James Thomas “Jim” Ford, 1919-2017

The Rev. James Thomas “Jim” Ford, 97, of Norphlet, passed from this life into eternity Sunday, April 30, 2017, at Timberlane Health and Rehab in El Dorado, Arkansas. He was born Aug. 8, 1919, in Furlow Community, just outside Lonoke, Arkansas, to John Newton Ford and Sarah Frances Shirley Ford. He was a preacher in the United Methodist Church for 33 years serving the Holly Springs UMC charge, Strong UMC charge, Taylor UMC charge, Norphlet UMC charge, Hampton UMC charge and the Camden Timothy UMC charge. After retirement, he and his wife Lola made their home in Norphlet where they were both members of the Norphlet UMC and he served as interim pastor to the Pleasant Grove UMC charge for a year. He served as a volunteer at South Arkansas Medical Center for 26 years. He served in the United States Army. He often said how thankful he was for his family and all the blessings the family has enjoyed. Preceding him in death were his wife of 67 years, Lola Caldwell Ford; his parents; brothers, John Ford, Joe Ford and Bill Fulbright; and sisters, Elizabeth Kimzey, Ludie Baldwin, Louella Hortsman and Katherine Thresher.  Survivors include his three daughters and sons-in-law, Karen and Ricky Evans of Calion, Linda and Cecil Polk of Norphlet, Diane and Denny Barrett of Searcy; six grandchildren, Schelley Covas (Jose’), Bud Evans (Terri), Brandon Polk (Kerri) all of Norphlet, Chris Polk (Melissa) of Wooster, Raegan Jordan (Brent) of San Antonio, Texas, and Rane Barrett of Hensley; 12 great-grandchildren, Caylie Covas (fiancé Nick Lambert), Evan Covas, Tripp Evans, Tucker Evans, Creighton Polk, Hayes Polk, Mathis Polk, J.T. Polk, Mitchell Polk, Ryan Polk, Barrett Jordan and Ryleigh Jordan; brother, V.L. Ford of Jacksonville, Arkansas; several nieces and nephews; many friends; and the loving staff at Timberlane Health and Rehab. Funeral services were held Thursday, May 4, 2017, at Norphlet United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Ron Newberry officiating. Burial followed at Rest Haven Memorial Gardens. Memorials may be made to Norphlet United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 28, Norphlet, AR 71759; Arkansas Rice Depot/Arkansas Foodbank, P.O. Box 34427, Little Rock, AR 72203-9991; or LifeTouch Hospice, 2301 Champagnolle Rd., El Dorado, AR...

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Patricia Lowry Taylor, 1928-2017

Patricia Jean Lowry Taylor, 88, passed away May 8, 2017, in Little Rock, Arkansas. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on Oct. 26, 1928, to the Rev. Forrest A. and Marie Shelton Lowry. She graduated at the top of her class from William Jewel College in Liberty, Missouri, and went on to earn her nursing degree from Missouri Baptist Hospital. As a registered nurse, she worked in the Little Rock Public School system and as a psych nurse at the Health Center at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She married the Rev. Joseph E. Taylor in 1952 and served alongside him at United Methodist congregations in Rose City, Fayetteville, Osceola, North Little Rock, Springdale and Fort Smith. She was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and lived her life in service to others. Pat always held the title of “best cook in the church” in each and every charge the Taylor family served. She is preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, “Brother Joe” Taylor, and by her eldest son, Stephen Taylor. Survivors include her daughter, Susan Kincannon (Jim) of Maumelle; sons, David Taylor of Springfield, Missouri, and Jonathan Taylor (Dianne Shaughnessy) of Washington D.C.; a daughter-in-law, Nancy Taylor, of Springdale; ten grandchildren: Spencer Taylor (Tatiana) of Fayetteville; Stuart, Jacob, Ryan and Catrina Taylor of Springdale; Sarah Kincannon of Little Rock; Rachel Gillespie (Tyler) of Dallas, Texas; Lauren, Ethan and Christian Taylor, all of Springfield, and she was anxiously awaiting the arrival of her first two great-grandchildren, Will Gillespie of Dallas and Baby Taylor of Springdale. Special gratitude is expressed towards the compassionate staff of Hospice Inpatient Center in Little Rock for their loving care and tender kindness toward our mother. The funeral service was held at First United Methodist Church Maumelle on Monday, May 15, 2017, with visitation preceding, and with burial following at Oakland Cemetery in Clarksville, Arkansas. Memorials may be made to First UMC, 1201 Edgewood Drive, Maumelle, AR...

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Lucille Nix, 1930-2017

Lucille Holley Nix, 86, of Lonoke, passed away Wednesday, April 5, 2017. She was born Nov. 16, 1930, to John and Mabel Holley, and grew up in Garland City, Arkansas. Twenty-two years later, after obtaining an accounting degree from Southern State University, Lucille married the love of her life, James Ellis Nix, and they spent 65 years sharing life. Lucille was first and foremost a Christian who spent her life dedicated to her family, church and community. She served as president of the Little Rock Conference of United Methodist Women and was a delegate to the World Methodist Conference. She lived to help others and was a role model to many younger women. She has left an imprint on every life she touched. As an avid Razorback fan, Lucille was always ready to put on her red and cheer loudly for the Hogs. Besides her parents, Lucille was preceded in death by her sister Nellie and brothers Buster, Chester, Jesse and Ray. She is survived by her husband, James; daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Richard Phelps; grandchildren, Peyton Phelps and Garrett Phelps; and sister, Doris Holley. She is also survived by seven sisters-in-law, one brother-in-law and a host of nieces and nephews. A celebration of Lucille’s life was held Saturday, April 8, at First United Methodist Church Lonoke. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 220 South Center St., P.O. Box 152, Lonoke, AR...

