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David McCollum

During a recent workshop in conjunction with a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas assembly, Will Staley and Terrance Clark led a brainstorming exercise about the positive aspects of Helena, an impoverished town in the Arkansas Delta. Ideas included optimizing community resources like the blues, river tradition and kudzu. “The exercise is part of what we […] Read More

A new hope, inspired by an energetic new generation of leaders, is springing from Helena, Ark., a once-vibrant river town now in the middle of one of the poorest economic regions in the country. Success stories in Helena were celebrated at two recent events: the Delta Grassroots Caucus at the Clinton Presidential Center and the […] Read More

Leena Lavanya awakens at her home in India about 4 a.m. each day after a four-hour sleep. She prays for two hours, then makes her rounds from 7 to midnight. Rounds include a leper colony, a hospice home for HIV patients, a home for the elderly, an orphanage, a prison, a computer school for marginalized […] Read More

The woman thought she came to serve, but a thief made her realize she also could be served. It happened this summer during the All Church Challenge, when churches from five states sent mission teams to Helena, Ark., to help Ben and Leonora Newell’s Together for Hope project. One of the preschool camp leaders had […] Read More

The achievement wasn’t of Olympic proportions. But the joy was. To explain all the whooping, hollering and hand-slapping by those youngsters from Helena, Ark., on a recent Saturday afternoon in Memphis, you must go back to earlier in the summer. A main element of the All Church Challenge, an outreach program for Cooperative Baptist Fellowship […] Read More

Something interesting and delightful happened out of a chaotic situation in Helena, Ark. Ben Newell, a field worker in the Together for Hope Project of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, had a stack of school uniforms to separate into individual packages and distribute for a back-to-school event the next day. Because of some glitches and miscommunication, […] Read More

The justice element was already out there. The “sweet” was added when an idea sprouted over a lot of coffee and a lot of chocolate late one night.   Thus, Second Baptist Church of Little Rock, Ark., dedicated Wednesday nights during the summer to a Sweet Justice series of presentations and dialogue on prominent and […] Read More

A major stumbling block in addressing homelessness in this country is NIMBY.   Not In My Back Yard.   “But they are already in your back yard, everywhere, even in the best neighborhoods,” said Dennis Beavers, during a recent panel discussion at Second Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark. “Wherever they can hide and be […] Read More

HOUSTON, Texas — A panel attempted to unravel several tangled strands from “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism” during a screening of the award-winning documentary at the Baptist Center for Ethics luncheon at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Assembly July 2. “It’s time to get off our behinds and do what needs to be done about […] Read More

When Shannon Avra arrived in China in 2003 to pick up her soon-to-be adopted daughter, she concedes she was in “adoption la la land.”   That attitude changed quickly.   As Anna Lee was handed over to her in the orphanage, she suddenly noticed the baby was covered with scars. Her head was shaved and […] Read More