Pastor Everette Cornell Maltbia is founder of — and serves as senior pastor for — Conway’s True Holiness Saints Center, Inc. (True Holiness). With his wife, Natasha, alongside him, the two define successful marriage, while providing opportunities for others in the community to strengthen their own relationships through various ministries.
The couple has two children: Kennedy is 22, and Connor is 19. Both were born and raised in Conway. Pastor Maltbia attended the University of Central Arkansas, while simultaneously receiving his ordination by the Church of God In Christ Inc. He became a licensed minister in 1989. Natasha also attended the University of Central Arkansas.
In addition to the numerous ministries offered through True Holiness, Pastor Maltbia has dedicated his time and talents to the local community by serving on the board of directors for the following organizations: United Way of Faulkner County, Salvation Army of Faulkner County, Faulkner County Leadership Institute, Conway Regional Health System’s Community Advisory Board, Community Foundation of Faulkner County, the University of Central Arkansas Inaugural Parent and Family Council, Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission, and as a founding member of the Conway Community Race Relations Initiative. Pastor Maltbia was also appointed as Chaplain for the State of Arkansas House of Representatives 87th General Assembly.
Pastor Maltbia currently serves as a member of the City of Conway Civil Service Commission, Conway Regional Health System Board of Directors, Chaplain for the Conway Police Department and for Veasley Funeral Home and Cremations, and as a member of Conway Ministerial Alliance. In addition, he was recently appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson to the Board of Trustees for the University of Central Arkansas.
He will celebrate his 25th year as pastor of True Holiness in July. Natasha oversees the women’s ministry, Women of Noble Character, at the church. They credit a wonderful support team as being integral to the ministries of the church, saying, “We have a wonderful support team at True Holiness. The entire staff and congregation are an absolute joy to work with as we endeavor to impact our community for the cause of Christ.” Being involved with more than an impressive 20 ministries, a cohesive, productive staff is a must.
“I would like to quickly highlight two [of our ministries],” says Pastor Maltbia. “Our church offers two College Ministry small groups. Both groups are registered student organizations on the campus of UCA. The Inter-Denominational Christian Council hosts weekly Bible studies at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday nights at UCA. In addition, Judah Choral is our College Choir. These two groups of young people work together to host our annual College Day each fall semester. Also, our Youth and Children’s ministry is a very important part of the life of our church. I often say, ‘They are the church of tomorrow in training today!’ We work hard to teach our young people to love Jesus.”
Specific to “matters of the heart,” True Holiness also offers a Married Life small group opportunity. “This small group is designed to affair-proof marriages. Our goal is to help marriages thrive and not just survive. On average, 18 to 28 couples commit to meeting together quarterly for a lesson and potluck dinner,” says Pastor Maltbia.
The Maltbias have another big celebration on the horizon, as the high school sweethearts will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on June 5th. When asked how he and Natasha met, Pastor Maltbia says, “We have known each other so long; it’s hard to remember. We grew up in the same neighborhood. We attended the same local church. We went through the Conway Public Schools together. I would say we probably met at church. She was probably ‘stalking’ me at a young age,” he laughs. “But seriously, I got to know Natasha best through our church youth group. For as long as I can remember, she has always been a beautiful young lady who loves God and has been very serious about her relationship with Him.” Natasha seconds this, adding, “Our families grew up knowing each other, so I think we probably met as babies. However, we became best friends and started dating at the age of 16.”
When asked what they feel is the key to a successful relationship, Pastor Maltbia answers, “One: Loving a person the way they want to be loved. Find out what they need from a spouse, and do everything you can to meet those needs. Two: Open and honest communication. You have to share your goals, fears, frustrations, and feelings. Three: Forgiveness. We are imperfect people, and we will make mistakes from time to time. A marriage cannot survive without forgiveness.” Natasha answers the same question, “I think there are several keys to a successful relationship. One of my favorites is that you should always protect your relationship, as found in Song of Solomon 2:15, from the ‘foxes’ or the little things that creep in and destroy it.”
When asked what advice they may have for young, newly engaged or married couples, Cornell states, “I believe every newly engaged couple needs to go through a Biblically based, pre-marital counseling program with a seasoned instructor.” Natasha adds, “From an early age, my grandfather had many conversations with me about the type of man I should marry. So I was always perceptive of couples who I thought were #goals or had ideal relationships. I took mental notes of things in each of the relationships I liked, and I found someone who believed in those same principles. We had premarital counseling through our church; I would advise every engaged couple to go through counseling. Also, we sat down and went over our goals, expectations, and non-negotiables. Being armed with this information beforehand really helped us once the honeymoon stage had ended.”
For more seasoned couples, Pastor Maltbia advises “Forever be a student of your spouse. During every age and stage in life, they change. They are certainly not the person they were five years ago and neither are you.” Natasha adds, “Focus on growing together to prevent yourselves from growing apart. We are currently moving into the stage of being empty nesters. When our eldest child started junior high school, we knew we had to make sure we wouldn’t end up as strangers living in the same house after our kids graduated. So much of our time had revolved around the kids, we had to figure out and train ourselves to do things without them. Anticipating this seasonal change in our lives and dealing with it years beforehand really made an easy and stress free transition into this new phase in our marriage.”
The Maltbias welcome all to attend True Holiness. They offer Sunday school weekly at 10:00 a.m. with Morning Worship service to follow at 11:00 a.m. They also host a mid-week Word and Worship on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. In addition to these weekly offerings, True Holiness will host its annual Family and Friends Day on Sunday, March 4 at 11:00 a.m. The public is welcomed and invited to attend.