The 12th Annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest, set for April 3-7 at various venues in Batesville, will premiere Arkansas filmmaker and United Methodist Pastor Bob Hager’s hour-long documentary, Black Marks on White Paper, at Independence Hall on the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College on Friday evening, April 5, at 6:00 p.m. Hager’s previous film, At the Crossroads, a short documentary about the “fifty years of seismic cultural change on the landscape of pastoral ministry,” screened at the 2102 FilmFest.
Black Marks on White Paper examines the life of Bennie D. Warner, a Liberian politician and clergyman. Born in 1935 in a small Liberian village, eight year old Bennie Warner was inspired when he first saw a man making “black marks on white paper.” This experience propelled the self-taught youth to a life of faith, teaching, ministry, and politics.
Warner was a bishop in the United Methodist Church for four years before being plucked from relative obscurity in 1977 to become Liberia’s vice president. His amazing life included an unsuccessful attempt to form a government in exile in the Ivory Coast after a military coup overthrew the Liberian government and a period as the second bishop in the history of the church in Liberia. He later established residence in Oklahoma City where he taught at Oklahoma City University, a United Methodist school, and served as pastor at Quayle United Methodist Church. He also served as District Superintendent of the Camden District of the United Methodist Church of Arkansas. Unrelenting, Warner resolutely declares himself “a missionary to America.” He has become a model for religious leaders and remains active in the United Methodist Church.
Pastor Warner and his wife Anna now live in Oklahoma. They will attend the screening, along with Hager, and will answer questions from the audience following the screening.
Ozark Foothills FilmFest is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit founded in 2001 and based in Locust Grove. The complete FilmFest schedule is available at www.ozarkfoothillsfilmfest.org.