About Us

Interfaith Arkansas is a coalition of faith groups in the state of Arkansas working together to promote interfaith and ecumenical efforts.


Interfaith Arkansas was started in the late 1950’s as the Arkansas Council of Churches. It grew out of the school crisis at Little Rock Central. In Little Rock at the time, white and black pastors were not allowed to meet together. So they met at Camp Aldersgate (which belonged to the United Methodist Women). In the early 1980’s, Temple B’nai Israel (Reformed Judaism) joined and the names changed to the Arkansas Conference of Churches and Synagogues. In the early 1990’s, the Islamic Center for Human Excellence on Wright Avenue joined and the names was changed to Arkansas Interfaith Conference. In November 2013, the name was changed to Interfaith Arkansas to reflect the current nature of interfaith and ecumenical work.

Board of Directors

  • Chair – Rev. Jason Smith
  • Vice-Chair – Jennifer Reimer
  • Treasurer – Rabbi Gene Levy
  • Secretary – Scharmel Roussel
  • Ecumenical Catholics – Father Fred Ball
  • Episcopal Church – Rev. C.B. Baker
  • Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – Rev. Dr. Leslie Belden
  • Roman Catholic – Rev. Taryn Whittington
  • CME – Rev. Dr. LaVerne Bell-Tolliver
  • Evangelical Lutheran – Deacon Shannon Johnson

6 Faith Traditions

  • Hindu – Dr. Avinash Thombre
  • Buddhist – Doug Holmes
  • Jewish – Rabbi Gene Levy
  • Muslim – Imam Dr. Mahmoud H. al-Denaway Hassanein
  • Unitarian Universalist – Norm Stafford
  • Baha’i – Jennifer Reimer

At Large

  • Rabbi Kalman Winnick
  • Rev. Elizabeth Gabbard (Presbyterian)
  • Rev. Jay Clark (United Methodist)
  • Jason Smith (Alliance of Baptists)
  • Scharmel Roussel (Presbyterian)