Clay Crosse joins First Baptist Church, Bentonville, as worship leader

BENTONVILLE – Clay Crosse, considered one of the top Christian male vocalists of the 1990s and winner of numerous Dove awards, has joined First Baptist Church, Bentonville, as worship leader.

CrosseCrosse, 46, performed Oct. 21 at the Northwest Baptist Association Annual Meeting held at Charity Baptist Church in Rogers. 

Prior to singing “Holy is The Lord, God, Almighty,” Crosse told the crowd he is grateful to be an Arkansas Baptist after “46 years as a Tennessee Baptist.” Crosse is a native of Memphis, Tenn. Crosse said he has been in Arkansas for about two months.

Crosse’s first album was released in 1995. "I Surrender All" was the most successful single from the album. He won “Best New Artist of the Year" at the 25th GMA Dove Awards.

He and his wife, Renee, have four children and work together through the Holy Homes marriage enrichment ministry


Stake rejoins ABSC counseling efforts

LITTLE ROCK – J.D. Stake, retired pastor and church staff counselor for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC), is once again available to assist the convention, the ABSC has announced.

Stake retired in October 2011 – for a second time – from performing counseling services offered by the ABSC leadership and worship team. At the time of his retirement, ABSC counseling services were moved to the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries (ABCHomes). 

StakeStake will be an additional counselor available, as ABCHomes counselors will continue to be available at no cost in a variety of locations throughout the state.

In his renewed role, Stake will be a member of the ABSC staff on a contract basis, said Jimmie Sheffield, ABSC interim associate executive director.

“This is a unified approach for counseling through the Arkansas Baptist State Convention,” said Sheffield. “J.D. Stake is one part of the counseling services offered by the ABSC.”

J.D. “Sonny” Tucker, ABSC executive director, said he “very excited” about the counseling ministry provided to Arkansas Baptist pastors, staff and their families and by the partnership between ABCHomes and the ABSC.

“David Perry (ABCHomes executive director) has assembled a counseling team that is of the utmost quality and ability and is second to none. Due to their tremendous response and excessive workload, a man of the ability and reputation of J.D. Stake will be a great addition to this counseling team,” said Tucker.

Perry said the shift of counseling to ABCHomes has worked well for Arkansas Baptists, and he welcomed the addition of Stake and his wealth of knowledge.

“We love our partnership with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention in providing counseling services to church staff and their immediate family members,” said Perry. “With the addition of Dr. J.D. Stake’s services, as a counselor through the convention, we’re able to expand this offering, meeting the counseling needs of more ministers and their families.”

After Stake officially retired from the ABSC the first time in 2008, he continued to provide counseling for Arkansas Baptist pastors and church staff on a contract basis upon the request of Emil Turner, former ABSC executive director. Stake had served as ABSC pastor and church staff counselor since 1994.

Following his October 2011 retirement from the contract position, Stake focused his efforts on the counseling ministry of Calvary Baptist Association in Judsonia.

ABCHomes counseling centers are located in Fayetteville, Jonesboro and at Geyer Springs First Baptist Church, Little Rock. Additionally, counseling is offered one day a week at North Pulaski Baptist Association in North Little Rock and Harmony Baptist Association in Pine Bluff on Mondays; and Greene County Baptist Association in Paragould and First Baptist Church in Rogers on Thursdays. 

For a complete list of counseling centers and contact information, visit or call 800-838-2272 (toll free in state) or 501-376-4791, ext. 5167.


Johnny Jackson Sr., former ABSC president, dies at age 85

Johnny Jackson Sr., 85, of Little Rock, died Oct. 15. Jackson served as president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) from 1978 to 1979 and was heavily involved in ABSC life, serving on various committees and as pastor and interim pastor for a number of churches.

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Williams Baptist College set for Homecoming/Parent's Day 2013

WALNUT RIDGE – Williams Baptist College is set to host its annual Homecoming/Parent’s Day on Saturday, Nov. 2, when alumni and parents will journey to the campus to participate in a full day of activities.

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Red River DR team departs for Colorado

Members of the Red River Baptist Association team are, (from left), Doug Higgenbotham of Caddo Valley, Murphy Manning of Sparkman, Donyce Kinard of Hot Springs, Dennis Mayher of Carlisle, James Niblett of Jessieville, Ed Whitson of Curtis, Charles Bell of Hot Springs, and team leader Joe Burt of Arkadelphia. Not pictured are James Blackwood of Brown Springs and Brenda Lewis of Timbo.ARKADELPHIA – A 10-member cooking team from the Red River Baptist Association disaster relief team left Arkadelphia on Oct. 3 for Longmont, Colo. The team is planning to work Oct. 5-11 preparing meals at the Boulder County Fairgrounds for about 200 Southern Baptist mud out and cleanup personnel, as well as incident command and support personnel from several states who are in Colorado to lend assistance to those affected by the recent flooding.

"We are pleased that the Arkansas Baptist State Convention has again selected us to fulfill a critical requirement,” said Harold Johnson, senior unit leader for the Red River team. “They know from experience that our volunteers will respond and do an excellent job."

The team is sponsored by Red River Baptist Association in Arkadelphia, which is made up of 27 churches in Clark County and 11 churches in parts of Dallas, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Nevada, Garland and Pike counties.

The Read River team has responded to 13 disasters within Arkansas and 23 outside Arkansas since its inception in 1997. The team’s most recent disaster responses were during Hurricane Isaac in New Orleans, Hurricane Sandy in New York and flooding in west Texas. In addition, the team recently supported the Mission of Mercy, the Arkansas Dental Association’s free dental clinic at Arkadelphia.

It was announced Sept. 27 that Arkansas Baptist disaster relief volunteers were being deployed to assist with recovery efforts following devastating floods in Colorado. 

In addition to the Red River team, the Arkansas Baptist State Convention activated recovery units from the Arkansas Valley Baptist Association and Tri-County Baptist Association to do mud out work in Greely, Colo. The units will be stationed at Hillside Baptist Church in Greely, Colo.

The Geyer Springs First Baptist Church, Little Rock, shower/laundry unit was scheduled to locate at Long Peak Baptist Church, Longmont, Colo., for the next three weeks, with volunteers being replaced each week.

Follow the Arkansas Baptist News on Twitter at @ArkBaptNews for the latest updates.