Williams Baptist College employees who have reached milestones in their service to the school were recognized Thursday, Dec. 15. Service pins were presented during the annual Christmas luncheon for WBC faculty and staff.
Dr. Paul and Lana Rhoads were both recognized for 30 years of service at Williams. Paul Rhoads is professor of psychology and chair of the WBC psychology department, while Lana Rhoads is assistant professor of mathematics and coordinator of the liberal arts degree.
Dr. Gary Gregory was honored for 25 years at WBC. Gregory retired in May after serving on the psychology faculty, and he continues to teach at Williams as an adjunct professor.
Jeff Rider, who is director of athletics, was recognized for 20 years at Williams, while Jim Bolton, the supervisor of grounds and vehicles, was presented his pin for 15 years of service.
Dr. Melissa Hobbs, Mary Norvell and Alice Startup were honored for 10 years at the college. Hobbs is associate professor of biology, Norvell is freshman advisor and parent liaison, and Startup serves as administrative assistant for student affairs.
Honored for five years of service to WBC were Josh Austin, Dale Leatherman, Joel Olive, Heather Parson, James Pritchett and Shane Stolz. Austin is head men’s basketball coach, Leatherman is vice president for business affairs, Olive is public services supervisor at Felix Goodson Library, Parson is assistant professor of business and chair of the business department, Pritchett has served with the physical plant staff, and Stolz is head men’s and women’s soccer coach and sports information director.
Speaker for the luncheon was Dr. Sonny Tucker, executive director of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Tucker commended WBC’s faculty and staff, noting, “You are all a Christmas gift to the students who attend Williams Baptist College.”
Over 100 people are employed by the liberal arts college, which is located in Walnut Ridge. Williams is owned and operated by the ABSC.

Photo attached of honorees. Seated (left to right): Alice Startup, Heather Parson, Lana Rhoads, Mary Norvell and Melissa Hobbs. Standing: Josh Austin, Jeff Rider, Shane Stolz, James Pritchett, Paul Rhoads, Joel Olive, Gary Gregory, Jim Bolton and Dale Leatherman.