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Hope Star - Hope, AR
  • Church celebrates century of service

  • Rev. James Conway has been the pastor at St. Luke's No. 2 Missionary Baptist Church for 30 years and the church recently celebrated its 101st birthday.
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  • Rev. James Conway has been the pastor at St. Luke's No. 2 Missionary Baptist Church for 30 years and the church recently celebrated its 101st birthday. St. Luke No. 2 MBC was located and established in 1910 by the Rev. R. W. Dilly and Deacon Lonzie Wright with a small membership. The pastors who served from 1910 to 1927 were the Rev. R. C. Cooks, Rev. A. B. Johnson, Rev. H. P. Patterson, Rev. A. W. Williams, Rev. Taylor, Rev. Wyatt, Rev. Carr, Rev. Fred Stuart, and Rev. Melvin Stuart. Rev. E. N. Glover was called as pastor and served for 40 years. Under his leadership, several members were baptized and several deacons were ordained. Rev. Glover served until his health failed and he resigned. Rev. L. R. Redden was call to pastor the church next. He served for 16 years and the deacons under his leadership were, Brother Ray Woods, Brother N. H. Johnson, Brother Ezell Burton, Brother Louia Hopson, and Brother Lannie Pennington. He ordained two ministers, one of whom was the Rev. Ray David, and the other, the Rev. Jimmy Davis. During his tenure, the church also remodeled the church, bought new pews, choir chairs, three pulpit chairs, and new carpet. Rev. Frances S. Burnes served from 1980-1981 and Pastor Green served in 1981. In 1982, the Rev. James Conway was called as pastor and remains at the church. Before Conway came to St. Luke's, he pastored at Mt. Hebron Church. Conway grew up in Fulton with three sisters and one brother. “I stayed in Fulton until I got married, and moved to McNab,” Conway said. “I was married for 40 years, from 1972-2012, when my wife Emmer passed away.” The couple has two children, seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Conway has been a working pastor all of his life, according to him. “I worked at Tex-Ark for 19 years and at SMI Joist for 19 years, so I have worked as well as pastored the church.” Under Conway's leadership, he has ordained five deacons and two ministers, the Rev. Kenneth Thornton, and Minister Vickie Henry. He has performed many wedding ceremonies and under his leadership, two renovations have been completed. The kitchen, carpet, choir robes, Klipsch speakers, three classrooms, pews, the baptizing pool, the nursery and a van have all been improvements to the church. Mortgage-burning services were held August 29, 2009, with the Rev. Frankie B. Mitchell and Haynes Chapel Baptist Church as guests. “The seating capacity is about 350 at the present time,” Conway said. “We have 80 members on the rolls and 50-60 are present every Sunday.” The church was once named Greater St. Luke but the congregation split and now there are two churches. The church is located at Sheppard-Powell Community, which is located on Hempstead County Road 2, about seven miles west of Hope, off of Hwy. 67, West. “We just have to be thankful for the small things in life,” Conway said. “We are so blessed and sometimes we don't even recognize it. Live life to its fullest every day.”
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