Williams Baptist College enrollment boosted by large freshman class

WALNUT RIDGE – Williams Baptist College (WBC) recorded its second largest freshman class in recent history this fall. The influx of freshmen, coupled with increased numbers at off-campus extensions, helped WBC notch a slight increase in its overall enrollment.

Total enrollment at Williams this fall is 574 students, compared to 566 last year. The number includes 156 freshmen on the main campus at Walnut Ridge, which is a 14 percent increase over last year.

“We are delighted with the number and the quality of students in this freshman class. This was only three students short of a record for us.  Equally important, this group of freshmen is engaged and already working hard on their college education,” said Angela Flippo, vice president for enrollment management.

WBC’s headcount was also boosted by numbers at its off-campus extensions, where 73 are enrolled this fall.  Williams offers courses at Bradford, as well as Hoxie High School and Ridgefield Christian School in Jonesboro.

“Our admissions office is to be congratulated for a great job in recruiting such a large and high caliber group of students,” said WBC President Tom Jones. “Our focus is to help these students become exceptional graduates prepared to engage local and global cultures through a Christ-centered worldview.”

The number of WBC students at the Walnut Ridge campus stood at 501, which is down from last year’s 520. The college attributed the decline to a drop in returning students, as well as fewer transfer students. The full time equivalent, or FTE, on the main campus fell from 521 last year to 503 this fall. 

“We had an uncommonly large graduating class in May, which decreases the number of students returning in the fall,” Flippo said.  “We are also implementing new strategies to increase our retention, and we are confident these will help us build enrollment in the future.” 

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


Johnnie Charles “John” Bell dies at age 78

Johnnie Charles “John” Bell, 78, of North Richland Hills, Texas, died July 29. He is survived by his wife, Nadean Riley Bell. Formerly of Van Buren, he was active in First Baptist Church, Van Buren. John served as president of the Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania/South Jersey in 1983.

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Fort Smith CWJC to hold 5K

Fort Smith Christian Women’s Job Corps will hold its Rock & Glow 5K Run from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at Chaffee Crossing. It is a family event, and all proceeds go to the Christian Women’s Job Corps to begin a Christian Men’s Job Corps. For more information and online registration, visit

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CWJC of NWA to hold open house

Christian Women’s Job Corps of Northwest Arkansas will hold an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 14 at Frisco Station Mall in Rogers to share about their ministry with the community.


Tom Auffenberg remembered for 40 years of service to Ouachita Baptist University

Trennis Henderson
Ouachita Baptist University

ARKADELPHIA – Thomas Lynn “Tom” Auffenberg, a longtime professor of history at Ouachita Baptist University, died Aug. 21 at age 65, one day before he was to be honored for 40 years of service at Ouachita.

AuffenbergAuffenberg, the R. Voyt Hill Professor of History and chair of the history department, began teaching at Ouachita in 1973. It was his first and only teaching position throughout his distinguished career. He was one of three Ouachita professors scheduled to be recognized for their 40-year service milestones during the university’s Aug. 22 Faculty/Staff Banquet. 

“Tom Auffenberg literally invested his adult life in his students and colleagues at Ouachita,” said Ouachita President Rex M. Horne, Jr. “For 40 years we benefitted from his love of teaching.

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