“Newport has exceeded our expectations,” says Jarred Elliot. Jarred and Krista Elliot are a sweet couple who moved to Newport with their son, Ethan, with the task of building a congregation and shepherding the flock at Central Baptist Campus in Diaz. Jarred has served as pastor for two and a half years now. The Central Baptist Campus is located in the former Diaz Baptist Church. Jarred and his wife are delightful with their fun-loving personalities, a great addition to our community. The couple grew up in Blytheville and spent several years in Jonesboro. After his salvation in 2012, Jarred knew God was calling him into the ministry.

            While working for Terminix, Jarred studied faithfully and prayed for the opportunity to preach. Knowing it was time to pursue his calling, Jarred left his fulltime job and begin his preaching career at a small cowboy church in Brookland. He preached there for about nine months. Soon after, Jared was offered a paid position in Sedgwick. “I had no idea what ‘in few of a call’ actually meant,” laughs Jarred. As a new pastor, Jarrod still looked to his home church to be fed. The couple loved the small congregation, but the time was brief. Soon, Jarred was approached by Archie Mason, pastor of Central Baptist Jonesboro. Mason noticed the fire in him and offered him a position on staff as the Connections Pastor.

“The intention was not to move so quickly, but everything God had planned seemed to fall in place. If God’s plan was for me to still be pastor of the small Cowboy church, that is where we would be today,” says Elliot.

            Central Baptist decided to pursue a Newport campus with the goal of becoming a church plant by 2019. Jarred stepped up to lead Newport, a Godly man with a calling for spreading the Word. The couple knew nobody in Newport, so they came to the community with no preconceived ideals. Being from Blytheville, the couple felt more than prepared for life in Newport and its challenges. He preached on the Newport Campus sporadically in the beginning. As he fell in love with the congregation and the Newport community, Elliot approached Archie Mason about leading Newport on a fulltime basis. “The Lord just broke my heart for these people. I have to be there and shepherd them. The Bible says I need to shepherd the flock,” Elliot explained to Archie. The couple put their house in Jonesboro on the market, sold it within three days and planned the move to Newport. The couple bought a home in Diaz and became part of our community. The congregation has grown in number and closer to the mission of Lord with each passing year. The couple have a five year old son, Ethan, who attends pre-school in Tuckerman. With a love of baseball and an ever growing congregation, the couple stay very busy in all things Jackson County.

            Krista works for Dr. Frank Love, a local optometrist. Keeping a focus on Jesus is the main goal. “Newport has a wonderful variety of Godly congregations,” states Elliot. I have great relationships with other local pastors. As he speaks, I cannot help but feel blessed that the Newport community is home to Krista and Jarred.

The location of the Central Campus is great for the congregation, which is consists of members from Newport, Diaz, Grubbs, Tuckerman, and Swifton. Central draws from many neighboring communities. “I am here until God says differently,” states Elliot.

             The church plugs into all things happening in Newport. They participate in activities such as Portfest selling lemonade. The spare time of a pastor and his family is limited, consumed by church activities, but the Elliot’s are quick to lend a hand.  Jarred loves to fly airplanes, fish and work out. As the only female in the house, Krista loves crafts and has a booth at Charee’s Emporium.