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William (Bill) Sergeant
Date of passing: August 11, 2023
William Lyle Sergeant, 84, of Springdale, went home to be with his Lord, August 11, 2023. He was born in Marshalltown, Iowa, November 27, 1938 to Lyle Allen Sergeant and Grace Lang Sergeant and moved to Southwest City, MO in fourth grade where he graduated from high school. He attended Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar, MO, Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, OK where he earned a Bachelor’s degree, Wichita State University where he earned a Master’s degree and Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. He and LaVeta Pierce met at college and were married in Belle Plaine, KS in 1960 and enjoyed 63 years together. They were appointed in 1970 as missionaries with the Foreign Mission Board, SBC. They served in Taejon, South Korea four years where he was athletic director, coach and teacher at Korea Christian Academy, a school for missionary children, and served Korean churches. Subsequently they served in Taichung, Taiwan at Morrison Academy where he was also athletic director, coach and teacher. He managed their swimming pool and was an Instructor Trainer of the American Red Cross, Far East Region. He deeply impacted hundreds of students during his 30 years on the mission field. He was a founding member of Yoido International Church in Seoul where he served as a Sunday School teacher, deacon and bus driver. He later helped start Li Syang Gwo Baptist Church in Taichung, Taiwan and taught English Bible study in a Taiwanese Baptist Church. His hobbies were travel, SCUBA diving with his two sons and running races including 7 marathons and 7 triathlons. They retired to Springdale, AR in 2001 and he was a member of First Baptist Church, Fayetteville. He was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings: Dorothy Kirk and her husband Stanley, Jeannie Peterson and her husband Alfred, and his brother Gerald Sergeant and his wife Helen. Survivors include his wife, LaVeta, two sons Curtis and his wife Debra of Dadeville, AL and Terry and his wife Becky of Abilene, TX, four grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Visitation will be at 10:00, Saturday, August 19, 2023 at First Baptist Church, Fayetteville. The Memorial service will follow at 11:00 a.m. To sign the online guestbook, please visit Arrangements are by Nelson-Berna Funeral Home in Fayetteville. In lieu of flowers, if anyone desires to give a memorial gift, it can be given to MetaCamp, a ministry of Curtis Sergeant. Checks can be made out to “MetaCamp” and mailed to 40 Greenview Lane, Dadeville, AL 36853. Direct deposits can be made to Valley National Bank account (UPIC #) 90348687, routing number 021201383. The service will be available for live stream on First Baptist Church Fayetteville, AR Facebook page at
Sam Whitlow
Date of passing: July 18, 2023
Samuel (Sam) Roger Whitlow, born on April 24, 1940 in Arkadelphia, AR passed away on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 in Little Rock. He graduated from Ouachita Baptist College and held music and youth positions in a number of churches in Arkansas: First Baptist, Wynne; First Baptist, Norphlet; Life Line Baptist, Little Rock; West Side Baptist, El Dorado. He was associate pastor of First Baptist, Anna, IL. He pastored Chicot Road Baptist in Mabelvale and retired as pastor of Harmony Baptist in El Dorado. In his retirement years, he served Caledonia Baptist Church in El Dorado. Sam served his country in the 39th infantry division of the Arkansas National Guard. Sam is predeceased by his parents, John P. Whitlow and Agnes Griffin Whitlow; his twin brother, James (Jim) Whitlow; and his wife, Maryan Howell Whitlow. He is survived by two sisters, June Whitlow, Birmingham, AL and Nancy Whitlow, Alton, IL. He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Milly Whitlow; one nephew, Jeffrey Whitlow and wife, Ashley; and two great nephews, Connor and Noah Whitlow, all of Little Rock. Funeral services will be held in the chapel of the Griffin Legett Healey & Roth Funeral Home, 5800 W. 12th Street, Little Rock 72204 at 10:00am on Friday July 21, 2023 with visitation one hour before at 9:00am. Burial will follow in Sand Hill Cemetery, Simms, TX. at 3:00pm. Memorials may be made to Caledonia Baptist Church, 2192 Wingfield Lake Rd., El Dorado, AR 71730 or Chicot Road Baptist Church, 13301 Chicot Rd., Mabelvale 72103. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Whitlow family.
