

Camp-O-Rama will be happening the same weekend at the same campground. Camp-O-Rama is an overnight tent-camping missions event for all boys 1st-6th grades and their leaders. Cost is $15 per person.

For more information visit


Dixie Jackson impacts lostness throughout Arkansas

Matt Ramsey
Arkansas Baptist State Convention

EACH YEAR in Arkansas thousands of teenage girls become pregnant. 

A 15-year-old girl who walked into A Woman’s Place Pregnancy Resource Center in Cabot was one of those statistics. Before coming to the center, her mother had pushed her to have an abortion, but then they met the director of the care center, Vikki Parker, who began counseling the mother and daughter. After several months of counseling, the young girl agreed to carry the baby full-term.

Today the young mother has completed high school and college and is currently attending graduate school. She is married to the father of the baby that was born as a result of the wise advice she received at the pregnancy care center. The couple is expecting their third child and is actively serving in their local church.

Since the beginning of the year, 22 women have prayed to receive Christ and 88 babies have been saved from abortion as a result of the workers from 20-plus pregnancy care centers that partner with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC).

These success stories represent just a few of the many lives changed as a result of Arkansas Baptists’ gifts to the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering. 

Each year in the month of September, Arkansas Baptist churches focus on Arkansas missions by giving a portion of their tithe to the Dixie Jackson offering, which the ABSC oversees and uses to fund Arkansas missions efforts. This year’s theme – Undaunted! – comes from the 2013 Dixie Jackson theme verses Numbers 13:30 and 14:5-9. The need to be “undaunted” in reaching Arkansas with the good news of Christ is the focus of this year’s offering.

The Arkansas missions offering is named after Dixie Jackson, the leader of the Arkansas Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) for 15 years during the 1910s and 1920s. 

Jackson was diligent in training WMU leadership, speaking in churches on behalf of missions and establishing an annual season of prayer for state missions. In 1928, Arkansas WMU asked that an offering be taken for state missions. Jackson became ill and died in 1929. In honor of her service, the state offering was named “The Dixie Jackson Offering for State Missions” in 1935. The first offering was approximately $1,000, and today the goal has grown to $1.45 million.

“This year I hope people have an awareness of what Dixie Jackson does. So many times we are not aware of what goes on,” said Robby Tingle, ABSC team leader for the missions ministries team. 

The Dixie Jackson offering funds many ministries in Arkansas. One of the ministries the offering funds is new church plants – church plants like New Day Fellowship in Eureka Springs, which has seen their church grow from a dozen people to nearly 100 people in attendance one recent Sunday morning. 

“All the church planting that goes on in the state, Dixie Jackson plays a significant role in funding the church plants,” said Tingle. 

So far this year, 17 new churches have been planted thanks to Arkansas Baptists giving to the Dixie Jackson offering.

Another one of the areas that has seen growth this past year is the multihousing ministry. Breck Freeman, church and community ministry strategist for the ABSC missions ministries team, said multihousing is defined as people who live in apartments, trailer parks and retirement centers.

Nearly 150 church leaders from around the state attended a recent multihousing conference hosted by the ABSC to find out how their churches can reach people who live in these types of housing units. 

“Statistics show us that 57 percent of Americans live in multihousing, and 95 percent of these people living in multihousing are without Christ. Everything we do to help churches reach multihousing is funded by Dixie Jackson,” said Freeman. 

Some of the other ministry areas that the Dixie Jackson offering supports include disaster relief, chaplaincy, addiction recovery, inclusion ministry and community ministries. 

“It is our hope that churches will realize that Dixie Jackson will play a key role in helping us as a cooperative convention of churches impact lostness in our state,” Tingle said.

He encourages Arkansas Baptists to work together in order to make the greatest impact on Arkansas missions. 

“Whether it’s a dollar or a thousand dollars, we all collectively get to be a part of missions in our state when we give to Dixie Jackson,” Tingle said. “We do more together than we can do on our own.” 

The suggested dates for churches to participate in the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering this year are Sept. 15-22. For more information, visit

Matt Ramsey is director of communications for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.