Obituaries

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Steven Davis
Date of passing: January 28, 2023
Steven Davis, 64, of Alexander, Arkansas passed away January 28, 2023. Steven was born July 9, 1958 to Peggy (Gooch) Davis and the late Alvin “Bud” Davis. Steven was a selfless and hard working man, constantly doing for others. He could fix anything and was always up for a new project. He was a family man. His grandkids were his world and he always made time to attend their games and important events. He was the facilities manager at Life Line Baptist Church and spent most of his time taking care of the 100 year old building. He took pride in making sure his church was nice and well-maintained. He loved racing. If he wasn’t at church, working on a project for someone, or at one of his grandkids sporting events, you could find him watching NASCAR or attending a local dirt track race. Steven is preceded in death by his father, Alvin “Bud” Davis. Steven is survived by his son, Zachary Davis (Krystal); daughter, Stephanie Tanner (Gary); grandchildren: Lanee, Linzee, Rylee, Davis and Brooks; mother, Peggy (Gooch) Davis; two sisters, Staci Haroutounian (Vasken) and Kelli Taylor (Bobby); two brothers, Brian Davis (Angela) and Kevin Davis (Lisa); as well as a host of other family members and friends that will all miss him dearly. Visitation will be held February 4, from 12:00 – 1:00 PM at Life Line Baptist Church, 7601 Baseline Rd, Little Rock, AR 72209. A Memorial Service will follow the visitation at 1:00 PM. Arrangements entrusted to Smith-Benton Funeral Home. Online guestbook: www.SmithFamilyCares.com.
J.L. “Jay” Weaver
Date of passing: January 10, 2023
J.L. Weaver, 75, of Bryant, Arkansas, passed away peacefully on January 10, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. Jay was born on September 15, 1947 in Cave City, Arkansas-a town he left but dearly loved. At the age of sixteen, Jay was led to the Lord by his mother, Lois Sharp Weaver. This testimony was one he loved to share. Jay was taught carpentry by his father, J.R. Weaver, and the character traits of honesty and hard work, giving his all to every employer. Many times in life, he would go back to this trade to support the family. In 1972, God called Jay to preach which set he and the family’s life on a path that he consistently and passionately lived out. Jay and Belinda moved back to Arkansas for him to attend the Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock, AR. Jay finished his degree at Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary in Shreveport, LA. Jay pastored several churches, he served as Associate and Bus Director as well as Worship Leader at Landmark Baptist Church in Batesville, AR. While there, Jay and Belinda were introduced to Christian Education. Words cannot express the thrill in their hearts to think of training their children in every subject alongside the Word of God and a vow was made to follow this new path, trusting God to provide, which He did. All six children graduated from Christian Schools. God opened doors for Jay to be trained as a Coordinator for Accelerated Christian Education and he began to serve as Principal in two different Christian Schools. As a Coordinator, he visited schools all over the state of Arkansas helping them to achieve success. He was a shepherd, teaching math, English and all subjects, as well as the Bible, coaching basketball, taking students to state and national competitions in their chosen fields, and loving them with all his heart. God eventually took Jay back to the pastorate where he spent the greatest portion of his life serving Martindale Baptist Church in Little Rock, AR for 15 years and 6 years at Osceola First Baptist Church in Osceola, AR. Health issues brought Jay to retirement but he continued to fill the pulpit whenever and wherever needed. It was his joy to have opportunities to share God’s Word and God faithfully provided those opportunities. Jay is predeceased by his parents, J.R. and Lois Weaver; one daughter, April Fern Weaver; one grandchild and three great-grandchildren; and his paternal and maternal grandparents; survived by his loving wife, Belinda McMahan Weaver; his six children: Christopher Grady Weaver (Krystal), Jayna Sue Davis (Bob), Joy Beth Billson (Gerry), Jill Amelyn Averitt (Alex), William Cary Weaver (Sara), Andrew Jay Weaver (Elaina); twenty-one grandchildren and three great-grandchildren with three additional great-grandchildren expected this year; also, sisters-Syble Rogers, Virble Bell, and Jalois Cox; brothers-Dale Weaver, Gale Weaver, Kendall Weaver, and Robert Weaver; also a host of nieces and nephews. Please join us in the celebration of Jay’s life on Saturday, January 14, 2023 at New Life Baptist Church, Alexander, Arkansas. Visitation will be 9:00-11:00 a.m. and service at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to: Arkansas Right to Life, New Beginnings Pregnancy Center, Benton, AR.
Rayburn Lee Formon
Date of passing: January 5, 2023
Rev. Rayburn Lee Formon, of Paragould, AR, went to be with the Lord on January 5, 2023. He was born on January 28, 1958, to Leeman and Rachel Formon in Jonesboro, AR. Rayburn was a veteran of the U. S. Army. He was a man gifted with many talents including upholstery, auto paint and body work, and carpentry. He was a devout Christian and pastored Cross Trails Cowboy Church in Pocahontas, AR. One of his proudest accomplishments was being married to his high school sweetheart of 50 years. Survivors include his wife, Rebecca Watkins Formon of the home; children, Amee (Shannon) Tribble of Trumann, AR, Derek (Stacy) Formon of Paragould, AR, Andy (Misty) Formon of Paragould; grandchildren, Kellie, Allyson, Addison, Kadence, Landon, Riley; and sister, Julie Formon of Leachville, AR. Rayburn was preceded in death by his parents, Leeman and Rachel Formon and brother, Warren Formon. The family will receive friends on Sunday, January 8, from 12:00 p.m. until service time at Phillips Funeral Home. The funeral service will begin at 2:00 p.m. at Phillips Funeral Home with Rev. Don Settles officiating. Burial will follow at Pruetts Chapel Cemetery. Landon Formon, Nathan McKelvey, George Pratt, Tom Jackson, Dennis White, and Anthony Walker will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers include Red Pearcy and the Cross Trails Cowboy Church men. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to NEA Baptist Fowler Family Center for Cancer Care.
