This past Sunday morning, I decided to attend service at the First United Methodist Church with my mother, a forty-plus year member of the congregation. Although I have since joined another local church, my family enjoys attending with “Nanna” on occasion. As church traditions go, families tend to sit in the same pews each and every Sunday. Glancing back to the pew behind, I see Michelle (Brand) Foshee sitting with her mother as well. The pew has been home to her family for decades. Being several years older than Michelle, memories flood back of watching her as a beautiful blonde child on that same pew softly whispering to her parents, coloring, and listening to the service. Michelle chose to return to Newport with her husband Justin and daughter and forge a path in making a difference.   

Justin Foshee and Michelle met years ago, junior high, when Michelle travelled to Searcy for Justin’s mother to style her hair. Michelle grew up in Newport, daughter of Michael and Kay Brand. She graduated from Newport High School and continued her education at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Justin is a Searcy native, graduated from Searcy High School, and also attended the University of Arkansas. The couple married in March of 2012 and have been married for six years.

            After college graduation, the couple settled in North Little Rock as a young married couple, but eventually had the opportunity to move back to Newport and raise a family. “After living in Little Rock and starting our family, we both wanted a change of pace and a simpler life. So, we just sold our house and decided to see if we would like small town living,” explains Michelle. Michelle is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Unity Health- Harris Medical Center and Justin is the Shipping Manager for Arkansas Steel Associates. The couple have two girls, ages 4 years and 17 months.

            When asked what the couple likes most about Newport and the decision to move here, Michelle explains, “It was a simple decision to move back home. Justin and I love the people here and can be close to family.”

Who is a person in the community you admire and/or made an impact on your life? The shock on Michelle’s face was picture worthy. “It would take too much space and time listing all of the people from this community that have impacted my life! Of course, all my family that lives here has impacted our lives.” she explains. “That’s why Newport is so unique. The people in this town truly care for each other and aim to impact each other lives in positive ways.”