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Sparkman FBC: ‘Beautiful Past, Bright Future’ – 100 Years of Service

SPARKMAN – The air of excitement was for the church’s 100-year anniversary celebration held Oct. 26, 2014, which featured two church services with special music and lots of reminiscing and preaching from two former pastors. The theme of the services was Beautiful Past, Blessed Present, Bright Future – 100 Years of Service. It was also the name of a special book of memories and history of the church given to members and guests.

Read more in the Nov. 13 edition of the print edition of the Arkansas Baptist News. Subscribe here.

View a photo gallery of the day's events.

View a portion of book of memories and history about First Baptist Church, Sparkman.


Auman Named WBC Distinguished Young Alumna

Tom Jones, president of WBC, and Auman

WALNUT RIDGE – Lynsey (Riley) Auman was named Williams Baptist College’s 2014 Distinguished Young Alumna during Saturday’s Homecoming/Parents Day festivities.

Auman, who is a native of Sherwood, graduated from Williams in 2006, earning a degree in English education. She now lives in Nashville, Tenn., where she works for World Relief.

The mission of World Relief is to empower the local church to serve the most vulnerable of people. In the United States the organization largely serves refugees who have had to flee their home countries due to persecution.

Auman began her work with World Relief Nashville four years ago, helping secure employment and promote self-sustainability for refugees living in the Nashville, Tenn., area.

In 2011, she took on the role of Journey Youth Services Program Manager. Journey provides after school programs, mentorships and cultural activities for refugee youth as they adjust to life in America and teenage life in general.

“I had an excellent college experience at Williams,” said Auman.  “I was given the opportunity to grow both as a learner and a leader. Because of the personal attention given to me by incredibly talented professors, I gained skills and experience that I still use in my job today.” 

Auman is married to Joshua Auman and is the daughter of Lynn and Cheryl Riley.


Graydon Hardister, Arkansas native and former IMB missionary, dies

Obituary for Graydon Bridges Hardister

Graydon Bridges Hardister, 80, of Benton passed away November 1, 2014. He was born May 22, 1934 to the late James Buckner and Eunice Bridges Hardister in Reydel, Arkansas.

Graydon grew up in Pine Bluff and graduated at Pine Bluff High School in 1952. He studied at Ole Miss for 2 years, felt the call to serve in the ministry and then transferred to Ouachita Baptist University to prepare for the ministry and graduated from OBU in 1956 with a degree in math and science. He graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1960 and 1961. He served on the staff of Second Baptist Church in Little Rock as Associate Pastor and director of youth services. He also served on staff at Westmont Baptist Church in Memphis, TN as pastor.

Graydon met his wife, Betty, while he served on staff at Second Baptist Church in Little Rock and they married in March 1962. In September 1965 he and his wife, Betty, were appointed by the International Mission Board to serve in the country of Jordan and they faithfully served for 34 years before retiring in 1999. He was also a member of First Baptist Church, Benton.

Graydon was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Rex Jerome Hardister.

Graydon is survived by his wife, Betty J. Hardister of 52 years; two sons, Graydon Thomas “Tommy” Hardister and wife Janean of Little Rock, and David Lee Hardister and wife, Tina of Benton; daughter, Carol Anne Phifer and husband Keith of North Little Rock; two sisters, Jimmie Carol Woodfield of Rogers, and Kay Bailey and husband, James of Dallas, TX; sister-in-law, Marilyn Hardister of Brenham, TX; and 8 grandchildren, Nathanael, Christopher, Mary-Madelynne, Joshua, Zachariah, Elizabeth, A. Abigail, and Emily.

Visitation will be Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. at First Baptist Church, Selph Hall, 211 S. Market St. Benton, AR 72015. Funeral services will be Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 10:00 A.M., First Baptist Church with Rev. Clay Cunningham and Bro. Darin Buscher officiating. Interment at Pinecrest Memorial Park. Pallbearers are Tommy Hardister, David Hardister, Nathanael Hardister, Christopher Hardister, Keith Phifer, Steve Bailey, Alan Woodfield, and Mike Phifer. Honorary pallbearers are Joshua Phifer, Zachariah Hardister, Mary-Madelynne Hardister, Elizabeth Phifer, A. Abigail Hardister and Emily Phifer. Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Building Fund. For information, call Smith-Benton Funeral Home, 501-778-7100. Online guestbook:


Baptist Health to host free senior driver car safety checkups

LITTLE ROCK – Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute is sponsoring CarFit, a free personal driver safety event for seniors, on Nov. 8, in the Hickingbotham Outpatient parking lot located on the Baptist Health Medical Center – Little Rock campus.