Penny Lynn Stallings
Date of passing: July 13, 2023
Penny Lynn Stallings, a beloved daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and nurse, passed away on July 13, 2023. Penny was born on October 7, 1971, to Jerry and Sharon Howard. Her life was a testament to her love for her family, her faith, and her community. Penny was preceded in death by her grandparents, Wilma and Harold Howard, and Eula Mae and John Howe. Survivors include her husband of 31 years, David Stallings. Their marriage of 31 years was a beautiful testament to their shared love and commitment. Together, they raised two beautiful daughters, Emily (Alex) Pigue and Gracie Stallings. Survivors also include her parents, Jerry and Sharon Howard; her brother, Jimmy Howard; and grandchildren, Victoria Pigue, and Clayton Pigue; daughters by heart, Courtnay Kincaid, and Brittnay Mossman; brother and sister by heart, Mark and Glenda Curtis. Penny dedicated her life to caring for others, both in her personal life and her professional one. For many years, she served as a nurse at Oak Grove Elementary School, where she was known for her kindness and compassion. Her dedication to her work was matched only by her commitment to her faith. A faithful member of Oak Grove Baptist Church, Penny found joy in serving in the Children’s Ministry. Her faith was an integral part of her life, guiding her actions and shaping her into the woman she was. One of Penny’s greatest joys in life was her role as a grandmother. She cherished every moment spent with her grandchildren. In her free time, Penny loved going shopping in Branson. Whether it was hunting for a special gift for a loved one or simply enjoying the bustling atmosphere, these trips brought her immense joy. Penny’s life was characterized by her selfless love, her unwavering faith, and her dedication to her family and community. The family will receive Monday, July 17, from 10:00 a.m. until service time at Phillips Funeral Home. The funeral service will begin at noon at Phillips Funeral Home with Kim Bridges officiating. Burial to follow at Providence Cemetery. Jimmy Howard, Alex Pigue, Melvin Howard, Kelvin Howard, Mark Curtis, Markus Curtis, and Robert Alls will serve as pallbearers. Kenny Howard, Colton Sandusky, Gale LaRoe, and Wayne Higgins will serve as honorary pallbearers.
Charles Whedbee
Date of passing: July 5, 2023
Charles Whedbee, a devoted husband, loving father, respected Southern Baptist pastor, and cherished grandfather, passed away peacefully in his home in Dayton, AR, on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, at the age of 94. He departed from this world leaving behind an abundance of memories and a profound legacy of faith. On January 11, 1929, God blessed his parents Samuel Leroy Whedbee and Elouise Whedbee with his birth in Midland, AR. As a young man Charles felt called by the Lord to full time church ministry. While pastoring, he graduated from Southwestern Seminary and dedicated his life to nurturing the spiritual well-being of his congregation and inspiring them with his heartfelt sermons. He pastored and helped grow nine different churches including Fellowship Baptist in Witcherville. He also served many other churches as interim after his retirement. Charles had a love for missions, preaching the word in Africa, the Philippines, and across the United States. Throughout his ministry, Charles touched countless lives. His words of wisdom provided solace and guidance to many during times of joy and hardship. Charles was a devoted family man. For 77 years he shared a deep and abiding love for his wife Ivalee and together they created a warm and loving home. Charles is survived by two sons, Tom and wife Betty of Dayton, AR and Barry and wife Terry of Gilmer, TX; and one daughter Pamela Williams and husband Tom of Advance, North Carolina. Charles was not only a beloved father but also a proud grandfather. He cherished every moment spent with his 6 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Charles also has one great great grandchild due this month. He was known for his storytelling and his captivating tales of bygone eras. Charles will forever be remembered for his warm smile, his unwavering faith, and his love for ice cream and Black Angus cows. Arrangements and cremations are being entrusted to Heritage Memorial Funeral Home in Waldron, Arkansas. You may leave words of comfort and remembrance for Charles’ family by visiting: All those who were touched by his kindness, inspired by his faith, and charmed by his stories are invited to join in remembering him at a memorial service to be held at Fellowship Baptist Church, in Witcherville, AR on Friday, July 21, 2023, at 6:00 pm with visitation after the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Fellowship Baptist Church Mission Trip Fund (111 College Road, Huntington, AR 72940) or Gideon Bibles to continue his legacy of sharing Jesus throughout the world.
