Central Baptist College president Terry Kimbrow recently announced the establishment of the Opie and Ruby Hefner Endowed Scholarship.

The scholarship was established by Jay and Jana Hefner, the Hefner’s son and daughter-in-law.

Priority in awarding of the Opie and Ruby Hefner Endowed Scholarship will be given to members of a CBC athletic team who are also active members of a Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas church.

"Opie and Ruby Hefner were important members of the CBC community during the early years of the institution’s founding," a news release stated. "They were also faithful members of both Antioch and Eastside Baptist Churches for [more than] 70 years, with Opie serving as a deacon and [s]unday [s]chool teacher and Ruby serving as the [b]eginner [d]epartment [s]uperintendent for a number of years."

The Hefners were born and raised in Rupert, Arkansas, grew up together and began to date and court in school.

Opie eventually went with his brother to Lawrence, Kansas, to help at the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant during World War II but while there began to miss Ruby so he sent her a bus ticket so they could be married, which happened at the Douglas County courthouse in Lawrence on August 10, 1943.

After the war ended, the Hefners returned to Arkansas, eventually settling in Conway to give their children a chance to attend one of the three colleges in town.

When CBC started in 1952, Opie and Ruby volunteered to clean up Old Main so that classes could be held there. Ruby worked in the kitchen and helped prepare meals for the students and would later provide after church meals for CBC students in their home.

Opie worked as the maintenance supervisor at from 1968-1980 and was known during that time period as Bro. Opie.

"They supported CBC every day after that until their deaths, Opie’s in 2004 and Ruby’s in 2016," the release stated.

Their three children, Janice Stephens, the late Ron Hefner and Jay Hefner, are all graduates of CBC.

Central Baptist College has more than sixty endowed scholarships representing more than $2,000,000 in contributions.

Endowed scholarships serve as a lasting tribute, as contributions are placed in the permanent endowment and only the interest is awarded as scholarships and are awarded by vote of the CBC Scholarship Committee, taking into account the qualifications and eligibility of the applicants as detailed in the scholarship agreement.

Memorial gifts to the Opie and Ruby Hefner Endowed Scholarship Fund can be sent to Central Baptist College at 1501 College Avenue, Conway, AR 72034.

Checks should be made payable to Central Baptist College with "Hefner Endowed Scholarship" indicated on the memo line.

For questions or additional information, please contact Sancy Faulk, vice president for advancement, at 501.205.8799 or sfaulk@cbc.edu.