People of Faith: Feb. 6, 2015

Colleen Caldwell

Colleen Caldwell

Caldwell named project manager for ARUMC childhood hunger initiative

Deaconess Colleen Caldwell of Little Rock has been appointed project manager for United Methodists of Arkansas United Against Childhood Hunger, a three-year focus put forward by the Arkansas Conference extended cabinet and approved by the 2014 Annual Conference session.

Consecrated as a Deaconess in 2011 through the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, Caldwell has worked in community outreach and mission for The Journey UMC Cabot (formerly Christ UMC). In that role, she created a resource directory for the Cabot area, listing places for those in need to find assistance. She will apply her previous experience to developing a comprehensive resource directory for United Methodists of Arkansas United Against Childhood Hunger, gathering data, analyzing statistics and assisting local churches in increasing their involvement with fighting hunger in their communities.

Hunger Logo - FINAL“Deaconess Caldwell’s experience, combined with her passion for ending childhood hunger, will be a great asset in administering many of the details of this Conference initiative,” said the Rev. J.J. Whitney, convener of United Methodists of Arkansas United Against Childhood Hunger and associate chaplain at Hendrix College. “We have 200,000 hungry children in this state, and we can count every one of them as a reason to dedicate ourselves to the work ahead of us.”

According to the 2012 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, the “purpose of the Office of Deaconess… shall be to express representatively the love and concern of the believing community for the needs in the world and to enable, through education and involvement, the full ministry and mission of the people of God” (Paragraph 1314). Caldwell believes the hunger initiative work fits perfectly with that purpose, as well as with the call of the Deaconess to embody the characteristics of love, justice and service.

“In a state that is a leader in food production—Arkansas ranks first in the nation in rice production and second in poultry—our children are hungry,” she said. “Where is the justice in that?”

To contact Caldwell, call 501-529-0604 or send an email to

Hilliard to retire as senior military chaplain of Arkansas

Chaplain Wes Hilliard

Chaplain Wes Hilliard

Chaplain (COL) Wesley Hilliard will retire as the Joint Senior Command Chaplain of the Arkansas Army and Air National Guard on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. Hilliard joined the military in 1985 at age 19. Since Sept. 11, 2001, he has been mobilized or deployed for more than 28 months. He has been Arkansas’ senior military chaplain since 2009, leading 50 chaplains, chaplain candidates and assistants in providing spiritual leadership for over 10,000 soldiers, airmen, and their families.

Hilliard’s full-time appointment is as the lead pastor of Heritage United Methodist Church Van Buren. His retirement ceremony will be held at Armstrong Chapel at Camp Robinson, North Little Rock.

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Tom Smith, the 188th Wing chaplain, will replace Chaplain Hilliard as the Joint Senior Command Chaplain, and Chaplain (LTC) James Wainscott, pastor of Murfreesboro UMC, will become the new Senior Army Command Chaplain of the Arkansas National Guard.