Harold Edgar O'Bryan of Cabot dies at 90


Harold Edgar O'Bryan, 90, of Cabot died April 27.                                                    

O’Bryan served in the U. S. Army during World War II and was a graduate of Ouachita University in Arkadelphia and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, La.                                 

O’Bryan was pastor of Wilmot Baptist Church in Wilmot and Pine Grove Baptist Church in the Sweet Home community of Pulaski County, and Dermott Baptist Church, Dermott, before serving as pastor of First Baptist Church in Cabot from 1964-1974.  

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jo Hankins O'Bryan, a grandson, two brothers and four sisters. He is survived by four children and six grandchildren.            

Funeral services were held April 30 at First Baptist Church in Cabot. Interment was held May 2 at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Cabot.



George Rutherford dies at 84


George Wayne Rutherford, 84, of Judsonia died April 25 at Oakdale Nursing Home in Judsonia.                                                                          

Rutherford had served as a disaster relief volunteer for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.                

He retired from the U.S. Air Force with 30 years of service. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and taught computer classes in Little Rock.                                            

He was a member of First Baptist Church, Judsonia, where he served as a deacon, choir member and taught Sunday school classes for many years.

He enjoyed gardening and was an avid reader.                       

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sue Bennett Rutherford, two sons and two grandchildren.                  

A memorial service was held April 30 at First Baptist Church in Judsonia.



Alva "Al" West, pastor, humanitarian, dies at 73

Alva Clarence "Al" West II, 73, outreach pastor at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Bauxite (Sardis Community), died April 25.                                    

West earned a bachelor’s degree from John Brown University and worked many years in Northwest Arkansas.

Most recently, he and his wife, Nelda, worked as hunger site coordinators with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.                                                            

He devoted his life to bettering the physical and spiritual lives of others through hands-on leadership in both community and faith-based organizations.                        

His lengthy résumé of humanitarian service included the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, the Job Training Partnership Act, FORGE and the Office of Human Concern.                             

He was a veteran of both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army, last serving in the peace-keeping forces in Eastern Europe, retiring as a Sergeant First Class (E-7).

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Sharon Jeanette West.                          

He is survived by his wife, Nelda West, two daughters, a stepson and stepdaughter, a granddaughter, a grandson, a great-grandson and a sister.                                   

Funeral services were held April 28 at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Bauxite. Interment with military honors was April 29 at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Hiwasse.



Allen Peebles, beloved pastor, dies at 65

Allen Drew Peebles, 65, of Gravel Ridge died May 7.

Peebles served in the U.S. Army for nine years before he became a pastor.

He was pastor of Mandeville Baptist Church in Texarkana for 16 years. He was serving as an associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Gravel Ridge at the time of his death.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Phyllis, of Gravel Ridge, a son, a daughter, eight grandchildren, his mother and five sisters.

A memorial service was held May 12 at First Baptist Church in Gravel Ridge, followed by a graveside service at Childers Cemetery in DeWitt.



‘Adopt a DCFS family service worker’ during National Foster Care Month

LITTLE ROCK – May is National Foster Care Month. In observance, Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries (ABCHomes) is encouraging Baptist churches and others to adopt a local Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) family service worker (FSW).

“Adopt A DCFS Family Service Worker” is an ABCHomes initiative aimed at ministering to DCFS staff that often have the unenviable task of determining if a child should be removed from his or her home. These homes, at times, are unsafe not only for the child but also for the FSW. In the past year, 1,425 children were removed from their homes after normal working hours due to immediate danger, often in the middle of the night.

ABCHomes is encouraging churches and others to prepare “after-hour care packets” for family service workers. Items could include lip balm, bottled water, hand sanitizer packets, snacks, small flashlights or a soft praise and worship CD for workers to listen to as they return to their homes after placing the child in a safe place.

“Many of these workers are parents,” noted Charles Flynn, ABCHomes program director. “On any given night, workers may have a child in their backseats who has not been bathed, is wearing filthy clothes and is possibly infested with lice. The next morning, workers may put their own child in that same car seat to drive to school. 

“Providing something as simple as sanitizing wipes or spray is helpful so that workers can feel safe allowing their own child to ride in their personal vehicles,” added Flynn.

Mischa Martin, interim director of the DHS Division of Children and Family Services, praised the ABCHomes initiative. “Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries decision to  serve and support our Family Service Workers is incredible,” said Martin. “These employees work long hours and often face difficult or dangerous situations when trying to protect children. Knowing that you all support and appreciate them means  a great deal to all of us.” 

To receive an “after-hour care packet” idea sheet to share with your church or to learn more about the initiative, email or call (800) 838-2272, ext. 5167. For information on ABCHomes, or to schedule an interview, contact Stella Prather, ABCHomes director of communications, 501-376-4791, ext. 5168 or email