Across Arkansas – January 16, 2020

Editor’s Note: The Arkansas Baptist News would love to share your church news with the state. Send your information to or call 1-800-838-2272, ext. 5153. Please submit information three weeks prior to the event.


Charlene Clements Smith, 86, formerly of De Queen, died Jan. 10 in Mansfield, Texas.

Smith taught piano and served as church organist and pianist. She and her husband, Ed Smith, served as missionaries to Botswana with the International Mission Board from 1971 to 1992. She was preceded in death by her husband. Smith is survived by a son, a daughter, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Janet Vire, 75, of Clarksville, died Dec. 16.bShe was married to Clyde Vire, a retired pastor and former director of missions for Clear Creek Baptist Association. She was an elementary school teacher. Vire was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband, a son and two grandchildren.

Patty Sue McNelly Nelson, 68, of Pumpkin Bend, died Dec. 19. Nelson served as the church secretary for Morton Baptist Church, McCrory. She was preceded in death by her father, a brother and sister. Nelson is survived by her husband, mother, two daughters, three sisters, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Joy May Sanders Huckaba, 82, of Cabot, died Dec. 25. Huckaba served as the church pianist for 35 years at First Baptist Church, Mountain Home. She is survived by her husband, three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Mary Dell West Hutson, 89, of Cabot, died Dec. 28. She was married to Logan Hutson, who served as a pastor in Arkansas. Hutson was preceded in death by a son, grandson and two brothers. She is survived by her husband, three children, seven grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-granddaughter.

Billy “Bill” Jackson Harden, 93, of Jacksonville, died Jan. 3. Harden served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher and choir director at Second Baptist Church, Jacksonville. He is preceded in death by his grandson and six siblings. Harden is survived by his wife, two children, three grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Kathryn Hawk Belew, 85, of Jonesboro, died Jan. 4. Belew served in ministry to the deaf at churches in central Arkansas. She and her husband, Walter Belew, were a part of The Sunlighters, a gospel quartet. Belew also was a founding member of Crossroads Baptist Church, Portia, where she served as a Sunday School teacher, pianist and janitor. She worked for Williams Baptist College (now Williams Baptist University) in Walnut Ridge for 13 years. She donated property and volunteered for Lawrence County Exceptional School. Belew was preceded in death by her husband, parents and brother. She is survived by five children, 14 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, four great-great-grandchildren and nine siblings.

Betty Jo Adams, 88, of Benton, died Dec. 26. She was married to Jackie Adams, who served as a pastor in Arkansas for many years. Adams was preceded in death by her parents, husband, a son and a sister. She is survived by two daughters, five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Baptist life

North Pulaski Baptist Association will have a kickoff dinner Thursday, Jan. 23, at Central Baptist Church, North Little Rock. The dinner will introduce upcoming mission events for 2020.

First Baptist Church, Benton, will host the LIFT Tour Friday-Saturday, Jan. 17-18. The tour will feature Jeff Wallace, Ed Newton, Jared Hall and Liberty Worship Collective. For more information, visit

On the move

Trey Campbell is serving as youth pastor at South Main Baptist Church, Crossett.

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