Arkansas students pray for fellow students, their school and nation

STUDENTS FROM across Arkansas gathered at school flagpoles Sept. 26 for the annual See You at the Pole (SYATP) event.

SYATP is a “global day of student prayer,” according to the event’s website, The idea was began in 1990 after teenagers attending a Disciple Now weekend in Texas drove to several schools and gathered around the flagpoles to pray for “friends, schools and leaders.”

“God used what He did among those teenagers and others who were holding similar prayer meetings at their schools to birth a vision in the hearts of youth leaders across Texas. The vision was that students throughout Texas would follow these examples and meet at their school flagpoles to pray simultaneously,” a story about the 1990 event on the website says.

But the movement spread beyond just Texas.

On Sept. 12, 1990, more than 45,000 students in four states joined for prayer around school flagpoles. Since then, participation has grown from thousands to millions, with students from around the world participating, according to the site.

And students in Arkansas are no different. To view photos of students participating in SYATP in Arkansas, click here.

To read a blog and other information about how students participated in Arkansas, click the links below:



Lightning strike damages steeple at First Baptist, Heber Springs

This photo shows damage incurred to the steeple of First Baptist Church, Heber Springs, Sept. 21. Photo by Bill Bumpas

HEBER SPRINGS – Lightning struck the steeple of First Baptist Church in Heber Springs Friday, Sept. 21 – resulting in fire and water damage to a portion of the building.

“Our custodian just happened to be standing outside and saw the lightning strike and immediately called the fire department,” said J.R. DeBusk, pastor.

As a result of the fire department’s quick response, the fire was contained within the steeple area. However, DeBusk says that they did suffer some water damage to the worship area, the stairwell, classrooms and hallways as a result of the firefighters using water to get the fire out.

“We were not able to worship in the worship center on Sunday, due to the water damage, but we were able to set up in the fellowship hall and worship there,” DeBusk said. He added the church is working with a company to dry out the areas that suffered some water damage.

In addition, the lighting strike damaged some computers on the church's server.

“We are working on getting our computers up today (Sept. 24),” DeBusk said. 

All in all, DeBusk said that he’s thankful that it wasn’t worse.

“Because of the quick response and very minimal damage, in comparison to what might have happened had someone not have actually seen it when it happened, or if it had happened at night, we would have probably had a total loss,” DeBusk said.


Williams Baptist College ranked 55th in U.S. News & World Report report

WALNUT RIDGE – Williams Baptist College continues to edge its way up the rankings of U.S. News & World Report. The magazine issued its annual college rankings this week, and Williams is again listed in the top tier of liberal arts colleges in the South.

Williams climbed three notches on the list since last year and is now ranked 55th. Williams has now been in the magazine’s top tier for three straight years.

"The US News ranking is a strong affirmation of what our students already know, which is that Williams provides a great education," said Tom Jones, Williams President. "It is great to see the college recognized on the national stage like this, and we appreciate the hard work of many people who have made Williams what it is."

WBC is a four-year, liberal arts college in Walnut Ridge.


Ouachita Baptist to host Tiger Day for prospective students and families Sept. 14

ARKADELPHIA – Ouachita Baptist University’s first Tiger Day of the semester will be hosted by the office of admissions Friday, Sept. 14, for prospective students and their families. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the opening program beginning at 9 a.m. in Hickingbotham Hall’s Young Auditorium. “Tiger Days are a great way for students and families to visit Ouachita,” said Lara Dyar, senior admissions counselor for North Arkansas and Oklahoma. “Students are nervously excited, but they’re not alone.”


Mountain Home pastor Mike Shy dies in motorcycle accident on Labor Day

Update: Visitation for Mike Shy will be held from noon to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at East Side Baptist Church in Mountain Home, with the family receiving friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the church. 

A motorcycle accident yesterday on State Highway 235 in Marion County claimed the life of Mike Shy, East Side Baptist Church, Mountain Home, reports KTLO radio.

The station posted on its website the following, "Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery confirmed this morning that the department's long-time Chaplain Dr. Michael Shy, who is senior pastor at the East Side Baptist Church, was killed in the accident yesterday. Montgomery said he could not provide any additional information at this time. In addition to being the department's chaplain for over 20 years, Shy was also a reserve deputy. A spokesperson at the State Police Trooper headquarters in Harrison said any information about the accident would be released later this morning after a supervisor reviews the accident report filed by the trooper that investigated the accident."

KTLO contacted Darrell DeBoard, associate pastor at East Side Baptist, who confirmed Shy's death Labor Day evening. Shy, 60, was pastor of the church since 1992. He was a native of St. Louis.

Read the obituary for Mike Shy here.