Williams Baptist College trustees approve $10.8 million budget; up 3 percent

WALNUT RIDGE – The Williams Baptist College Board of Trustees approved WBC’s budget for the upcoming school year at its regularly scheduled meeting Friday, April 4. The board also gave its stamp of approval to the graduating class of 2014.
Trustees passed a $10.8 million budget for the 2014-15 school year. The budget reflects a 3 percent increase from the current budget year, which ends in June.
“The board has approved a smart, conservative budget for the upcoming year, and it allows us to continue moving forward on several fronts. We are also pleased that Williams continues to make such a substantial economic impact our community,” said WBC President Tom Jones.
The board also gave formal approval to the list of 2014 graduates. Ken Startup, WBC’s academic dean, presented the list and said the college expects about 115 graduates to receive their bachelor’s degrees this year. Commencement exercises will be at 10 a.m. May 3 in the Southerland-Mabee Center.
David Moore, president of the Arkansas Baptist Foundation, was recognized for his service. Moore plans to retire next year after more than 20 years as head of the foundation.
The board also recognized Angela Flippo, WBC’s vice president for enrollment management and student services. Flippo plans to leave Williams after this school year to devote more time to her family. She has worked at the college since 1993.
The WBC board meets three times annually.  Its next scheduled meeting will be September 19 at Williams.


Ukraine still on for Arkansas Master'Singers

LITTLE ROCK – A group of 83 Arkansas Master'Singers originally scheduled to minister in eastern Ukraine April 21-May 2 have changed their itinerary to western Ukraine because of political unrest in the country. Travel dates remain the same.

"The last month has been a whirlwind of change," said choir director Larry Grayson, Arkansas Baptist State Convention evangelism and church health team member.

"The pastors of the east (in Ukraine) said it would not be wise for us to come at this time, but immediately, pastors from the west said, 'Then come to us. ... We need you!'"

Grayson said he has heard reports from pastors and International Mission Board workers that churches in Ukraine have been packed in the last several months and that God has been moving.

"In a short period of time, new doors were opened, new venues were booked (and) new churches were on board supporting and backing our mission," Grayson said. "Airline tickets were rebooked to west Ukraine and we are ready to go."

While in Ukraine, the group will perform a series of concerts, each of which will be attended by a large number of nonbelievers.

"The Christians are told to bring a nonbeliever as their ticket to get in, and they do just that," Grayson said. "They are given tickets and they bring their guest with their name written on the ticket. Forty percent of the audience will be people who need Jesus."

A prayer team will lift in prayer the names of nonbelievers and interpreters will translate the songs, Grayson said.

"Every word we sing will be translated into their language," he said, "so it will not be a 'musical' experience, but a 'God-speaking' experience."

The gospel will be presented at the end of each concert. Audience members will be asked to write their decisions on their programs and to take them to a particular location after the concert. Local pastors will follow up within a few days.

During a recent preparation meeting for the trip, Master'Singers prayed for the trip, their concerns, the people of Ukraine and their time of ministry. In addition, singers had a time of recommitment.

"Of course, we are keeping a close eye on the events in Ukraine, and I continue to seek wise counsel as each day passes," Grayson said. "As I attended the Baptist Church Music Conference in Dallas (March 30 – April 1) I was humbled to find out that state music leaders from all over the country have had their groups similar to Master'Singers and their churches praying with us in support of our mission. I'm praying that God will be honored and will bless the commitment of my folks who are determined to go as long as God leaves the door open to them."

For more information visit the Master'Singers online at


Spring/summer 2014 edition of Arkansas Christian Parent now available

LITTLE ROCK – The spring/summer edition of Arkansas Christian Parent magazine is now available for churches and individuals to pick up at their local Arkansas Baptist associations. A limited number of the magazines are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Arkansas Baptist News (ABN) offices.

Churches are encouraged not only to share the magazine with their members, but also to use the resource to reach out to their communities. 

Arkansas Christian Parent is a wonderful resource for parents and a strategic outreach tool for churches,” said Tim Yarbrough, ABN editor. “More than 70,000 copies of the magazine have been distributed across Arkansas since its debut in October 2012. It has been a phenomenal success and continues
to be in high demand.”

The new issue includes topics on homeschooling, integrating spiritual truths into a family’s everyday life, parenting in the midst of loss and heartache, exploring the benefits of a private Christian university and helping children make wise decisions.

Contributing writers include Derek Brown, Little Rock area director for Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries; Shari Edwards, women’s ministry speaker; Trennis Henderson, vice president for communications at Ouachita Baptist University; Doug Hibbard, pastor of First Baptist Church, Almyra, and Ben Phillips, Arkansas Baptist State Convention evangelism and church health team member, among others.

“Be sure to contact your association to reserve copies of Arkansas Christian Parent today,” said Yarbrough. 

“Don’t forget to share the magazine with your neighbors and in local businesses around town. It is an excellent tool for both encouraging believers and reaching out to nonbelievers.”


Mother of the Year contest

THE ARKANSAS Baptist News (ABN) announces its 10th annual A Tribute to Godly Mothers essay contest.

In an effort to honor all mothers, each year the ABN selects a Mother of the Year based on entries.

The ABN issue prior to Mother’s Day announces the winner and includes a tribute to the winner, which will be chosen based on the quality of motherhood, godliness of the woman being honored and the readability of the essay submitted.

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Shelby Seabaugh, 21, of Magnolia dies March 27

MAGNOLIA – Shelby Seabaugh, a junior Christian studies/philosophy major at Ouachita Baptist University from Magnolia, died unexpectedly March 27.

Seabaugh, 21, is survived by her parents, Michael and Laurie Seabaugh, and her siblings, Haydn and Gracen. Michael Seabaugh, a graduate of Columbia Christian School and a 1985 graduate of Ouachita, has been pastor of Central Baptist Church, Magnolia, since 2010. She is also survived by her fiancé, Joshua Cassidy, and many other family members, including her grandparents, Rodney and Rosemary Griffin, of Magnolia, and Wayne and Glenda Seabaugh, who attend Balboa Baptist Church in Hot Springs Village.

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