Maj. Gen (Ret.) Douglas Carver will be the featured speaker at the seventh annual Community Thanksgiving Service at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Van Buren School District Fine Arts Center.

From 2007-11, Carver served as the 22nd United States Army chief of chaplains.

"Chaplain Carver is an outstanding and powerful voice for faith and family values in our nation, especially to our military and government," said Pastor Wesley Hilliard of Heritage Church in Van Buren and the senior command chaplain for the Arkansas National Guard.

Hilliard said Carver is one of the most anointed and gifted leaders he has come across in his life.

"Having him here in the River Valley is truly an opportunity folks will not want to miss," Hilliard said.

Mayor Bob Freeman will bring a welcome and greeting to the congregation.

The evening will feature a community children’s choir directed by Michael Bray of Van Buren Freewill Baptist and an adult and youth community choir and worship team lead by music ministers from across the area.

Hilliard said congregations that would like to participate and those interested in singing in the children or adult choir should contact Pam James or Becki Kneeland at (479) 474-6424 for more information.

The evening’s offering will go to support Hearts of Hope Ministries in Alma.

Hilliard said more than 20 congregations have participated in past celebrations.

Before becoming a chaplain, Carver served as a regular Army Airborne Ranger artillery officer. His career in the military spanned more than 38 years.

Since retirement, Carver has served as the executive director of chaplain services for the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Church. He oversees the work of more than 3,650 chaplains.