Thursday
Jun112015

Ruby Swanigan, 73, dies

Ruby Louise Hawthorn Swanigan, 73, died June 9 in Pine Bluff. She held many different jobs over the course of her life, including working in prison and deaf ministry through the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.

She was preceded in death by three brothers and two sisters.

She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Richard Swanigan; three daughters; a son; seven grandchildren; six brothers, and three sisters.

Funeral services will be held June 12 at Immanuel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff.

Thursday
Jun112015

Gerald Bounds resigns after 53-year ministry

Gerald A. Bounds has resigned as pastor of Palestine Baptist Church, Quitman, after 53 years in the pastoral ministry.

Wednesday
Jun032015

Howells honored for 19 years of prison ministry in Calico Rock

MOUNTAIN HOME – Maurice Hitt, associational missionary of White River Baptist Association, and members of the association’s GO Team, met on May 19 in Mountain Home to honor C.M. Howell and his wife, Jo Ann, for 19 years of service as missionaries to inmates at North Central Unit in Calico Rock. Joining them were Bob Fielding, Arkansas Baptist State Convention missions team member, and his predecessor, Marion Reynolds.

Howell, who pastored in MisC.M. Howell (front center) and his wife, Jo Ann (front right) were recently honored for their years of prison ministry. Also pictured are Associational Missionary Maurice Hitt (front left), Pastor Jack Gilliland (back left), Pastor Stephen Martin (back center) and Pastor Gary Wise.souri and Kansas for 35 years, was attending a 1991 meeting at Glorieta, New Mexico, when he was approached by a California leader about teaching MasterLife in six prisons there. TheHowells were commissioned by the Home Mission Board (now North American Mission Board) and became Mission Service Corps missionaries. After six years, they moved to Mountain Home and heard about the prison at Calico Rock. They immediately began ministry there.

Asked what one thing he can point to that changes inmates’ hearts so that they do not return to prison, Howell said, “Most of the men have never had any kind of Christian influence in their lives at all. Many came from gangs or broken homes and have no idea what love is. Those that enrolled in the PAL (Principles and Applications for Life) program not only heard about God’s love in the Scriptures, they saw the love of men and women who came to teach them. Love draws them to the Lord and changes their lives.”

Wednesday
Jun032015

Black River holds Acts 1:8 mission day

ChurchesWill Vassar, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hoxie, leads an evangelism team. of Black River Baptist Association came together May 16 to impact local communities with the gospel. It was the second of four scheduled Acts 1:8 mission days in Black River.

Nine churches from the association came together, along with Cord Baptist Church from Independence Baptist Association, which partnered with them. Black River churches who partnered together were Alicia Baptist Church, Alicia, which was the host church; First Baptist Church, Walnut Ridge; First Baptist Church, Hoxie; First Baptist Church, Newport; First Baptist Church, Imboden; First Southern Baptist Church, Black Rock; Immanuel Baptist Church, Newport; New Song Baptist Church, Williford, and White Oak Baptist Church, Walnut Ridge. They represented more than a third of the churches in the association.

Despite the rain, more than 80 people gathered at Alicia Baptist Church to take part in various ministry activities.

The weather impacted a block party that was planned in Alicia. Although several volunteers tried to lead the block party, the weather deterred community participation.

Marvin Reynolds, retired associational missionary for Black River Baptist Association, led the prayer team as several folks stayed at the church to pray all day for the various activities. Jake Guenrich, pastor of First Baptist in Walnut Ridge, led the evangelism teams that went door to door in various communities such as Alicia, Black Rock, Swifton and others. The teams returned and reported that they had several opportunities to share the gospel and at least one person prayed to received Christ that day.

Pastor Tony Clem, of First Southern Baptist Church in Black Rock, reported a renewed excitement in his
church on the following Sunday morning with several visitors that came to worship as a result of the outreach teams.

“The weather has been a challenge for each of the Acts 1:8 days, with snow for the first one at the end of March and a lot of rain for the most recent one, but the event continues to grow and involve more people,” said Mike McCoy, associational missionary for Black River Baptist Association. “The excitement that this
ministry is creating with the churches of Black River Baptist Association is being felt on many levels.”

Wednesday
Jun032015

Impact Jonesboro, Walnut Street Church reaches 450

Walnut Street Baptist Church, Jonesboro, member Patty Witt (picitured) donned her clown outfit and made balloon animals for neighborhood children as a part of Impact Jonesboro, a one-day local mission trip held by the church April 25. Eighty-five members volunteered at three locations across the city with activities ranging from sports and games to face painting and inflatables to music and giveaways. Other volunteers provided lunch for all volunteers and participants at each site. Approximately 450 people were reached through the event, and 17 professions of faith were made.