Obituary for the Rev. William Payne “Dub” Fiser

The Rev. William Payne “Dub” Fiser, 94, departed this earthly life on Saturday, May 18, 2019 in Little Rock under the care of Hospice.

Dub was born July 31, 1924 in Sweet Home, Pulaski County, Arkansas to Robert Payne Fiser and Mable Esther Dixon Fiser. During his senior year at Fuller High School Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States declared war. Dub enlisted in the Army Air Corp in the summer of 1942 after his 18th birthday and was trained first as an aircraft mechanic and then as a Cadet for pilot training. He completed training as a B-24 pilot and was then moved to B-29’s. He was stationed in El Paso, Texas and was standing outside on the flight line early one morning in July 1945 when he saw a huge flash in the Northern sky, the first test of an atomic bomb.

After the war he returned to Sweet Home and tried farming with his father but the boll weevils destroyed their crops two years in a row so he sought other work. He married Golma Irene Daniel on Dec 18, 1948 and they eloped to Benton. He went to work for his uncle Paul Dixon and Harold Balios at Dixon Dairy where he started with delivering milk and then graduated to working in the business office. He had a religious conversion and was called to become a Methodist Minister, attending college at what is now UALR while continuing to work at Dixon Dairy including loading milk trucks at 4 AM. Golma and Dub’s only child, William Payne Fiser, Jr., was born February 18, 1953. Dub attended seminary at SMU Perkins School of Theology in a nontraditional pathway going to summer school for 6 years which meant moving to Dallas every summer. Dub officially became Reverend Fiser in 1958 and was fully ordained in 1964.

During his ministry Dub served many churches, including Brasfield on Cache River; Pride Valley, now Highland Valley; the Hickory Plains Circuit which included Hickory Plains, Johnson Chapel, Cross Roads, Hebron, Old Austin, Bethlehem, and Providence; Tigert in Hot Springs, including Fountain Lake and Morning Star; Elaine, including Mellwood and Wabash Federated Church; Wesley in Springdale, including Mt. Hebron; Rosewood in West Memphis; St. Paul in Jonesboro, including Mount Carmel; and Trinity in North Little Rock. After retiring he served as visitation minister at St. Paul in Little Rock.

Dub was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Golma Irene Daniel Fiser, who passed away in 2010, Georgia Mae Russenberger, his wife who passed away in 2015, his parents, and his younger brother, Thomas Edwin Fiser.

Dub’s legacy will be cherished by his son William Payne Fiser, Jr. MD and wife Gina; his three grandchildren, Rachel Fiser Klotzman and husband Spencer in Victoria, Texas, Christian Cole Fiser and wife Amber in Little Rock, and Elizabeth Payne Fiser in Rogers; his three great-grandchildren, Eliza Claire Klotzman, Christian Cole Fiser, and Hollis Claire Fiser; his two younger sisters, Margaret Elizabeth Langston and Esther May Poulin; and many nieces and nephews.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2019 from 5:30 PM until 7:30 PM at Roller-Chenal Funeral home on Chenal Parkway. The funeral service and burial will be held on Friday, May 24, 2019 at 10:00 AM at Primrose United Methodist Church on Dixon Road. Pallbearers will be Cole Fiser, Spencer Klotzman, David Fiser, Lance Schmidt, Brad Daniel, Austin Calhoun, John Wayne Daniel (honorary), John Scott Daniel (honorary), Harold Balios (honorary), and Drew Illing (honorary). In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Primrose United Methodist Church or the Primrose Cemetery Association.

Obituary for Sidney Carol (McMillan) Clark

Sidney Carol (McMillan) Clark

Sidney Carol (McMillan) Clark, “Cissy”, wife of the late Allen Clark of Hot Springs, Arkansas passed away Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at Hillcrest Nursing Care Center in DeSoto, Missouri.

Born February 16, 1954 in Malvern, Arkansas, she was the daughter of the late William Henry and Vivian Kight McMillan. Cissy attended the University of Arkansas in Pine Bluff and Hendrix University. Later in life, she found enjoyment with volunteering in the Methodist Church. She channeled this love of the church by becoming a Pastor at Sparkman, Dalark, and Bethlehem Methodist Churches in Clark County. She was also an Associate Pastor at Keith Memorial and L’eau Fraiz Methodist Churches in Hot Spring County.

She is survived by her children, Sean Nichols (Erin) and Candice Nelson (Brian), and a step-son Allen Clark Jr, two granddaughters, Jessica and Briana Nelson and four step-grandsons Riley and Connor Hunter and David and Ryan Clark, her sister, Anne Blackburn (David), as well as her first husband Ervin Nichols.

Services will be private.

