Our Staff

Stewart Smith

General Presbyter

stewart@presbyteryofarkansas.org
Office – (501) 663-2424
Cell – (479) 466-0195

Stewart Smith is a lifelong Presbyterian who was born as a preacher’s kid in Charlotte, NC.  He moved to Arkansas while in the first grade and grew up in the Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church in Forrest City.  He served on one of the earliest versions of the Presbytery of Arkansas Youth Council while in High School.  He graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX with a degree in Accounting and became a member of First Presbyterian Church in San Antonio where he was elected a deacon.   After several years of work with Diamond Shamrock Refining and Marketing Company he experienced a call to the ministry and attended Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.  While there he did a year-long internship at the St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, VA and served for a year as a student co-pastor at the Youngblood Memorial Presbyterian Church in Robinson, TX. After graduation from seminary Stewart served as Associate Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Smith, AR for seven years.  In 2001 he accepted a call to become pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Springdale and served there until accepting the call to become General Presbyter in October of 2015.   In the Presbytery of Arkansas he has served on the Camps and Conferences Committee, the Christian Education Committee, the Committee on Preparation for Ministry and the Committee on Ministry.  He served as Moderator of the Presbytery in 2007 and moderated the General Council in 2008. Stewart is married to Laura, an elementary school teacher in Maumelle and they have two sons, Ryan and Alex.  In his spare time, Stewart enjoys biking, jogging, golf, skiing and watching sports year round.

 

Leslie Belden

Stated Clerk

lesliebeld@aol.com
lesliebelden1831@gmail.com
lesliebelden@me.com
Cell – (479) 466-1061

Leslie Belden has a commitment to serving Christ through the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. that was planted in her before she was born.  Leslie was baptized at Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church in Forrest City, Arkansas, and was nurtured in her faith by that congregation as well as Park Hill Presbyterian Church of North Little Rock, First Presbyterian Church of Paragould, First Presbyterian Church of Jonesboro, First Presbyterian Church of Pine Bluff, and First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville, Arkansas. Leslie graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor’s degree in architecture, which remains one of her passions, especially the fields of historic preservation and community planning.  But through her commitment to the church, and her leadership as a Ruling Elder and a member of the Presbytery of Arkansas’s Committee on Ministry, she felt called to ordination as a Teaching Elder.  Leslie received her Master of Divinity and Doctorate in Ministry from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and was ordained as the Associate Pastor of First United Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville in 1995. Leslie has served the PC(USA) on the General Assembly, Synod, and Presbytery levels of governance.  She is married to Ted Belden, whose commitment to our denomination and service to God through it mirrors her own.  Avid Razorback fans, they enjoy spending much of their time together with their two daughters and their families at sporting events, encouraging their three grandchildren to prioritize God, family, and the Arkansas Razorbacks.

 

Brianne Christiansen

Developer of Ministries for Young People

bchristiansen@fupcfay.org
Cell – (712) 240-3122

Brianne Christiansen is excited to serve the Presbytery of Arkansas as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry! She moved to Arkansas shortly after college graduation when she and her husband took a joint-position running youth and young adult ministry at First United Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville. She has been actively involved in Youth A-Team activities every since. 

Brianne is a seminary student at Western Theological Seminary, an inquirer for ordination in the Presbytery of Arkansas, and a student chaplain at Washington Regional Hospital. She is happily married to Jacob Mann Christiansen, Co-Director at First United and local theater director in Northwest Arkansas. Together they love hiking, playing with their two dogs, and performing scripture with The Word Out Loud. 

 

Carol Clark

Presbytery Builder

Cbclark05@aol.com
Cell – (501) 563-6279

Rev. Carol Clark is a life-long Presbyterian, having been raised in a little Presbyterian church in Hartsville, SC.  She graduated from the University of South Carolina, obtained a masters in Gifted Education from Converse College in Spartanburg SC, taught 14 years in the South Carolina public schools, and graduated with honors from Columbia Seminary in Decatur, GA in 1990. Since that time, Carol has served as solo pastor/head of staff in churches in South Carolina, Texas, North Carolina, and as interim pastor at the Park Hill Presbyterian Church in North Little Rock. She has also been a preacher or conference leader at numerous large and small group conferences through the years, including at the Mo-Ranch, Ferncliff and Montreat Conference Centers. She has both a passion for church growth and direct experience pastoring growing Presbyterian churches of all sizes. Her last full-time installed ministry was at the Unity Presbyterian Church near Charlotte, NC, a church that during her 15 years as head of staff consistently ranked as one of the top 10% fastest growing churches in the PC(USA). She is married to Rev. Mark Clark, a PC(USA) pastor and now an adjunct professor at Bowen School of Law in Little Rock.  

