Arkansas State reverses decision, allows crosses on football team helmets

JONESBORO – Arkansas State University (ASU) has reversed its decision to ban crosses from being placed on back of the university’s football helmets.

“This is a great victory for the players of Arkansas State University,” Hiram Sasser , Liberty Institute Litigation director, wrote in a statement released to media.

Photo: Arkansas State University“According to the letter we received from the university and communications from the Arkansas Attorney General office, the players will be allowed to place the original cross sticker design on their helmets in the original location if they so choose,” wrote Sasser.

Liberty Institute is a national non-profit legal group dedicated to the defending religious liberty. On Sept. 15 the organization submitted a letter to Arkansas State demanding that the university “Restore Student Memorial to Fallen Members of the Football Program,” with 48 hours.

Arkansas State received national attention after the school’s administration and legal council called for crosses placed on the back of the university’s football team’s helmets to be removed. 

The crosses were added to ASU helmets by members of the football team as a way to honor juniors Markel Owens, a former team member, and Barry Weyer, the team’s equipment manager, both of whom died. The cross on the helmet included the initials of Owens and Weyer.


Sue Ann Jones, wife of Earl Jones, dies Aug. 31

Sue Ann Jones, age 60, died Aug. 31. She was a member of First Baptist Church, Augusta. Her husband, Earl Jones, formerly pastored Felsenthal Baptist Church in Felsenthal. She was preceded in death by her parents and an infant child. She is survived by her husband, two daughters and four grandsons.


Historic church renovation 'a labor of love'

View a photo gallery on renovation work at Parkdale Baptist.

Read the story about Parkdale Baptist published in the Nov. 27, 2008 edition of the Arkansas Baptist News (PDF file).



WBC freshman enrollment up 5%  

WALNUT RIDGE – The largest freshman class in the recent history of Williams Baptist College (WBC) has pushed the college to enrollment gains on its Walnut Ridge campus. Total enrollment on the main campus climbed 2 percent for the fall 2014 semester, and the number of students living on campus climbed even more dramatically.

WBC enrolled 164 freshmen for the fall semester, setting a modern record for the college and marking the largest group of new students at Williams in nearly 50 years. The freshman count is up 5 percent over last year.

The college has an on-campus enrollment of 511 students this fall, with a full time equivalent (FTE) enrollment of 513. Both numbers reflect an increase of 10 students, or two percent, over last fall.

“It is truly exciting to see so many new students on the WBC campus this fall, and it is always great news when we can announce enrollment gains.  This just means more students are receiving a high quality college education at Williams,” said Tom Jones, WBC president.

The number of students living in WBC residence halls jumped from 324 to 377 this fall, which is a 16 percent increase.

“The increase in residence hall numbers indicates that students are coming from a greater distance to attend Williams.  We are delighted to have students from across the country and across the world,” Jones said.

The overall enrollment at WBC, counting the Walnut Ridge campus and several off-campus extensions, came in at 550, which is down from 574 last fall.

Williams is a four-year, liberal arts college operated by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.


Reed dies Sept. 6 at age 96

LITTLE ROCK - Imogene Lacy Reed, 96, of Little Rock, died Sept. 6. She was a member of Parkway Place Baptist Church, Little Rock. She was born in Mena on Feb. 19, 1918, to Emory and Maggie Lacy; was a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and was married to Jesse S. Reed, former evangelism director for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.

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