Sam and Martha Endowment Fund

The Arkansas Methodist Foundation’s Sam and Martha Endowment Fund was named for Sam and Martha Sowell of Smyrna, Arkansas. This Endowment Fund was established to benefit the Arkansas Conference’s United Methodist Museum located at First United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Endowment Fund was created to augment the financial support given by the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Funds are invested by the Foundation in hopes that the contributions will increase what is supplied by the Arkansas Conference to the programs of the museum. Individuals can contribute to our Endowment Fund. Your tax-deductible dollars assist us in the important preservation of a vibrant history and can be claimed as a donation to a qualified organization.

Thank you.

Please make checks payable to UMMAC and mail to: United Methodist Museum of Arkansas 723 Center St. Little Rock, AR 72201

About Sam and Martha Sowell

Sam C. Sowell married Martha Norman in 1955 after serving in the U. S. Army. They came to Little Rock in 1965 after Sam received a job as personnel manager of International Graphics Company. In 1967 he was made president of the printing company and in January 1975, the late Raymond Rebsamen made Sam president of Rebsamen Companies, Inc.

 In 1995, Mr. and Mrs. Sowell became owners of Harvey Press in New Orleans as well as International Graphics. The sold International Graphics in 1997 and Harvey Press in 2000. Sam had an illustrious business career, he served as national chairman of the 13,000-member Printing Industries of America. He was honored as “Man of the Year” by the Printing Industry Association of the South and as a “Boss of the Year” by the Southwest Little Rock Jaycees. He was also chairman of the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Foundation Board in 1982, and in 1988-1990 was chairman of the University of Arkansas Foundation. A former president of Fifty for the Future, he was also Vice chairman and director of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

Sam had a number of leadership roles. He was chairman of the Winrock International President’s Arkansas Advisory Council, founding member and chapter chairman of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), president of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, chairman for the United Way of Pulaski County, president of the Downtown Kiwanis Club, member of the administrative board and chairman of the finance committee of First United Methodist Church. 

He was a member of the World Business Council and of the Arkansas Symphony Foundation. In 1994, he was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He was a 33rd degree Mason and was elected Knight Commander of the Court of Honour of the Arkansas Consistory. In retirement, Sam found great interest in Genealogy. He was a member of Sons of the American Revolution and was invited to become a member of the Jamestown Society. 

Martha Sowell was also a prominent member of the Little Rock community. Martha Sowell, who served on the United Methodist Museum’s committee for several years, was the key player in developing the Endowment Fund. She was instrumental in acquiring a grant funds from the United Methodist Foundation to enhance programming at the museum. Her brilliant mind and endless ideas have been vital to exhibitions, outreach and securing items for our collection. Sowell’s connections in the community helped to increase visitor numbers, awareness, and donations and loans that allow us to bring our exhibits to fruition. Martha and Sam Sowell are the best part of the museum and it’s legacy.