Obituary for the Rev. Bill R. Kelton

Bill R. Kelton was born July 16, 1928, in Black Jack, Okla., and went home to be with the Lord Saturday, May 18, 2019, at a local nursing home. He was a retired Methodist minister, having served churches in Hartford, Midland and Hackett, as well as City Heights and New Hope in Van Buren, He retired from Heritage Church as pastoral care pastor.
He was preceded in death by his parents, W.R. and Mary (Ross) Kelton; two sisters, Ruby King and Gwen Haggard; and one brother, M.B. Kelton.
Memorial service will be at noon Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at Heritage United Methodist Church in Van Buren, under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home in Van Buren.
He is survived by his wife, Emma Lee (Hammontree) Kelton of the home; two sons, Steve Kelton of Van Buren and Kevin Kelton of Fort Smith; three grandchildren, Amanda Davis and husband Matt of Beebe, Daniel Kelton and wife Tara of Greenwood and Kelsey Kelton of Rogers; and four great-grandchildren, Georgia and Jack Davis of Beebe and Charlie and Chase Kelton of Greenwood.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Heritage Church Building Fund, 1604 E. Pointer Trail, Van Buren, AR 72956.
Online tributes may be made at

Camp Tanako Summer 2019 Schedule

Camp Tanako provides a time and place for children and youth to retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, reconnect with old friends, make new friends, open themselves to God in new ways through community with nature and others, and have the time of their lives. We emphasize extending Christian hospitality to each other and practice living in accordance with the Fruits of the Spirit. This year, Peace Works is the theme for each week. We worship and discuss in small groups around this topic, but we also look for teachable moments throughout the day to incorporate lessons learned from stories in the theme.

Peace Works

Peace Works is about welcoming campers in the hospitable spirit of aloha and invites them to find their place at the table of the parable of the Great Banquet. Then we celebrate our covenant community by exploring ubuntu and what it means to be part of the Body of Christ.

As the community grows closer, they will name the reality of conflict, as stories of Jacob and Esau remind us of our ability to contribute both to conflict and peacemaking. Shalom calls us out of conflict, to find peace with God and each other. Jesus shows us what God’s agape love looks like and how it reconciles us to God, even when we are unaware or do not fully understand. We try to model the vulnerable love and humble service of Jesus, demonstrated in washing the disciples’ feet, as we seek peace with others.

The Japanese concept of heiwa invites us to also look within as we work for peace, putting harmony over competition to find peace within our own hearts. Balancing our love of God, love of neighbor, and love of self is not easy, but it is at the core of Christian living. As we prepare to leave camp, we revisit the concept of aloha, and receive Jesus’ benediction and promise of peace that will remain with us always. We remember that the same Spirit that welcomed us, has dwelt with us, and now sends and accompanies us in our peace works at home.

Mini Camp

Mini camp is a perfect chance for young elementary campers to try their first overnight experience. This 2-night / 3-day camp is designed for rising 1st-3rd graders. From the time they arrive until they are picked up, there is a whirlwind of camp activities, fun, and new things to try that help them develop and build self-confidence. And most importantly, camp gives children time to experience God through nature, worship together, and practice living in Christian community.

Adventure Camp

Arkansas is an amazingly beautiful place. Adventure camp serves to showcase some spectacular chapters of creation while giving campers an opportunity to be adventurous and try something new and challenging.
This year, we will be going on a Wild Cave tour at Blanchard Springs Cavern near Mountain View. The cave tour lasts about 3-4 hours and is fairly strenuous, but amazing cave formations and other wonders make it worthwhile. When we’re above ground, we’ll camp in the park, hike some of the trails, and fish for trout in Mirror Lake. This camp is for 7th-9th graders.

Discovery Camp

Discovery camp is a 3 day/4 night camp designed for campers going into 1st-4th grades. It’s perfect for younger campers who are ready to spend an extra night at camp, but also for campers old enough for elementary camp who may not be ready to spend a week away from home. Each day campers will participate in worship, games, family group activities like daily Bible studies, archery, kayaking, nature hikes, and more.

Jr. High

Jr. High camp is a 6 day/5 night camp for raising 7th-9th graders. Jr. High camp is structured similarly to Elementary, but with a few different challenging, age-appropriate activities. Jr. High also has the option for Outpost and horseback riding.

Sr. High

Hammett Evans from Monticello is writing the curriculum for Sr. High camp themed around Stranger Things.

MAD Camp

This is a camp designed for campers interested in music, theater, and the arts. Campers will work all week putting together an original production, building sets, and performing for parents and staff at the end of the camp session.

Fishing Camp

We fish most weeks during the summer, but this weekend camp is all about fishing. The Arkansas Game and Fish stocks hundreds of catchable catfish into an enclosed area on our part of Lake Catherine. Campers will need to bring a quality fishing pole and reel, tackle and bait will be provided. After fishing camp, the catfish are released into Lake Catherine.

Elementary Camp

Elementary Camp is a 6 day/5 night camp for raising 3rd – 6th graders. Campers spend the week in family groups worshiping, doing daily Bible studies, and participating in all the favorite games and activities. Elementary campers also have the options to cook dinner over a campfire and sleep in a hammock for one night at Outpost and/or go horseback riding one afternoon. The emphasis remains on experiencing God through nature and community while practicing faithful living.

