Hendrix College Welcomes Three New Board of Trustees Members
Coburn ’81, Norman, Pair ’94 to begin Board service with October meeting

Rev. Stephen Coburn

Rev. Mark Norman

Rev. Sara Cole Pair

CONWAY, Ark. (July 16, 2019) – Three new members have been named to the Hendrix College Board of Trustees: the Rev. Stephen Coburn ’81, the Rev. Mark Norman, and the Rev. Sara Cole Pair ’94. These United Methodist clergy will begin their three-year terms at the Board’s October meeting.

Coburn, who currently serves as district superintendent and chief mission strategist of the Northwest District within the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hendrix and a Master of Divinity degree from Iliff School of Theology. The Monticello native has served in pastor and associate pastor roles in churches around the state, most recently as senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Springdale.

An avid photographer, Coburn has recently begun selling prints of his photos to benefit 200,000 Reasons, the Arkansas Conference’s statewide initiative to alleviate childhood hunger, which the College also supports through activities associated with its Office of Religious Life.

Norman currently serves as district superintendent and chief mission strategist of the Southeast District within the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church. A graduate of Philander Smith College, where he also serves on the Board of Trustees, he earned his Master of Divinity degree at St. Paul School of Theology. His most recent congregation-level appointment was as associate pastor of First United Methodist Church of Benton.

His involvement in the denomination has included service on the United Methodist General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, and serving as a delegate to the 2016, 2019, and 2020 General Conferences, having been the first-elected clergyperson to the Arkansas delegation. Norman is a Little Rock native who lives in White Hall. His daughter is a current Hendrix student.

Pair, who is originally from Paragould, has served as pastor of Sequoyah United Methodist Church in Fayetteville since 2010. After graduating from Hendrix, she earned her Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, and went on to serve congregations in Dallas, Fort Smith, Alma, and Conway before moving to Fayetteville.

She is a member of the Fayetteville Ministerial Alliance, and has served the Arkansas Conference on the Board of Ordained Ministry, Administrative Review Committee, Committee on Investigation, Northwest District Board of Church Location, and as vice-chair of Conference Board of Finance and Administration.

“We are looking forward to having Stephen, Mark, and Sara share their time, abilities, and perspectives as members of the Board,” said Bill Tsutsui, president of the College. “Their talents will serve Hendrix well as we continue to provide an environment that cultivates a spirit of inquiry and an eagerness for active learning that will extend beyond students’ four years on campus.”

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.

Ozark Mission Project Gets to Work in Pine Bluff

Ozark Mission Project Gets to Work in Pine Bluff

This year, the Ozark Mission Project traveled to different cities around the state to help out their neighbors by repainting homes, building wheelchair ramps, tending gardens, and other service projects.

OMP held camps throughout June and July, from Fayetteville to Texarkana, Jonesboro to El Dorado and everywhere in between.

Our Conference Communication team traveled to Pine Bluff to witness the work that a group of youth and adults from Lafayette, Louisiana were doing for a lady named Bernice Hayes in Pine Bluff.

You can watch the video below and see the amazing work of OMP. If you are reading the print version, visit bit.ly/omp-pine-bluff to watch.

Tropical Storm Barry Update

Tropical Storm Barry Update

As Tropical Storm Barry threatens the gulf coast, please join us in prayer for those that have already been affected by heavy rainfall and flooding.

UMCOR is in close communication with disaster response coordinators in the region. As we continue to monitor the progress of the storm and its potential impact, we will share ways in which you can help.


Tropical Storm Barry made its way slowly through the state on Monday and Tuesday, dumping a dangerous amount of rain that led to flooding and closed roads in many Southern counties.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Tropical Storm Barry — which was downgraded to a Depression when it made its way to Arkansas — released more than 11 inches of rain in a 24-hour period in portions of Southeast and South-Central Arkansas. A majority of the flooding occurred in Howard and Clark Counties.

Janice Mann, disaster response coordinator for the Arkansas Conference, said that many streets and roads were affected by the rain.

A few churches in the area were also affected, including flooding in the basement of Gurdon UMC.

In Nashville, Arkansas, many homes and businesses were affected by the flash flooding late Monday night into Tuesday morning. The county jail, as well as the Nashville Police Department and City Hall, were damaged by flooding, according to the Democrat-Gazette.

The Rev. Daniel Kirkpatrick, pastor of Nashville First UMC, said he is grateful no one has been injured from the flooding and the church is now in recovery mode and focused on cleanup.

