Betty Ray, 83, of Jonesboro, dies

Betty Lou Cullins Ray, 83, of Jonesboro, died Aug. 4. She was born in Jamestown, Arkansas, to Dorce and Dallas Cullins.

She graduated from Harrisburg High School 1950; then received her Bachelor’s degree from Southern Baptist University and her Masters of Library Science from Arkansas State University.

She was a librarian and public school teacher in the Nettleton School System 1971 to 1998.

In addition to being a dedicated school teacher, she was a faithful and devoted pastor’s wife, a loving mother, grandmother and a great grandmother and worked tirelessly as a selfless Servant of God leading in women's and church ministries.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one sister Mrs. Lavelle Stewart.

Survivors include her husband of 63 years, Reverend Harold Ray, of the home; daughter, Phyllis Tomlinson (Mark); of Jonesboro; sons, Colonel (Ret) Joel Ray USAF, NC and wife Karen of Raleigh, North Carolina; Tim Ray (Kathy) of Jonesboro; sister Virginia Reddmann (J.) of Cherry Valley; grandchildren, Allison Gragg, Lacey Hoggard, Megan Morrow, Neeley Ray; great grandchildren: Braxton and Bryce Gragg, Rae Morrow all of Jonesboro; special family members, Larry and Kathy Newberry, Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Newberry, Mark Newberry, & grandchild Asher. 

Funeral services will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, at Nettleton Baptist Church in Jonesboro. A committal service will be 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 7, at Oaklawn Cemetery in Jonesboro.


Atkinson named Ouachita registrar and director of admissions


ARKADELPHIA – Susan Atkinson, a Ouachita Baptist University alumna and longtime staff member, has been named Ouachita’s registrar and director of admissions effective Aug. 1. She succeeds Judy Jones, who is retiring after 20 years in the role.

“Judy Jones is highly respected both on campus and throughout the state for her work over the last 20 years as Ouachita’s registrar and director of admissions,” said Stan Poole, vice president for academic affairs. “We deeply appreciate the outstanding service she has given to Ouachita faculty, staff and students over these years. We wish her the very best as she transitions to retirement.

“We are fortunate to have Susan Atkinson stepping into this important role.” Poole added. “Susan brings to the position long-term experience in working with students and faculty in the School of Humanities. Her skills and abilities, as well as her integrity and commitment to service, will make for a smooth transition in the registrar’s office.”

Atkinson has served for the past 11 years as administrative assistant to the dean of the School of Humanities. She was named Ouachita’s 2012 Support Staff Member of the Year. Atkinson holds two degrees from Ouachita, a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music Education degree. Her husband, Chuck; son, Richard; and daughter, Rebecca, also are Ouachita alumni.

“Susan Atkinson has been a tremendous asset to the School of Humanities for more than a decade,” said Jeff Root, dean of the School of Humanities. “I will always be grateful for the outstanding work she did here, but I’m also pleased that her new role will allow her to impact the campus as a whole on a daily basis. She will be an outstanding registrar.” 

“I have enjoyed working and serving in the School of Humanities,” Atkinson noted. “I look forward to serving the broader Ouachita community in my new role.”

Jones, who has served at Ouachita since 1990, recently was named registrar and director of admissions emerita by the Ouachita Board of Trustees in honor of her 25 years of service. Jones holds a master’s degree in secondary education from Ouachita and a bachelor’s degree in English from Henderson State University. She and her husband, Bobby, vice president for finance and administration at Henderson, have two sons, both of whom are Ouachita graduates, and eight grandchildren.

“I have been blessed to serve as registrar and director of admissions at Ouachita for more than 20 years,” Jones said. “While I am looking forward to retirement and spending more time with my grandchildren, I will certainly miss the students, faculty and staff here at Ouachita.

“I am excited for Susan Atkinson,” she added. “She was a perfect choice for the position and she will do a great job.”



John Clinton Stanford, 70, dies

John Clinton Stanford, 70, of Gillett, died July 22.

He was a graduate of Boice Bible College in Columbus, Ohio. and served in the U.S. Navy.

He served as pastor of six churches in Illinois before becoming pastor of First Baptist Church in Gillette.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother.

He is survived by his wife, Diana Ninness Stanford, of Gillett; one daughter; six sons; two brothers; three sisters; 23 grandchildren; and six great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. August 1 at First Baptist Church in Gillett.


Harmony Share Report for July 12, 2015

The Harmony Baptist Share Report for July 12th, 2015

(Solicited, edited, and published by retired pastor Bobby Lamb)

***Watson Chapel > Sec. Michelle reports that attendance was back up at 399 in SS. (Maybe 700 in church.) > …Best of all, there were two youth, a boy and a girl, who made professions of faith and were received for baptism. > Pastor Todd Howard joyfully preached both services.

Click to read more ...


Morse named to Williams Baptist College art faculty

WALNUT RIDGE - Taren Morse has been hired at Williams Baptist College (WBC) as assistant professor of art. Morse, who comes to WBC from Kansas, will begin teaching at Williams in the fall semester.

Morse received a Bachelor of FineAarts degree from Sterling College and a Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University of San Francisco. Additionally, she has studied with some of the leading innovators in concept illustration and design.

"Taren Morse is a gifted artist with very advanced expertise in digitally produced art. We’re truly excited about her future at Williams," said Kenneth Startup, WBC’s academic dean. "Her work has been featured in exhibits in California and Kansas, and she has also worked successfully as a commercial artist."

Williams offers bachelor’s degree majors in both art and art education. WBC is a four-year, liberal arts college at Walnut Ridge.