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July 15, 2015

My Tribute to Dr. James Dunn


By Ray Higgins  

     A memorial service will be held this Saturday [18 July 2015] at the Knollwood Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC for Dr. James Dunn. He was one of the most influential mentors in my life and ministry.

     I first met James when he served as a guest lecturer in one of the Christian ethics courses I was taking at Southwestern Seminary. I blame him and Larry Baker, my college pastor at First Baptist Fayetteville, for getting me hooked on Christian ethics and religious liberty.

     During the semester before graduation, James worked it out for me to serve as an intern with the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, where he was executive director.

Our paths have crossed many times since the spring of 1980. At ethics and religious liberty conferences, on college and seminary campuses, in local churches, at funerals and revivals.

     He made sure that I met Marilyn, his wife, and he always asked about "Judy and the boys," and meant it every time.

     It was fun keeping up with James through these decades when he was Executive Director of the Baptist Joint Committee and as a Christianity and public policy professor at Wake Forest University's Divinity School.

     During the years that I taught Christian ethics at Southwestern, I brought James in as a guest lecturer. Each time he spoke, it felt like he was connecting us directly with Roger Williams, and the architects of the First Amendment. He was a master at exposing the variant interpretations of how historic Baptists viewed the relationship between church and state.

     For over 50 years, James sparked passion and commitment in clergy, lay leaders, and college and seminary students to a Jesus-style ethic for the world in which we live.

     His contemporaries in Arkansas CBF life include the late Tom Logue, Dale Cowling, Wilson Deese, Floyd Emmerling, Andy Hall, Don Harbuck, Jamie Jones, and John McClanahan, and the retired Gilbert Nichols, and the still-preaching-and-pastoring Emil Williams of Jonesboro.

     Family commitments keep me from attending his memorial service. Yet, every day gives me multiple opportunities to say thanks.



Video of the memorial service honoring the life of Dr. James M. Dunn is now online.

July 28, 2015

My first All Church Challenge


By Megan Pike

“So, did you realize that teaching at swim camp would be a part of your job description?” asked Scott, a fellow swim camp teacher. “Well, it became a part of my job description,” I responded.

I recently had the opportunity to serve with our Together for Hope, Arkansas partners during the second week of the All Church Challenge (ACC). This was my first time to experience the ACC, let alone be a volunteer. I had planned to visit Helena-West Helena during both weeks of the ACC, but after talking to Mollie Palmer, Director of Together for Hope, Arkansas, I found out they still needed volunteers in critical areas of the operation. I told her to put me down for whatever she needed for the second week.


My assignment came in as swim camp teacher. I was excited about this assignment because I love to swim and thought spending a week in the pool would be a nice break during this intense summer heat. I packed my bag with swimsuits, beach towels, and lots of sunscreen. In Sunday school, the morning before I left Little Rock to head northeast, we were talking about the temptation to simply go through the motions of the Christian life. My Sunday school teacher asked if we were going through the motions or if we were responsive to the opportunities God presents us. I had already shared that I was going to Helena-West Helena for the ACC during the prayer request time and spoke up in that instance to share that I didn’t want my participation in the ACC to be simply going through the motions. Yes, I would be serving at the ACC because it is a part of my job with CBF of Arkansas, but I didn’t want to simply go through the motions of just another service project or mission opportunity.

I graduated with my Master of Divinity from Truett Seminary this past December and I often think back to conversations with fellow classmates and professors. One of the most impactful conversations I had while at Truett was with my professor, Mike Stroope. Dr. Stroope often challenged us, students, to reconsider our idea of missions. In these conversations we usually came back to the definition of missions he offered to us: People being transformed by people being transformed. This sounded pretty simple to me at first, but I have come to realize that the being transformed part is really difficult, on my part. If I had chosen to go through the motions of just showing up to the ACC for a week of service, there would be little room for transformation by God.

"Change is about adding something new.
Transformation is about letting something old fall away." 

