Davidson Campground To Hold 137th Annual Encampment

Davidson Campground will hold its 137th annual encampment starting July 23, 2021, through August 1, 2021. Services will be held daily at 7:45 pm. The dress is casual. An opening prayer service will be on Thursday, July 22, 2021, at 8:00 pm by Rev. Travis Langley. The Memorial Service and closing service will be held Sunday, August 1, 2021, at 11:00 am by Rev. Travis Langley also.

The pastor for this year’s encampment will be the Rev. Charlie Williams, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Murfreesboro.

Children and youth activities are planned daily. A youth service for children ages 6th through 12th grade will also be held daily after each evening service.

The campground is located 12 miles west of Arkadelphia off of Arkansas Highway 26.

To reserve an RV site or for cabin information feel free to contact Blake Batson at 870-246-9844.

Salem Camp Meeting Continues Tradition

Salem Camp Meeting is a yearly event that gives everyone the chance to gather under the arbor, visit with neighbors, sing the good old songs, listen to great music and preaching, and shout “Amen”.  In other words, it’s a place to revive your spirit.

Services have been held at Salem Campground (located at Salem United Methodist Church) almost every year since 1836.  Two events have kept it from being continuous, the Civil War and the Covid Pandemic (2020).  In the old days, the campground was covered with primitive cabins called tents where people who lived too far away to go back and forth every night would set up camp and only go home occasionally to see after farm animals.  Eventually the camping stopped because everyone owned an automobile and could travel back and forth easily.  We still call it the Salem Campground but it’s no longer used for camping.

Originally the services lasted for ten days or more with sermons preached throughout each day.  During the time that I attended as a child, I remember we met in the morning and evening of each day and three times on Sundays!  As a teenager, I remember sitting around a campfire one year at night after services and Rev. George Wayne Martin played his guitar and we all sang.  Mostly they were fun songs like “There’s A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea” but we ended with a song like “Amazing Grace”.

Salem Camp Meeting this year is on August 1-5 starting at 6:30 each night.  The service will consist of congregational singing, special music, and preaching.  Kathleen Dockery will be our pianist and Randy Mason will be our song leader each night.  This year we have the following five preachers scheduled:

Date Preacher Home Church
Sun Aug 1 Rev. Mark Norman Highland Valley UMC, Little Rock
Mon Aug 2 Rev. Todd-Paul Taulbee First UMC, Sheridan
Tues Aug 3 Rev. Hammett Evans Asbury UMC, Little Rock
Wed Aug 4 Rev. Natasha Murray-Norman St. James UMC, Pine Bluff
Thurs Aug 5 Rev. Roy Smith Trinity UMC, Little Rock

Our mission project this year is twofold.  We are asking everyone to bring new or gently used children’s books to be donated to Salem Elementary students.  We will also have a lemonade stand one night to provide funds for The Call.

We hope you will come and enjoy camp meeting with us this year!  There will be free popsicles and water available.  And at least one night there will be free ice cream!

COVID-19: A Rapidly Changing Landscape

The last several weeks have seen a rise in COVID-19 cases in many communities in Arkansas. During the last two days, the number of reported and active cases, hospitalizations and deaths have dramatically increased. This new and dangerous landscape is the result of the Delta variant present in our communities, vaccines possibly being less effective and the fact that the number of people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 has plateaued at an alarmingly low rate.

I have worked closely with the Bishop’s COVID-19 Task Force to develop the latest guidance as your Boards of Trustees use the ARUMC dashboard, CDC guidelines and information about the vaccination rate in your congregation to make decisions about how best to keep those in your church safe. While none of us like having to remain vigilant after having such high hopes about the vaccine allowing life to return to normal, we must deal with reality the way it is and not the way we wish it were.

1. Utilize the ARUMC COVID-19 dashboard.

  • Check the county-focused dashboard that now contains vaccine data and may be found here: https://arumc.org/covid19/dashboard/
  • Be aware that the benchmarks do not account for the vaccine data, nor do they distinguish between non-vaccinated cases or vaccinated cases.
  • Consider collecting self-reported vaccine data from individuals in your ministry setting without asking any questions other than “Have you been vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus?” This may help you better understand how many of the people attending events at your church are vaccinated.