Held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., no appointment is necessary to participate. The event will be rescheduled in the event of rain or severe weather.

This free interactive and educational program for seniors was designed through the collaboration of the American Society on Aging, AAPR, AAA and the American Occupational Therapy Association. CarFit is not a driving test or mechanical inspection.

The U.S. Census Bureau has determined that by 2030 there will be an estimated 58.9 million people age 65 and older, which equates to about one in four drivers in some communities. Driving is an activity that allows older adults to maintain their independence, which is essential for a healthy aging process.

Research suggests that older drivers are among the safest drivers because they typically wear seat belts and are less likely to speed or drink and drive. However, as people age, they're more likely to suffer serious injuries or risk death in crashes due to greater fragility. Newer vehicles have enhanced safety features to decrease the risk of injury; however, many drivers are unaware of how to properly use them. A proper fit in one's car can greatly increase not only the driver's safety but also the safety of others. CarFit helps these drivers explore vehicle adjustments and develop strategies to ensure the safest fit. 

Participants will drive through designated checkup stations for a one-on-one session with a certified technician. These trained professionals will review a 12-point check list to assist drivers in adjusting their mirrors properly to decrease blind spots, determine and adjust the seating and steering wheel so that they are at the safest distance for the driver, adjust seat belts for comfort and ensure drivers know how to operate their vehicle’s controls.

The check-up should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Afterward, an occupational therapist will demonstrate adaptive equipment such as seat cushions, seat belt extenders, key holders, swivel seats, and other devices to help increase safety and comfort while driving.

Therapists Amanda Woodall, OTR/L, and Katie Fry, DPT, are the event coordinators.

Baptist Health is the state’s most comprehensive healthcare system with more than 175 points of access, including eight hospitals. For more information about CarFit, call Baptist Health HealthLine at 1-888-BAPTIST.


Umbaugh and Stober crowned at WBC Homecoming

Grace Stolz
Williams Baptist College

WALNUT RIDGE – Emily Umbaugh of Winona Lake, Ind., and Scotty Stober of Lead Hill, were crowned the 2014 Homecoming queen and king Saturday at Williams Baptist College. The coronation took place in WBC’s Southerland-Mabee Center, during halftime of the Lady Eagles season opener basketball game. 

Umbaugh is a senior psychology major, and the daughter of Randy and Kim Umbaugh. 

Stober is a senior, majoring in liberal arts. He is the son of David and Mary Stober.

Also representing the senior class on the homecoming court were Sarah Hunt of Lepanto, and Coy Yasler of Ravenden.  Hunt, a psychology major, is the daughter of Cathy Hunt and the late James Hunt. Yasler, a biology major, is the son of Douglass and Bonnie Yasler.  

Juniors on the court were Jasmine Edwards, a native of Horn Lake, Miss., and Taylor Baker of Jonesboro. Edwards, who is the daughter of Janice Johnson and the late Mario Edwards, is majoring in business. Baker, who is the son of Denilla and Keith Baker, is a Christian ministries major. 

The sophomore class representatives were Gabby Fulton of West Fork, and Luke Carter of Bourbon, Mo. Fulton is majoring in psychology and is the daughter of Gary and Susan Fulton.  Carter is a Christian ministries major and the son of Edward and Joye Carter.

Freshmen on the homecoming court were Madelyn Poe of Beebe, and Tracy Allen, Jr., of Wilson, Miss. Poe is the daughter of Adam and Kristy Poe. Allen is the son of LaShanna Span and Tracy Allen, Sr.

The homecoming court and king and queen were selected by a vote of the WBC student body. 

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

Grace Stolz is coordinator of public relations at Williams Baptist College.