Mike Kinsey
Date of passing: June 29, 2023
Mike Kinsey, age 80, of Russellville, died Thursday, June 29, 2023, at Stella Manor Nursing Home. He was born April 6, 1943, in Houston, Texas, to Lee Roy and Mary Velma Burrough Kinsey. Mike was a member of First Baptist Church of Russellville. He graduated from University of Arkansas in 1964, and then New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1968. He married the love of his life, Winnie Ellen Wing, on November 26, 1965. He served in the ministry for 33 years in various churches in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas, then for another 15 years with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in East Asia. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Winnie Ellen Wing Kinsey. He is survived by a daughter, Amy Billyard; a son and daughter-in-law, Brad and Amy Kinsey; a brother and sister-in-law, Pat and Carol Kinsey of Longview, Texas; six grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Kerrigan, Kimberly and Kurt Kinsey and Tanner (Treva), and Braxton Billyard. The funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m., Monday, July 3, 2023, at the First Baptist Church in Russellville with the Rev. Mike Cloud officiating. Burial will be in Fairview Memorial Gardens in Fayetteville, under the direction of Shinn Funeral Service. The family will receive friends from 1:30 p.m. until service time at the church. Memorials may be made to the Lottie Moon Foreign Missions, in care of First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 36, Russellville, AR 72811. Online guestbook and condolences available at
Carolyn Ann Barber
Date of passing: June 11, 2023
Here’s the most important thing we want you to know: Carolyn Barber lived out her faith in Jesus through her relationships with her family and her neighbors. On December 29, 1944, Doc and Erma Carter welcomed their fifth of six children, Carolyn Ann Carter Barber. Among the daughters, she was the youngest, and she was the baby of the family for eight years, until her baby brother was born. Carolyn grew up in Lake City, specifically on Cane Island, a place rooted in family, farming, and faith. Her father was a deacon at Bethabara Baptist Church. Several of the families in the small country church were related to her family, and the Carters were very faithful in the church’s activities. Carolyn was a student of God’s Word, and by the time she was in high school, the church’s pastor was taking her and others from the church to Blytheville to compete in regional Bible Drill competitions. Carolyn attended Lake City Public Schools, where she was an excellent student and cheerleader. While she was cheering at a high school basketball game, a young man in the stands asked who the pretty girl with dark hair was. After finding out who she was and where she lived, he revealed his identity and his interest in her by placing a box of Valentine’s Day candy in her family’s mailbox. Unacquainted with this bold young man, Carolyn initially made no reply, but Jimmy Barber would not be dissuaded. Carolyn finally said yes to a date, and a whirlwind romance began during her senior year of high school. They married in the summer of 1962, and Jim often referred to that box of candy as the best investment he ever made. God blessed their home with children in two batches. Traci was the firstborn in 1963. Blake followed closely in 1964. Two children less than a year apart—Whew! After a five-year respite, Bart was born in 1969. With Ashley’s birth in 1973, the family was complete. Carolyn viewed her children as both a gift from God and a responsibility to God. You’re familiar, perhaps, with the Postman’s Creed—“neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” It also serves as an apt description of Carolyn’s determination to have her children in church on Sundays and Wednesday nights. Her faith in Jesus gave her confidence that bad weather, busy schedules, and that stomach bug making its way through the school were all matters that the Lord could manage just fine without her having to keep her babies home from church. Carolyn had an early career in banking, to which she returned when her children were grown, but her work outside her home served as mere bookends for the most significant impact she had on her community: She served her family, she served her church, and she served neighbors she encountered who needed a little extra love. These are the ways she put Jesus first in her life. We’ve already discussed how Carolyn prioritized faith in the upbringing of her children. She also lived out her faith in her relationship with her husband. She and Dad had a lot of adventures! Jim Barber was an ambitious man with big ideas, a keen business sense, and a strong work ethic. Dad was talented and eager to advance his career, and he worked his way up through a lot of different jobs. At various times, he was a factory worker, academic administrator, political aide, salesman, securities broker, or entrepreneur. That’s an exciting life, but it is also a life that took the risks inherent to entrepreneurship. When Dad proposed starting a new business to manufacture lamps, Mom was initially skeptical, but from start to finish, she was faithful and encouraging as a wife and a partner. In the end, her faith in Jim was rewarded. His career instincts and God’s blessing upon their efforts provided for Carolyn’s needs long after she was no longer able to do so herself. Our home was a place where Mom served us well, but it was also a place where we got a front-row seat to watch Mom serve other people beyond our family. The door to our house was open. We have so many memories of that place! Don’t imagine a palace. She had four children with a wide range of ages growing up in that house, and they were all constantly bringing home friends, so the house was well[ 1 ]used. The furniture consisted of whatever they could afford after all of the other needs were met. Something was always broken—sometimes as many as ten things on a “to repair” list—and some of the best stories involve the occasional dog making its way inside among the people. It was a clean home, but it was not a pristine showpiece. Nevertheless, Carolyn opened her door, her heart, and her kitchen to others. Her table was a gathering place for pastors, music ministers, evangelists, missionaries and a host of family and friends. I’ll promise you this—nobody ever complained about the food! Later she poured her life into her grandchildren, teaching them to ride a bike, baking with them, being present at their special events, and most of all teaching them about the love of Jesus. Carolyn showed compassion for people who were hurting. Always on the lookout for the ostracized child, the beleaguered single mother, the lonely senior citizen, or the impoverished family, Carolyn made it her mission to share what she had. I’m not just talking about food, clothing, or money, although Carolyn was not stingy with any of those things. I’m talking about things far more necessary: hope, joy, confidence, and love. Many who received these things from Carolyn decades ago bear witness today to how much of a difference it made. Most of all, above all other things, Carolyn sought to share the love of Jesus with people. To help people know about God’s love for them, she traveled across the globe on mission trips. Toward the same end, she packed 14 kids into a Volkswagen Beetle and took them to Vacation Bible School. Toward the end of her life, when Alzheimer’s Disease had stolen away so much, among all of that murkiness, there remained one thing that she could express clearly and with urgency: “We have to tell them about Jesus!” Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents, Doc and Erma Carter, her loving husband, Jim Barber, and her brother, Max Carter. She is survived by her four children: Traci Smith and husband Ron of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Blake Barber and wife Shawna of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Bart Barber and wife Tracy of Farmersville, Texas; and Ashley Warrick and husband Greg of Boerne, Texas. She is survived by seven grandchildren: Alex Smith and his wife Amanda, Allison Smith, Jim Barber, Sarah Barber, Mary Caroline Warrick, Benton Warrick, and Brooks Warrick. She is also survived by her sisters, Minnie Kathryn Long and Martha Carter, and her brothers, Marl Carter and Rick Carter. Visitation will be held 5:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday at Emerson Funeral Home in Jonesboro. Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Lake City with Emerson Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. Private burial will precede the funeral service. Active Pallbearers are her sons, Blake and Bart, her sons-in-law, Ronnie Smith and Greg Warrick, and her grandsons, Alex, Jim, Benton, and Brooks. Honorary pallbearers are Jim and Carolyn’s Sunday School class at First Baptist Lake City, and special lifelong friends, Kenny Griffin, Joan Baker and Hulene Pierce. Carolyn was called to heaven by her Lord and Savior on June 11, 2023. She left the temporary home of this world for her eternal home in Heaven. The family asks that in lieu of flowers those who wish to honor her memory would visit a neighbor, encourage someone who needs it, or invite your pastor into your home for a meal and fellowship. For lasting memorials the family asks that consideration be given to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering or the Annie Armstrong Easter offering at, or the SBC Cooperative Program, International Mission Board, 3806 Monument Ave., Richmond, VA 23230.
Charles Crowson
Date of passing: May 21, 2023
Charles Crowson, 90, of Batesville passed away Sunday, May 21, 2023. He was born November 8, 1932 in Rector, Arkansas to James Vivian Crowson and Irene Glasgow Crowson. Charles was a member of Rehobeth Baptist Church in Moorefield. He was a minister for over 65 years. He worked as a case manager for the Spinal Cord Commission for the State of Arkansas for over 30 years; he also built ramps and helped people who were wheel chair bound. Charles also volunteered at WRMC for several years. He was a very compassionate man and loved his family dearly, especially his grandkids and great-grandkids. He was an avid hunter and fisherman; he even organized a fishing tournament every year for handicap people. Survivors include his two daughters, Sheila (Arnold) Martin of Ward and Mavis (Gary) Young of Batesville; one brother, Gary (Cathy) Crowson of England; six grandchildren, Chuck (Jenny) Martin, Justin (Lauren) Martin, Spencer (Britany) Young, Jeremiah Young, Colton Young and Tara Crowson and eight great-grandchildren, Hannah Laden, Riley Martin, Aubrey Martin, Meritt Young, Christian Young, Paxton Young, Cayden Green and Ava Young; as well as several nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Norma Jean Crowson; brothers, Bob Crowson and Donald Crowson; sister, Melba Crowson and great-grandchild, Fisher Young. Pallbearers will be Chuck Martin, Justin Martin, Spencer Young, Jeremiah Young, Colton Young and Steve Crowson. Honorary Pallbearers will be the Men’s Sunday School Class. Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at the Rehobeth Baptist Church with Roger Crum officiating. Burial will follow at Wyatt Cemetery in Rosie under the direction of Roller-Crouch Funeral Home of Batesville. Visitation will be held from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at the church prior to service. Memorials may be made in his honor to The Gideon’s International Processing Center, P.O. Box 97251, Washington, DC 20090-7251 or
Dr. Fred Gay
Date of passing: May 20, 2023
Dr. Freddie Gay went to his Heavenly reward on May 20, 2023. He is preceded in death by his parents Allen and Mamie Gay; his wife of 52 years, Betty Gay; a daughter, Alysia King; a grandson, David King. Reverend Gay is survived by his wife of 13 years, Carolyn Sue Gay of Halley, AR; a daughter, Becky (Dewayne) White of Hot Springs; a son, Allen (Pear) Gay of Chandler, AZ; a son, Bill (Dawn) Gay of Hot Springs; a son, Robby (Pam) Waldrup of Collins, AR; a sister, Patsy Chaillet (Alex) of Cherokee Village, AR; and a special bonus daughter, Brenda (Charlie) Simpson of Biscoe, AR. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and numerous great- and great-great -grandchildren. Reverend Gay was a pastor for 61 years, serving 17 churches in Arkansas, and one in Texas. He also worked as Director of Missions for Carey Baptist Association before retiring for the first of many times. Over the years, Reverend Gay has also worked as an elementary school teacher, a school bus driver, a rock mason, a carpenter, a farmhand, and an evangelist. He is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, and Mid America Seminary, where he earned his Doctorate of Theology degree. In his free time (of which there was little) Freddie enjoyed woodworking, mowing the grass, picking up pecans, riding along the levee, and collecting marbles. He was an avid Razorbacks fan who loved watching his Hogs play football and basketball, and was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. Freddie worked for General Motors when he was a young man in Flint, Michigan, where he met his wife, Betty Jean Reasor. But Reverend Gay’s true calling was sharing the word of God, which he did for 63 years. When Betty died in 2008, Freddie found love again when he met Carolyn Sue Waldrup. They were married in October of 2009. Reverend Gay will be remembered as man who loved God and loved others. He never hesitated to share his faith, and he was more than excited to tell someone what God had done for him. Visitation will be held Saturday May 27 at 1 PM at Halley Baptist Church in Halley, Arkansas. Funeral service will follow at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Gideon’s International, in the name of Freddie Gay, P.O. Box 13, McGehee, AR 71654.
