Last call for the 2013 evangelist directory

The Arkansas Baptist News (ABN) will be compiling a list of evangelists, speakers and musicians to make available for Arkansas Baptist churches to consider using for special events.

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‘Tour of Duty’ reaches military families  

SHERWOOD – Military wife Carolyn Fisher knows what it’s like to have her husband deployed a world away for months at a time.

Horn“It seems like every time these guys are gone, things happen,” she said. For Fisher, that “thing” was giving birth to three children – each time while her husband was gone, either for deployment or annual training for the National Guard.

She has also experienced life as a mother to a son in the military and can relate to her daughter-in-law.

“And so it became personal for me in that respect,” she said.

This understanding of military life is what gave Fisher, member of Baring Cross Baptist Church, Sherwood, the passion to help spearhead Tour of Duty, a weekend retreat for military wives, which was held at Baring Cross Baptist Oct. 19-20.

“Our purpose for the conference was to offer encouragement to military families, specifically wives, to connect with them so that future ministry could take place and to perhaps start a support group out of our church that is based on Sara Horn’s ministry, Wives of Faith,” said Marty Watson, pastor of Baring Cross. 

The two-day retreat, which was a joint event of Baring Cross, the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) missions ministries team chaplaincy office and the ABSC missions support team, provided a time of worship and inspirational teaching, as well as equipped women to develop support groups for military wives and families in their churches.

The retreat was led by Bible teacher and author Sara Horn, who is founder and president of Wives of Faith, a military wives ministry. Her books include “GOD Strong: A Military Wife’s Spiritual Survival Guide,” “Tour of Duty: Preparing Our Hearts for Deployment” and “My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife: A One-Year Experiment...and Its Surprising Results.”

Watson said the heart for this type of ministry really comes from his congregation, a number of whom have first-hand experience with military life.

“The heart and vision for ministering to military families flows from a couple of things,” he said.

“First is the fact that we have a number of retired military people in our church. Second is the fact that we are located so close to the Little Rock air base. We have a steady flow of military families through our church, and making connections with them beyond the walls of our church is a natural ministry for those who have lived that life,” said Watson, adding “They understand the challenges these families face and have a heart for encouraging them and ministering to them. It is a ministry that flows out of their heart.”

Fisher said she and fellow church member Liz Edwards – who also helped spearhead the event – met Horn in North Carolina.

“After we had met we realized how important it was for her to reach out to some of the others because each deployment has a different need, and a different purpose and a different set of issues.” 

The conference drew people from various areas of Arkansas, as well as Kentucky and Tennessee. A woman from Kentucky connected with a woman from Cabot, and they discovered their husbands were in the same unit and were deployed to the same location, said Fisher.

A lady who attended had been married almost 60 years and shared about how she would connect with her husband when he was deployed to Vietnam – before the days when connecting through the internet was possible.                                                                                                                   

“We had a really good time with our group, although it was not just really large. But it sure reached a lot of people. Those that came really got a blessing,” Fisher said.

Military families face unique challenges,” said Watson. “The thing I heard over and over this weekend from the participants is the need for someone to walk along beside them. They need friends they can count on to be there for them. Feeling alone is a huge issue. Our commitment as a church is to engage military families in a loving and practical way.”


Ouachita to host 16th annual Service of Lessons and Carols Dec. 4

ARKADELPHIA – When Ouachita Baptist University students, faculty, staff and guests gather on Dec. 4 for A Service of Lessons and Carols, they will have the opportunity to participate in a traditional Christmas service that dates back to the late 1800s. For Ouachita, A Service of Lessons and Carols began in 1997 and has become an annual part of the Christmas season on campus. This year's service will be held Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Ouachita's W. Francis McBeth Recital Hall.

"A Service of Lessons and Carols helps the Ouachita community truly understand the meaning of the Christmas season," said Dr. Gary Gerber, chair of Ouachita's Division of Music, professor of music and director of choral activities.

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Top Cooperative Program giving in Arkansas

Top percentage giving: 0-49 in Sunday school attendance 

  1. First Baptist Church, Sparkman
  2. Military Road Baptist Church, Jacksonville
  3. Parkway Baptist Church, Lake Village
  4. First Baptist Church, Gould
  5. Big Fork Baptist Church, Mena
  6. Bellaire Baptist Church, Dermott
  7. New Providence Baptist Church, Hackett
  8. Angora Baptist Church, Hackett
  9. Rock Springs Baptist Church, Eureka Springs
  10. Newark Southern Baptist Church, Newark