Georgieann Darter
Date of passing: January 2, 2023
Georgieann June Darter, age 80, of Bella Vista, Arkansas, passed away on Monday, January 2, 2023, at Promenade Health and Rehab in Rogers, Arkansas. Daughter of George and Margaret (Clark) Davidson, Georgieann was born on May 6, 1942, in Baltimore, Maryland. On July 15, 1960, she married the love of her life, Thomas Darter in at Glen Burnie Baptist Church in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Georgieann worked as a adult education teacher and later in life went on to receive her Masters in Counseling. She was a loving wife and mother, who always put her family first. Georgieann was a devoted pastoral wife, walking alongside her husband, spreading the gospel. The word of God was a light to her path, her favorite scripture being “My Flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” Psalms 73:26. She was loved by so many and will be forever missed. Survivors include her loving husband, Thomas Darter, of Bella Vista, Arkansas; four daughters, Leslie Anne Coston and her husband Daniel, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Lori Gay Mullins and her husband Michael, of Royal, Arkansas, Patricia Townsend and her husband David, of Alma, Arkansas, Phyllis Fields and her husband Shawn, of Rogers, Arkansas; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; two sisters, Margaret Mae Hashinminjad, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, and Shirley Lee Long and her husband James, of Bella Vista, Arkansas; five nieces; and one nephew. In addition to her parents, Georgieann was preceded in death by one brother, George Thomas Davidson, and one sister, Patricia Ann Johnson. Memorial services will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, January 20, 2023, at Grace Baptist Church in Rogers, Arkansas. Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Cremations Only, Springdale, Arkansas.
Jody Gannaway
Date of passing: December 11, 2022
Reverend Edgar Joe “Jody” Gannaway, 87, of Arkansas City, Arkansas, left this earth and walked into the arms of Jesus to begin his heavenly celebration on December 11, 2022. Going before him were his infant daughter, Angela Joel Gannaway; parents, Edgar C. and Pauline Borland Gannaway; brother, Cullen Gannaway; son-in-law, Bob Smiley; and brother-in-law, Wes Tucker. Jody was born February 18, 1935, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Having lived in many towns during his adult life, he always considered Arkansas City to be his home. Growing up on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River, he claimed to have swam the width of ‘Ole Man River’ a time or two and was proud to be a rowdy “River Rat.” This is where he surrendered to the ministry at the young age of nine years old and returned to his family’s home place to retire and spend the final years of his life. After graduating Arkansas City High School, he attended Southern Baptist College in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. In the years following, he finished his studies at Ouachita Baptist University where he earned a degree in Religion. It was no secret that he took pride in fulfilling God’s calling of him to be a preacher and spread the gospel. Being an avid outdoorsman, he loved hunting on the farm, fishing in the blue holes and riding the levee with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Raising a vegetable garden and roses were also at the top of his hobbies along with gathering, cracking and picking out any pecan that hit the ground and sharing his bounty with family and friends. Some of the biggest impacts he left with everyone he encountered was his strong handshakes, that right-handed jab, and his big, booming voice leaving you to know he was tough and strong. Yet he had a way of connecting with people in the most compassionate way, making it known that he loved the Lord and wanting everyone he met to love the Lord the same way. The beginning of his ministry was served at St. Charles Baptist Church in St. Charles, Arkansas. Followed by Temple Baptist Church in Dermott, Arkansas, where the majority of his pastoral years were served during two separate callings. He also pastored at Northside Baptist Church in Bernie, Missouri; Magnolia Baptist Church in Crossett, Arkansas and First Baptist Church in Glenwood, Arkansas. In January, 2022, he retired while serving at Arkansas City Baptist Church in Arkansas City, Arkansas, his childhood church and where he was ordained to preach in 1956. Other ministries very close to his servant’s heart included Wolf Creek Baptist Camp, numerous nursing homes and local prisons. Traveling on several mission trips he was able to spread God’s word both domestic and abroad, including Guatemala and Brazil. Being a young bachelor and pastor at Temple Baptist Church in Dermott, Arkansas, he met Meverine Duncan Long, a widow with four young children. He loved telling the story of how her good looks caught his attention but his heart was captured through the food she brought to church. He called her the “Queen of fried pies” and he was especially impressed with her “wash tub sized” serving of homemade banana pudding. Jody and Meverine married on December 1, 1963. He instantly became a father to four young children and raised them as his own and later completed their family when they had a son together. Leaving behind to continue his legacy is his loving and faithful wife of 59 years, Meverine Duncan Long Gannaway, along with their 5 children: Rhonda Long Smiley of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Karen Long Tyson and husband Kenneth of Peach Orchard, Arkansas; Tonda Long Franklin and husband Greg of Ruston, Louisiana; Keith Long and wife Melinda of Hamburg, Arkansas; Jonathan Gannaway of Arkansas City, Arkansas. Also continuing his legacy are his pride and joy including 11 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild, affectionately calling him “Papaw G” and cherishing their fond, adventurous and mischievous memories that he was known for. He is also survived by his sister, Mary “Cissy” Gannaway