Ouachita to host annual Christian Counseling Conference Feb. 28  

ARKADELPHIA – Ouachita Baptist University’s Pruet School of Christian Studies will co-host the fourth annual Conference on Christian Counseling Friday, Feb. 28, in Ouachita’s Walker Conference Center. The conference theme will focus on “Anxiety” and related issues.

“We pick a theme that’s relevant to what’s going on in the world today,” said event coordinator Bill Viser, associate professor of Christian ministry at Ouachita. “I think anybody would recognize that there is a lot of anxiety in people’s lives these days and we want to talk about ways of reducing and understanding anxiety better.”

Ouachita partners with Henderson State University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary to bring in counseling professionals to teach large group and breakout sessions throughout the conference.

Breakout sessions include “Dealing with Anxiety: Observations and Contributions from Scripture and the Christian Faith Traditions,” “Reducing Your Anxiety through Self Care,” “Eight Steps to Controlling Anxiety in Your Life,” “Anxiety: Clinical Practice, Community Interventions and the Spiritual Factor,” “Cultural and Social Construct Influences on Anxiety and Individual Responses,” “A Non-Clinical Approach to the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders: Physical Fitness, Diet and Sleep Pattern Modification as an Alternative or Adjunct to Traditional Treatments,” “Calm in the Chaos,”  “Victims No More: Using Faith-Integrated Form of Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Treatment of Child Survivors of Abuse and Violence” and ”Co-Morbid Anxiety and Substance Use Disorders: Exception or Expectation?”

The conference is open to mental health professionals, nurses, licensed therapists, social workers, pastors and students.

“I want it to be an opportunity for professionals, whether they are nurses, license therapist, social workers, counselors or pastors, to come under one roof united together to learn skills that can translate into making someone’s life better and more manageable,” said Viser.

Viser said he hopes students will take advantage of the on-campus opportunity. “It’s a blessing to get to host this every year, and an awesome opportunity for students interested in a related career to hear outstanding speakers and maybe come to understand that God could be calling them into a profession like these,” he said.

More information and registration information is available

– OBU News Bureau


Children's Ministry Day set for Feb. 15

The 2014 Children's Ministry Day is set for Feb. 15.

The theme of the seventh annual Children's Ministry Day is "Generation Reach." Lead your church to plan a hands-on Children's Ministry´╗┐ Day project that involves children in direct ministry to unchurched community members.

For more information go to or contact Charity Gardner at 501-376-4791, ext. 5137.


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.