Betsy Singleton

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The Reverend Betsy Singleton has been senior pastor of Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church in Little Rock since 2001. Singleton and her church opened HeARTwork Arts and Spirituality Mission, which includes a "state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen" and culinary arts education center, in 2002 to teach skills to the unemployed and downtrodden. The mission also rents studio space to artists in exchange for service to the poor and underserved populations. Singleton recognized the need for more culinary specialists as projects like the Clinton Presidential Center and new hotels neared completion in Little Rock. Said Singleton, "Everyone I've talked to who knows anything about downtown said it's going to happen." The church also feeds one thousand people each month through its food pantry and Stone Soup Sundays.

Singleton came under fire in 2006 from Donald E. Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association. Wildmon objected to two sermons given by Singleton: "Conflict in the Church: Is Homosexuality a Sin?" and "Is Christianity the Only Way?"

Singleton is married to U.S. Representative Vic Snyder. Her views on gay marriage got her husband in trouble in 2006 when his Republican adversary Andy Mayberry said in a debate, "Congressman Snyder says his personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, that is not what is preached in his church by his pastor, by what you would consider his spiritual leader, who also happens to be his wife. She has preached sermons that say homosexual marriage should be blessed. I only bring this up because my wife, my pastor, my spiritual leaders influence how I think. That takes place with most people."

Reverend Singleton is also known for conducting animal blessings. Says Singleton, "Churches are just recognizing that people's animals, and especially pets, have an important place in our lives, especially our companions that live with us. We need to pay attention to that as pastors."

Singleton and Snyder have one child, Charles Pennington "Penn" Snyder, born May 23, 2006. Reverend Singleton is a graduate of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, and former associate pastor at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church. Snyder is Singleton's second husband; she was formerly married to physician Mike Bauer.


  • Seth Blomeley, "Debate Turns Heated for Snyder, Mayberry: Jabs Traded on Gay Marriage, Abortion," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 25, 2006.
  • Linda S. Caillouet, "Church Cooking Up Plan for Arts School," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 19, 2002.
  • Andy Davis, "Pets and People Fetch Blessings at Church Ceremonies in State," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 2, 2006.
  • Laurie Pierce, "Quapaw Quarter UMC's Mission Draws on Art," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, December 15, 2001.

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