Tucker, of Monticello, Arkansas and a very special grand dog, Blue; along with a host of nieces, nephews and extended family members. Visitation: Wednesday, December 14, 2022, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Arkansas City Baptist Church, 703 Robert S Moore Avenue, Arkansas City, Arkansas. Funeral service: Thursday, December 15, 2022, at 1:00 p.m., C.B. King Memorial – Adult Center Auditorium, 1008 Sadie Lee Avenue, Arkansas City, Arkansas. Interment: Dermott Cemetery, 502 West Gaines Street, Dermott, Arkansas Officiant/Son: Keith Long Pallbearers/Grandsons: Christan Tyson, Clark Tyson, Brian Smiley, Javan Long, Bradley Franklin and Keegan Gannaway In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to: Arkansas City Baptist Church or C.B. King Memorial – Adult CenterLeaving behind to continue his legacy is his loving and faithful wife of 59 years, Meverine Duncan Long Gannaway, along with their 5 children: Rhonda Long Smiley of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Karen Long Tyson and husband Kenneth of Peach Orchard, Arkansas; Tonda Long Franklin and husband Greg of Ruston, Louisiana; Keith Long and wife Melinda of Hamburg, Arkansas; Jonathan Gannaway of Arkansas City, Arkansas. Also continuing his legacy are his pride and joy including 11 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild, affectionately calling him “Papaw G” and cherishing their fond, adventurous and mischievous memories that he was known for. He is also survived by his sister, Mary “Cissy” Gannaway Tucker, of Monticello, Arkansas and a very special grand dog, Blue; along with a host of nieces, nephews and extended family members. Visitation: Wednesday, December 14, 2022, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Arkansas City Baptist Church, 703 Robert S Moore Avenue, Arkansas City, Arkansas. Funeral service: Thursday, December 15, 2022, at 1:00 p.m., C.B. King Memorial – Adult Center Auditorium, 1008 Sadie Lee Avenue, Arkansas City, Arkansas. Interment: Dermott Cemetery, 502 West Gaines Street, Dermott, Arkansas Officiant/Son: Keith Long Pallbearers/Grandsons: Christan Tyson, Clark Tyson, Brian Smiley, Javan Long, Bradley Franklin and Keegan Gannaway In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to: Arkansas City Baptist Church or C.B. King Memorial – Adult Center
Charlotte Gray
Date of passing: November 24, 2022
Charlotte Lewis Gray of West Memphis passed away Thursday, November 24, 2022 in Memphis Tennessee. She was born January 20th, the same birthday as her two older sisters, to the late J. Arlie and Noma McLeod Lewis in Hermitage, AR. From her early childhood, Charlotte wanted to be a lawyer. Not having the finances at the time to attend law school, she went to work with Dr. W. T. Lowe in Pine Bluff. Dr. Lowe decided to make a nurse out of her and thus began her career in healthcare. Charlotte received her BSN and MSN from Arkansas State University. She was a registered nurse, nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist. She taught nursing at East Arkansas Community College in Forrest City as well as developed and taught “Math for Nurses”. During this time, she chaired the NCA’s Integrity Accreditation Committee at EACC. She also taught nursing at Mid-South Community College in West Memphis and was the Director of Crittenden Primary Care, where she helped recruit new physicians for the hospital’s clinics. She was co-developer of the Day Surgery Unit at Crittenden Memorial Hospital and a Cardiac Rehabilitation & Employee Health Nurse. Her community involvement included being Band Booster President, where she and her husband were selected as Band Parents of the Year. She was President of the Crittenden Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, President of Newcomers Club and served on various church, civic and municipal committees. Additional church and community involvement included being a member of First Baptist Church of West Memphis, where she taught 4th grade Sunday School, served as Children’s Division Director, director of Children’s Bible Drill, directed the 2nd grade children’s choir and a member of the handbell and sanctuary choirs. She served as State Regional Coordinator for the Children’s, Youth and High School Bible Drills as well as Youth Speaker’s Tournament. The impact she made in the lives of children, through over 50 years of service in Bible Drill, was highlighted in the Arkansas Baptist News Magazine. Other memberships and awards were Sigma Theta Tau (Nursing Honors Society), Honors Member of Florence Nightingale Society, Phi Kappa Phi, NLN, ASNP, ARNA, BSN Academic Scholar (highest GPA), MSN Academic Scholar (highest GPA), Outstanding Clinical Student, The President’s Award, Honors Day Award, Awarded Honor Membership in Nightingale Society, Employee Nurse of the Month-Crittenden Regional Hospital, 2008 Crittenden Regional Hospital Employee of the Year Award and Finalist in 2009 and 2010 Arkansas Most Compassionate Nurse Award. She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul E. Gray, Sr.; three sisters, Peggy Spears, Arline Watson and Reba Nell Belin; son, Paul E. Gray Jr.; granddaughter, Rebecca Elizabeth Vaughn; great-granddaughter, Riley Gray Pool, as well as her parents. Survivors include daughter, Susan Elizabeth Waggener (Frank Waggener) of West Memphis; grandchildren, Rachel Gray Pool (Jim Pool), Kelly Oaks (Rachel Oaks), Kevin Gray (Katie Harris) and Lauren Gray (Matt Bacsalmasi) and great-grandsons, Caleb James Pool and Grayson Thomas Pool. Charlotte was very active in the lives of her family, church and community and will be dearly missed by them all. A Visitation was held on Sunday, November 27, 2022 at First Baptist Church in West Memphis with the funeral 5:00pm. In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations may be made to First Baptist Church Children’s Ministry in West Memphis; ASU MidSouth – Paul Gray Memorial Scholarship; Ouachita Baptist University – Riley Gray Pool Memorial or St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
James Allen Thomas
Date of passing: November 24, 2022