2. Continue to follow the safety guidelines set forth by the CDC.

  • Access the CDC links on the ARUMC website that are updated weekly and may be found here: https://arumc.org/covid19/
  • Strongly recommend, or perhaps even mandate, that those not vaccinated wear masks and socially distance by at least 6 feet.
  • Move events outside if members of your congregation test COVID positive.

3. Act to keep our children safe. Since they cannot receive a vaccine yet, children under age 12 should be considered high-risk for contracting COVID-19.

  • Create a ‘cocoon of safety’ by asking everyone – vaccinated and unvaccinated – to wear masks at church.
  • Encourage all individuals in your community who qualify to get fully vaccinated since this provides the best way to keep our children safe.
  • Follow the safety guidelines for children’s ministries may be found here: https://arumc.org/covid19/safe-church-reopening-guidance/ministries-with-children/

4. Think ahead.

  • Prepare for flu season by continuing to sanitize hard surfaces, offering hand sanitizing stations, limiting shared surfaces, and offering only pre-packaged foods.
  • Help people understand that there is a possibility for vaccinated individuals to require a booster dose of their vaccine later this year.

We do not wish to alarm you, but we believe that churches need to take the lead in keeping people in our congregations and communities safe. Just yesterday, an Arkansas United Methodist Church learned that 4 fully vaccinated members wearing masks who attended worship last Sunday have been diagnosed with COVID.

We are grateful for how Arkansas United Methodists have led the way in responsibly addressing the COVID crisis the past 18 months. It is time for us once again to step forward and make a positive difference in our congregations, communities and state as we proactively address the rapidly changing COVID landscape by getting vaccinated, socially distancing and wearing masks. We join you as you pray for each other and care for each other.

This statement has been compiled and shared by Bishop Gary Mueller
and the Bishop’s COVID-19 Task Force

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Amy Ezell at amy.ezell@arumc.org.



Ebenezer Camp Ground to Hold 200th Annual Encampment

Center Point, Arkansas – Ebenezer will begin its 200th annual encampment with an 8:00 pm service on Friday, July 16th. Daily services will be held at 11:00 am and 8:00 pm with an afternoon service at 3:00 pm on Sunday and Wednesday.

Rev. Carlton Cross of First United Methodist Church of Pine Bluff, Arkansas will be the evangelist. Young campers will be under the direction of Jeremy Carter, of Magnolia, Arkansas. Mrs. Carolyn Carter of Junction City will return as pianist and Morgan Lee of Butterfield, Arkansas will serve as song leader. Rusty Jones of Gurdon, Arkansas will serve as host pastor. Thomas Lee of Butterfield will speak at the lay service on Sunday afternoon.

The Truth Infusion group, including camper Kelly Wright, will offer music beginning at 8:00 pm on Saturday night. The Testimonies plan to return Monday evening for their twentieth meeting. That evening service will be followed by the traditional ice cream supper.

The camp ground is located off Highway 278, three miles north of Center Point. Services will end Thursday evening, July 22nd.

My great grandfather became a regular in 1874 and one of his daughters trained my grandfather to enjoy Ebenezer for years, as my dad did for my mom. It truly is a place of reunion with good food, good preaching, good singing, dinners on the ground, homemade ice-cream and lots of visiting with kith and kin.

For more information, contact: Bob Lee at 501-922-3958 or blee_72104@yahoo.com.

United Methodist Communications to Celebrate Social Media Day

Nashville: United Methodist Communications will celebrate Social Media Day on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 with free learning opportunities throughout the day, featuring a special live learning session Q&A at 12pm CT – all at Facebook.com/UMCom.

United Methodist Communications (UMCom) seeks to equip churches with tools to effectively minister daily via social media platforms. Some of the ways the agency helps local churches are through providing social graphics, how-to-articles, social media training, grants and marketing assistance.

Additionally, the agency shares the messages and stories of the church and the Gospel through daily postings across multiple platforms, offering articles, inspiration, Bible verses and more. With more than 1.6 million followers, United Methodist Communications’ social media channels reach and engage nearly 90 million people inside and outside the church, create community and share messages of God’s love.

The immense power of social media is undeniable. As of 2021, the number of people using social media is over 3.96 billion worldwide – that’s more than 50 percent of the world.

“Social media has revolutionized the way we interact with one another, redefining our communication, interaction, and behavior. This is true for the church as well,” said Poonam Patodia, Chief Marketing Officer. “Social media is more than just being social, it’s ministry – and Social Media Day is a good time to celebrate how it can help churches reach out beyond their surrounding communities.”

