Bob Gosser, longtime Ouachita Baptist supporter, dies Aug. 14 at age 80

Trennis Henderson
Ouachita Baptist University 

LITTLE ROCK – Bobby Leon “Bob” Gosser, one of the namesakes of Ouachita Baptist University’s Gosser Hall, died Aug. 14 at age 80.

Gosser“Dr. Bob Gosser and his dear wife, Marianne, embody the best of Ouachita,” said Ouachita President Rex M. Horne, Jr. “Their love and legacy has a strong Ouachita theme. Their devotion is reflected in the lives of their children and grandchildren.

“We are a better university because of the Gosser family,” Horne added. “With the homegoing of Dr. Gosser, our gratitude and prayers are offered for the family. They will never forget this good man and neither will we.”

According to Terry Peeples, Ouachita’s vice president for development, "There are some families that are pillars of OBU and the Gosser family is one of those. Dr. Gosser would always say his children could go anywhere to college but he would pay for them to attend Ouachita.”

Peeples described Gosser as “an authentic follower of Christ and a witness and leader for his family, church, community and the Ouachita family."

Gosser, a 1956 graduate of Ouachita, and his wife, Marianne, a 1955 Ouachita alumna, have been longtime supporters of Ouachita. The university’s Student Village, dedicated in 2009, includes Gosser Hall which was named in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Gosser. Five of Gosser Hall’s seven houses are named in honor of their five children, all of whom are Ouachita graduates: Jenny Gosser (’92), Bobby Gosser (’83), John M. Gosser (’84), Leigh Anna Gosser Askins (’89) and April Gosser Cook (’94).

During the groundbreaking service for the Student Village, Jenny Gosser said, “Family means so much to us, and our parents are the root of that. … We hope that in this place of gathering and community, students will make strong bonds and will become like a family.”

Gosser, a 1951 graduate of Little Rock Central High School, earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Ouachita. He and Mrs. Gosser were married in 1955.

Gosser also was a 1961 graduate of the University of Arkansas Medical School and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Oklahoma Medical School in 1963. In his distinguished medical career, he served in private practice in North Little Rock, as medical director of Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock and as chief of staff and chief of medical affairs at Baptist Hospital in North Little Rock.

A longtime member of Second Baptist Church of Little Rock, Gosser served as deacon chairman; director of youth, young married and adult Sunday School; and Finance Committee board member. Also active in the community, he served as president of the North Little Rock Rotary Club, the Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA board.

In addition to Marianne, his wife of 58 years, and their five adult children, Dr. Gosser is survived by 15 grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 16, at 3 p.m. at Second Baptist Church of Little Rock. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ouachita Baptist University, Second Baptist Church or the Baptist Hospital Foundation.

Trennis Henderson is vice president for communications at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia.


ABSC to hold Autism Spectrum Disorder Workshop

LITTLE ROCK – An Autism Spectrum Disorder Workshop will be held Sept. 21 at the ABSC building, 10 Remington Drive, Little Rock.

The workshop is sponsored by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) missions ministries team.

Karan Burnett of Partners for Inclusive Communities will serve as conference leader. Burnett has 33 years of expertise with children whose disabilities are in the autism spectrum and exhibit behavioral disorders. Partners for Inclusive Communities – Arkansas’ University Center on Disabilities – is located within the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions.

Click to read more ...


Baptist Health of LR lays off 170 workers

LITTLE ROCK – Baptist Health of Little Rock announced July 16 that 170 workers in its system are losing their jobs.

The layoffs are immediate and were to be completed by week’s end, Arkansas Business reported. The cuts will "not impact the quality of clinical patient care, … and they are consistent with actions other hospitals have taken," Mark Lowman, a Baptist Health spokesman, said in a statement to Arkansas Business. 

Baptist Health has hospitals in Little Rock, North Little Rock and Arkadelphia and about 7,300 workers, according to Arkansas Business. Layoffs target employees who aren't nurses. 

"We are undertaking a number of initiatives that will position our organization to address the challenges of health reform and severe federal budget cuts," Lowman said in the statement to Arkansas Business. "Baptist Health has worked to reduce non salary expenses, gain efficiencies in all aspects of operations through consolidation of services and simplification of processes." 

Lowman also cited "a difficult and challenging environment of substantially less government reimbursement, burdensome government regulations, rapidly rising costs of supplies, increasing charity care and bad debt, and the need for technology and medical innovations" as a reason for the layoffs.

Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock reported total patient revenue of $1.49 billion in 2011 and a net income of nearly $15 million, Arkansas Business reported. 


ABN plans student ministry ad section  

For the second consecutive year, the Arkansas Baptist News (ABN) is offering a special advertising directory focused on student ministry resources. The directory will be published in the Aug. 22 edition.

The directory is open to those offering student-related ministries and resources. Ads will be organized according to the type of ministry offered, such as youth and children’s speakers, musicians and bands, drama and improve, creative ministries and children’s programs.

“The student ministry advertising directory presents a unique opportunity for both advertisers and student ministers,” said Tim Yarbrough, ABN editor. “Advertisers benefit by having their ministries placed in a categorized section, which will be viewed by 20,000-plus Arkansas Baptists statewide. Meanwhile, student ministers can use the section to find the resources they need at a glance.”

He explained the issue of the ABN containing these ads will be distributed beyond the usual realm of subscribers. Arkansas Baptist youth ministers – subscribers or not – will receive a free electronic version of the newspaper so they can use the directory as a resource.

Yarbrough said it is particularly appropriate for the advertising directory to be published in the Aug. 22 edition due to the fact that it is the edition that will feature a youth evangelism section, which will include coverage of the 2013 Youth Evangelism Conference (YEC), an annual conference attended by hundreds of youth.

“It is going to be a powerful issue seen by thousands of Arkansas Baptists. It would be a great way to share with others the resources you provide for youth ministry,” said Yarbrough. 

Though larger ads are welcome, two general sizes of ads are available at a discounted rate – 4.75 inches wide by 2 inches tall; and 2.25 inches wide by 2 inches tall.

Each ad will include the advertiser’s/ministry’s name, contact and website information, a photo and a brief description of the ministry.

Advertising deadline is July 29.

For more information or to advertise, contact Jessica Vanderpool at or 501-376-4791, ext. 5154.


Eureka Springs Passion Play attendance up; large debt for attraction remains

EUREKA SPRINGS – Nightly attendance to "The Great Passion Play" performances has increased about 20 percent from a year ago, but the play still owes $2.53 million in principle on loans to the bank.

Click on image to listen to related Podcast.Play organizers told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in an article published June 25 that while $37,104 in back taxes and $77,080 due to a Eureka Springs bank have been paid, the play continues to undertake fundraising efforts to pay back additional debt.

Dick Kelsey, executive director of the play, said nightly attendance during May averaged about 500 for two performances during the week. In 2012, there were three performances of the play each week.

“This thing would function fine if we didn’t have the debt,” Kelsey told the Democrat-Gazette.

“Attendance is up,” Kelsey said. “Revenues are up. We’re taking care of the payment on the loan and everything is up-to-date. Basically, it has been a good year so far.”

Starting in June and July, the play will go to a four performances a week schedule - Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday - Kelsey told the Little Rock newspaper. He added play organizers believe an average attendance of 650 people for each performance is attainable by the end of July.

Click to read more ...