Joe Baker
Date of passing: May 13, 2023
Rev. Fred Joe Baker, 94, peacefully departed this life on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at his home in Bella Vista, Ark. Joe, the name he preferred and went by, was born on December 2, 1928, in Broken Arrow, Okla., to Ted R. Baker and Maxine Smittle Baker. Joe married Lois Cleveland on December 13, 1947. They lived in Tulsa, Okla. where two daughters were born, Sandra Baker Womack and Vicki Baker Pomykala. Joe worked as an accountant for 15 years in Tulsa. He then moved to Fort Worth, Texas where he graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology. Joe’s commitment to his Lord and Savior is reflected by his favorite Bible verses, Psalm 37:4-5, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your ways to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Joe was appointed a Home Missionary through the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board where he planted and pastored churches and served as Director of Missions for 33 years in Illinois and Ohio. Many lives were changed and 34 people surrendered to full time Christian service during his ministry. Joe and Lois retired in 1993 and moved to Bella Vista, Ark. in 1995. They joined the Bella Vista Baptist Church where Joe served as interim Associate Pastor and helped start Village Baptist Church. Joe preached revivals in 29 states and saw many confess their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Joe was an avid fisherman. He had many trophy catches, pictures, and stories he enjoyed. Joe and Lois enjoyed golf. Joe had a daily “things to do list” and #1 on the list was, “hey, Babe, let’s have some fun today.” He wrote a love letter to Lois each month for 50 years. He was a very creative writer. He loved his family and friends dearly. Now he is waiting for them to join him so they can pick up where they left off and have some more fun. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Nell Margaret Rowland of Austin, Texas; and brother, Ralph Baker of Dallas, Texas. He is survived by his wife, Lois Baker; daughters, Sandra Baker Womack (Bob) of Kingman, Ariz., and Vicki Baker Pomykala (Mike) of Bella Vista, Ark.; granddaughter, Leslie Pomykala Peetani (Sharan); great-granddaughter, Divyanka Peetani; great-grandson, Abhyant Peetani; brother, Gary Baker (Karen); and numerous nieces, nephews, and relatives. A private graveside service was held for immediate family. A celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at Bella Vista Baptist Church, 50 East Lancashire Blvd., Bella Vista, Ark. 72714. In lieu of flowers, donations in Joe’s name may be sent to North American Mission Board, P. O. Box 116543, Atlanta, Ga. 30368-6543 (AAEO on memo line). The family gives special thanks to Circle of Life Hospice for their end-of-life care. Arrangements are under the direction of Bella Vista Funeral Home & Crematory. On-line condolences may be made at
S. D. Hacker
Date of passing: April 26, 2023
S. D. Hacker, 89, of Sage, Arkansas died April 26, 2023. He was born February 26, 1934 in Cisco, Arkansas to Harley and Lorraine Clotese Snow Wright. Later he was adopted by Clyde Hacker of Berryville, Arkansas. He graduated from Berryville High School and attended Ouachita Baptist College. He married Lois Faye James on December 25 1953 at First Baptist Church, Berryville, Arkansas. They were married 62 years. Three children were born to this marriage: Sherry Kay, Vicky Lynn, and James David. He was saved in the summer of 1952 at a roadside park (pulling over because he was afraid to drive one more mile) following a revival service at Eagle Heights Baptist Church in Harrison. He joined the First Baptist Church, Berryville where he surrendered to preach in the summer of 1953. He was ordained by the Third Street Baptist Church, Arkadelphia, in 1955. S. D. Hacker pastored six churches and was Director of Missions for three associations, all in Arkansas, retiring in the fall of 2018 from Rocky Bayou Baptist Association. He also served in several training capacities within the Arkansas Baptist State Convention; served on Board of Trustees for Williams Baptist College; was awarded Director of Missions of the Year by Ouachita Baptist University, the first recognition given; President of Arkansas Missionaries Fellowship four years, and also wrote for Sunday School lessons for Arkansas Baptist Newsmagazine. Survivors include his daughters, Sherry Lawrence of Melbourne and Vicky Norton (Robert) of Sage; seven grandchildren: Trey Lawrence (Marguerite ) of Ft. Benning, GA.; Tracy Cone (Michael) of Melbourne; Davis Norton (Hanah) of Conway; James Norton currently deployed to Qatar; Andy Norton (Kaitlyn) currently deployed to Qatar; Benji Norton, Conway, Amara (Jessie) Williams of Oak Grove, KY. ; six great-grandchildren: Julianna Lawrence, Sonny Lawrence, Allie Cone, Adam Cone, Audrey Cone, and Robert Joseph Norton and one sister, Reta Tarver of Norman, OK. Preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Lois Hacker; and son, James David Hacker. Visitation and funeral service will be held Friday, April 28 at Melbourne First Baptist Church. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. Funeral service will begin at 11:00 a.m. with Doyne Robertson and Rick Burke officiating. Burial will follow at Maplewood Cemetery in Harrison.
