Williams launches honors program with Coe Scholars

WALNUT RIDGE – Williams Baptist College will launch its new honors program and welcome its first group of participants, known as Coe Honors Scholars, this fall. Students selected for the prestigious program will participate in a wide array of academic opportunities and challenges.

The title of Coe Honors Scholar is a tribute to the late Henry E. (Ezra) and Verbeth Coe of Tuckerman, whose recent estate gift endowed scholarships at Williams, as well as benefiting two other educational institutions. Longtime supporters of Williams, the Coes left nearly $1,000,000 from their estate to the college.

Their nephew, Bill Coe, stated, “I know that Ezra and Verbeth would be humbled and honored that the school would establish a scholarship program in their memory. I know it would make them proud.”

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Ouachita special collections opening will honor Hickey, Holley and Knight March 3

Rachel Gaddis
Ouachita Baptist University

ARKADELPHIA – Ouachita Baptist University’s Riley-Hickingbotham Library will host the grand opening of three new special collections at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 3, in the library’s main lobby. The event will honor the lives and service of Glenn Hickey, Bob Holley and John Knight.

The three men, who all have ties to Ouachita, have served in diverse leadership roles throughout their careers. Hickey is the former director of missions for Pulaski Baptist Association, Holley was the longtime director of Discipleship Training for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention and Knight was director of the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics.

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Juanita Fern Simpson, 82, dies

Juanita Fern Simpson, 82, of Tumbling Shoals, died Jan. 17.

She was an active member of Tumbling Shoals Baptist Church in Tumbling Shoals, where she was a charter member and had at one time served as church clerk.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Birtus Simpson Sr., and a sister.

She is survived by a daughter, two sons, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Jan. 20 at Tumbling Shoals Baptist Church, with interment in Chastain Cemetery in Tumbling Shoals.


Janelle Hartwick Doyle, 91, dies

Janelle Hartwick Doyle, 91, died Dec. 24 at Oakdale Nursing Center in Judsonia.

She graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, and received a Master of Religious Education degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Lonnie A. Doyle Jr. Together they served as Southern Baptist missionaries to Brazil for 39 years.

Before leaving Brazil, the Baptist women honored her by naming the newly established orphanage “Lar Batista Janelle Doyle” – the Janelle Doyle Baptist Home.

Doyle is survived by five children, 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Dec. 30 at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas.


Jim Ellis Tillman Sr., 83, dies

Jim Ellis Tillman Sr., 83, of North Little Rock, died Jan. 16.

He was a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

He served as pastor and interim pastor in several Arkansas churches, including as pastor of Linwood Baptist Church, Moscow, and First Baptist Church, Walnut Ridge, and as associate pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

He served as director for the Ouachita-Southern Advancement Campaign. He also served as vice president for development for Southern Baptist College (now Williams Baptist College) for more than 13 years.

He served with Resource Services Inc., of Dallas, Texas, for more than 15 years, retiring in 2002.

He is survived by his wife of more than 41 years, Margaret Bailey-Tillman; a son; two daughters; four grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren, and a sister.

Funeral services were held Jan. 19 at Roller-Owens Funeral Home in North Little Rock. Interment followed at Rest Hills Memorial Park in North Little Rock.