Herschel Hall honors namesake

A building dedication was held on March 17 in Greenbrier to dedicate Herschel Hall, a new events center. The Irish-themed celebration was a nod to Mardell and Herschel McClurkin, who inspired the center’s name.

The late Herschel McClurkin.

The St. Patrick’s Day theme included Irish food and emerald green décor. About 150 friends and business associates attended and joined in the happy occasion, wearing green and friendly smiles.

The owners of Herschel Hall are Chris Ward and Trey McClurkin. The large facility can host weddings, family reunions, business meetings, etc. They scheduled the dedication ceremony and luncheon on the popular holiday because Trey’s mother, Mardell, founded a St. Patrick’s Day church fellowship in 1971 with her late husband, a Methodist minister. Every year, the McClurkin’s would host a St. Patrick’s Day Open House wherever he served over their 59-year ministry. 

These Irish celebrations were a joyous time for the church and community to fellowship together, and the couple modeled hospitality to all. Guests always left feeling lucky and blessed. Though Herschel passed away five years ago, his memory and legacy live on through his family and the many lives he touched. Mardell McClurkin was present at the event, and Bishop Gary E. Mueller, of the United Methodists of Arkansas, led the dedication and prayer.

Growing up, Trey never thought that the St. Patrick’s Day tradition would serve as an inspiration for naming a business. Trey and Chris were lifelong friends who, as young adults, started a Christian music ministry called Spirit Song. Years later, in 2014, they became business partners with Elite Core Audio which manufactures and distributes audio, video, and lighting equipment to clients worldwide. When they decided to open an events center, they felt that a former grocery store’s building in Greenbrier was calling to them. The large, open space was developed with a beautiful esthetic and state-of-the-art sound system.

Trey and Chris credited First Service Bank for believing in their vision. During the ceremony, Donny Bradley, Tom Grumbles and Kevin Wish were recognized.

The co-owners wanted the center to have a name representing integrity, community spirit, and Christian love. Chris’s wife, Stephanie Ward, said, “There is not a more loving and Christian person with a purer spirit than Herschel McClurkin.” Thus, the name Herschel Hall was chosen. 

Stephanie (from left) and Chris Ward with Trey and Tammie McClurkin .

At the dedication, many friends and family described Herschel as generous, kind, compassionate, and always living in the moment. These positive attributes are what Chris and Trey envision that Herschel Hall will bring to Greenbrier and the surrounding community — a place to feel welcome and honored and to appreciate the special moments of life.