PCBV Timeline

This page documents various milestones from1983 to 2022.

If you have any additions or corrections, please submit them to pcbvoffice@pcbv.org

Special thanks to Sharry McGuire & Vicki Erickson for compiling the historical data.


Changes in personnel were part of our church's ongoing readjusting  and reorganizing this year.  Office employee Ruth Lawson left for another job and Becky Morgan retired. 

A new adventure for our church is the establishment of our own Podcasts.  We secured a grant from the Presbytery to allow the church to acquire hardware for podcasting.  New branding & identity was developed. The church website was completely overhauled this year.  Reorganizing session and realigning of the church committees to achieve more efficient efforts are works in progress.

Rev. Dr. Judi McMillan

Reverend Dr. Judi McMillan was installed in the position of the pastor for PCBV on Sunday October 31, 2021. 

In order to maintain the flow of the church services and business needs during the period following the retirement of pastor Dennis Ritchie and the installation of Rev Dr. Judi McMillan the Administrative Committee fulfilled the role of Head of Staff.

Pastor Dennis Ritchie

Pastor Dennis Ritchie retired in June. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Sunday in-person church services were cancelled as of 3/14/20.  A modified recorded service was then posted to the church website and Facebook page each Sunday.  In-person services were resumed September 13th with meticulous safety guidelines in place.  These services were live-streamed to fulfil the worship needs of those choosing to worship safely from home.

porte-cochere project

Associate Pastor Ronnie Prevost resigned necessitated by a temporary move to St. Louis.

 The Steeple move to the new porte-cochere project was completed this year.

Rev. Dr. Ronnie Prevost

Rev. Dr. Ronnie Prevost took the position of Parish Associate this year. 

There is an ongoing project to move the Steeple to the newly built porte-cochere at the Sanctuary entrance. This was necessary due to structural issues. 

Worship services have been enhanced by the ability to project hymns and readings on the front walls of the sanctuary.

CPR AND AED training

CPR AND AED training was provided for members wishing to be adept in the use of our AED units by the BV Fire Department

Liz Wagner, Associate Pastor, left her position here for a new call in Ohio.

Dedication Ceremony

A Dedication Ceremony and a Concert was presented on September 11.  The Mason Hamlin Grand Piano was donated to the church by Muriel and Emil Cross.

A new LED Church sign was purchased and installed in June.  The information is easily updated from the church office.

The Nursery renovation was completed by the Building Committee.

30th Anniversary

The 30th Anniversary of our church was celebrated on June 14th.

The Memorial Garden was dedicated October 18th

Dr. Larry & Inge Sthreshly, our missionaries from the Congo, visited our congregation in October sharing their work performed in the Congo.

Rev Joe Tropansky

Rev Joe Tropansky continued to serve as Associate Pastor for the 1st 3 months of this year at which time Rev Liz Wagner joined our church as full time Associate Pastor.  Rev Wagner was Ordained and Installed on April 6th.

The sanctuary sound system was improved and high quality microphones were added.

The Long Range Planning Committee received approval to participate on a proposed assisted living facility for low-income residents at Highlands Crossing.

A Memorial Garden Committee was formed and began planning the funding and architectural layout. 

The Missions Committee has many projects they support regularly.  One is the United Campus Ministry at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. 

The Presbyterian Players did Olio Acts for their fall presentation which provided $1,300.00 that was donated to The Rice Depot which helps provide food for Arkansas folks.

Rev. Laura Fleetwood

Rev. Laura Fleetwood retired from her position as Associate Pastor.  Rev. Joe Tropansky joined our church as Associate Pastor until the full time Associate Pastor position is filled.

We re-roofed 75% of our roofs and replaced carpeting in the Fellowship Hall and connecor hallway.

The building loan was paid off in August.  It had been a 10 year loan which we paid off in 5.

