Category: stories

Ben Queen: An Everlasting Tribute

Ben Queen of First United Methodist, Morrilton, wanted to honor the faith and service of his late wife Anne Crofoot Queen. What better way than to create an endowment in her name at the United Methodist Foundation that would benefit her local church forever? Ben, an Arkansas native, moved back to his home state from Lufkin, Texas, where he was a retired oil company executive. He and his late first wife had three sons. Anne and her late first husband had been friends with Ben and his late... Read More

Rev. Roy Beth Kelley: An Answered Prayer

Rev. Roy Beth Kelley had a dilemma. After receiving a call to ministry, the Russellville attorney served as a local pastor for several years. Then she felt a deeper calling from God to attend United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio full time. “I knew I couldn’t be a pastor, work at my law practice, and go to seminary full time. So I quit working at the law office, wrote a big check for my first semester of seminary, and took a leap of faith,” Roy Beth recalled.... Read More

Rev. Katie Pearce: A Lasting Legacy

Rev. Katie Goss Pearce glows when she talks about the legacy First UMC, Morrilton, receives from the late Lt. Gov. Nathan Gordon's endowment through the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas. "In the past, some thought it would have been better to have the $500,000 gift in a lump sum," said the senior pastor. "But after all these years the principal is still making money for us and we receive around $21,000 each year to support church ministries. That makes the interest... Read More

Bailey Faulkner: Making Lifelong Disciples

Bailey Faulkner grew up a Presbyterian and joined Pulaski Heights UMC when she married Will Faulkner in 2009. A friend told her about a job at Ozark Mission Project, and Bailey sensed immediately that OMP was a part of God's plan for her life. Today she leads Ozark Mission Project, a United Methodist affiliated ministry that transforms lives through worship, fellowship, and hands-on mission. The United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas provided a matching grant that allowed OMP to expand... Read More

Brigadier General Bill Webster, USAFR

A Lifetime of Serving and Giving Brigadier General Bill Webster, USAFR, knows more about trusts and annuities than most of us will ever know.  After 25 years of serving in the military, including in World War II, he led trust departments in Texas, Kentucky, founded the Trust Company of Florida and then moved to Little Rock to head the trust department at Union Bank.  After a second retirement he worked for the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas for 25 years. So when he says... Read More

Rev. Dr. Michelle Morris: Sharing God's Word

“How to translate God to the world.” That’s the lesson Rev. Dr. Michelle Morris values most from her years at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas as a United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas Seminary Scholar. Michelle is the solo pastor of two churches in Fort Smith, Wesley UMC and Cavanaugh UMC. She loves the joy and challenge of serving two loving churches who have two different missions and histories. She also serves the larger church by teaching Course of Study for... Read More

Tony Hilliard: Legal Education on Church Issues

Anthony A. “Tony” Hilliard, President Elect of the Arkansas Bar Association and former Chancellor of the Arkansas Conference, believes the UMFA-sponsored annual gathering of United Methodist lawyers helps Arkansas lawyers, local churches and the Conference. “It’s free CLE to help Methodist lawyers give free legal advice to their churches and the only continuing education I know of that serves Communion,” Tony said. “I find it interesting how many attorneys... Read More
at Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Lucile Barnett: Forever Giving

The United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas was trustee for Lucile Barnett’s Revocable Trust and Charitable Remainder Unitrust until her death in 2010. Upon her death, the Rollin and Lucile Barnett Memorial Endowment Fund was created with approximately $650,000. Her estate plan left instructions that the original gift was to never be spent, it was to be invested wisely, and the annual income was to be distributed each year according to her instructions.   The annual income from the... Read More
Posted by Katie Holley

Nancy and Craig Wood: A Solid Choice

Nancy and Craig Wood are leaders at First United Methodist Church in Little Rock. They are pleased to know the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas manages their local church’s endowment funds.   “Dick Butler Sr. was a member of our church. He was a big advocate and supporter of the Foundation,” said Craig. “We know and trust Jim Argue and his staff for their expertise and their commitment. Also, working with the Foundation takes some politics out of the fund management decision when... Read More
Posted by Katie Holley

