Hunger Awareness Dinner at WBC set for Feb. 13

WALNUT RIDGE – Williams Baptist College’s fourth annual Hunger Awareness Dinner is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13. The event will raise money for the Little Rock-based charity Heifer International and its mission to alleviate world hunger.
The dinner is sponsored by the Williams business department’s student organization Phi Beta Lambda and will take place in Williams’ Mabee Student Center. The event will also feature a guest speaker from Heifer International.
The public is invited to attend. Tickets can be purchased at the door, and the cost for admission is $1 for students and $5 for nonstudents.


Jeral Hampton, longtime Ouachita Baptist University trustee, dies at age 92

BOONEVILLE – Jeral Hampton, one of Ouachita Baptist University’s longest serving trustees, died Feb. 3 at age 92.

HamptonHampton, a 1943 graduate of Ouachita, served as a member of the Ouachita Board of Trustees for 32 years. His began his trustee service in 1964 and concluded his final term in 2003.

“Jeral Hampton loved the Lord, his family, work and Ouachita,” said Ouachita President Rex Horne. “He was a tireless advocate for our university. 

“Jeral’s devotion is worthy of emulation,” he added. “We thank the Lord for his life, service to Ouachita and ongoing legacy.”

Hampton, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, retired as a National Guard lieutenant colonel. A longtime member of First Baptist Church of Booneville, he served as a deacon, trustee and Sunday school teacher. He is survived by his son, John Taylor Hampton; daughter, Jane Woolley; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Hampton’s memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, at  at First Baptist Church of Booneville. Horne will be one of the speakers at the service, reflecting on Hampton’s Ouachita legacy. 

Memorial gifts may be made to the Jeral and Betty Hampton Endowed Scholarship Fund at Ouachita Baptist University, 410 Ouachita St., Arkadelphia, AR 71998.

– OBU News Bureau 


Williams Baptist board hears road improvement plans

WALNUT RIDGE – Trustees at Williams Baptist College learned Friday that improvements are coming soon to the main road into campus. The WBC board met in regular session Friday, Jan. 17, in a meeting that was postponed from December due to icy weather.

Trustees were told that College City, where the Williams campus is located, has just been approved for a project to widen and resurface Fulbright Ave. from Hwy. 67 to WBC’s main entrance. The concrete road, which is about 70 years old, is currently narrow and very bumpy, and it has developed drainage problems. Plans call for the road to be paved with asphalt, and it will be widened from 20 to 28 feet.

The project, estimated to cost $200,000, will be fully funded and engineered through the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD). College City is receiving the grant through AHTD’s State Aid Street Program.  Highway department officials will set dates for construction in coming weeks.

WBC President Tom Jones noted that improving Fulbright Ave. is a stated goal in WBC’s strategic vision, known as the Diamond Destiny Plan. Williams officials have worked closely with College City leaders in securing the AHTD grant for the project.

The board also heard of progress in WBC’s launch of online degree programs.  Williams will offer degree completion programs in both psychology and pastoral ministries starting March 10, and a program in business administration is slated to begin in May. 

Williams online programs are for adult students, age 23 and older, who have at least 45 hours of college credit. 

In other business, the board acted on a faculty promotion and added a new faculty member.  Brad Baine, who is chair of the Williams Teacher Education Program, was named the La Delle Moody Professor of Education. The move makes Baine a tenured faculty member.

Trustees also approved the hiring of Blake Perkins as assistant professor of history.  Perkins, a Lawrence County native, has been serving as an adjunct history instructor at WBC. He is nearing completion of his Ph.D. at West Virginia University. 

The board welcomed five new members. Ken Brunt of Bryant, J.R. Cox of Walnut Ridge, Sue McGowan of Paragould, Heather Moore of Cabot and Larry Singleton of Paragould have joined the 24-member board of trustees. This year’s board chair is James Miller of Melbourne.

The Williams board meets three times each year. The next scheduled meeting is April 4 at WBC.


