Gospel preacher Guy Hester passes at age 77

guy-hesterCORINTH, Miss. (BNc) — Guy Ferrell Hester, 77, passed away Thursday, Dec. 5, at Magnolia Regional Health Center in Corinth.

Brother Hester was born Feb. 15, 1936 in Vernon, Ala., to the late Sherlie (S.F.) and Clora Price Hester. He was a minister and preached for 64 years.

He served as a full-time minister for congregations in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He did foreign and domestic mission work, and helped to found and direct the Vreed-en-Hoop School of the Bible in Guyana, South America. Continue reading

Ohio program ‘Light From Above’ joins Gospel Broadcasting Network

Program logo for "Light from Above"

Program logo for “Light from Above”

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. (BNc) — The Gospel Broadcasting Network (GBN) announced in February that David Kenney’s “Light from Above” program will be included in its programming.

“Light From Above” is sponsored by the West Good Avenue congregation in Wadsworth, Oh., and produced at WCTV studios.

The program won Runner-Up for Best Religious Program in the 2012 WCTV Clapper Awards and was submitted to GBN for consideration in their programming. Continue reading

Mississippi church helps over 2,200 victims of Feb. 10 tornado

Tornado destroyed homes in Hattiesburg MS

Tornado destroyed homes in Hattiesburg MS

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (BNc) — The congregation of Kensington Woods has helped over 2,200 people in the aftermath of the Feb. 10 tornado, preacher Mike Benson said today.

The tornado hit on a Sunday between 5:00-5:30 p.m. It left a path 21 miles long, causing 83 injuries, but no deaths. Two Mississippi counties, Lamar and Forrest, were hit.

Major damage and destroyed homes totaled in the hundreds: 340 homes in Forrest County, 220 homes in Lamar County. Continue reading

M. Clarence Sparks, Jr. dies at 80

by Tom Childers

LAKE CORMORANT, Miss. (BNc) – Gospel preacher, farmer and businessman, Clarence Sparks, Jr. passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at his home after an extended illness.

Sparks was born on October 4, 1931 to Clarence, Sr. and Louise Pounders Sparks and was a lifelong resident of DeSoto County. He leaves behind two daughters, Kim (Jewel) Wallis of Lake Cormorant and Kara (Bobby) Shreeves of Olive Branch and one grandson, Matthew Wallis. He was preceded in death by his wife of fifty-seven years, Connie Sparks. Continue reading

GBN channel rated in the top 10 Roku channels

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. (BNc) – The Gospel Broadcasting Network (GBN) channel announced that it has been rated in the top 10 by Roku users.

With the hundreds of Roku channels available, the ranking is a great honor. It shows that those who have subscribed to the channel have enjoyed what they have seen on the network. GBN extended a special thank you to all its viewers for their support. Continue reading

Preacher’s wife and son murdered in Miss.

Les Ferguson familyGULFPORT, Miss. (BNc) — Karen Ferguson, 45, and her son, Trevor Cole Ferguson, 21, were found dead yesterday, Oct. 10, in their home.

The murder suspect, Paul Ellis Buckman, was later found dead in his apartment by police, according to a report by the area newspaper, SunHerald.

The AP reported that a neighbor saw the alleged murderer in the Ferguson home after the family’s 5-year-old son ran to her house, crying and screaming that “the bad man who hurt my brother” was now hurting his mother. Continue reading

Biloxi MS church appoints elders


BILOXI, Miss. (BNc) – The Rodenberg church appointed elders yesterday, Aug. 21, after a year’s study about elders and spiritual leadership, and gathering congregational input, said preaching minister Bill Denton.

The elders are (from left) Joe Powers, Bill Denton, Russ Butcher, and Dwain Jones.

Mark Hodges, preacher and elder with the Long Beach church, participated in the ordination ceremony.

Photo: Bill Denton

Update: Preacher and wife murdered at home in Miss.

FULTON, Miss. (BNc) – A retired preacher and his wife were found murdered at home late Friday night.

Fred and Mildred Joy House, ages 77 and 79, were found by their son Tom at approximately 9:30 p.m.

Tom preaches for the Plainview congregation, in the Fulton area (see his Polishing the Pulpit bio).

Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department apprehended Jake H. Carpenter, 29, of Fulton, as a suspect in the homicides, according to WTVA, after he was found driving the couple’s car in Russellville, Ala., early Saturday morning. Continue reading

Preacher dies in house fire

by Ken Thomas

COLUMBIA, Miss. (BNc) — Jimmy W. Cox, 82 year-old preacher for the church in Columbia, Miss., and his wife Shirley, age 61, died in a fire that left little but ashes.

The fire occurred about 2 a.m. Monday, Jan. 10. Jimmy had been a newspaper man in Columbia for many years, but had spent his last several years trying to keep a small congregation going. He also wrote several articles for Magnolia Messenger as well as in the local paper. His first wife, Mattie, had died in 2004, and her death was recorded in Magnolia Messenger. They had three children, daughters Llene Poles and Nancy Tolbert, both of Mobile, Ala., and a deceased son, Jimmy Cox, Jr. Continue reading

J.A. Thornton dies at 90

BOONEVILLE, Miss. (BNc) – Long-time gospel preacher and writer, Jean Armor Thornton, 90, died Monday, Oct. 11, 2010, at Scott-Del Personal Care Home in Booneville.

Thornton was a member of the Booneville church. He served on the President’s Advisory Board at Freed-Hardeman University for over 40 years and he was a past chairman of that board.

Thornton is survived by two daughters, Jeanita (Jim) Estes of Booneville and Joyce (Ralph) Gilmore of Jackson, Tenn.; one sister, Julia (Bobby) Milstead of Florence, Ala.; one brother, John L. (Peggy) Thornton of Hendersonville, Tenn.; nine grandchildren, Jennifer (Jon) Nieuwboer, Jill Lewis, Rachel (Evan) Aldridge, Rose Gilmore, Tim (Tammie) Estes, Steve (Nicole) Estes, Jay (April) Estes, Jon Estes and LeAnn (Jeremy) Jones; 10 great-grandchildren; his second wife’s children, Ann Langford of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Barry Pardue of Booneville. He is preceded in death by his first wife of 58 years, Delphia H. Thornton; his second wife, Jewell Thornton; an infant daughter and an infant son; and one sister and four brothers.

Memorial gifts should be sent to the J.A. Thornton Scholarship Fund at Freed-Hardeman University, 158 E. Main St., Henderson, TN 38340.

Guy Hester celebrates 60 years of preaching

by Tim Hester

CORINTH, Miss. (BNc) – As a young man, Guy Hester began his preaching career at a small country church in Northeast Arkansas. Since then he has spent the last 60 years proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Guy says his greatest asset during his preaching career has been his wife of 57 years, Shirley. Guy and Shirley have four children (two sons and two daughters), ten grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, with one more to be born soon.

Their influence in the work of the kingdom encouraged both their sons to become preachers, and their daughters to marry preachers, thus adding to a family line of preachers which includes Guy’s dad (deceased), three brothers (one of whom is deceased), an uncle (deceased), two nephews and one of his grandsons.

Although Guy received his formal education at both Freed-Hardeman College (now University) and Indiana State University, his greatest training as a gospel preacher came from two other sources. Continue reading