Suzanne Stabile

So, what would being transformed look like during the second week of the 2015 ACC in Helena-West Helena?
Have you ever had to teach something that is so familiar to you? A few examples came to mind when considering this question: writing a How-To speech for school on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or attempting to explain how to ride a bicycle. These can seem like natural activities soon after they are mastered, but were taught to us by someone. These activities, much like swimming is for me now, seem almost natural, but can be difficult to learn while attempting to stand in 4 ½ feet deep water when one is 4 ¼ feet tall.


me with two of my swim campers who taught me the most

As a swim teacher at the ACC I had the great privilege of breaking down the seemingly natural mechanics of gliding, blowing bubbles while under water, swim strokes, rhythmic breathing, etc. My co-teacher and I often had to let something fall away rather than add something new when assessing our students’ swim levels. For example, during our third rotation of students I realized that two of our swimmers were uncomfortable with the depth of the pool, so I had to re-imagine what their lesson would look like in a shallower part of the pool. Their confidence rose and they were able to make significant process in their swimming skills. These two swimmers made their way back to the original depth we started in by the end of the week.

The process of their transformation transformed me, too. As their teacher I had to meet them where they were and be willing to adapt for their benefit in learning skills of swimming. Trust was built and fun was had in the process. By not defaulting to simply going through the motions, I was able to learn from my students about boundaries, knowing when to rest, and to celebrate the successes of trying and learning something new while at the same time they boldly learned how to glide, blow bubbles, kick, and ultimately to swim. 
It was a beautiful picture of people being transformed by people being transformed.

J (left) showing off his underwater bubble skills with my co-teacher, RJ


for more photos from the second week of the ACC in Helena-West Helena please follow this link

August 13, 2015

The Logue Scholarship Fund


By Ray Higgins

Dr. Tom Logue, mentor-in-the-faith for thousands of college students in Arkansas, squirreled away a small investment during his 12 years as founding coordinator of CBF Arkansas. His $10,000 nest egg has now quintupled thanks to a generous gift from one of his colleagues, a successful campaign thanks to his circle of friends, and the performance of the stock market.

When I began talking with our council about this fund, we wanted it to carry on his legacy. So, we formed the Tom & Ethel Logue Seminary Student Scholarship Fund, which is invested with the CBF Foundation.

Tiffany Picket was our 2013 recipient. She is a native of Williford, a graduate of Williams Baptist College, and now a graduate of McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta. Tiffany is currently seeking a position in communications, social media, and/or marketing in the ministry or non-profit area. 

Megan Pike was our 2014 recipient. She is a native of Mountain Home, a graduate of Henderson State University, and now a graduate of Truett Seminary at Baylor. She is CBF Arkansas’ new Assistant Coordinator.

We are now announcing our two 2015 recipients. They are receiving $1,000 scholarships to be applied to their costs for this fall semester. I am impressed with and grateful for these students from Arkansas who have responded to God’s call to be full time ministers.

Thanks to Tom Logue’s financial foresight and frugality, and the generosity of his colleagues and friends, Tom and Ethel’s investment and influence in college students continues to bless those who in turn are a voice for the kind of Jesus life that speaks prophetically and lives compassionately and courageously.


Devon Dundee, George W. Truett Theological Seminary student, is pursuing a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Ministry Leadership.

Devon grew up in Greenwood, AR, and his home church is Cavanaugh Free Will Baptist Church in Fort Smith.

He graduated from Hendrix College in Conway, AR, with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Psychology before beginning his studies at Truett in 2014.

Devon's main area of ministry is media. Devon currently ministers through University Baptist Church’s media team, running computer for Baylor UniversityChapel, and working as a monitor at Mission Waco’s homeless shelter, My Brother’s Keeper.

Tylor Standley, George W. Truett Theological Seminary student, is pursuing a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Linguistics.

Tylor lived in Clinton, AR growing up and then lived in the Memphis, TN area throughout high school. He considers Maple Grove Baptist Church in Trumann, AR his "home" church. Tylor served as a youth minister at Maple Grove Baptist during college.

He graduated from Williams Baptist College in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry with an emphasis in Theology. Tylor began his studies at Truett in Fall 2014.

Tylor served in youth ministry throughout his time at Williams Baptist College. He and his wife, Kelly, are currently attending Dayspring Baptist Church in Waco. After seminary, Tylor plans to get a PhD in biblical studies and teach in a college or seminary.