The Kinsmen to sing at Plum Bayou

Plum Bayou Baptist Church, Wright, will host Southern Gospel singing group The Kinsmen in concert Feb. 2. The concert is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., and all are invited to attend.


Arkansas churches reach out around Super Bowl  

Churches in Arkansas are turning the Super Bowl from a distraction into an attraction.

Park Hill Baptist Church, North Little Rock, is hosting the Athletes in Action Super Bowl Breakfast webcast Saturday, Feb. 1.

The webcast to be shown is of the Athletes in Action 2014 Super Bowl Breakfast from New York, according to Jay Gordon, Park Hill executive pastor. 

Hosted from New York, the breakfast is an NFL-sanctioned event that will feature players and coaches sharing inspiring stories of faith and football. Additionally, the Bart Starr Award will be presented to a current NFL player in recognition of outstanding character on and off the playing field.

“(The) bottom line, (is that) we look for ways to help our members evangelize their friends,” said Gordon. “Attending a Super Bowl event may be an easier sell than coming to church on Sunday morning. We’ve communicated to our church that the purpose of this event is not really about football, but about sharing the gospel with our community using football as a means.”

Gordon said that Reg Hamman, chairman of the church’s evangelism committee, said that he had a desire to do an event like this for a number of years. 

To register for the event, visit

Super Bowl luncheon for camp

Children and teenagers at Levy Baptist Church in North Little Rock will be serving a “Souper” Bowl lunch Feb. 2 – the day of the Super Bowl game – to raise funds for their summer trip to Camp Siloam, said Don Nichols, the church’s executive pastor.

Partial scholarships are needed for many of the campers to attend, said Nichols, so the event is the first of several events to help them raise money for the scholarship fund. It is the first such fundraiser event the church has held in recent years. 

“Several church members have agreed to make soup, chili or desserts for the luncheon,” Nichols said. “The children and teens will serve all drinks and food at the table instead of people having to wait in line.” 

Nichols added that a video about Camp Siloam will be shown during the event to help share the vision of camp with the church. Children and youth from Levy Baptist plan to attend INFUSION week at Camp Siloam, which allows all age campers to attend at the same time with separate programming, he said.

“This arrangement is perfect for Levy since we can take all our children but not need as many counselors,” Nichols said.

Bekah Dancy, youth leader at Levy Baptist, is in charge of the event.

‘Best-dressed fan’ contest

At Valley Baptist Church in Searcy, the student ministry is holding a Super Bowl party where youth will watch the game on “two giant screens,” according to the church’s website.

A “best-dressed fans” contest will be held during the event, which will include sports, video game and other tournaments, as well as “plenty of food and drinks.”

‘Super Weekend’

This is the fourth year that First Baptist Church in Beebe has held its Super Weekend Youth Rally Saturday and Sunday of Super Bowl weekend, Feb. 1-2.

“Super Weekend was created to provide the students in and around Beebe with a youth rally close to home that is FREE!” Clark Colbert, First Baptist youth pastor announces on the church’s Facebook page. “Our desire is to provide an environment where students can worship the Lord and come to know Him in a real, personal way.” 

Dozens of youth already have signed up to participate. The speaker during the event is Josh Hall. The Michael James Band will lead worship.

Stuttgart ‘get-together’

First Baptist Church, Stuttgart, is hosting the annual Super Bowl event for the church.

“The Super Bowl is not complete without getting together with friends and enjoying the game. Our Super Bowl event consists of food and of course, the big game on a big screen,” a website announcement reads.

“During halftime of the Super Bowl we have had quarterback and kicking contests. For the past two years we have also had a flag football tournament,” the announcement continues. “Basically (it’s) just a fun time to get together with friends and enjoy some food and fellowship.”

In-home events 

Some churches are suspending services Sunday night and encouraging members to host in-home “Super Bowl watch parties” – all in an effort to attract their lost neighbors.

Other churches are moving their evening services up to early afternoon so everyone who wants to watch the Super Bowl can do so.