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Bishop May, ‘holy boldness’ advocate, dies at 81

By Sam Hodges United Methodist News Service Bishop Felton E. May often spoke of the need for “holy boldness”—and his admirers said he lived the phrase. He was a forceful preacher and a force away from the pulpit. “You did not have to ask him to enter the fray,” said James H. Salley, associate vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement for Africa University, a United Methodist school. “If he saw it and felt it was wrong, he opposed it. If he felt it was right and something he needed to support, he did it.” May died Feb. 27 at age 81, at his home in Ellicott City, Maryland. He had been under hospice care for pancreatic cancer. Survivors include Phyllis Henry May, his wife of 53 years; two children, Daphne May Brown and Felton May II; and eight grandchildren. Bishop LaTrelle Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Conference announced May’s passing and called him “a giant of the United Methodist Church.” “I urge us all to actively keep his family and all those who loved him in our prayers,” she said. During five decades of ministry, May led United Methodist churches, conferences and agencies. He was the first African-American bishop of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. He helped start both Africa University and the denomination’s Communities of Shalom movement. May made church-related visits to the White House, but also accepted a first-ever “set-aside” episcopal assignment to the streets of Washington, during a spike in drug-related violence. Through his ministry, he acted on a deep concern for those on the margins. “What I saw was a person who showed bold leadership, a person who was visionary and a person who didn’t mind taking risks on behalf of those who tended to be left outside,” said Bishop Marcus Matthews, who was a district superintendent under May. Matthews retired as bishop of the Baltimore-Washington Conference in 2016. May was born in Chicago in 1935. He grew up in an apartment on the South Side and regularly attending a Baptist church with his mother and siblings. While a student at local Judson College, May worked part-time at a reform synagogue. Rabbi Louis Leopold Mann recommended that he become a part of St. James Methodist Church, which had a commitment to integration. “I think God has called you to be a minister,” May, speaking in 2009 at Wesley Theological Seminary, recalled the rabbi saying. May also remembered being incredulous at the rabbi’s assertion, but was soon involved in leading Sunday school and youth programs at St. James. “And then I began to read Methodist literature and its social witness, and it made sense to me. I felt I was called by God to do that,” he told the Baltimore Sun for a 2001 profile. May was active as a young adult in civil rights work, including Operation Breadbasket. He was ordained as a deacon in the Northern Illinois Conference in 1962 and served two pastoral appointments in Chicago, one of them a church start. To get Maple Park Methodist going, May and his wife knocked on doors, started a children’s ministry and held worship services. The church was chartered with 15 families and grew to 300 in weekly attendance during May’s time. It also was active in civil rights and other social justice advocacy. In 1968, May transferred to...

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Ellavee H. Swift, 1925-2017

Ellavee H. Swift, 91, of Tulsa, Okla., passed away Sunday, March 19, 2017, at Legend Senior Living. She was born June 5, 1925, in Dierks, Ark., to John Preston and Ethel Lee Hobson. On Sept. 28, 1945, she married the Rev. Clyde N. Swift, and during their 64 years together she served with him in ministry for 45 years at various Methodist and United Methodist churches in the Little Rock Conference. Following her husband’s official retirement, they both continued to serve in ministry in small churches. Ellavee is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, the Rev. Clyde N. Swift; a sister, Geraldine Edge; and a son-in-law, Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She leaves cherishing her memory one son, the Rev. David E. Swift and his wife, Ann, of Tulsa; one daughter, Pastor Sharon Daugherty of Tulsa, Okla.; six grandchildren: Sarah Wehrli and her husband, Caleb, of Orlando, Florida; Matthew Swift and his wife, Season, of Jones, Oklahoma; Ruth Sanders and her husband, Adam, of Frisco, Texas; Ella Wisley and her husband, Josh, of Fayetteville, Arkansas; John Daugherty and his wife, Charica, of Tulsa; and Paul Daugherty and his wife, Ashley, of Tulsa; nine great-grandchildren: Isaac and Elizabeth Wehrli; Sophie, Samuel and Bonnie Swift; Tovah and Ziva Sanders; Blythe, Jude and Monte Daugherty, Liam and Beniah Daugherty; Kathryn Wisley; and a number nieces, nephews and other relatives. A memorial service was held Friday, March 24, 2017, in the main sanctuary of Victory Christian Center. Interment took place Thursday, March 23, at East Memorial Gardens in Texarkana, Arkansas. To honor Ellavee’s memory in lieu of flowers, consider contributing to Victory Special Needs ministry, Tulsa Dream Center or Billy Joe Daugherty Legacy...

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