Rev. Dr. Ellis Robinson, Interim Minister
Ellis is extremely proud of his family. He has five adult children and “several” grandchildren—he jokingly shared he lost count after six! His children are all amazing professionals who live across the U.S. (Texas, Nebraska, Colorado and Missouri). His family is what he is most proud of in his life.
Ellis holds four theological degrees from three different schools—associate, bachelor, master, and doctorate. He spent most of his career as a pastor visiting people in hospitals. When he was exposed to Clinical Pastoral Education, he enrolled and fell in love with it. God led him to Fort Smith where he served as a chaplain at Mercy Hospital for 13 years.
In addition to his passion for teaching, mentoring and coaching, Ellis loves to cook. He served as a mess sergeant in the KS National Guard. He does all the cooking at home and for all holidays.
Ellis shared that his greatest professional success dates to the late 1980s when he was chaplain of the Idaho State Senate. They were discerning the recognition of Martin Luther King as an official state holiday; Idaho was one of the last three states to recognize it. He negotiated with state senators who asked him if he was willing to call the day MLK/Human Rights Day, so he agreed. A week later he received a call from the senators who shared they respected how he handled the negotiation. So much so that they asked him to be their chaplain. After serving two years, they gave him a proclamation the day he left: Ellis Robinson Day! He also received the pen the governor used to sign the MLK/Human Rights Day into a bill. His children said, “There goes Dad again!”
Dianna Jackson, Music Director
Dianna earned a Bachelor of Music Education with full majors in vocal and instrumental music from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. Dianna is married to Dr. Jack L. Jackson II, a mathematics professor at UAFS and an active member of FCC. Dianna has been directing music at First Christian since 1995. She oversees all aspects of the Music Ministry program including managing the budget, scheduling, programming and planning worship services.
Mary Beth Oliver, Organist
Mary Beth was born and raised in Fort Smith, is a graduate of Northside High School and attended Westark Community College. Through her school years, she was piano accompanist for the school choirs. Mary Beth has served as organist/pianist for several local churches over the last 30 years, was organist at FCC from 2008 to 2011 and returned in July 2019. She retired in July 2019 from ArcBest after 33 years. Mary Beth and her husband, Nick, have been married for 14 years and between them have three grown daughters and a son, along with nine grandchildren. They enjoy spending time with family; doing yard work; attending local musical and theatrical events; traveling, especially out West; hiking; and RVing.
Barbara Brown, Secretary
Barbara Ann Brown is a native of Baton Rouge, LA (but, lived most of her life in Natchez, MS). She and and her husband, Steve, have been married for 42 years. They have one son and one daughter and three grandchildren. They moved to Fort Smith in 2009. Barbara has been the FCC Administrative Assistant since 2011.
Pam Shelby, Financial Secretary
Pam Shelby grew up in Tontitown, AR and moved to Fort Smith in 1982. She worked as a computer programmer for Rheem Manufacturing for 32 years. She and her husband, John, have been married for 26 years and have two children. She and her family are avid Razorback fans and attend many sporting events. She has been the Financial Secretary for FCC since 2016.
Randy Alexander, Custodian
Randy has lived in Fort Smith since 1987, and he and his wife, Connie, are longtime members of FCC (DOC). They have three daughters, two sons-in-law, and seven grandchildren who they love very much. Randy enjoys spending as much time as he can with them. Randy started working as the custodian at the church in November of 1997 after being urged by another member to do it during his spare time because the church did not have a custodian at the time. He thought that he would do it about four or five years, but that turned into 20 a couple of months ago. He enjoys doing it, mainly for the activity and exercise.
Patience Hudlow, Nursery Coordinator
Patience was born and raised in Fort Smith. First Christian Church has been her church home for all of her life. She is a graduate of U of A. She is married with two sons. She has been nursery coordinator for three years.