People of Faith: Oct. 2, 2015

Local Pastors Licensing School recognizes 15 graduates

The Arkansas Conference Local Pastors Licensing School has announced that 15 students have completed the requirements necessary to be licensed as local pastors. Some already have received their licenses, which are issued by the bishop; others will be licensed when they receive a pastoral appointment.

The graduates are Ryan Bachuss of Camden; Janet Barrow of Russellville; Tom Crawford of Little Rock; Alicia Finch-McCastlain of Little Rock; Greg Gibson of Fayetteville; Patrick Gillespie of Paragould; Benny Morgan of Camden; Cory Pfeifer of Jonesboro; Dale Richardson of Bella Vista; Tracy Roden of El Dorado; Andrew Suite of North Little Rock; James Turner of Beebe; Billy Vanderbilt of Marmaduke; Danita Waller-Paige of Little Rock; and Anthony “BC” Watkins of Cabot.

Local pastors must be appointed either full-time or part-time to retain a license to preach. Both must participate in continuing education through the Arkansas Conference Course of Study School for part-time local pastors, and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry Course of Study School for full-time local pastors.

Andrew C. Thompson

Andrew C. Thompson

Thompson writes new book on means of grace

The Rev. Dr. Andrew C. Thompson, senior pastor of First UMC Springdale and Practical Divinity columnist for the Arkansas United Methodist, has written a new book, The Means of Grace: Traditioned Practice in Today’s World.

In the book, Thompson presents the Wesleyan vision for spiritual practices that help individuals grow in discipleship. He draws on John Wesley’s teaching on the means of grace that he developed over the course of his lifetime, and which served as the pattern of discipleship that Methodists embraced in their bands, class meetings and daily lives.

“It’s a pretty incredible thing to think that God can meet us in a powerful way through normal activities like prayer, fasting, small group fellowship and ministry to the sick,” Thompson says. “Yet that is exactly what the means of grace reveal to us. Through normal, everyday material means, we are offered an encounter with the Holy Spirit.”

Designed for use by small groups, Sunday school classes and congregations, the book includes a study guide and emphasizes three foundational areas for the means of grace: their biblical context, their background in Wesleyan spirituality and their potential for daily discipleship. The book is available now at, and a video-based teaching guide will be available later this year.

Crossett, Schieffler named recipients of Waddell Scholarship

Connor Crossett and Sydney Schieffler have been selected as the 2015-16 recipients of the William A. “Buddy” and Marilyn Locker Waddell Memorial Scholarship.

Crossett, the son of Susan and Jon Crossett, attends Mississippi State University, where he is majoring in kinesiology. Schieffler, the daughter of Bobbe and Eddie Schieffler, will be attending the University of Arkansas where she will be majoring in education.

From left, Mike Waddell, Sydney Schieffler, Connor Crossett and Bill Waddell celebrate the awarding of two Waddell Scholarships for the 2015-16 academic year. COURTESY PHOTO

From left, Mike Waddell, Sydney Schieffler, Connor Crossett and Bill Waddell celebrate the awarding of two Waddell Scholarships for the 2015-16 academic year.

In addition to their outstanding academic achievements, Crossett and Schieffler were selected based on their impressive records of involvement in the community and in youth activities at West Helena United Methodist Church.

The Waddell Memorial Scholarship was established by the couple’s children, Bill Waddell and his wife, Patty; Barbara Waddell Culver and her husband, Chuck; and Mike Waddell and his wife, Anne, in honor and memory of their parents who lived a life of grace and commitment to faith, church and community. Friends and family of the Waddells also have made memorial contributions to the scholarship fund.

Marilyn and Buddy Waddell, well-known long-time residents of West Helena until their deaths in 2002 and 2012, respectively, were very involved in the local community as well as in the West Helena United Methodist Church, where they were members for more than 50 years. Because of the importance the Waddells placed on their faith community, the donors have expressed a desire that special consideration be given to scholarship applicants who have been involved in the church, as well as those who are considering serving the church in a professional capacity such as the United Methodist ministry, United Methodist mission work, United Methodist youth ministry or United Methodist college ministry.

The scholarship is awarded annually to one or more recipients chosen by a selection committee that includes members of the Waddell family and the leadership of West Helena UMC.