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. 


Ark. WMU gets Second Century Fund grant

The Arkansas Woman's Missionary Union (WMU) was awarded a Second Century Fund grant by the national WMU executive board on Jan. 11. The grant will be used for leadership development of women in missions. From left are: Mark Shipley, chairman, WMU Foundation board; Wanda Lee, national WMU executive director/treasurer; David George, WMU Foundation president; Debbie Moore, women’s ministry and missions consultant, Arkansas WMU; Travis McCormick, men and boys missions consultant, Arkansas WMU; Charity Gardner, preschool and children’s missions consultant, Arkansas WMU; Diane Blackwood, president, Arkansas WMU; and Debby Akerman, national WMU president. The WMU Foundation manages the Second Century Fund.


Roy T. Payne, Forest Park Baptist deacon, dies at age 70  

PayneRoy T. Payne, 70, of Pine Bluff, a deacon at Forest Park Baptist Church, died Jan. 20 at Jefferson Regional Medical Center. 

He was born August 15, 1943, in Booneville, a son of the late J.D. and Marine Brown Hill. He was reared and educated in Booneville and Pine Bluff, where he graduated from Pine Bluff High School.

Payne worked in the lab at International Paper Company. He retired after 42 years on August 1, 2006. 

Payne is survived by his wife of 39 years, Barbara Payne of Pine Bluff; children Sara James of White Hall and Bryan Crawford of Conway; grandchildren Jonathan and Morgan James of White Hall; a sister, Valerie Williams of White Hall and a niece, Laura Steuart of Pine Bluff.

Funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at Forrest Park Baptist Church with Gary Scott officiating. Burial will follow in Union Cemetery. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22.


Williams Baptist to offer online degrees

WALNUT RIDGE – A Williams Baptist College (WBC) has announced that it will offer online degrees starting in coming weeks.

Williams is launching online degree completion programs in both psychology and pastoral ministries in March, with a program in business set to begin in May. The programs will allow students to complete their bachelor’s degrees through entirely online classes.

“In order to accomplish our mission completely, we have developed strategies that will expose us to a broader range of students,” said Williams President Tom Jones. “The WBC online degree program will make our Christian college experience available to those who are not able to attend the Williams on-campus program.”

The online program has been developed during the past 13 months under the direction of Eric Turner, dean of adult education. Turner said the program is for adult students, 23 years of age and older, who have successfully completed at least 45 hours of college.

Both Turner and Jones said that adults compose a sizable majority of today’s college students. Some 80 percent of the current college market is 25 years of age or older, and they typically have a learning style that differs from traditional college students.

“Typically, an adult learner is older and has significant responsibilities in their community, church, family and job,” Turner said. “These experiences have provided them knowledge and experiences that impact the way they learn. Their lifestyles often require a learning environment that is compact, intense and accessible.”

Turner pointed out that while the content of WBC’s online classes is the same as what is offered in the classroom, the online courses are better suited to the busy schedules of adult students.

“The format is asynchronous. In other words, students do not have to log in at set times,” he said. “While there are certain class participation requirements and due dates, students can accomplish these things at their convenience.”

The adult online program is designed to be an extension of Williams in every facet, and Jones emphasized that that the online format is not a “sidebar” activity for the college.

“Our online program will have the same high standards, personal approach and Christian basis for which Williams is known. Students will receive personal attention through an administrative and educational process that will accommodate their busy lives,” said Thomas.

Turner said the personal and spiritual dimensions for which WBC is known will be conveyed through the virtual campus (VC).

“The VC provides an interactive community: special interest groups like campus ministries, chapel streaming, and academic interest groups, that students can take advantage of,” he said.

“Students of any age desire to be part of a community of learners. Adults especially do not want to feel alone in their learning community and the VC attempts to build this community within the online environment.”

The program is fully accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, the regional accrediting agency for higher education in this part of the nation. The HLC extended its approval to the Williams online program following a site team visit last fall.

More information is available at