Hollingsworth named WBC’s 2013 Distinguished Baptist Minister

Hollingsworth (left) and JonesWALNUT RIDGE – Gary Hollingsworth, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, Little Rock, was recognized with the 2013 Distinguished Baptist Minister Award by Williams Baptist College (WBC) May 4. The award was presented during WBC’s commencement exercises.

Hollingsworth has served in a number of capacities throughout his years in ministry. An Alabama native, Hollingsworth served as a senior pastor in Kentucky and at the historic First Baptist Church, Alexandria, Va.

In 1996, Hollingsworth felt the call to return to his home state where he served for nearly 10 years as pastor of First Baptist Church, Trussville, Ala.

Hollingsworth has also served as chairman of the board of trustees for the Alabama State Board of Missions, president of Alabama’s pastor’s conference, vice president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention and as senior director of cultural evangelism for the North American Mission Board. In 2007, Hollingsworth became the 16th senior pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church, Little Rock.

Hollingsworth was presented the Distinguished Baptist Minister honor by WBC president, Tom Jones. Hollingsworth delivered the commencement address to the graduating class. Williams awarded degrees to 111 graduates during the ceremony.

WBC is a four-year, liberal arts college.


Baptist Health announces new mental health services for young mothers

LITTLE ROCK – A new Baptist Health program aims to help pregnant teenagers and young mothers understand and cope with the challenges and emotional issues that arise from their pregnancy so that they can make good choices for themselves and their babies.

The Baptist Health Family Support (BHFS) program, which is a part of behavioral health services at the Baptist Health Southwest campus, 11401 Interstate 30, offers individual, family, and group therapy specific to the needs of these girls and their families – a service that is scarce for this growing demographic.

“When looking at the teenage pregnancy statistics, it was staggering to me the amount of young girls we have out there becoming parents,” said Dori Haddock, the program’s clinical director. “I know how challenging becoming a new mother can be on a good day, but to be a teenager and a parent seems completely overwhelming.”

“During my career as a therapist, I have seen many underlying issues that affect teenage girls that can often lead to an unplanned pregnancy. There is such a need to help these girls identify what is going on within them, their family, and their lives and address these issues to offer a successful future,” Haddock said.

According to government statistics, about 1,300 babies have been born to teenagers under the age of 18 in Arkansas the past three years. In Pulaski County, there are about 150 of these deliveries each year, and counties within a 50-mile radius are averaging about 30 teenage pregnancies annually.

No other program in central Arkansas offers individual, family and group therapy addressing the mental-health issues these teenagers have, the often-difficult family dynamics, and the stress a newborn brings to young and uneducated teenagers, according to Baptist Health.

“When looking at the Baptist Health mission and the needs in the community, it became clear that the community was lacking resources for a very fragile population that Baptist Health can now offer,” Haddock said.

The new program specifically serves teenage girls or young women who have been diagnosed with or present with symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which existed prior to the pregnancy or has resulted due to the pregnancy.

The support program seeks to help address issues throughout the patient’s pregnancy and even after in all areas of their life including home and school. Some of the program’s services include helping with psychiatric issues, managing family dynamics and teaching appropriate coping skills to prevent second pregnancies.

“Our goal is to offer intensive and supportive therapeutic services to these girls, their families, and most importantly their child. The hope is to help them become independent, make good choices for themselves and their child, and to achieve the educational and personal goals they have set for themselves,” Haddock said. 

More information is available at


Hendrix, Chandler win Founders Awards at Williams Baptist College

WALNUT RIDGE – Karisa Hendrix and Andrew Chandler are the 2013 recipients of the Williams Baptist College Founders Awards. Hendrix is from Cherokee Village and Chandler is from Sherwood. Williams president Tom Jones presented the awards at the college’s annual graduates luncheon on Friday, May 3.

Founders Award winners are selected from each graduating class at Williams. Recipients are chosen by a vote of the faculty and administration as outstanding representatives of the college and its ideals. Hendrix and Chandler graduated Saturday during WBC’s baccalaureate and commencement ceremony. 

Hendrix, who majored in secondary social studies education, is the daughter of Kevin and Michelle Hendrix of Mabelvale. 

“Karisa is a once in a lifetime type of student athlete. It would be hard to fathom a student athlete with more impressive character credentials than Karisa,” noted Eric Newell, Hendrix’s softball coach and mentor during her 4 successful years as a Lady Eagle. 

Chandler, who was a church music major, is married to Taylor Chandler, and he is the son of Todd and Kelly Chandler of Sherwood.

“Throughout my teaching career of more than 28 years, Andrew has been one of the outstanding students with whom I have had the pleasure of working. He is the kind of student that makes teaching so enjoyable and rewarding,” said WBC music department chair, Dr. Bob Magee.

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


Ouachita Baptist University plans spring commencement for May 11

Ouachita's 2012 spring commencement ceremony

ARKADELPHIA – Ouachita Baptist University will hold its annual spring commencement exercises on Saturday, May 11, at 9:30 a.m. on the front lawn of the university’s historic Cone-Bottoms Hall. The ceremony will honor 296 graduates earning degrees including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music Education degrees.

Ouachita President Rex M. Horne, Jr., will preside over the annual commencement exercises. The ceremony will include an invocation by Senior Class President Jake Edwards, a business administration and finance major from North Little Rock; scripture reading by Anthony Emerson, a Christian studies and Biblical studies major from Sugar Land, Texas; and remarks by President Horne.

James E. “Jim Ed” Crittenden will be recognized with a Distinguished Alumnus Award. Crittenden, a 1950 Ouachita graduate, is retired chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Tri-Con Inc., a petroleum distribution company.

Dr. Lori Hensley, associate professor of biology and holder of the J.D. Patterson Chair of Biology, and Dr. Ray Granade, director of library services and professor of history, will serve as commencement marshals.

Dr. Stan Poole, vice president for academic affairs, will confer degrees upon the graduates. Dr. Danny Hays, dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies, will lead a responsive reading and Gene Whisenhunt, chairman of the Board of Trustees, will deliver the prayer of dedication.

For more information about Ouachita's commencement, visit


ABSC begins mission work in northern Haiti

LIMBÉ, Haiti – “Morning light” – during spring at the North Haiti Christian University (NHCU), those words are an oxymoron because the morning routine begins long before the sun rises.

“Without electricity at night, it is so dark when one wakes – disoriented, fumbling and fearful of having overslept – that no matter how many times the end cap of the deodorant is pushed – all the while thinking it is a malfunctioning, new, blue pocket flashlight – it will never illuminate,” reminisced Susan Watson, dean of students at Williams Baptist College.

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