“Byron Mann is on his way today, July 17, from Conway to deliver flood buckets for our church to distribute for Nashville and communities in Howard County,” Kirkpatrick said. “Our DS, the Rev. JJ Galloway, has also reached out to offer help and support. First Methodist Church was built in 1982 on high ground so we are grateful to God we were spared any damage.

“We appreciate the prompt, compassionate, and practical response and prayers from our Methodist sisters and brothers.”

Mann said they are continuing to monitor the situation in Howard, Clark and other counties affected by flooding, and will give updates on volunteer and clean-up opportunities at a later time.

Continue watching this post for updates on the storm.

Nancy Wood Scholarship Recipient to Attend Dillard University in the Fall

From left to right: Bryn Bagwell, Paulina Webber, and Nancy M. Wood

Paulina Webber, a member of Wesley Chapel UMC in Little Rock has been named the 2019-20 Nancy McDonald Wood Scholarship recipient. Mrs. Wood and her daughter, Bryn Bagwell, announced the award during the Palm Sunday church service. The daughter of Mrs. Jo Webber, Paulina will receive $5,000 toward her freshman enrollment at Dillard University in New Orleans, a Historically Black College and University.

Webber, a 2019 graduate of Parkview High School with a 3.9-grade point, has had strong leadership roles in several extracurricular activities including Beta Club, Dance Ambassador, and NHS. She began her community service as a young child when she and her mother often fed hungry homeless people under the bridge in Little Rock. In more recent years, Paulina was active in a weekly food pantry at her church and in The Great Giveaway which distributes school supplies and uniforms to children.

After experiencing Girls State last year and being elected to the Arkansas Supreme Court there, Paulina became even more interested in how the legal community could help poor disenfranchised people. She plans to enroll in Dillard in the fall with the goal of becoming a lawyer. In her application, Paulina recalled Galatians 6: “..as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone.”

The NMWood scholarship, established in 2015, is administered by the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas and is open to a young woman who has been active in her home church and who carries her Christian values out into her community. The scholarship was established by friends and family of Nancy M. Wood to honor her interest in strong female lay leadership in the church. Harper Purifoy, the first Wood Scholar, graduated from Hendrix College in May 2019.

2019-20 applications for the scholarship will be available in the fall at arumc.org.

General Conference 2020 Petition Submission Process Opens

General Conference 2020 Petition Submission Process Opens

NASHVILLE, TENN. — Petitions for consideration by the 2020 General Conference may be submitted to the Petitions Secretary now through September 18, 2019.

According to church law, “Any organization, clergy member, or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference…”.

Detailed instructions for submitting a petition are available on the General Conference website at umc.org/gcpetition. Petitions must be typed and may be submitted through the General Conference website, by postal mail or fax, or via e-mail to petitionsecretary@umcgc.org. This e-mail address should be used for petition submission only. All other correspondence should be directed to aherrera@umcgc.org.

Due to the passage of legislative material by the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference, an addendum to The Book of Discipline 2016 may be found at https://www.umofficialresources.com/updates. These paragraphs replace what is printed in The Book of Discipline 2016.  Petitions related to these paragraphs must reference the material in the Addendum. The Errata (corrections) for The Book of Discipline 2016 are included at the end of the Addendum document and should also be considered in petition texts.

The mailing address for petitions (hard copy accompanied by digital version on USB drive) is:

Abby Parker Herrera, Petitions Secretary
United Methodist General Conference
7409 Barcelona Drive
Austin, TX 78752

Eligible petitions are given numbers and assigned to one of 14 legislative committees or the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters. The committees will debate the proposals and determine whether to approve, amend, combine or reject them for recommendation to the full body of General Conference.

When submitting a petition, you must indicate whether a petition has “general church budget implications,” meaning a petition that causes the need for funding (i.e., creation of a new program, staff position, support requirements, etc.) through the general church apportionments. Such petitions require review by the General Council on Finance and Administration to verify if the funding is already included under the recommended quadrennial budget.

Submitters must also indicate whether a petition has “global implications,” meaning it is a constitutional amendment, has a direct effect on the global work of general agencies, places requirements or expectations on all annual conferences, districts or churches, or speaks to societal concerns regardless of the particular form of secular government.

Questions about the petition submission process may be submitted by e-mail to the Petitions Secretary at aherrera@umcgc.org.


About General Conference
General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church. The assembly meets at the beginning of each quadrennium to consider revisions to church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. It also approves plans and budgets for church-wide programs for the next four years. General Conference 2020 will take place May 5-15, 2020, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis. 

Media Contact: Diane Degnan
(615) 742-5406 (office) (615) 483-1765 (cell)