Senior Pastor: Rev. Davis Thompson

Pastor Davis Thompson came to NLR First United Methodist in June, 2010.  He has served 39 years as an ordained elder in seven Arkansas appointments and came to NLR from First United Methodist in Searcy.  Pastor Davis has also served 17 years on the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Little Rock, North Arkansas, and Arkansas Conferences.

A native of Pine Bluff, AR, he graduated from Dollarway High School in 1971, received a Bachelor of Arts in Natural Sciences from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1976 and a Masters of Divinity Degree from Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, MO, in 1978.  

Pastor Davis enjoys doing yard work, knitting, bicycling, walking, listening to music and noodling on the computer.  He is an avid Razorback fan.  Most of all, he loves the church.  His mission in life is quite simple: to equip the saints for the ministry in Christ Jesus.  His baptism informs who he is - claimed by grace to be a child of God and called by God to live into God's claiming.  His passion is to know Christ in all God's fullness and to lead others into a saving relationship with Jesus.  

Pastor Davis and his wife Laura have three children and two grandchildren.

Rev. Davis Thompson can be contacted at (501) 835-2201 or email

Associate Pastor:
Rev. Brenton (Brent) Higdem

The Reverend Brent Higdem came to NLR First United Methodist Church in 1993 after moving from Pine Bluff, AR.  He came to Arkansas in 1988 to Jefferson Regional Medical Center to help the hospital start their Open Heart Surgery Program and provide the training fo the critical care nurses to support that program.
He grew up in Bagley, MN, and graduated from Bagley High School in 1965.  He received a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal and Instrumental Music from Valley City State College of Valley City, ND, in 1975, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Mary College of Bismarck, ND, in 1985 with an area emphasis in emergency and critical care, and a Masters in Management from University of Mary of Bismarck, ND, in 1994.  Brent spent 38 plus years in the military with deployments to Vietnam for three tours and to Germany for one tour.  He retired in 2006.  

He received his license to preach in July of 2011, was appointed as associate pastor at NLR FUMC in September of 2011 and is currently working on his course of study from Redbird Mission of Beverly, KY, to become a local pastor.  Brent serves as the pastoral care minister, making visits to hospitals, nursing homes and with shut-ins.

Brent and his wife Pam have four children and three grandchildren.   

Rev. Higdem can be contacted at (501) 835-2201, by cell (501)773-6816 or email

Assoc. Pastor:
Rev. James (Will) William Choate

The Reverend Will Choate came to NLR First United Methodist in July 2007.

He grew up in Beebe, AR, and graduated from Beebe High School in 1999.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance from Arkansas State University in 2003 and received a Masters of Divinity Degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, in 2007.  

Will and his wife Audra have two children.  

Rev. Choate can be contacted at (501) 835-2201 or email
Director of Music Ministries: Kurt Kennedy

Kurt came to NLR First United Methodist Church in 1999 after serving 12 years as Director of Music and the Arts at Winfield United Methodist Church in Little Rock, AR.  He has served various churches and denominations in Lousiana, Wyoming, Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas and abroad.  He currently serves on the ACT (Argenta Community Theater) Board and continues to promote excellence in music throughout this state and others.  

He grew up in Springfield, Louisiana, graduated from Springfield High School in 1964, and received a Bachelor of Music in Education from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1974.  He spent 1968 – 1972 in the USAF as a Command Post Controller and received Masters of Music in Vocal Performance/ Choral Conducting from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1976.  While working on his masters, he was employed as a part-time choir director and full-time assistant/accompanist for the Opera Workshop Department at SLU.  After college he taught high school music in Baton Rouge, LA, before moving into full-time church music employment.  

Kurt has served as clinician, instructor and worship leader at the local, state and area level with AGEHR and FUMMWA.  Other interests (past and present) include musical theatre, light opera and ball room dancing.  Kurt was a founding member and president of the Gilbert and Sullivan Reperatory Theatre in Baton Rouge, LA.  He has performed as a soloist and chorus member for several community choruses, currently with the River City Men's Chorus in LIttle Rock, AR.  

He has served on the boards of various professional organizations including past president of The Fellowship of United Methodist in Music and Worship Arts, past chair of the Arkansas American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, past CHIME hcair for the AGEHR Area VI (AR, LA, MS, TN and AL), past chair for the North Arkansas Worship Committee and was chosen to serve on the National FUMMWA Archives Committee.  

Kurt and his wife Linda have two children and two grandchildren.  