Top percentage giving: 50-99 in Sunday school attendance

1.  Union Baptist Church, Harrison

2.  Dell Baptist Church, Dell

3.  Fairfield Bay Baptist Church, Fairfield Bay

4.  Magnolia Baptist Church, Crossett

5.  Temple Baptist Church, Searcy

6.  First Baptist Church, Stamps

7.  First Baptist Church, Yellville

8.  Ridgeway Baptist Church, Nashville

9.  First Baptist Church, Carlisle

10. Houston Baptist Church, Bigelow


Top percentage giving: 100-149 in Sunday school attendance

1.  First Baptist Church, Almyra

2.  First Baptist Church, Piggott

3.  First Baptist Church, McCrory

4.  Harlan Park Baptist Church, Conway

5.  First Baptist Church, Monette

6. First Baptist Church, Leachville

7.  Meridian Baptist Church, Crossett

8.  Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Bauxite

9. Calvary Baptist Church, Benton

10. Grand Avenue Baptist Church, Hot Springs


Top percentage giving: 150-299 in Sunday school attendance

1.  First Baptist Church, Des Arc

2.  Lonoke Baptist Church, Lonoke

3.  First Baptist Church, Dover

4.  First Baptist Church, Stuttgart

5.  First Baptist Church, Batesville

6.  Trinity Baptist Church, Searcy

7.   First Baptist Church, Blytheville

8.  Second Baptist Church, Russellville

9.  First Baptist Church, Mansfield

10. First Baptist Church, Waldron


Top percentage giving: 300-499 in Sunday school attendance

1.  Union Valley Baptist Church, Beebe

2.  First Baptist Church, White Hall

3.  Watson Chapel Baptist Church, Pine Bluff

4.  Balboa Baptist Church, Hot Springs Village

5.  First Baptist Church, West Memphis

6.  Calvary Baptist Church, Camden

7.  First Baptist Church, Sherwood

8. Eagle Heights Baptist Church, Harrison

9.  Central Baptist Church, Magnolia

10. Friendship Baptist Church, Conway


Top percentage giving: 500-749 in Sunday school attendance

1.  First Baptist Church, Fayetteville

2.  Valley Baptist Church, Searcy

3.  East Side Baptist Church, Mountain Home

4.  Hot Springs Baptist Church, Hot Springs

5.  Nettleton Baptist Church, Jonesboro

6.  First Baptist Church, Marion

7.  Grand Avenue Baptist Church, Fort Smith

8.  First Baptist Church, Hot Springs

9.  Walnut Street Baptist Church, Jonesboro

10. Indian Springs Baptist Church, Bryant


Top percentage giving: 750 + in Sunday school attendance

1.  First Baptist Church, Russellville

2.  First Baptist Church, Benton

3.  East Side Baptist Church, Fort Smith

4.  Park Hill Baptist Church, North Little Rock

5.  Geyer Springs First Baptist Church, Little Rock

6.  First Baptist Church, Cabot

7.  Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro

8.  Immanuel Baptist Church, Little Rock

9.  First Baptist Church, Bentonville

10. First Baptist Church, Greenwood


Top overall percentage giving

1.  First Baptist Church, Sparkman

2.  Union Baptist Church, Harrison

3.  First Baptist Church, Almyra

4.  Dell Baptist Church, Dell

5.  Military Road Baptist Church, Jacksonville

6.  First Baptist Church, Des Arc

7.  Parkway Baptist Church, Lake Village

8.  Fairfield Bay Baptist Church, Fairfield Bay

9.  First Baptist Church, Gould

10. Big Fork Baptist Church, Mena


Top overall per capita giving

1.  First Baptist Church, Sparkman

2.  Dermott Baptist Church, Dermott

3.  Cushman Baptist Church, Cushman

4.  West Rock Baptist Church, Little Rock

5. First Baptist Church, Stuttgart

6.  First Baptist Church, Dover

7.  Fairfield Bay Baptist Church, Fairfield Bay

8.  First Baptist Church, Camden

9.  Joyce City Baptist Church, Smackover

10. Temple Baptist Church, El Dorado


Top overall giving

1.  Cross Church, Springdale

2.  Geyer Springs First Baptist Church, Little Rock

3.  First Baptist Church, Benton

4. Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro

5.  First Baptist Church, Russellville

6.  Park Hill Baptist Church, North Little Rock

7.  Immanuel Baptist Church, Little Rock

8.  First Baptist Church, Fayetteville

9.  East Side Baptist Church, Fort Smith

10. Watson Baptist Church, Pine Bluff



Lakeview Baptist Thanksgiving service set for Nov. 18

Lakeview Baptist Church, Arkadelphia, will hold its annual Thanksgiving service at 10 a.m. Nov. 18, featuring music by the Hawkins Family of Hot Springs. Dinner will follow the service. All are invited. For more information, call 870-260-5918.