James Allen “Big Al” Thomas, 68, of Benton, Arkansas walked into the arms of Jesus on November 24, 2022. He was born January 7, 1954 in Little Rock, Arkansas to the late James and Helen Howard Thomas. He was a member of Old Union Baptist Church where he faithfully served. Allen’s love for God, his family and people was immeasurable. He never met a stranger. He took every opportunity to share his faith in Jesus. Allen was a great husband who adored his wife, children, and grandchildren. He was a joyful man who loved being a silly Papaw. You would often find him with bows in his hair and pink fingernails or showing off his knife collection. Al was everyone’s cheerleader, despite his deteriorating health. He loved animals, fishing, hunting, 4-wheeling, collecting flashlights, pens, old bottles, hats, knives, candy bars, and Dr. Peppers. Allen leaves behind his wife of 45 years, Nina Thomas of Benton; three children: Jamie Barker (Sid), Jeremy Thomas (Mandy), and Crystal Williams (Isaac), nine grandchildren: Hunter Barker; Canaan, Graceson, Jericho, and Mercy Thomas; Sunny, Baker, Milly, and River Williams; three brothers: Keith Thomas (Corinne), Mark Thomas (Sharon), Karl Thomas (Carla), and Ralph Warren (Sherry); and many family members and friends who loved Allen and will miss him. The family would like to extend a special thank you to Hospice of Arkansas, Finley Pharmacy, and those who regularly spent time with Al, for going above and beyond with exceptional care and love. A celebration of life service will be held Friday, December 2. Visitation at 3:00 and celebration service at 4:00 at Highland Heights Baptist Church, 1421 Alcoa Road, in Benton. In lieu of flowers, consider donating to Arkansas Baptist Children Home and Family Ministries or Hospice of Arkansas. Services entrusted to Smith-Benton Funeral Home. Guestbook: www.SmithFamilyCares.com.
Donald E. Mulford
Date of passing: November 6, 2022
Reverend Donald E. Mulford was born to Edgar and Erma (Logan) Mulford on December 16, 1935, in Harrison, Arkansas. He passed from this life on November 6, 2022, at Mount Vista Nursing Home in Harrison. He was a school bus mechanic at Bergman until he was drafted into the Army at 22. He surrendered to the ministry and served the Lord for the rest of his life. He was a pastor of Southside Lead Hill, Peel Baptist Church, Deer, Cassville, Arkansas, Myrtle, Missouri, Desha, Arkansas, Pee Dee at Clinton, East Point at Russellville, Hopewell, and at present, Oregon Flat Baptist in Bergman. He also helped several other churches and performed over sixty weddings and over one hundred baptisms. He preached numerous revivals around Arkansas and Missouri. Survivors are his granddaughter, Kaylan, and Zach Holt; his great-granddaughter, Matilda; his brother, Bob and Iva Mulford; his sister, Mary and Jim Edwards; his daughter-in-law, Martha Mulford; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Donald was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Phyllis Hawkey Mulford who was the mother of his only son; his son, Mark Mulford; his second wife, Charlotte Evans Mulford; and two infant brothers. Visitation was Friday at Roller-Christeson Funeral Home. The funeral service was Saturday at Oregon Flat Baptist Church with Larry Pless of Russellville officiating. The interment was in Summers Cemetery. Pallbearers were Mike, Kelly, and Darren Mulford, Charles Edwards, Elmer Wright, and Bruce Medley, Honorary pallbearers were Mason Brisco, Steve Holt, Tommy, James Roy and Darren Jackson, and his Sunday School Class. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Oregon Flat Baptist Church, PO Box 246, Bergman, AR 72615, Gideon International, or Summers Cemetery c/o Mary Edwards 4103 Mulford Dr, Harrison, AR 72601
Nathan Porter
Date of passing: October 3, 2022
Nathan Johnson Porter passed away Monday, October 3, 2022. Services will be 10:00 a.m., Saturday, October 8, at Calvary Baptist Church, with Rev. Hannah Coe and Dr. Jon Singletary officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation will be 6:00-8:00 p.m. Friday, October 7, at Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home. Nathan was born July 22, 1932, in Campinas, Brazil, to Paul and Margaret Porter. Nathan graduated from Baylor University with a BA in History in 1953. He later completed a master’s degree and doctorate at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His work experiences include: pastoring a mission church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, working for the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board, serving as pastor of First Baptist Church, Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and later serving as a consultant for domestic hunger and disaster relief. He married Francis Booth on August 23, 1952. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife of 54 years, Fran Porter; and four siblings. He is survived by his son, Joel Porter and wife, Janet, of Waco; daughters, Leslie Porter Smith, of Waco, and Becca Hollaway and husband, Steven, of Baltimore, Maryland; grandchildren, Sarah Campbell and husband, Dave, Nathan Hollaway, Whitney Luce and husband, Brandon, Porter Smith, and Josie Porter; and great-grandchildren, Hayden Luce, Hallie Luce, Durham Luce, and Conner Campbell. The family also includes adopted grandchildren Andrea McQuistion Han and Suzi McQuistion Mao. Nathan committed his life to serving God and others locally, nationally, and globally. He was a strong voice for the poor and vulnerable. He was known for his commitment to social justice and spent his life as an advocate for equality for all people. He was known for his gregarious loving nature. He enjoyed travel and sports and was a die-hard Baylor Bear fan. Nathan had tremendous pride in and love for his family. His legacy of love will live on in the lives of all he served and especially in the lives of his family. Honorary Pallbearers are Phil Allen, Nathan Hollaway, Porter Smith, and Brandon Luce. Memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church, 1001 N 18th-A Street, Waco TX 76707.