 

Kimberly Palmer

Administrator

kim@presbyteryofarkansas.org
Office – (501) 663-2424

Kimberly recently repatriated to Arkansas after living in Texas for over ten years where she owned and operated two community newspapers with her late husband. She has over 30 years of experience in accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, tax filing, and financial statements including account reconciliations. She also has five years of experience working with a non-profit agency and managing financial statements with federal and state billing and yearly audits. She also periodically has bookkeeping clients that she prepares financial statements to help clients with their income tax preparation. She has completed course work at the University of Central Arkansas in pursuit of a degree. In her spare time, she spends time with her daughter who is a college student in Texas, enjoys reading, genealogy, exploring the outdoors and mother to two cats, Bell and Dot.

 

Julie Price

Presbytery Connector

julietannerprice@gmail.com
Cell – (501) 626-6477

Julie was born and raised in Pine Bluff and is a life-long Presbyterian. Her first job in the church was as summer youth director at First Presbyterian, Pine Bluff. The following year, she married her high school sweetheart, Jeff Price and they attended Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA where they both received their Master of Arts in Youth Ministry. They were called to First Presbyterian Church in Vicksburg, Mississippi and then returned to First Presbyterian Church in Pine Bluff where they worked in ministry with children, youth and their families. During those years, Jeff was ordained to word and sacrament. In 2002, he was called to Trinity Presbyterian Church in Little Rock where Julie now serves as the Christian Educator and as a ruling elder. For the last 10 years she has served on the Presbytery’s Resource Center board. Julie and Jeff have two children, Tanner and Becca, a son-in-law, Max, and a poodle, Romeo. Julie loves to read, garden, swim, play the guitar and sing.

 

Marion Humphrey

Moderator of Presbytery

marionhumphreysr@gmail.com

Marion A. Humphrey is the pastor of Allison Presbyterian Church in Little Rock and is a retired circuit court judge for Pulaski and Perry counties. He attended public school in Pine Bluff and is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University; a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School; and a juris doctor degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law. Marion formerly served on the boards of Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the Vera Lloyd Presbyterian Family Services, Lyon College and of Johnson C. Smith Seminary and Interdenominational Theological Center. Marion has served as a circuit judge, a municipal judge, Little Rock Assistant City Attorney, an Arkansas Assistant Attorney General, the State Director for Prison Fellowship, and the associate minister of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Roxbury in Boston. Judge Humphrey was in private practice in Little Rock and Pine Bluff. He served as a research assistant in the office of former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm of New York and as an intern in the office of former Senator J. William Fulbright. He is a past president of the Christian Ministerial Alliance in Little Rock and serves as chaplain of the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association. Humphrey is married to the former Vernita Gloria Thomas of Tollette, Arkansas. They have one son, Marion Andrew Humphrey, Jr, who currently is a law student at the University of Arkansas School of Law.

 

Julie Agee Gillaspy

Vice Moderator of Presbytery

JulieARPresbytery@gmail.com

Julie Agee Gillaspy is Vice-Moderator for 2020. She is a ruling elder at First Presbyterian Church in Conway, a current member of the Presbytery’s Committee on Administration, and a former member of the Presbytery’s Committee on Nominations. Julie grew up in Little Rock and was very involved in her United Methodist Church. After college at Hendrix, grad school at Texas A&M, and jobs in Dallas and St. Louis, she and her family returned to Arkansas, where she found the Presbyterian church to be her new church family. Julie is Senior Director of Human Resources at Acxiom in Conway. She is married to Art, the chair of the Psychology and Counseling Department at the University of Central Arkansas, who is also a ruling elder at First Presbyterian Church in Conway. They have two daughters who have been active in the Presbytery: Emma is graduating from Lyon College in Batesville in May and will begin a year of service with the PC(USA) Presbyterian Mission’s Young Adult Volunteer Program in Tucson, AZ later this year. Claire is a first-year student at Furman University in Greenville, SC, and hopes to be a counselor at Ferncliff Camp and Conference center this summer.

 

David Stricklin

Moderator of the Coordinating Team

dstricklin@cals.org

David Stricklin is Moderator of the Coordinating Team for 2020. He is a ruling elder at Westover Hills Presbyterian Church in Little Rock and a former member of the Presbytery’s Committee on Ministry and served as Moderator of the Presbytery in 2019. He was ordained a deacon at First Presbyterian Church in Batesville while he was working as a U.S. history professor at Lyon College. At Lyon, he chaired the Humanities Division and was named the CASE/Carnegie Arkansas Professor of the Year for 1999. He also served as faculty liaison to the Synod of the Sun’s Board of Church Visitors for Lyon. He received a Ph.D. in history from Tulane University in 1996 and has several books and articles in print on southern religion and music. He served as Director of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS), from 2005 till 2019, when he became the CALS Director for Strategic Partnerships & Community Engagement. He is married to Sally Browder, a clinical psychologist and certified mediator in private practice in Little Rock, who is also a ruling elder at Westover Hills Presbyterian Church in Little Rock. They have a daughter who is the general manager of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and a daughter who works for the public library in Findlay, Ohio, where her husband is an Episcopal priest.