Selma bridge crossing highlights Black History Month at Williams Baptist

The Williams Baptist softball team pauses for a photo after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. WALNUT RIDGE – The Williams Baptist College (WBC) softball team walked in the steps of civil rights pioneers in Selma, Ala., as a part of Williams students' celebration of African-American culture and history in February.

A large group of Williams students traveled to Jonesboro and attended a showing of the Oscar nominated movie "Selma" Feb. 4. The movie portrays the struggle for black voting rights and centers on marchers who attempted to cross Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965.

The Williams softball team was among those watching the movie and, in a fortunate twist of scheduling, played at a tournament in Alabama the following week. Interim Coach Tyler Herring and Williams President Tom Jones led the way as the team crossed the historic bridge and visited the nearby historic center in Selma.

“It was moving to consider the sacrifice of those who marched over the Edmund Pettus Bridge 50 years ago, and it was especially rewarding to see that our WBC student athletes were eager to walk in the steps of these pioneers. The historical significance of the place was clearly meaningful to all of us,” said Jones.

Williams Baptist Black History Month Committee: Front (left to right): Andrew Matthews and Patrick Smith. Back: Dara Britton, Ebony Scott, Kathy Evans and Hannah Morgan.Among other Black History Month observances at Williams, the group Personal Praise was in concert Feb. 24. About 100 were in attendance for the spiritual music performance in Williams' Old Chapel.

An evening meal Feb. 26 had a Soul Food theme. Williams' Black History Month Committee coordinated the meal with Williams Chef David Shanteau, who directs food services at Williams.

This year’s Black History Month Committee consists of Williams students Dara Britton, Andrew Matthews, Hannah Morgan, Ebony Scott and Patrick Smith, as well as Kathy Evans, Williams' coordinator of student activities.


Grants help Liberian schools to reopen

Candice Lee
WMU Foundation

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A total of $44,000 in grants will assist in reopening Liberian schools on Feb. 16. National Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) and the WMU Foundation made the grants from the HEART (Humanitarian Emergency Aid for Rebuilding Tomorrow) Fund to provide assistance as Liberia recovers from the Ebola crisis.

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Floyd, past SBC presidents send open letter to Obama regarding ISIS

NASHVILLE (BP) – In an open letter, Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd, along with the support and signatures of 16 former SBC presidents, called on President Obama to "take the necessary actions now" against ISIS terrorists.

"Since ISIS is a continuing threat to world peace in a way unknown to us since the Nazis of World War II, we humbly call upon you to use the influence and power of your distinguished office to take the necessary actions now in this urgent hour to bring an end to these human atrocities," the March 1 letter said.

"The abuse, brutalization, and murder of children, women, and men that is occurring before the world calls our country to lead forward to bring this to an end."

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Ouachita alum Jason Tolbert named university’s chief financial officer

Trennis Henderson
Ouachita Baptist University

ARKADELPHIA – Jason Tolbert, controller for the Arkansas Baptist Foundation since 2004, has been named chief financial officer for Ouachita Baptist University effective March 30. He succeeds Brett Powell, who recently was named director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

Other roles held by Powell as vice president for administrative services have been reassigned to current university administrators, including Keldon Henley, vice president for institutional advancement, also supervising student financial services, and Bill Phelps, director of information technology (IT) services, being named assistant to the president for IT services and facilities management.

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Ark. native Pollard dies at 77

Willis C. Pollard Jr., 77, of Circleville, Ohio, died Feb. 4. He was born Oct. 8, 1937, in Moark, Ark., to Willis C. Sr. and Cora Mae (Verdier) Pollard. He served in multiple capacities with the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio, including as editor of the Ohio Baptist Messenger. He retired from his 26 years of service with the state convention in 2004. He also pastored Ridgewood Baptist Church in Wadsworth, Ohio, as well as churches in Texas and Missouri. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Don Pollard and sister Joyce Pollard. He is survived by his wife, Peggy Ann (Miller) Pollard; son, Boyd (Jan) Pollard; grandchildren, Emily and Zach Pollard and Isaac Fullerton; sister, Judy Shades; stepmother, Maxine Pollard and stepbrother, Paul (Caryn) Pollard and family. Funeral service were held at Dublin Baptist Church in Dublin, Ohio, Feb. 9. Burial took place in Dublin Cemetery.

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