David Bond
Date of passing: October 1, 2022
David Thomas Bond, Jr. was born on May 23, 1972 in Pasadena, TX and moved to heaven from Bryant, AR on October 1, 2022 at the age of 50. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Renee, his daughter & son-in-law, Kelsey & Ethan Blackmon, his daughter, Kassidy Bond, his parents, Yvonne & David Sr., his brother and sister-in-law, Darrin & Robin Bond, and many other loving family & friends. David began his long journey through academia at Ouachita Baptist University, where he created lifelong memories with everyone he encountered. An overachiever in all things, everything he did at OBU was exceptional– from pledging Kappa Chi as pledge “I Saw The Light,” serving as a Tiger Tunes Host twice, or ultimately marrying the EEE of his dreams & high school sweetheart, Renee. After graduating from Ouachita Baptist University in 1994 with a BA in Music Education, David graduated with his Master of Arts from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2001. A lifelong goal realized, he earned his Doctor of Philosophy from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 2015. His dedication to education ultimately brought him full circle when he became an adjunct professor and mentor at OBU in 2015. David loved his family and enjoyed nothing more than spending time with them. This time was most likely to be spent showing off behind the grill, cheering on the Astros or Razorbacks, crafting elaborate bedtime stories, tending to his ever growing flock of chickens, or cleverly rewriting and performing goofy (but brilliant) songs that he knew would leave the room in stitches. His love for his family was only surpassed by his love for Christ. His devotion was demonstrated by his service to the local church. A lifelong member of First Southern Baptist Church, he also served in multiple staff positions in several churches, including Dover First Baptist (youth and music), Hamburg First Baptist (youth and music), First Southern in Bryant (associate pastor), Second Baptist in Russellville (senior pastor), and Harpeth Heights in Nashville, TN (executive pastor). Following his career in direct church service, David joined the Arkansas Baptist State Convention in December 2009 as a member of the Evangelism and Church Health Team, to ultimately become the Director of Convention Business in January 2020. During David’s service at the ABSC, he impacted hundreds of churches in Arkansas and left an indelible impression on thousands of Baptists across the state, nation, and the world. “16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer person is decaying, yet our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” –2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NASB) Contributions in David’s memory may be made to Carti Little Rock, https://carti.ejoinme.org/donate.
Mildred Weeks
Date of passing: September 9, 2022
Mildred Estelle Weeks (age 95) of Paron, Arkansas passed away Friday, September 9, 2022. She was born August 11, 1927 to William and Agnes Norwood in Cordova, Tennessee. She was the seventh child of ten children, all born at home on a dairy farm. She went to school at Cordova up to the eighth grade, then on to Bartlett High School where she graduated in 1945. After graduating she went to work at Union Planters Bank in Memphis, Tennessee in the Payroll Department. She worked there for ten years. In 1948 she was married to one of her high school classmates, Otto Herman Ham, Jr. They had four children, Carol Lynn Ham, William Phillip Ham, Jerry Wayne Ham and Dorothy Dale Ham. This marriage ended in divorce in 1964. In 1967 she married Albert George, Jr who had four children, two minor and two grown, she became a second mother to those children after the death of their real mother. Mr. George died in 1988. Mildred was very active in her church at Parkway Place Baptist Church, teaching younger children, doing various jobs in the church office, she also helped with the cooking on Wednesday evenings. This is where she met her last husband, Gale Weeks. They were married in 1995 and enjoyed traveling, working in the church and attending the Razorback games in and out of state. They were married for 12 years and she took care of him the last 6 years due to his illness with Alzheimer’s. She was preceded in death by her husband, Gale; her nine brothers and sisters, Malcolm Norwood, Henry Norwood, Minnie Dunn, Eleanor Philip, Charles Norwood, Sarah Bryant, Dorothy Spence, Thomas Norwood and Barbara Hollowell and one grandson, David. She is survived by her 4 children, Carol Ham of Ferndale, AR, Billy Ham of Tyronza, AR, Jerry Ham of Memphis, TN and Dale (Ham) Wood of Bigelow, AR; by her precious grandchildren; great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren along with a multitude of nieces and nephews across the United States. Memorial Service will be 2:00 p.m, Saturday, October 8, 2022 with a visitation beginning at 1:00 p.m. both at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home.