St. James Celebrates 50 Years in Ministry

St. James Celebrates 50 Years in Ministry

By Kim Anderson

In April 2018, St. James United Methodist Church of Little Rock began a year-long celebration of 50 years in ministry for Christ. As the planning for this anniversary began, the committee wanted to honor the past and look forward to the future. Four large events were held throughout the year along with numerous other projects to help accomplish this goal.

St. James began a year-long celebration of its 50th Anniversary with a Handbell Concert on April 15, 2018 in honor of Martha Lynn and Felix Thompson. Words cannot express the appreciation and respect we have for Martha Lynn and Felix. They were instrumental in starting the music program at St. James. In addition, Martha Lynn developed a system of teaching handbells so that even those with no music reading ability could share their love of Christ through music. For more than 30 years, the Thompsons saw at least two generations of St. James members grow, learn, have fun, and become family together.

The Rev. Carness Vaughn (left), senior pastor of St. James UMC and Bishop Gary Mueller (right) at the April 7, 2019 worship service at St. James. || Photo provided by St. James UMC

Through bell choir trips, musical recordings, publishing of music, and their love of God, children, youth and adults have come to know Christ and appreciate music. At the concert, each of the current handbell choirs performed at least two pieces of music that were arranged either by Martha Lynn Thompson or Frances Callahan. A special commissioned piece, “What Gift Can We Bring,” was played by the Canticle Ringers, and was written by Jane Marshall and arranged by Hart Morris. One of the biggest joys of the afternoon was to see the Alumni Ringers. Thirteen individuals came together to ring once again in honor and appreciation of Martha Lynn and Felix. Another joy of the day was to see the Rev. Greg Schick interview the Thompsons.
The second large event was a 50th Anniversary Homecoming Lunch on July 8. Charter members and former pastors were invited to join us for special worship services. Following the worship services, a lunch and program was held in the Christian Life Center. The Praises Band, Chancel Choir, and St. James Ringers provided the music. We had a wonderful time looking back at St. James through the decades. Members who joined St. James in each decade shared memories and highlights of their years at St. James.

Thursday, August 9 St. James members joined together to provide the children at Methodist Children’s Home the Best Day Ever! The residents at Methodist Family Health came to St. James to enjoy games, face painting, water games, inflatables and of course lunch. As a special treat, a shaved ice truck was available for all to enjoy. The first worship service of St. James United Methodist was held in the chapel at the Methodist Children’s Home. We share a rich history of mutual support, encouragement, and mission. This was an awesome day enjoyed by the residents, staff, and members of St. James. New connections and opportunities for joint ministry came from this event.

The year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of St. James concluded with a special worship service and luncheon on Sunday, April 7. Bishop Gary Mueller preached at the 10:55 a.m. services) along with music from the early days of St. James. Music Director, Kira Keating, went through the archives to find the very first anthems and hymns from St. James’ inception. In the traditional service, there was a combined children’s and youth anthem as well as the brass quartet that accompanied much of the service, all arranged by our own Children’s Music Director, Kyle Blackburn. The bells played the 50th anniversary commissioned piece. A commissioned benediction song in honor of the 50th Anniversary was heard for the first time.

Following the special worship services was a church-family lunch in the Christian Life Center. The theme for this event was Stepping Forward Together in Faith. Young couples shared with us why they are excited about the future of St. James and their dreams for their church in the future.

Throughout the year, other activities and project were undertaken. One was a second-mile Anniversary Gift campaign. In March of 2018 & 2019, members were invited to give $50 plus $5 a year for every year of membership at St. James. This second-mile gift would be split evenly between Methodist Family Health Chapel Campaign and retiring the St. James debt. This was done to honor our past (Methodist Children’s Chapel) and prepare for the future. To date, over $115,000 has been donated towards this campaign.

A choir, composed of children and adults, sings during the worship service at St. James on April 7, 2019. || Photo provided by St. James UMC

A timeline of decade highlights from the first 50 years of St. James history has been installed outside the Worship Center. This two-year long project was designed by member Lesley Cooper with the help of the archives committee. Members of the archives committee are Frances Jernigan, Nan Tucker, Evelyn Kiernan, Sandra Karcher, Ferris Garrison, Lou Lane and Mary Epperson. The archives committee gathered and organized the historical data and photos into decades; a lengthy process. The history of St. James is full of big and small moments. The task of distilling those many moments into key highlighted moments and developing the story of St. James fell to Lesley Cooper, who finalized the design and oversaw production of the timeline with Lisa Havniear of LA Designs. “I couldn’t have done any of it without the extraordinary efforts of the archives committee. I can’t thank them enough,” Cooper said. We hope you’ll enjoy this new exhibit brought to you by the 50th Anniversary Committee, and look forward to the next 50 years of St. James history.

Another project of the Anniversary was to renovate Cottey Parlor. This space had not been updated since it was first built in the early 80’s. A 50th Anniversary St. James Cookbook was created to raise money for the renovation. It is filled with special recipes from current members and past members. Proceeds from the sale of the cookbook went to help with the refurbishing of Cottey Parlor.

Through the support of the Board of Trustees, private donations, and proceeds from cookbook sales the parlor has been updated and renovated. It now serves a dual purpose of a parlor and a chapel.