Betty Sue Green
Date of passing: April 23, 2023
Betty Sue Green, age 86, of Hot Springs, went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Sunday, April 23, 2023. She was born on May 25, 1936, in Bodcaw, Arkansas, the daughter of Charlie Hairston and Velma Pickard Hairston. On September 14, 1963, she married G. Lynn Green. She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Tillman Hairston; and her sister, Floy Fae Goodwin. Betty was a faithful, loving, Christian woman and a member of Hot Springs Baptist Church. She was a Proverbs 31 woman, taking care of her home, and being a pastor’s wife. Betty was serving the Lord beside her husband, Lynn, as he pastored Bodcaw Baptist Church in Bodcaw, Beech Street Baptist Church in Crossett, College View Baptist Church in Magnolia, Central Baptist Church in Texarkana and Oak Grove Baptist Church in Ashdown. She loved teaching children in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. She served as the music/recreation secretary at Beech Street First Baptist Church in Texarkana for 13 years. She grew up in a farm family in South Arkansas. In high school, she was an All-State basketball player. She loved vacationing with her family. She loved everyone and she will be greatly missed by all that knew and loved her. She is survived by her loving husband of 60 years, Lynn Green; her daughter and son-in-law, Renae and Eric Carrouth; one granddaughter, Reagan Carrouth; several nieces, nephews, extended family members and a host of wonderful friends. Funeral service 10:00AM, Saturday, April 29, 2023, with Rev. Doug Porter, Lance Hudnell and Rev. James Crews officiating at Hot Springs Baptist Church, 144 Weston Road, Hot Springs. Interment 2:00PM in the Union Cemetery, 109 CR 9, Rosston, Arkansas. Visitation 5:00PM-7:00PM, Friday, April 28, 2023, in the Smith Family Funeral Home Chapel, Hot Springs. Pallbearers are Mark Curry, Kenny Spruill, Bryan Green, Tony Burrow, Michael Dossett and Anthony White. A special thank you to the staff at Lake Hamilton Health and Rehab. Guest registry is at
Emil Darrell Williams
Date of passing: April 13, 2023
Emil Darrell Williams, 94, of Jonesboro died peacefully on April 13, 2023, at his home surrounded by his family. Emil was born July 3, 1928, in Searcy, Arkansas, to the late D.T. and Margaret Merritt Williams. He was a member of the Searcy High School graduating class of 1946. He married Marianne Hestir also of Searcy on May 5, 1950. He attended Ouachita Baptist University and graduated in 1950 with a degree in Speech and Drama. He then attended Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 1953. He was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Ouachita Baptist University in 1988. He devoted his entire life to his family and his church families. He pastored churches in Lewisville, Russellville, and Little Rock before moving to Jonesboro in 1965 to pastor First Baptist Church for 30 years. He retired for a few weeks, before being asked to serve as the interim pastor at Magnolia Road Baptist Church. He served as the “interim” pastor from 1995 until Palm Sunday 2023. Emil distinguished himself in his service to others and to the community. He was one of the founders of the Jonesboro Church Health Center ministry that is still serving the community today. He served on the boards of Southern Seminary for 12 years and Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock for 6 years. In 2015, he helped begin the Community Emergency Services Center that has coordinated the Friends and Neighbors Network (FANN). Emil became affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) in 1991 and served as the first Arkansas moderator. He remained involved in the CBF ministry until his death. Music was one of Emil’s loves, whether listening with eyes closed and lips pursed at the front of the church, directing Alexa to play something from the endless catalogue of music in his mind, or singing in his baritone voice. A crowd favorite he often sang was “Ol’ Man River.” The song lyrics included the line, “But that ol’ man river just keeps rolling along,” which just as well could have been a reference to his enduring ministry and service to his community. Emil was passionate about his family and enjoyed spending time with them. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 70 years, Marianne; his parents D.T. and Margaret Williams; brothers Ralph and James Williams, all of Searcy. He is survived by daughter Ann Williams, sons Paul Williams and Todd Williams (Catherine) of Jonesboro; and Ben Williams (Tracey) of Chicago, Illinois; four grandchildren: Christian Williams, Emma Williams, Adam Williams, and Hailey Williams; and one nephew, Phillip Williams (Patty) of Searcy. A memorial service was led by Ray Higgins and Richard Lusby at First Baptist Church, 701 S. Main, Jonesboro on April 15, 2023. Dr. Rodney Reeves made the Call to Worship. A visitation followed in the FBC Atrium. Honorary Pallbearers Dr. John Sanford, Tom Stafford, Arliss Dickerson, Mike Smith, John Payne, Mike Mullally, Charles Harris, Dr. Mark McJunkin, Dr. Richard Wang, Dr. Carl Abraham, Edward Pruitt, Dick Freer, Darryl Kelly, and Jean Staggs. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Magnolia Road Church for the benefit of the Friends and Neighbors Network or the Diaper Bank.