Margery “Ann” Massey
Date of passing: September 6, 2022
Margery “Ann” Massey, 83, of El Dorado, AR passed away Tuesday, September 6, 2022, at Timberlane Health and Rehab in El Dorado, AR. Ann was born June 21, 1939 in El Dorado, AR to the union of Hudie B. Roberson and Armenda Griffith Roberson. She was preceded in death by her parents, one brother, Robert Roberson and one sister, Jerri Sue Langley. Ann was a member of Calvary Trail Cowboy Church and former Deputy Collector for the Garland County Tax Collector. She loved to bake and would take cookies to church. She never missed sending a birthday card to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Ann loved to work in her flower beds, and fish. Survivors include two sons, Donny Hargett and wife Lucretia, Mark Hargett and wife Arlene, six grandchildren, Kimberly Carter, Josh Hargett and wife Nan, Emily Priest and husband Daniel, Alyssa Alderman and husband Brandon, Brianna Woods and husband Michael, and Lucas Hargett, twelve great grandchildren, one sister, Arlene Taylor and husband Eddie, two brothers, Benny Roberson and wife Sue, LeRoy Roberson and wife Barbara, several nieces and nephews, special friend, Mel Reese. Visitation will be 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Friday, September 9, 2022 at the Calvary Trail Cowboy Church. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, September 9, 2022 at the Calvary Trail Cowboy Church with Dr. Benjy McCann officiating. Interment will be in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery under the direction of Bailey Funeral Home of El Dorado, AR. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to the Calvary Trail Cowboy Church Building Fund, 316 Ouachita CR 68, Louann, AR
Jack Chandler
Date of passing: September 5, 2022
JOHN C. “JACK” CHANDLER, JR, (85) of Cabot, Arkansas, was born March 21, 1937, to John and Cleo Chandler in Hardeman County, Tennessee. He died September 5, 2022. He joined the Naval Reserve in 1954 while still in high school. After completing high school in Jackson, TN, he completed his training and then served his tour of active duty. He was a second-class yeoman, having served on the USS Saratoga and the USS Forrestal. Jack was retired from the Allied Chemical Corporation and the Arkansas Workers Compensation Health and Safety Division. He served as a deacon at First Baptist, Helena, AR, and Second Baptist, Jacksonville, AR. He was an active member of Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Cabot. He was an organizer and charter member of the Arkansas Baptist Bikers Association (ABBA) and served for many years on the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team. Jack was preceded in death by his parents. Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 63 incredibly wonderful years, June, two sons, Ken Chandler (Kay) of KY and Jay Chandler (Judy) of Cabot and one daughter, Lena Rye of Cabot; 9 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, 2 cousins and many other family and friends. He loved all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but most of all he enjoyed being a part of their lives. A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, September 10, at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, Cabot, AR, with visitation at 9:00 and service at 10:00. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief, 10 Remington Dr., Little Rock, AR 72204. Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service. 501-982-3400. www.anaturalstatefuneralservice.com
Jack D. Bloxom
Date of passing: August 14, 2022
Jack Bloxom, of Conway, age 90, passed from this life on August 14, 2022 in Benton, Arkansas. Born November 12, 1931 in Normangee, Texas, Jack was the youngest of Monroe and Amy Bloxom’s six children. As a high school student Jack felt called to vocational ministry. After high school he attended Jacksonville (Tx) Baptist College, where he met his best friend for life Jimmy Henry and fell in love and married Mary Jane (Janie) Strong in 1953. Together Jack and Janie raised two sons, Andy and Clay. Jack always said he wanted a house full of kids, he just didn’t know how full two could make a house. In addition to his parents, Jack is proceeded in death by his wife and all his siblings and their spouses. Jack is survived by his two sons, Andy (Glenda) of Benton and Clay (Cindy) of Merritt Island, Florida; grandchildren, Ashley (Hadyn) Thomas, Bridget Bloxom, Candee Bloxom, Paul (Kristy) Sutherland and Samantha (Juan) Escriva; great grandchildren, Dempsey, Ryker, Elora, Falynn, Ryleah, Xiarah and Noah and a large extended family of both the Bloxom and Strong linage. Jack served as a pastor of Baptist churches in both Texas and Arkansas for the majority of six decades, including Central Baptist Church in Conway and Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Wooster. He also enjoyed years of service with Dale Carnegie, organizing and teaching classes and later he worked for Citizens Fidelity Insurance associated with Roller Funeral Homes, until he finally retired at the age of 83. He made lifelong friends at every stop during his career. Most importantly he leaves behind a legacy of faith, hope and assurance for his family. Visitation will be held Friday, August 19th at Roller Alcoa Funeral Home in Benton from 10:00am to 12:00pm. A brief service will be conducted by Rev. Jimmy Henry at the Gazebo at Pinecrest Memorial Park at 1:00pm, followed by interment. The family would like to thank the kind folks at Mt. Carmel Elijah’s Place and Heartland Nursing for their compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial gift to the Maggie Chandler Endowed Scholarship Fund, at Central Baptist College, 1501 College Avenue, Conway AR 72034.
