Benjamin Gee Hines, 1927-2015

Benjamin Hines

Benjamin Hines

The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Gee Hines, 88, of Bentonville, passed away Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, at Mercy Hospital in Rogers, surrounded by his family.

He was born Feb. 13, 1927, in Smackover, to Carl Benjamin Hines and Cleo Gee Hines.

Ben married Maxine McCauley on Aug. 31, 1947. They met in college at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, and he was immediately smitten. They were cheerleaders together before WWII took him overseas. Having survived being separated by the Army—and one “Dear John” letter—they married their senior year.

After a short career of teaching, coaching junior high football, and being appointed the youngest high school principal in Camden, Ark., Ben ventured on to be on staff at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. It was there he discovered God had other plans for him. So he, Maxine, Susan (age 5) and David (age 2½) packed up the car and headed for Perkins School of Theology on the SMU campus in Dallas, Texas. In 1961, Ben received his second Master’s degree—this one a Master of Divinity.

In ministry, he served as senior pastor in United Methodist churches across Arkansas, including Camden, Little Rock, West Memphis, Bentonville, Fort Smith, Rogers and as superintendent of the Forrest City District. While living in Dallas, he was on staff at Highland Park United Methodist Church. He served more than 40 years in the ministry.

Ben served on the board of trustees for Methodist Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and for Hendrix College in Conway. In the United Methodist Church, he was a board member for the Northwest Arkansas Council of Finance and Administration, and chaired the Northwest Arkansas Nominating Committee.

In 1992, Ben and Maxine retired to Bentonville in their first-ever home that was not a parsonage, but their ministry continued even in retirement. He served as the associate pastor at First UMC Bentonville, and later as pastor emeritus.

He was preceded in death by Maxine on June 22 of this year, after 68 years of marriage. As one friend wrote, “Their love affair now continues.”

Ben is survived by one son, David Gee Hines and his wife, Susan, of Edmond, Okla.; one daughter, Susan Kennedy and her husband, Pat, of Bentonville; four grandchildren, Ben Bogle and his wife, Sarah, of Sandestin, Fla.; Erin Easley and her husband, Jason, of Gravette; Scott Hines of Oklahoma City, Okla.; Megan Gaines and her husband, Zac, of Edmond, Okla.; six great-grandchildren, Halie Easley, Brittney Easley, Lukas Easley, Harper Gaines, Tatum Gaines and Annie Gaines; and one sister, Carolyn Rix of Hot Springs.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, at First United Methodist Church Bentonville with the Rev. Dr. Kurt Boggan and the Rev. Rex Dickey officiating. Burial followed in Bentonville Cemetery.

Pallbearers were members of the Masculine Journey Sunday School Class: Tim Summers, Ted Viala, Bruce Safreed, Rodger Dickinson, Ed Adair, Garry Carroll, Mel Redman, David Torres, Jimmy Wright, Greg Fogle, David Hudgins, Brad Anderson, Johnny Haney, Doug Speight and Roger Thomas.

Memorials may be made to First UMC, 201 Northwest 2nd Street, Bentonville, AR 72712; or to Havenwood, 808 North Main Street, Bentonville, AR 72712.