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Clark to Lead United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas

CONWAY, Ark. (November 2, 2018) — Rev. J. Wayne Clark ’84, Associate Vice President for Development and Dean of the Chapel, has been named President and CEO of the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas in this capacity,” said Clark, who has been a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2015. “Since beginning my ministry in Arkansas, I have had a strong admiration for the Foundation’s work. Being on the board has given me even more insight into the many positive ways that the Foundation is making an impact on Arkansas Methodism.”

Clark follows another Hendrix alumnus, the late Jim Argue, Jr. ’73, who led the Foundation until his death in May. Argue, who received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Hendrix in 2016, joined the Foundation in 1981 and helped it become one of the largest United Methodist foundations in the country.

“Under Jim’s leadership, the Foundation grew not only financially but also in the scope of its ministries,” said Clark. “It’s an honor to continue his legacy on behalf of Arkansas and the Church.”

Clark served as Hendrix chaplain for 18 years before joining the Office of Advancement in 2015 to lead the College’s Annual Fund, major gifts, planned giving, and fundraising efforts.

“I have learned that philanthropy is so much bigger than simply giving money. It’s about an individual’s purpose in life and legacy,” he said. “I feel very privileged to be part of this sacred relationship, and I look forward to serving the Foundation in this same way.”

After graduating from Hendrix in 1984, he received his master’s degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, in 1989. Since 2012, he has served as director of the Arkansas Conference Course of Study through SMU and Perkins School of Theology.

Before returning to his undergraduate alma mater in 1996, he served as chaplain for Children’s Medical Center’s Hematology, Oncology and Neurology Departments in Dallas; as minister of Halifax Methodist Circuit in Halifax, England; and associate minister of Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas. He has served Arkansas United Methodist congregations in Magnolia and Pine Bluff.

At Hendrix, Clark successfully directed the planning that led to a $2 million grant from the Lilly Foundation to develop programs to assist students in the “theological exploration of vocation.” During the five-year grant, he successfully helped secure an additional $1.5 million grant to extend the original grant three years. Clark successfully worked to secure a $1 million gift to continue the work and programming of the Lilly Foundation to be named the Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics and Calling. He was instrumental in writing and receiving a $500,000 five-year grant from the Lilly Foundation to establish a program for Clergy and Civic Engagement, and in securing a $50,000 gift to endow the John and Marjem Gill Preaching Workshop.

Clark started and supervised a United Methodist Youth Fellowship (UMYF) Leadership Scholarship program. More than 250 Hendrix students have participated in the program, which has motivated and mobilized students to lead worship services and preach in more than 400 United Methodist Churches throughout Arkansas. He has also planned and led more than 25 local and international mission trips.

“The directors of the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas are delighted to welcome Wayne [Clark] as the Foundation’s President and CEO,” said the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas Board of Directors’ chair, the Honorable Beth Deere. “Wayne has deep roots in Arkansas United Methodism and brings a wealth of experience in development and administration from his 22 years at Hendrix College.

“Wayne’s warmth, enthusiasm, and humor will ensure that the Foundation continues to fulfill its mission of creating and administering permanent charitable endowment funds to strengthen and grow United Methodist ministries in Arkansas,” said Deere. “Wayne Clark is the right person to lead the Foundation at this important time in the life of the United Methodist Church.”

Clark will begin his new role at the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas in January 2019. 

Ginny McMurray, Director of Development and Foundation Relations at Hendrix, will serve as interim Associate Vice President for Development.

About UMFA

The United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas began in 1963 with a group of Methodists who wanted to create endowments to fund the needs of Methodist ministries in Arkansas in perpetuity. Today the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas is one of the largest in the U.S. with total assets of $165 million. The Foundation makes grants in areas of clergy and lay leadership, hunger, children’s ministries, seminary scholarships, outdoor ministries and much more. Throughout its history, UMFA has remained focused on the vision of our charter members as we help United Methodists from throughout our state create charitable endowments that will enhance United Methodist ministries in the Arkansas Conference in perpetuity. For more information, visit www.umfa.org.

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu