Reverend James Travis Calhoun, age 72, of Arkadelphia, passed from this life on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at home surrounded by his family. He was born October 25, 1947 in Monticello, Arkansas, the eldest child of James Shelby and Oleta Scott Calhoun.
Bro. Calhoun was saved, baptized, surrendered to preach and was ordained at Holly Springs Missionary Baptist Church, in Star City, Arkansas. He was a graduate of Star City High School, attended UA Monticello and was a graduate of the Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock. He pastored the following Missionary Baptist Churches in Arkansas: Mt. Tabor in Ola, Oakdale in Lonoke, Mt. Pleasant in Cabot. He pastored Baring Cross in Arkadelphia for almost 20 years before becoming the Promotional Director of the Arkansas State Mission Project (ASMP) in 2004. In this position, he and Linda traveled across the state of Arkansas to promote state missions. Bro. Calhoun dedicated his life to serving God through the American Baptist Association (ABA). He held the positions of ABA President, Vice President, Parliamentarian, and Chairman of the Standing Missionary Committee. He was also the Treasurer of the Arkansas State Association.
Bro. Calhoun was very active in his community. His family owned and operated Mary and Martha’s Florist in Arkadelphia for 20 plus years. He strongly believed that Arkadelphia was “a great place to call home.” He served on the Arkadelphia City Board of Directors for 18 years (2001-2019) and was the Mayor of Arkadelphia from 2015-2019 until he resigned due to his deteriorating health. He loved participating in the Arkansas Municipal League and served on the Arkansas Municipal League’s Large First-Class Cities Advisory Council and was a Certified City Official. He also served as president of the Arkadelphia High School Band Boosters, president of the Arkadelphia Kiwanis Club and the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Florist Association.
He was known by many names: James, James Travis, Bro. Calhoun, Bro. C, Preacher, Mayor, but to his family he was Dad and Pop C. Dad loved people, family reunions, potlucks, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Razorbacks, carpentry, American Pickers, presenting proclamations, talking on the phone, banana pudding, game shows and any kind of meeting where he could visit with people. He was passionate about supporting The Lord’s churches, missions, missionaries and pastors. Dementia may have shortened his life; but he has received his Heavenly reward and is at home with his Lord and Savior for all eternity!
James was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Jean, and a granddaughter, Shelby Elizabeth Calhoun. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 52 years Linda Bolen Calhoun, his constant partner in ministry, his three children, Jamie (Emily) Calhoun of Noblesville, Indiana, Becky (Scott) Freeman of Arkadelphia, and Courtney (Ben) Barras of Arkadelphia; his brother Jerry Mack (Becky) Calhoun of Star City. He was the very proud of his grandchildren Matthew James Calhoun, Celeste Schultheiss, Rob Travis Calhoun, Tyler Freeman, Tucker James Freeman, Levi James Barras, and Milly Barras. He loved all of his extended Calhoun, Scott, and Bolen family members.
Services will be held Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 11:00 at Baring Cross Missionary Baptist Church in Arkadelphia. Ron Canard, Verlon Wood, Rick Evans, Eddie Sutton, Ronnie Hardin and Tyler Freeman will officiate. Interment will follow at Rest Haven Cemetery, Arkadelphia. Visitation will be held on Friday, February 14, 2020 from 6-8 pm at Baring Cross Missionary Baptist Church. Services are entrusted to Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home, Arkadelphia. Pallbearers will be members of the Clark County Sheriff’s Department, Arkadelphia Police Department and Arkadelphia Fire Department. Honorary Pall Bearers are past and present Arkadelphia City officials and employees. Memorials may be made to the Arkansas State Mission Project, c/o First Baptist Church, PO Box 129, Cave City, AR. 72521 or The Missionary Baptist Seminary, 5224 Stagecoach Road, Little Rock, AR. 72204