Historically our church provides many programs too numerous to mention all.  Some examples are:  Creative Kids Summer program that enjoyed the attendance of 50 children.  Missions Committee collected food & prepared 64 boxes for Thanksgiving meals donated to Helping Hands for distribution.  The Toy makers and Painters continue to make many toys and fulfill requests of items needed to donate to Cooper School.

The Deacons averaged 25-35 church members under their care this year.


No major building or grounds improvements.  Various building and grounds upkeep were completed as they are every year.

Mentioning a few more of our busy church's activities:  Shepherd Group each plan their own activities; Children's Puppet ministry performs for our church and for activities around the community; School supplies are collected and donated to Cooper and Gravette Elementary Schools.  

During November 66 church member volunteers delivered 668 Meals on Wheels to Bella Vista shut-ins.


Review of our many church activities reflect a very busy church.  A few of the activities are as follows:  Four Christian Ed Classes; Summer Children's Camp in a Van and Vacation Bible School; Parent's Night Out during schol terms provided child care, meals and activities on the 3rd Friday of each month.  The Presbyterian Players group has performed plays for many years.  The major plays have been dinner theaters open to the public performed Friday & Saturdays.  On Sundays desserts and drinks were served for an afternoon matinee.  They also performed Lenten plays for the Lenten soup suppers.

Julea Bell, 17 year church pianist, retired.  Sandy Andrews filled the position.

Rev Laura Fleetwood

Rev Laura Fleetwood joined our church family as part-time Parish Associate.  She offers pastoral care to the sick and homebound among other duties.

We have a new service installed  to enhance church news and notifications with members called, "One Call Now".  This service provides the ease of recording one notification that is sent as a phone message to all church members at one time.

This year is the church's 25th Anniversary which was celebrated  throughout June.

May 2009
Steve Knudsen

Long time choir director Roland Simmelink retired and moved.  Steve Knudsen started as our new choir director.

March 31, 2009
Choir Room Completion

The addition of the new choir room, class room and Director of Music office was completed as of 3/31/09. The remodel of the old choir room was also completed this year.

The membership directory now includes membership pictures.

October 22, 2008
New Choir Room

October 22, 2008 Ground was broken for the new addition of the choir room, choir director's office and class room.  The old choir room is scheduled to be converted to a parlor.

October 12, 2008
Rev. Dennis Ritchie

On October 12, 2008, Rev. Dennis Ritchie was installed as pastor. 


Rev. Jim Still retired in early 2006. Rev. John Conley was brought in during the fall to serve as interim pastor. He and Rev. Tracy Evans worked together until the end of 2007 when Rev. Evans did not renew her letter of call.

January 2004
The steeple

A steeple was added in January 2004. It was erected almost 20 years since the inception of our church. Total cost was $8,425, all of which was covered by memorial gifts to the steeple fund.


A leaky roof over the sanctuary was repaired. Structural improvements were made in order to support a steeple in the near future.

October 2002

A garage was built for housing the bus and lawn equipment. Cost was $12,649.

August 2002
Church bus

A church bus was purchased to assist those who were no longer able to drive. A used van was bought for $22,000 and put into operation in August 2002. The Men's Fellowship maintained the bus program.  


In 2001 the church developed it's first website. It was created by Neil Leavens and Tanner Jones. Mr. Jones hosted and maintained our websites for an impressive 20+ years. Content updates were provided by various church members over the years.

New Parish Associate

Rev. Tracy Evans was called as called as parish associate in May, 2001.

Parish Associate

Rev. Leslie Andrew accepted the position of our first parish associate in 1999.

First Class

A landmark event occurred in 1996 when the church elected it's first class of deacons. The nine chosen were: Nancy Ortman, Marylin Vits, Ralph Allen, Ruth Bleich, Don Chapman, Barbara Delk, James Kelly, Joyce McFadyen, and Nancy Richardson.

Let there be sound

In 1996 a three-keyboard Allen digital computer organ was purchased. Nineteen speaker cabinets were mounted at the rear of the church with special decorative wood panels designed for the front of the speakers.

August 13, 1995

On August 13, 1995, the congregation authorized the Session to contract for a building expansion of the Fellowship Hall with seating for 300 and the administration wing for a total of 11,432 sq. ft. at a cost of $930,000. 

August 6, 1995
Rev. James E. Still

Rev. James E. Still was called as the full-time pastor on August 6, 1995.

Final Payment

The final payment on the original building was made in 1994.

November 1994
Rev. Tom Williams

Rev. Tom Williams served as interim pastor from November, 1994 until August 1995. By 1995 the total membership hit 300.

November 3, 1991
New Stained-Glass

30 new stained-glass windows were dedicated. 15 Old and 15 New Testament themes were used. Two hundred new hymnals were also dedicated.

April 22, 1990
Rev. Smith Installed

Rev. Smith was installed April 22, 1990. His ministry took place between the first and second ground-breaking events. All were deeply saddened when Rev. Smith lost his battle to cancer on July 31, 1994, having served the congregation for only four years.

July 1989

Rev. Garvin retires due to ill health. Rev. Henry Williamson was called as interim pastor in June 1989 and served until March 1990 when a pastoral call was extended to Rev. Robert Smith.

October 16, 1988
In the beginning...

The laying of the cornerstone of the church took place on Sunday, October 16, 1988, at a 3:30pm dedication service.

June 5, 1988
In the beginning...
First Service

The first worship service was held on June 5, 1988, at 9:30am with Holy Communion. The Celebration of Consecration was celebrated over the first three Sundays in June. At this time the membership was 135.

May 1998
In the beginning...
Substantial Completion

A Certificate of Substantial Completion was signed the last week of May, 1998.

September 27, 1987
In the beginning...
Breaking Ground

A motorcade decorated with green flags traveled on Hwy. 279 from United Lutheran Church to the new church site for a ground-breaking ceremony attended by 200 people.

July 26, 1987
In the beginning...
Conceptual Design

At a congressional meeting, John Sanfort, chairman of the Planning Council, reported that over the past 13-month period, they had met 27 times and held numerous committee meetings. A conceptual design was approved and they entered into a contract with KanArk Industries and Architect David Thomas.

March 15, 1987
In the beginning...
Letter of intent

A congressional meeting was held and it was voted to accept the letter of intent from Cooper Communities granting a church site North of the intersection of hwys. 340 and 279; to authorize trustees to sign a contract for $5,875 with KanArk Industries, Inc. for a "Design and Construction Guide"; to authorize the Planning Council to pay for a survey and topological map of the building site; and to authorize the Trustees to sell lots received by the Session as donations to the Building Fund.

October 5, 1986
In the beginning...

The place of worship service was changed to Bella Vista United Lutheran Church due to the need of the St. Theodore Episcopal Church to hold two morning services.

March 15, 1985
In the beginning...
Identity & Presbyterian Women

A congressional meeting is held at Riordan Hall where it was voted to name the church the "Presbyterian Church of Bella Vista."

Also, the Presbyterian Women began meeting regularly providing worship study and support of far reaching projects.  The Presbyterian Women's group is financially independent and do not receive financial assistance from the church.

January 12, 1984
In the beginning...
First Service

The first worship service was held. Hymnbooks were given by the First Presbyterian Church of Bentonville.

January 25, 1984
In the beginning...
Duties assisgned

Twelve couples met at the home of Rev. and Mrs. Garvin at which time several persons signed the Charter Roll. Don Bates, George Bleich, Florence Peck, Loma Potts, and Stanley Reiff were appointed to the Steering Committee and duties were assigned.

November 25, 1983
In the beginning...
A Calling

The Arkansas Presbytery saw the need for a Presbyterian church in Bella Vista, so in November 1983, the Rev. James Garvin was called from a pastorate in Ft. Worth, Texas, to begin a Presbyterian congregation in Bella Vista.

Presbyterian Church of Bella Vista