David Lee Holt
Date of passing: August 4, 2022
David Lee Holt of Little Rock, Arkansas passed away on Thursday, August 4, 2022, after living bravely with Alzheimer’s since 2016. David’s heart for people, love of the Lord and sense of humor will be forever remembered by his family and friends. David grew up in Blytheville, Arkansas before attending college at Ouachita Baptist University. He received a Bachelors in Music from OBU. Shortly after graduation, he responded to the Lord’s call to be a pastor. He earned a Master’s in Divinity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas before going on to serve as a pastor for thirty-six years in churches in Arkansas, Missouri, Wyoming and Florida. His wife, Sandy, of 59 years, served faithfully beside him throughout. The Holts were appointed in 1998 by the International Mission Board to serve in Uganda. After taking several overseas mission trips, David and Sandy felt the call to serve in the mission field, teaching Bible classes and planting a church in Kampala, Uganda. Sharing the Gospel and forming close friendships with people was the joy of their lives. David loved to make others laugh and would make up his own jingles to entertain his daughters. If you knew David well, chances are you would have heard the same joke more than once. David’s legacy of faith was a great example to his family. He demonstrated love for his neighbors, making it a practice to invest in the lives of those around him. His four daughters were able to see his love for the Lord displayed in the way he lived his life. David is survived by his wife, Sandy; four daughters Aimee Smashey and husband, David of Bolivar, Missouri; Lisa Deckard and husband, Darrell of Republic, Missouri; Holly Holt and husband, David Cabrera of Houston, Texas and Andrea Heflin and husband, Jay of Little Rock, Arkansas; sister, Carol Davis of Southhaven, Mississippi; three granddaughters, Hannah (Tyler) Lewis, Anna Heflin and Sofia Smashey; four grandsons, Will (Ashley) Deckard, Ben Heflin, Ian (Kaytlin) Deckard and Emery Smashey. A celebration of life service was held at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022.
Linda McClung
Date of passing: July 27, 2022
Linda McClung, 77, of Sherwood passed away peacefully July 27, 2022. Linda was born in Abbott, Arkansas to the late Charles and Francis Casey. She served alongside her husband, Paul, in churches in Kentucky and Arkansas. She was an elementary school teacher in several places in Arkansas, but finished her career at Abundant Life Christian Academy for 23 years before she retired in 2009. She loved being a Nana and taking care of her little dog Carley. She loved doing needlepoint, plastic canvas needlework and crocheting and swapping her creations with her swap groups. Survivors include her children: Dave McClung and wife Christy of Vilonia and Stacy Jaglal and husband Carl of Sherwood; grandchildren: Sydney Smith and husband Wesley, Austin, Carson, and Maggie McClung, Tiffany and Alexa Jaglal, Casey Roberts, Jacob Roberts and his wife Julie; great-grandson, Amir Stevenson; as well as several extended family members. She was preceded in death by her husband Paul, her sister Donna and her husband JB. Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, Monday, August 1, 2022 at Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home. Funeral will be at 11:00 AM, Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at First Baptist Church, Sherwood. Interment will follow at Rest Hills Memorial Park in Sherwood. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Williams Baptist University or The Summit Church in Vilonia. Guestbook at www.SmithFamilyCares.com
Barbara Gilbert
Date of passing: June 7, 2022
Barbara Revelle Gilbert, age 81, of North Little Rock passed away on June 7, 2022. She was born in Adams County, Illinois to Willie Gilbert and Mildred Altheide. Barbara was of Baptist faith and a follower of Christ. Barbara was an avid reader, a lover of animals and a follower of professional rodeo. For the duration of her adult life, she collected pro rodeo magazines and books and spent many hours recording rider’s scores. As a lover of animals, Barbara finally got her first dog, JJ, after she retired from her printer assistant position with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. She is preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Jessie Gilbert and Francis Gilbert, as well as her best friend Rose Marie Willis and her beloved JJ. She is survived by many friends, in particular Janet Williams and Linda Miller, both of whom helped to care for her over the past few years. She is also survived by a niece and many nephews. A visitation was to be held Saturday, June 18, 2022 at Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home with funeral services beginning at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Arkansas Memorial Gardens.
Dr. Daniel R. Grant
Date of passing: May 25, 2022
Daniel R. Grant, President Emeritus of Ouachita Baptist University, died May 25, 2022. He will be remembered as a man of faith, a global educator, churchman, author, human rights advocate, tennis enthusiast, and committed family man. Dr. Grant was born August 18, 1923, in Little Rock, AR, the son of James R. and Grace Sowers Grant. He spent his childhood in Arkadelphia, where he developed a love for nature and the environment through Scouting, attaining the rank of Eagle. He graduated from Arkadelphia High School (co-valedictorian, 1941). He earned a BA degree from Ouachita (summa cum laude, 1945), an MA degree from the University of Alabama, and a Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University. In 1970, Grant left his successful career to become the 12th president of Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR. During his 18-year tenure as president, Grant led Ouachita in achieving significant growth in academic strength, student enrollment, international focus, relations with constituents, fund-raising, and a rebuilding of the campus. Grant was a faithful member of Arkadelphia’s First Baptist Church, served as a deacon, sang in the choir, chaired numerous committees, and volunteered in the Arms Around Arkadelphia ministry. Dr. Grant is survived by daughters Carolyn Walton (Bill), and Shirley Hardin (Phil) and by son, Daniel Ross Grant, Jr. (Liz). Other survivors include five grandchildren, Tad Hardin (Monica), Allison Hyll (Dan), Jon Hardin (Katie), Gary Grant (Katherine), and Gina Scheer (Zach); and 12 great-grandchildren, Zachary, Isaac, Charlie, and Leo Hardin; Keller and Kaleb Hyll; Elliott, Julianne, and Mason Grant; and Jordan, Adam, and Molly Scheer. He was predeceased by his wife, Betty Jo Oliver Grant; his parents; two brothers, James Richard Grant, Jr. and George S. Grant; and two sisters, Elizabeth Grant Stanford and Harriet Grant Hall. