Williams Baptist College’s 5 to 1 conference slated for Jan. 23-24

WALNUT RIDGE – Williams Baptist College (WBC) will host its annual 5 to 1 Student Ministry Conference Jan. 23-24. The weekend will focus on helping parents lead the home to worship God, connect with others, grow in the Bible and take the gospel to the world. 

Williams' 5 to 1 Student Ministry Conference seeks to equip churches and families with information and skills so teens can be surrounded with many caring adults who will help them develop lifelong faith.

All are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Walter Norvell at or by phone at 870-759-4150.

Williams is a four-year, liberal arts college at Walnut Ridge.

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Provost, Harthorn promoted at Williams Baptist College

ProvostWALNUT RIDGE – Williams Baptist College (WBC) professors Ruth Provost and Steven Harthorn were recently promoted to the rank of associate professor and granted tenure by the school. WBC’s Board of Trustees voted on both promotions at its Dec. 5 meeting.

Harthorn“These two individuals represent the highest standards expected of the faculty at Williams Baptist College,” said WBC’s president, Tom Jones.  “Their faithful example and interaction with students demonstrates the Christian commitment, professionalism, scholarship and work ethic that positively impacts the lives of our students. We are proud to serve with them and proud of the vital role they play in the mission and vision of Williams.”

Provost, a member of WBC's psychology faculty, has been employed by Williams since 2004. Harthorn, a member of the English faculty, has been employed by the school since 2005.

Williams is a four-year, liberal arts college located at Walnut Ridge.


New Hope Baptist Church, Black Rock, celebrates 170 years

BLACK ROCK – New Hope Baptist Church, Black Rock, hosted a homecoming and 170th anniversary celebration July 5-6. Activities on Saturday, July 5, included family games, a cookout, a patriotic musical titled “United We Stand” presented by the New Hope Baptist Church choir and reflections on the past. During the July 6 morning worship service, Angel Byrd, Arkansas Baptist State Convention church planting team member, shared special music and made a 170th anniversary presentation to New Hope Baptist Church, which is her home church.

Randy Williams, a former pastor of the church, gave the message. After a fellowship meal, a gospel singing and noteburning for the new sanctuary was held, along with more reflections.

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Sold Out student conference Feb. 21

RUSSELLVILLE – The Sold Out student conference is set for Feb. 21 at First Baptist Church, Russellville.
The theme of the conference, Why We Witness, is taken from Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”

“This will be our fourth year doing Sold Out,” said Kirby Vardeman, one of the organizers, who serves as pastor of LifeStone Church in Russellville. “Our prayer for this year is that we equip students to live and share their faith openly in their schools. We want to arm them with both the mandate from God and the tools they need to win their friends for Christ.”

Vardeman added, “In past years, we’ve done our best to show students the power of prayer and the freedom of God’s marvelous grace. As leaders, we’ve been privileged to see God’s Spirit move in these students. We are praying to see another great awakening in this generation!”

Teaching sessions during the day will be lead by Warren Gasaway, strategist for the evangelism and church health team at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.

Featured during the event will be the Off the Top improv and drama troupe of seventh through 12th grade students from Second Baptist Church, Conway. A concert by the band Summerhill will be held at 6 p.m. For more information, visit

Conference schedule:
7:00 – Registration
9:30 – Welcome
10:00 – Main session
10:45 – Breakdown session
11:10 – Expressions of praise
11:40 – Individual session
12:00 – Lunch
1:00 – Individual sessions
1:30 – Main session
2:15 – Breakdown session
2:45 – Individual session
3:15 – Expression of praise
3:45 – Release
6:00 – Summerhill concert


Ouachita honors Loyde Hudson for gift of “timeless masterpieces”

ARKADELPHIA – Donating several valuable works of art to Ouachita Baptist University, Loyde Hudson told students gathered for a Dec. 4 reception that he donated the pieces “because of you.”

“I wanted it to be where students could enjoy it,” Hudson explained. “I wanted it to be on the walls where they could see it. I wanted it to be among young liberal arts students.” He encouraged the students to “enjoy it like I’ve enjoyed it for 50 years.”

The collection, which features works by renowned 19th century American artist Thomas Moran and German-American artist Albert Bierstadt, is on display in the new Rosemary Gossett Adams Gallery on the Ouachita campus. In addition to Moran’s “Lookout Rock – Yosemite Valley” and two paintings by Bierstadt, the collection includes an etching by Moran’s son, Peter, and several pieces of sculpture by Chris Delabarto as well as other works.

Emphasizing that “these are top names in the field,” Hudson told the reception crowd, “I must give credit where credit is due.” He said his late wife, Arlene, collected the pieces over the years.

Scott Holsclaw, dean of Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts, noted that “this is an exciting time in the life of the newly named Rosemary Gossett Adams Department of Visual Arts” which will be officially dedicated Dec. 11.

“We are so thrilled at what these gifts will do for this department, what it will do to enhance the permanent collection we already have, what it will do to enrich the education of our students,” Holsclaw added.

“When you see a timeless piece of art like this one in front you, you realize people have enjoyed it for years,” he said as he stood beside the Thomas Moran painting. “Because it is so timeless, because it is a masterpiece, people will enjoy it for years to come. We thank you, Dr. Hudson, for your gift.”

Donnie Copeland, chair of the department of visual arts, described the works in the gallery as “a feast for our eyes.”

“Dr. Hudson, I just want to say thank you so much for your gift,” he noted. “You’ve given us an opportunity I never imagined I would have to hang such great artwork. These students have the opportunity to stand where Thomas Moran stood and painted his pieces or Albert Bierstadt or Chris Delabarto. That is something you just can’t really get from a book. Thank you so much for that opportunity.”

Citing Hudson’s work as a noted surgeon and pioneer in the development of artificial heart surgery, Ouachita President Rex Horne said he is “a man who is marked by great intellect, great curiosity and great generosity.”

Describing Hudson’s donation as both “expensive” and “priceless,” Horne said, “Not only is he giving us what he and his wife enjoyed for decades and decades, but he has given us friendship, he has given us a part of himself. For that we will always be indebted.”

Hudson, who holds degrees from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, has been an innovator in the field of thoracic surgery. His expertise was sought by hospitals and universities where he led medical school programs for heart surgery. He taught, conducted research and developed surgical facilities and programs for such institutions as UAMS, the University of Houston, the University of Michigan, St. Louis University and Temple University. He served as a founding member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

For more information about Ouachita’s Dr. Loyde Hudson Collection, contact Scott Holsclaw at or 870-245-5561.