UMCom has created a vast array of training and resources through informational articles, videos, Q&A, podcasts, and more. The following is just a small sampling of what’s available:

Live Learning Session: Social Media Day Q&A – Pre-registration is available online with question submissions accepted in advance
– Social Media Marketing for the Local Church
– Facebook Groups for Churches
– Social Media: Your Virtual Front Door
Language Options: Resources in Korean, Spanish, French and Portuguese
– Social Graphics: free and shareable images

Social media resources, along with a complete listing of planned activities, are available at www.umcom.org/socialmediaday.

United Methodist Communications is using the power of social media to share inspiring content, provide opportunities for dialogue and increase awareness of The United Methodist Church and our beliefs—and is resourcing local churches to do the same. To support the work of communication ministry in observance of Social Media Day, please visit resourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.


About United Methodist Communications
As the communications agency for The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Communications seeks to increase awareness and visibility of the denomination in communities and nations around the globe. United Methodist Communications also offers services, tools, and resources for communications ministry. Discover more about the agency at Resourceumc.org/Communications. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Media Contact:
Aaron Crisler

North Little Rock FUMC Hosts Summer Social Justice Lunch and Learn Series


The United Methodist Church has a long and rich history of concern for social justice, and North Little Rock First United Methodist Church is no different.  This summer, NLRFUMC is proud to offer its First Annual Social Justice Summer Lunch and Learn Series.  This series will begin on June 15 and will conclude on July 27.  Each Tuesday will offer a different speaker and a different topic relating to social justice.

“I am so pleased to be able to offer this social justice series at NLRFUMC.” says Rev. Lynn Kilbourne, Senior Pastor of North Little Rock First United Methodist Church.  “The topics are timely and important for all of us, regardless of our individual beliefs, in order to continue to live in loving community with one another.”

Each Lunch and Learn will begin at noon and conclude by 12:45, in order to accommodate lunch breaks.  The schedule is as follows:

June 15: Racial Reconciliation with Rev. Betsy Singleton Snyder

June 22: The School to Prison Pipeline with Former Senator Brenda Gullett

June 29: Climate Change with Dr. Steven Strode

July 6: Asian American Pacific Islander Issues in Arkansas with Joshua Ang Price, Founder of Asian American Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus of Arkansas.

July 13: Social Justice During the Time of Modern Immigration with Vince Insalaco

July 20: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church with Rev. Lynn Kilbourne

July 27: Pay Inequality with Sen. Joyce Elliott

“The range of topics and the expert speakers represent the best of the best to facilitate the discussion of these important subjects in today’s world.” Says Rev. Annie Lankford, Associate Pastor and facilitator of the series.  “Our hope is to attract individuals from around the community to be able to continue discussions on hard and sensitive topics, speaking truth in love.”

Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunch.  Bottled water will be provided.  Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling the church office at (501) 835-2201 or by emailing pastorannie@nlrfumc.org.

First United Methodist Church had its origin in a brush arbor on the North Little Rock banks of the Arkansas River in 1877. In 1886, with fewer than a hundred members, the first building was constructed for that Methodist congregation at Third and Main Streets and was named the Argenta Mission, later the Dye Memorial Chapel, in memory of the first pastor, Reverend John H. Dye.

In 1913, the growing membership built a much larger church just a block away on the corner of Third and Maple Streets. By the late 1940’s, the building had become inadequate for the growing Sunday School and insufficient parking space was presenting a problem.  In 1951, under the leadership of Rev. James Workman, the congregation completed the construction of a new church at 22nd and Poplar Streets. But the quiet hill upon which the Poplar Street church had been built became very noisy and busy when the freeway intersection of I-40 and I-30 was built nearby, and the congregation began to look again for another location.

As the Indian Hills community of North Little Rock developed, a new Methodist congregation was established in 1964, meeting first in the homes of church members, and later in a building on John F. Kennedy Blvd. In October 1977, in an effort to strengthen both church families, Indian Hills United Methodist and First United Methodist merged to form the “new” First United Methodist Church. To accommodate growth a new sanctuary, office wing, and fellowship hall were added in 1980. A two-story classroom/daycare building was constructed in 1994. Our church family now totals about 1,500 members.

For more information about North Little Rock United Methodist Church or the Social Justice Summer Lunch and Learn Series, please call Rev. Annie Lankford at 501-920-2778. You can also email her at pastorannie@nlrfumc.org.