Mr. Kennedy can be contacted at (501) 835-2201 or email
Minister of Children and Families:
Laura Kent

Laura came to NLR First United Methodist in 2015 after serving 3 years as a 4th grade teacher at Arnold Drive Elementary School in Jacksonville, AR. 

She graduated from North Little Rock High School West Campus in 1998 and received a Bachelors degree in Education from University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2006.    

Laura enjoys music, leisure time, and being with family and friends.

She and her husband Mike have two children, Taylor and Brady.  

Mrs. Kent can be reached at (501) 835-2201 or email at
Minister of Youth and Families: Steven Carr 

Steven came to NLR First United Methodist in July 2012 after serving 10 years in various roles at Indian Hills Church in North Little Rock, AR.  He has served in various churches throught Arkansas and Florida since 1993. 

A native of Ovilla, TX, he graduated from Red Oak High School in 1992 and received a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Biblical Studies Language and HIstory from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR in 1996.  He is currently studying at University of Arkansas in Little Rock (UALR) for a Masters Degree in Social Studies.  

Steven enjoys outdoor activities, assisting with praise and worship for NLR First United Methodist's WayPoint service and is an avid Razorback fan.

He and his wife Colleen have two children.  

Mr. Carr can be reached at (501) 835-2201 or email
Business Administrator: Jay Wedaman

Jay came to NLR First United Methodist in 2014 after serving 12 years in various roles at Jacksonville First United Methodist  in Jacksonville, AR. 

He graduated from  Louisville High School in 1989 and received a bachelor of arts degree in music from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock (UALR) 2007.    

Jay enjoys recording music, relaxing at the lake with family and is an avid Razorback fan.

He and his wife Laura have two children.  

Mr. Wedaman  can be reached at (501) 835-2201 or email
Communications Specialist: Holly Norman

Holly came to NLR First United Methodist in July 2012 after being employed for two years at RSU Public Television in Claremore, OK.
She grew up in Ashdown, AR, graduated from Ashdown High School in 2002 and received her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media with a minor in Spanish from Henderson State University of Arkadelphia, AR, in 2009. 

Holly enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, playing the french horn and is an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan.

She and her husband Jeremy celebrated the birth of their first child in July, 2014.
Mrs. Norman can be contacted at (501) 835-2201 or email at
Bookkeeper / Accounts Payable:
Shannon Bolin

Shannon came to NLR FUMC in January of 2013 after serving 16 years as the accountant for FUMC Crossett and Methodist Daycare & Preschool.

Shannon grew up in Crossett, AR, graduated from Crossett High School in 1987 and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Louisiana Tech University in 1991.  She also earned an MBA from Tech in 1992 with areas of emphasis in accounting and management.

Shannon is most passionate about her three sons and they love to spend weekends finding new places to hike and explore.

Shannon can be contacted at 870-510-4748 or email at

Office Assistant: Mary Beth Clark

Mary Beth has been a member of NLR First United Methodist Church since 2000, but joined our staff in March 2015. 
She graduated from Biloxi High School, Biloxi, Miss. in 1961 and received a bachelor of science degree in marketing from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss. in 1965.
Mary Beth retired earlier this year from a 30 year career as real estate broker in sales and residential property management.

She enjoys spending time with family, gardening, walking, reading, crossword puzzles, football (Razorbacks and Packers), shopping, and spending time with Smoochie, her 13-year-old "special needs" Pekingese.

Mary Beth's son and daughter-in-law, Chip and Cristen Clark, live in North Little Rock.  Her mother, Francena Fetterly is also a member of the church, but at age 96, she is unable to attend. 

Ms. Clark can be contacted at (501) 835-2201 or email
Director of Children's Enrichment Center (CEC) : Donna Davis

Donna became a staff member of NLR First United Methodist in September of 2010 after being employed for 20 years at Dillards in Little Rock, AR.  She grew up in Midloathian, IL, graduated from Bremen High School in 1977 and received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration / Merchandising from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, IL in 1981.  In 1984 Donna and her husband Roger moved to North Little Rock, AR.  

Donna developed a well-rounded business experience in which she has been able to contribute to the functions of CEC.  Donna has been an active member of NLR First United Methodist since 1994.  She has served on the Children's Council, Youth Council, in UMW, and as the Acolyte Coordinator.

She and her husband Roger have two children.  

Mrs. Davis can be contacted at (501) 835-2903 or email at

Prayer Chain Ministry: Dotsy Harris

For more information or if you would like to have a need added to the prayer chain, please either call (501) 835-2201 or contact Mrs. Harris at