April 20, 2011 Edition

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March for Missions is success
despite cold, windy conditions

Roger Johnson of Walnut Ridge was overall winner of the 5K with a time of 20 minutes, 11:94 seconds.
Fifty-one runners and walkers, along with supporters and organizers, withstood a cold and windy Saturday morning to participate in the Leo Martin March for Missions 5K Run & Walk. The race was held at Stewart Park in Walnut Ridge and extended through an adjoining neighborhood.

In its third year, organizers said the race had been moved from March to April in hopes of better weather.

The Social Band Association of Free Will Baptists, which consists of approximately 22 Free Will Baptist churches in Lawrence, Randolph and Craighead counties, sponsors March for Missions.

Joey Postlewaite, youth pastor at Sutton Free Will Baptist Church in Pocahontas, oversaw the 5K, while Terry Spradlin of Walnut Ridge, serves as chairman of the March for Missions Board and was a key organizer.

Approximately $5,500 was raised for missions through the event, said Spradlin, who extended thanks to the 28 businesses and individuals that helped them sponsor the 5K.

In conjunction with the race, a missions-oriented service was held Sunday evening at First Free Will Baptist Church and a youth rally was held at the United Free Will Baptist Church, also in Walnut Ridge.

The missions event was originally a Harvest Crusade held in the fall and then was changed to a walk-a-thon in the spring. The event evolved into the 5K run & walk. It is named for Rev. Leo Martin Jr., who was pastor of First Free Will Baptist Church in 2008, when he died at the age of 51.

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