Donation largest ever for Baptist Memorial

JONESBORO – A $5 million donation by an Arkansas couple announced Dec. 10 is the largest gift to Baptist Memorial Health Care in the Memphis-based hospital system’s 101-year history, according to hospital officals.

FowlerWallace and Jama Fowler of Jonesboro donated $5 million to the NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation. The money will be used to create the Fowler Family Patient Assistance Endowment, a fund that will expand support services for the health care center's cancer patients. A new cancer center at NEA Baptist's new medical campus at 4800 E. Johnson in Jonesboro will be named the Fowler Family Center for Cancer Care, NEA Baptist said.

"It is an honor to receive such a generous gift from the Fowler family for the new cancer center at NEA Baptist," said Brad Parsons, CEO and administrator of NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital. "The Fowlers have given to many great initiatives in our community and this is no different. This gift will help transform cancer care in northeast Arkansas for generations to come."

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new hospital in Jonesboro, which opens in January, was held Dec. 10.

The 80-acre campus features a 550,000-square-foot hospital, 212,000 square feet of clinic space and the 34,000-square-foot cancer center. NEA said 500 jobs in health care are being created as a result of the $400 million project.

All components of cancer care are being placed under one roof, including diagnostics and chemotherapy treatments, as a result of the Fowler Family Center for Cancer Care. The center has 22 chemotherapy infusion suites.

"We look forward to working with NEA/Baptist and the cancer center to help provide additional support for patients and their families," Wallace Fowler said.

Wallace Fowler is a business owner and banker. Earlier this year, Fowler sold his privately-held bank company Liberty Bancshares to publicly traded Home BancShares Inc. of Conway for $280 million, according to Arkansas Business. The deal marked the largest in-state bank transaction in Arkansas history.


Coronado Baptist dedicates new facility

Members of Coronado Baptist Church, Hot Springs Village, celebrated the completion of their new facility with a dedication service Oct. 20. Since the church’s inception in 2005, they had been meeting at Hot Springs Village’s Coronado Center. Now they have their own facility.

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“I Will Speak”: Former Point of Grace member lets voice be heard in solo album

Ouachita Baptist University (OBU) graduate Terry Lang Jones recently released her debut solo album “I Will Speak.”

But this is not her first experience in the music industry. Jones is a founding member of Point of Grace, a nationally acclaimed contemporary Christian music group.

The group was formed by Jones and three friends under the name Say So when Jones was a junior at Ouachita, according to a press release. They changed their name to Point of Grace after signing a recording contract with Word Records in 1992. Their debut album was released in 1993.

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ABSC Executive Board employees receive service awards

Nine Arkansas Baptist State Convention Executive Board employees received service awards for their time in ministry at the convention. Awards were presented during the annual state convention Christmas celebration. Back from left: Travis McCormick, missions support team member, five years; Darrel Ray, Arkansas Tech University campus minister (formerly campus minister at West Ark Community College, now University of Arkansas–Fort Smith) on the collegiate ministry team, 25 years; Jeff Corley, business affairs team member, 10 years, and Lynn Riley, evangelism and church growth team member, 15 years. Front from left: Gwen McCallister, executive support team member, five years; Diane Parker, missions support team leader (formerly collegiate ministry team member), 20 years; Connie McCall, leadership and worship team member, five years, and Marty Davis, ministry planning team member, 15 years. Not pictured: William Jaques, leadership and worship team member, five years.

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Arkansas Baptist DR teams respond to Mena following winter storm

MENA – Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) disaster relief currently has two recovery units deployed to Mena in the aftermath of the winter storm of recent days. The units are from Ouachita Baptist Association and Southwest Arkansas Baptist Association, according to the ABSC missions ministries team. Twelve recovery jobs have been completed. 

Additionally, Dallas Avenue Baptist Church in Mena has opened its family life center to families without power, providing lodging and meals. Arkansas Baptist disaster relief is assisting with the purchase of food at Dallas Avenue.

A spokesperson for the missions ministries team said an assessment team is en route to Waldron to help determine additional assistance that might be needed.