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, July 23, at 10:30 a.m. in the First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia, under the leadership of the church’s pastor, Rev. Jimmy Darby, and former Ouachita president, Dr. Rex Horne. Memorial gifts may be made to the Grant Center for International Education, in care of the Development Office, Ouachita Baptist University, OBU Box 3754, Arkadelphia, AR 71998, or to Arms Around Arkadelphia, in care of First Baptist Church, 116 North 7th Street, Arkadelphia, AR 71923. The full obituary may be found at www.welchfh.net
Lynn Garmroth
Date of passing: April 24, 2022
Lynn Garmroth, loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, friend, pastor, and fishing enthusiast left this world peacefully on 4-24-22 at his home in Lamar, AR. Harry Lynn Garmroth was born in Stanford, Arkansas to the late Harry Clifton Garmroth and Dora Hunt Garmroth on October 12, 1942. Preceding Lynn in death, his only son, Roger Lynn Garmroth, his parents Harry and Dora, father-in-law Laverne Rogers and mother-in-law Frances Evans Roger, brother MC Garmroth and wife Betty, brother Billy Joe Garmroth and wife Betty, brother George Wayne Garmrath and wife Geraldine, brother Bobby Max Garmroth and sister Alma Jean Arrant and husband Roy. Lynn is survived by his beautiful wife of 62 years, Verenda Lee Rogers Garmroth, daughter Carol Lynn Baird (John) of Las Vegas, NV, Daughter Lee Ann Lewis (Gilbert) of Damascus, AR, and daughter Christina (Kyle) Trimble of Maumelle, AR. Grandchildren Elizabeth Winkler (David), Jordan Baird, James Baird, Kennedy Baird, Adrienne Moore (Justin), Austin Lewis (Carrigan), Lucas Potts, Lindy Trimble, Clay Trimble (Bekah), Shelbi Reynolds (Chris). Great grandchildren Layton, Adalynn, Evan Jo, Maverick, Elliot, Blakelee, Lincoln, River and Rowan, sister-in-law Laura Jean Morris and many nieces, nephews, friends and loved ones. Lynn was born and raised in Stanford, Arkansas and graduated from Stanford High School in 1960. On February 13, 1960, Lynn and Verenda married and eventually relocated to Flint, Michigan for a few short years before moving back to Arkansas in 1968, making Fairfield Bay, Arkansas their new home. One of Lynn’s great passions was fishing, and he cherished beautiful Greers Ferry Lake where he spent countless days fishing with his many friends and relatives. Lynn worked several jobs in different industries throughout the next 24 years and it was at that time that he received his greatest calling, which was his call to ministry in 1992. Over the next 30 years Lynn served as associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Shirley which then led him to full time ministry where he served as head pastor at Rupert Baptist Church, First Baptist Church Hoxie, and Lexington Baptist Church until he reached his final pastoral position at Cabin Creek Baptist Church in Lamar in 2015. Lynn’s passions were his family and fishing, but his greatest passion of all was serving his Lord Jesus Christ and spreading the gospel of salvation and the Love and Peace that only He can give. Visitation will be held 6-8 PM Thursday, April 28, 2022, at Roller Cox Funeral Home. Funeral service will be held 10 AM, Friday April 29, 2022, at Cabin Creek Baptist Church with Bro. JR DeBusk, Bro. Free Clower, and Bro. Austin Lewis officiating. Pallbearers are Austin Lewis, James Baird, Lucas Potts, Kennedy Baird, Justin Moore, John Baird, Gilbert Lewis, Kyle Trimble, Clifton Garmrath, Steve Garmrath, David Winkler, and Jim Garmroth. Private family burial will be held at a later date. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cabin Creek Baptist Church Block Party Ministry, PO Box 315, Lamar, AR 72846. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Roller-Cox Funeral Home in Clarksville, AR. Online guestbook at www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/clarksville.
Joan Uth
Date of passing: April 20, 2022
Joan Beard Uth, 92, of Little Rock, AR passed away peacefully on April 20, 2022-her husband’s birthday. She was born in Palestine, AR on September 19, 1929 to Lela and Melvin Beard. She served most of her career as an administrative assistant, including executive assistant to the President of Ouachita Baptist University. She was a devoted member of Geyer Springs First Baptist Church. Joan was a faithful pastor’s wife for over fifty years. She was also an amazing mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Survivors include her children, Lynda Jack and husband Ron of Maumelle, AR, Tony Uth and wife Teresa of Tulsa, OK, David Uth and wife Rachel of Orlando, FL, and she was “Nonnie” to her seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Joan is also survived by other extended family and a host of friends. She is preceded in death by her loving husband of 60 years, Anton “Buddy” Conrad Uth, Sr., her parents and her brother Tom Beard. Visitation will be held at 3:00 pm Friday, April 22, 2022, followed by a celebration of her life at 4:00 pm at Smith Little Rock Funeral Home. To access the live stream of her service, click this link: http://cloud.ndigo.tv/koolplayer/gsfbctest.html In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the online ministry of First Baptist Orlando (www.firstorlando.com) or Geyer Springs First Baptist Church World Mission Offering (https://gsfbc.org/give).

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