Abner Reuben (A.R.) Reddin was born in Fordyce, Ark. on February 8, 1918 to George C. and Maude Ellis Reddin. He grew up in in the Woodberry community where he was saved at the age of 16 at his home church. Growing up, he attended a "subscription" school, where students had to pay for their attendance. Abner sold peanut and popcorn to pay his way. Later, he attended high school in Hampton, Ark. where he was Salutatorian of his graduating class. After high school, Reddin worked to pay for college for himself and his sister at Southern State College in Magnolia, Ark. He did various odd jobs including painting on the campus, selling men's suits and picking up laundry for people. He served in rural schools as a teacher and principal, earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Henderson University, and later a Master of Science in Education from what is now known as the University of Central Arkansas.
Reddin married Lizzie Bell Leslie on May 30, 1942. After getting married, they bought a farm in Bingen, Ark. where they lived. The Reddins had three children: George, Timothy, and Charles. While working on the farm, Reddin pastored three churches near Hope, Ark. simultaneously: Patmos Baptist Church, Lanebury Baptist Church, and Little Bodkaw Baptist Church. He also pastored County Line Baptist Church near Nashville, Arkansas. During his ministry, he helped organize eight churches and revive four inactive ones. In 1950, Reddin became the Secretary and Treasurer of Missions for the North American Baptist Association. He also served on the Baptist Publications Committee where he wrote the Adult Training Service Quarterly for many years. He authored two books during this period.
In 1954, he was named the second President of Central Baptist College, formally known as Conway Baptist College. While serving as President, the number of students rose from 37 to over 200 students. He renovated buildings and built new ones for the college. Reddin was also credited with raising funds for the college, recruiting faculty, and for doing carpentry work and painting at the college in his free time. He served as President of the Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas in 1960. He stepped down from the CBC Presidency in 1966 to pastor Park View Baptist Church in Laurel, Mississippi. In 1970, he became the President of Southeastern Baptist College. In 1971, Reddin became director of The Harvest Gleaner Hour, now known as Lifeword. He was director for a year until he passed away in February of 1972 at the age of 54. In 1976, Southeastern Baptist College named their library the A.R. Reddin Memorial Library in honor of Bro. Reddin.
The Ronald V. Mitchell Archives
The Carillon, yearbook of Central Baptist College