Arkansas United Methodist newspaper of 138 years moves to digital format

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. (July 13, 2018) – The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church announced at its Annual Conference last month that the Arkansas United Methodist newspaper will discontinue being printed following the July 2018 issue.

The newspaper was first published in 1880, as the Arkansas Methodist by Rev. John W. Boswell of Morrilton, Arkansas. His intentions were to create an influential religious publication that also included national, state and world news, as well as “field” reporting from pastors, and railway schedules for those traveling to Annual Conferences.

In 1891, it is reported that this publication issued more than 10,000 copies each week and preachers were expected to sell subscriptions.

Over the years, the newspaper has featured an abundance of topics that consistently offered direct opinions and inspirational stories that have served to strengthen the faith of its readers.

The Arkansas United Methodist will carry on, and beginning in August 2018, an all-digital, interactive magazine will make its entrance.

“The decision to shift from a monthly newspaper to an online magazine has not been taken lightly,” said Amy Ezell, Director of the Conference Center for Communication. “Our goal is to use this publication as a ministry tool to equip disciples for Jesus Christ. The number of subscriptions for the print publication were dwindling and an overwhelming majority of our audience uses email to communicate. It was a natural choice to update to an interactive publication that can be easily shared and is mobile-friendly.”

Caleb Hennington is serving as the Digital Content Editor and will manage the editing, layout, story gathering, and publication of the new online magazine.

“I’m excited to be able to have the opportunity to share the stories of the amazing folks who live in our state, as well as the wonderful work that is being done by the Arkansas Conference,” stated Hennington. “I think people will be really pleased with how we are introducing some new features but also keeping several of the original covered topics from more than 100 years ago.”

To subscribe to the new Arkansas United Methodist magazine, contact Amy Ezell at or Caleb Hennington at for more details.


UMC bishops praise God for the release of three missionaries from Philippines

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The bishops of The United Methodist Church are praising God that all three of the young UMC missionaries detained by in the Republic of the Philippines have been allowed to leave that country and are now safely reunited with their families. 

American Adam Shaw reached his parents’ home in Brunswick, Ohio, on July 4; Zimbabwean Tawanda Chandiwana landed in his home country of Zimbabwe on July 6; and Malawian Miracle Osman was allowed to leave to and join her parents in Malawi on July 11. Chandiwana had been incarcerated for eight weeks, while Osman and Shaw were prohibited from leaving by intentional government visa and passport red tapes. All three are mission personnel of United Methodist Global Ministries.

These young adults had come under surveillance when they took part in February in an international investigation of alleged human rights violations on the island of Mindanao, which is under martial law. They and United Methodist leaders in the Philippines denied any wrongdoing.

The Council of Bishops and colleagues in the Philippines are pleased to have played a role in promoting the #LetThemLeave campaign, which resulted in prayers and petitions from around the world.  About 18,000 people from more than 110 countries signed the online petition addressed to the government of the Republic of the Philippines. 

“The council expresses its appreciation to those thousands of individuals and to many organizational mission partners. We commend the staff of Global Ministries for the resolute and focused way in which officers and staff responded to this crisis, working in close concert with our Church in the Philippines,” said Bishop Kenneth H. Carter, president of the COB.  

The bishops also thanked the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, and United Methodist Women for their support. The legal community in the Philippines provided able assistance. The denominational and secular press globally were positive influences in alerting United Methodists and the public at large to the plight of our missionaries. 

“We are grateful for unity in our objectives. May the grace of God and the love of Jesus Christ always bind us together in the causes of justice and compassion,” Bishop Carter said.


Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

Area youth participate in entrepreneurial workshop at Philander Smith College

Area youth gather in a team to discuss their pitch before the competition.

Students from ABC Adolescent Center, Bridge 2 Success and Life Skills for Youth participated in a fun and educational day at Philander Smith College on Thursday, July 12, learning what it means to be an entrepreneur and how to turn their big ideas into a business.

Sponsored by Junior Achievement of Arkansas, as well as Philander Smith College, the all-day event brought together youth from three different City of Little Rock CityWide Summer Program Sites to attend the “It’s My Business!” entrepreneurial program. 

JA’s “It’s My Business!” is a blended online curricula model that introduces students to the process of design thinking and provides an authentic entrepreneurial experience.

The students were broken up into different teams, where they brainstormed their own products, services, or inventions. They then participated in a friendly competition where they pitched their big ideas to a panel of judges to see which idea was the most inventive of the group.

“I learned how to invest my money and what it takes to earn money in today’s world,” said one student who was participating in the day’s events. “This is the first time I’ve ever heard about these things and it’s really helping me to understand the business world better.”

Jasmine Washington, a junior at Philander Smith College, was one of the student volunteers helping out with the workshop. 

“These students are not only learning about being an entrepreneur, they are also learning valuable skills like branding themselves and networking,” Washington said. “They are coming up with their own ideas and pitching those ideas like you would as a real business owner.”

According to the press release, “This ‘JA in a Day’ gives local business partners an opportunity to give back to the community while investing in possible future entrepreneurs.”

According to statistics gathered by Junior Achievement, 87% of high school students want to start a business someday, but the number of businesses owned by those under the age of 30 is currently at a 25-year low. JA is working to raise that number of young entrepreneurs by getting students interested in the process of entrepreneurship while teaching them valuable lessons for future success.

Junior Achievement of Arkansas is part of the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people — from Kindergarten through 12th grade — the knowledge and skills they need to make it in the business world and achieve their own economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices.

For more information about Junior Achievement’s work with young adults in the state, visit

Bishops seek declaratory decisions on three plans submitted to General Conference

WASHINGTON –  The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is asking the Judicial Council for declaratory decisions on the constitutionality of the petitions submitted by the Commission on a Way Forward to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference.

In an electronic vote on July 7, 2018, the bishops agreed to seek a ruling from the highest court in the denomination on whether proposed legislations known as the One Church Plan, the Connectional Conference Plan, and the Traditional Plan are constitutional.

“We are asking for this so that we can gain greater clarity about constitutional issues within the three plans, and in service to and support of the delegations, who will do extremely important work in a very limited amount of time,” said COB President Bishop Kenneth H. Carter.

The Special Session of the General Conference has been called for February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri, and the Fall meeting of the Judicial Council is set for October 23-26, 2018.


Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church

Arkansas Area Course of Study School registration deadline approaching

The Arkansas Area Course of Study School registration deadline is fast approaching.  The deadline for this year is August 1.

This event is for part-time local pastors, and will take place from 9 am to 5 pm on the following weekends this fall:

Saturday, September 8

Saturday, October 13

Saturday, November 10

You must attend all three Saturdays.

Below are the course studies available at this year’s Course of Study School:


Course #



Administration and Policy


Blake Bradford;

Bible III


Jane Harris;

Theological Heritage IV


Andrew Thompson;



David Hawkins

Theological Reflection: Practice of Ministry


Teri and Dave Daily

Registration Link:

2018 Gathering of the Order of the Elders

Attention All Elders!

Full Connection, Newly Ordained, Provisional, and Retired
2018 Gathering of the Order of the Elders:  
A Time of Renewal and Re-Creation
Monday, August 6 – Tuesday, August 7
at the Student Life and Technology Center at Hendrix College.

This gathering is designed to create a community of support, fellowship, and worship in a space away from our immediate ministry contexts. Join us as we share celebrations, challenges, and concerns about the future of the church. Take time to refresh and recharge for the coming season of ministry.

Cost: $49 which includes materials, dinner on Monday and lunch on Tuesday. Lodging and breakfast are on your own.

Register online at