Margie Edwards
Date of passing: March 4, 2023
Margie Edwards (Fritts), 84, of Jacksonville, AR passed away peacefully on Saturday March 4, 2023. Visitation is 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Friday, March 17, 2023 at Jordan Funeral Home. She was a devoted Christian and fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith, and now has accepted the crown of righteousness, which the Lord Jesus Christ has promised! Don’t feel bad for Margie – feel bad for Lazarus – Margie is staying in Glory forever! Born in 1938 in Ethel, MS she is survived by her two daughters Lisa and Lori, and was blessed with wonderful grandchildren. She was married to the late Lynn Dwight Edwards, and later in life to the late Bob Fritts. For those that knew Margie she was very active in church, was giving, and embraced missions. One of her primary desires in life was that her entire family would all accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
James E. McDaniel
Date of passing: February 12, 2023
Rev. James E. McDaniel, 83, of Brinkley, Ark., passed away on Feb. 12, 2023. Jim was born in St. Louis, Mo., on Nov. 9, 1939. A graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Jim faithfully preached the Gospel for over 50 years, serving 42 years as the pastor of First Baptist Church Brinkley. Jim loved Jesus, his family and friends, mission trips to Belize, the St. Louis Cardinals, and basketball. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Beverly, children Joel, Dina and Michael McDaniel, grandchildren, Tyler McDaniel, Somer Lawrence, and Kayla McDaniel, Kinsey Ortega, and great-grandchildren Levi and Beau McDaniel and Asa Ortega. The visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m., on Friday, Feb. 17. The funeral is on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. Both will take place at First Baptist Brinkley. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial gifts for Arkansas Baptist Children’s Home ( or Operation Resolute ( be mailed to First Baptist Church, 215 W. Elm Brinkley, Ark., 72021. Please make checks out to First Baptist Church and designate which organization you want to give to. Contact Mrs. Donna Wilson at 870-734-2571 for more information. Guestbook/obit/
Earl Gene Goatcher
Date of passing: February 7, 2023
Earl Gene Goatcher was born August 2, 1928, near Formosa in Van Buren County, Arkansas. He completed his earthly journey of 94 years on February 7, 2023. He was predeceased by his parents, James M. and Ruth Allen Goatcher and his older brother, Truett. He is survived by his wife of 65+ years, Dr. Joann Horton Goatcher; children, Lisa Schuttger and James Goatcher; sister, Lavelle Rollins; eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He was a veteran of the Korean War, during which he experienced significant milestones affecting his Christian journey. He graduated from the University of Arkansas, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and completed the Administrative Residency program of Arkansas Baptist Hospital in Little Rock. In 1957 he married Dr. Joann Horton, the Chief Resident in Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas Medical School. She became his greatest love, his partner in ministry and in his opinion, the greatest helpmate any man could ever have. He dearly loved his Lord, his family, his church and his work. From a very modest beginning in the remote hills of north Arkansas he lived a life of ministry and adventure beyond description. In 1962 they were appointed as medical missionaries to Thailand, serving with the Foreign Mission Board (FMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention for over 22 years. Those years encompassed a wide range of ministry in over 30 countries in four continents. It began in Thailand where they helped initiate the medical work, with Earl serving as Hospital Administrator. After nine years in Thailand, they returned to the U.S. for a few years where Earl served as Administrator of a hospital in Van Horn, Texas. During those years he helped with the medical ministry along the Rio Grande started by the Texas Baptist Rio Grande River Ministry. In 1979 they were asked to return to Thailand where Earl directed the FMB’s portion of the response to the hundreds of thousands of Indochina refugees pouring into Thailand. It entailed providing food, fuel, water and other services to 45,000 