Alfred E. Kerst died May 5, 2013

Alfred E. Kerst, age 78, moved to his heavenly home on Sunday, May 5, 2013 after an extended illness. He was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Mary Kerst and his brother Karl F. Kerst all of Crete Nebraska. He was a long time resident of Jonesboro, Arkansas and Greers Ferry, Arkansas.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Jean and four children, Judi (Kerst) and Jerry Foster of Black Oak, Paul and Cecilia Kerst of Conway, Arkansas, Becky Kerst of Cleburne, Texas and John Kerst of Jonesboro, Arkansas. He has four grandchildren, Katie and Lou Kerst of Conway, Marine Cpl. Bandon Foster of Camp Pendleton, California, and Rachel (Foster) Adams of Pocahontas Arkansas. Other surviving family members include Mary Lou (Kerst) Moorberg (sister) of Grand Island, Nebraska and Jody (Kerst) Jasnoch (sister) of Ogalalla, Nebraska.

Originally from Crete, Nebraska, Mr. Kerst served 13 years in the U. S. Marine Corps, including the Vietnam conflict. Upon completion of military service, Mr. Kerst was an electrical engineer, a police officer, a volunteer fireman, a purchasing manager, a business owner in Jonesboro and completed a Bachelor of Science degree from Arkansas State University all-the-while serving God as a Southern Baptist minister pastoring at University Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Lunsford Baptist Church and as associate pastor of Nettleton Baptist Church. After retiring as a pastor, Mr. Kerst served as teacher of the Adult Sunday School at Westside First Baptist Church in Greers Ferry, Arkansas.

Throughout his life, Mr. Kerst enjoyed family outings and extended family vacations. He also loved participating in missionary work in several countries abroad. Some of his travels included genealogy research in the Czech Republic.

He was an avid fisherman spending countless hours during his retirement on the water catching some of the biggest fish (according to him) ever to be caught in Greers Ferry Lake.

Many of his extracurricular activities included cabinetry, building their entire kitchen from scratch and gardening, growing some of the biggest tomatoes (according to him) in Cleburne County.

He left behind many friends and extended family who he expects to join him soon (according to him).  He will be dearly missed by everyone.

Visitation was Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at Westside First Baptist Church, Greers Ferry.  Funeral Services were Thursday, May 9, 2013, at Westside First Baptist Church, Greers Ferry with interment at Shiloh Cemetery on the edge of the lake.

In lieu of flowers please consider Westside First Baptist Church building fund. For more information please visit the online obituary for Mr. Kerst at or call 501.887.9152 for more information.