80 people saved, 1,500 participate at Acts 1:8 One Day Mission Trip

TAKING INSPIRATION from the event’s namesake Scripture passage, Arkansas Baptists came out in force Sept. 12 for an Acts 1:8 One Day Mission Trip held throughout the Red River Baptist Association – recording 80 salvations.

More than 1,500 people attended the event, which took place in parks, nursing homes, churches, schools, neighborhoods and businesses in and around Arkadelphia, Hope, Prescott, Bismarck and Gurdon.

Activities and outreaches included block parties complete with bounce houses, face painting, crafts, games, hamburgers and hot dogs, cotton candy and snow cones; medical and dental clinics in which 185 patients were served; nursing home ministry, and prison ministry.

In all, 80 people accepted Christ during the area-wide outreach, including 18 inmates at two local jails and two nursing home residents. In addition, 17 people rededicated their lives during the event.

Jennifer Bryant, a member First Baptist Church, Fordyce, along with her husband, Keith, and three children, made the Acts 1:8 One Day event their family’s first mission trip together.

“We had a great weekend showing God’s unconditional love to others,” she said. “We came home to celebrate with our church family over answered prayers inside the church. We finished with the Lord’s Supper – a great way to finish a mission day! If we obey God and do what He has called us to do, His blessing are without limits. Acts 1:8 mission day is a blessing for Keith and I.”
According to Breck Freeman, Arkansas Baptist State Convention community missions strategist and missions team member, there were multiple instances in which God moved in the lives of the men and women involved in the event.

Freeman said a 28-year-old man, who was a Jehovah’s Witness, was saved and told volunteers that he wanted to have a “real relationship with Christ”; one little girl got down on her knees in the street to pray to accept Christ, and a senior adult woman who accepted Christ said she had been sitting and waiting for someone to share Jesus with her.

“The Acts 1:8 One Day Missions Trip was a great success in the Red River (Baptist) Association. We rejoice in the over 1,500 missionaries who came and the 80 people that received Christ as personal Savior in those communities,” said Freeman, adding:
“We now are looking forward to the Acts 1:8 One Day Mission Trip in Greene County (Baptist Association) on Oct. 3. May God continue His mighty work across our state.”


Grigsby new ABSC church planting strategist

LITTLE ROCK – Chad Grigsby, former church planter and pastor at Compass Church in Batesville, has been named northwest Arkansas church planting strategist for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC).
In his new role, Grigsby is tasked with helping existing ABSC churches in northwest Arkansas plant new churches and support existing church plants.

GrigsbyHe will also work with church planters, helping them stay connected to one another and providing them coaching and resources.

“We are excited to have Chad Grigsby join the church planting team of the ABSC. Chad is a young, creative thinker with a solid SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) pedigree and connects well with both our younger church planters and our established churches,” said Tim Wicker, ABSC church planting team leader.

“The last six years that I’ve been involved in a church plant have been some of the best of my life. I have a passion for the local Church and planting more churches,” said Grigsby.

“Northwest Arkansas has grown exponentially in the last 10-15 years. The need for more churches to keep up with the growth is staggering. … The challenges are many, but the opportunities far outweigh them,” he said.

Grigsby served as church planter and directional pastor of teaching and shepherding at Compass Church in Batesville from 2009 to 2015.

He served at Lifeway Church in Arlington, Tenn., as worship pastor from 2004-2006 and lead pastor from 2006 to 2009.

Grigsby holds a Master of Divinity degree from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Cordova, Tenn., and a Bachelor of Arts in Christian ministry from Williams Baptist College in Walnut Ridge. He has been married to his wife, Jessica, since 2010. The couple has one child, Ezra.


Ark. Baptists take part in the Ride '15

ARKANSAS BAPTIST State Convention staff, pastors and agency employees from across the state joined together for the Ride ’15, a two-day motorcycle fellowship road trip that covered nearly 500 miles of central and south Arkansas Aug. 27-28.

View a photo gallery of the event at:

Check out this GoPro video of the Ride '15 by Ron Riemar, worship pastor at Dallas Avenue Baptist Church in Mena:


Arkansas Baptist School System announces name change

LITTLE ROCK - The Baptist Preparatory School is the new name of Arkansas Baptist School System, the Christian, college preparatory school that was founded by First Baptist Little Rock 35 years ago.  

"The new name more accurately describes the college preparatory nature of the curricular program and teaching style, as well as Baptist Prep's commitment to biblical training and preparing students for spiritual and social leadership roles," said Clayton Vaden, chairman of the board of trustees.  

The board of trustees voted unanimously for the new name at its August meeting. Vaden announced the new name to faculty and staff Sept. 2, and students learned the news from administrators this Sept. 3.

"We have long considered changing the name of the school," said Baptist Prep Headmaster Arthur Bennett. "When the previous name was selected, the vision was for a number of Baptist schools throughout the state. Over the years, that vision has been refined to create one K3 though 12th grade school committed to graduating students who are well prepared academically, socially and spiritually."

The school's Center for University Studies allows students to graduate from high school having already earned college credit, and almost 100 percent of graduates pursue higher education. Equipping students to become future leaders, Baptist Prep incorporates advanced Bible courses, weekly Chapel programs, a biblically integrated curriculum and a global missions program.

Additionally, the name change differentiates the school from other similarly named organizations and educational institutions, Bennett said, while reflecting on the school's 35-year history of academic excellence and fulfillment of its mission, which is to "assist families with the Christ-centered and biblically directed education of their children."

The new URL for the school's website is  New branding to accompany the new name will be introduced this fall.


William Richard (Rick) Kelley, 63, dies

William Richard (Rick) Kelley, 63, of Jacksonville, died Aug. 22. He received his master’s degree in science education from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La. He served in the U.S. Air Force. He was retired from the Arkansas Department of Health. He was an active member of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville. He is preceded in death by his father. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Jan Kelley, a former employee of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. He is also survived by a son, his mother and a sister. A memorial service was held Aug. 26 at First Baptist Church, Jacksonville.