refugees daily, including complete medical services in a camp of 22,000. Concurrently, Earl became a member of the Board of Directors of Bangalore Baptist Hospital in Bangalore, India, serving in that capacity for eleven years during which he served twice as Chairman of the Board and twice as Interim Administrator. When the Indochina refugee crisis subsided Earl became director of refugee response and disaster relief in Southeast Asia for the FMB, initiating and monitoring health care and agriculture development projects in the region. In 1983 he became Administrator of the Thailand Baptist Mission, the organization of approximately 80 Southern Baptist missionaries serving in Thailand. In 1987 he joined the staff of the Southern Baptist FMB at it’s headquarters in Richmond, VA. In that capacity, he monitored and evaluated health care, refugee response and agriculture development projects on a world wide basis. After retirement to Clinton, AR, where he was the general contractor in building their dream retirement home, he became an active logger on his personal property. He served 12 years on the Board of Ozark Health Medical Center in Clinton, including four years as Chairman and three occasions as Interim Administrator. He was also on the Board of the Arkansas Hospital Association and served two years as President of the Arkansas Association of Hospital Trustees. He also served four years as pastor of the Formosa Baptist Church. In 2012 Earl and Joann moved to the Parkway Village Retirement Center in Little Rock where they became very active in Immanuel Baptist Church, continuing to serve in many ways. A partial recounting of the work and ministries in which he was involved cannot convey the joy and spiritual blessings he received as he followed the Lord throughout his life. As he recorded in the book he wrote (God’s Direction; Our Journey) concerning his and Joann’s journey of faith, the presence and sovereignty of God was so dramatically demonstrated in countless events that he and Joann could only look in amazement and gratitude at how God had directed their lives. To God be the glory. A special heartfelt thanks to the staff at Shell Memory Center and Health Center at Parkway Village and to Baptist Hospice, for all the loving care given to “Mr. Earl”. Funeral services will be held at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home, 13801 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, AR on Saturday, February 11th. Visitation will be at 1:30 p.m. and the funeral service will follow at 2:30 p.m. The graveside service will be held at Union Hill Cemetery (located off Highway 9 near Formosa Baptist Church in Conway County) on Monday, February 13th at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the International Mission Board SBC, 3806 Monument Ave., Richmond, VA 23230; Williams Baptist University, 56 McClellan Dr. #3736, Walnut Ridge, AR 72476 or Immanuel Baptist Church, 501 N. Shackleford Rd., Little Rock, AR 72211
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:
Lloyd Blanton
Date of passing: January 25, 2023
Lloyd Edward Blanton Jr. (Buddy) of Tumbling Shoals, Arkansas was born January 26, 1942 and made his triumphant transition to glory on January 25, 2023. Lloyd started preaching in 1965 but graduated from bible college in 1964 He faithfully served the Lord as pastor over 38 years, including Community Bible Church in DeKalb, Illinois, Southside Baptist in Heber Springs, and Center Ridge Baptist, which became Sugarloaf Baptist under his ministry in Heber Springs. Through the years he also ministered as a Chaplain in various settings. Music Evangelism was also a big part of his service to the Lord, being the founding member of the Revelators and later traveling as a soloist. After the pastorate Lloyd founded FreedomWay Ministries and Hill of Hope, a ministry that began 20 years ago and is still ministering to lives today. All that knew him, knew that He loved the Lord and he loved his family. He also LOVED to sing, especially with family. He loved to travel. He loved to take video of his grandkids growing up and then to watch them together when they grew up! Lloyd is preceded in death by his father Lloyd Edward Blanton Sr. and his mother Maxine (Green) Blanton. Left to be reunited with Lloyd are his loving wife, Linda Sharon (Varker) Blanton, his children Lloyd Edward Blanton III (Kip), wife Christine, Kevin Blanton, wife Penny, Kimberly Hatsell, husband Donny, Kyle Blanton, wife Amy. Also, left to cherish his memory are his 14 grandchildren and 20 (soon to be 21) Great Grandchildren. Lloyd is also survived by his brother Gayle “Chico” Blanton, wife Liz. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00am on February 4, 2023 in the First Baptist Church in Heber Springs, Arkansas. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to be made to: FreedowWay Ministries PO Box 152 Tumbling Shoals, AR 72581
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.

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