Peggy and Winfred Polk: Faithful Stewards

The late Winfred Polk of Corning believed in the United Methodist Foundation in its infancy. He made significant gifts of resources, time and talent with a steadfast commitment to a Foundation that could eventually support United Methodist ministries throughout the state.   Mr. Polk was a Chevrolet dealer and long-time leader in the Corning United Methodist Church. He had a great interest in Methodist history and traveled to England to visit key places in the history of the Church for... Read More
Posted by Katie Holley

Eva Lee Paysinger: Feeding the Hungry

“Vernon and I decided to put our money to good use through the Foundation,” said the late Eva Lee Paysinger. “It’s our way of saying thanks to a church that has done so much for us.”   The late Rev. Vernon Paysinger and his wife dedicated their lives to Christian ministry long ago, and it was only natural for them to leave their estate to the United Methodist Foundation. After her death, the $750,000 Vernon and Eva Lee Paysinger Endowment was established to make grants to causes that... Read More
Posted by Katie Holley

Bill and Karon Mann: Laying the Groundwork

Bill and Karon Mann joined the Bishops’ Club because they believe UMFA is a resource for the entire Arkansas Conference. Bishops’ Club members make the Foundation’s ministry possible.  Because of their generosity and foresight, the Church is strengthened and more is done in the name of Jesus Christ.    "In addition to helping the Conference as a whole, the Foundation makes a big difference for local churches," said Bill. "Congregations all over the state who participate in... Read More
Posted by Katie Holley

John and Becki Lusk: A Local Church Legacy

John and Becki Lusk love their church – First United Methodist Church of El Dorado.  He was a hands-on Board of Trustees Chairman and has participated in mission trips to the Mississippi coast and Haiti.  Becki has made three mission trips to Mexico, is a leader in UMW and helped with interior design for the refurbished Fellowship Hall.   John, a stockbroker for 31 years, decided after retirement to create a $1 million endowment to support his local church.  The couple... Read More
Posted by Katie Holley at Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tony and Barbara Hill: Peace of Mind

Rev. Tony and Barbara Hill want to make the transfer of their estate to their four children and five grandchildren as easy as possible during what they know will be a difficult time in the future. “I’ve seen lots of families torn apart because there was no will, and we’ve seen for ourselves the difference it makes,” said Tony, senior pastor at DeWitt First United Methodist Church.   “My mother did it the right way. She had a will, a living will and plans for... Read More
Posted by Katie Holley

Gertie and Dick Butler: Faithful Stewards

When you look up the meaning of philanthropist-“a person who seeks to promote the welfare of others, especially by the generous donation of money to good causes”, it describes Dick and Gertie Butler of Little Rock.   Dick Butler spent many years helping the fledgling United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas become the strong ministry partner it is today. Dick and Gertie Butler are an appropriate beginning for the story of the UMFA. One of the original incorporators in 1963, he had a... Read More
Posted by Katie Holley

Dewitt and Cindy Smith: A Wesleyan Viewpoint

“I’m a long-term planner. The future of our children is to get United Methodist trained pastors into our churches to teach and preach the Wesleyan culture,” said Dewitt Smith of Bella Vista. “I define that culture as taking it to the streets and living your faith.”   Dewitt Smith, III, has a long family history of service to Methodism.  His direct ancestor on his paternal grandfather’s side opened his home at Isle of Wight, Virginia, to Francis Asbury for a meeting with American... Read More
Posted by Katie Holley

Kenneth Brumley: Serving His Church Family Forever

The congregation of Wesley United Methodist Church in Conway is family to retired engineer Kenneth Brumley.  He moved from Richmond, Indiana, after his wife passed away to be near one of his daughters and her family.  A lifelong Methodist, he considers the church to be the focus of his life.   “My faith directed me toward this church family,” he said. “When you go to church regularly and make it a part of your life, your personal faith is easier to nurse. The idea is to go... Read More
Posted by Speak Creative