Remembering Harold

Harold Scroggs Photo

In 2003 a special missionary couple came to serve in Kentucky.  Harold & Joyce Scroggs attended an Appalachian Regional Ministry Summit at Berea Baptist Church in search of an assignment where God might be leading them.  The rest is history.  For the past 11 ½ years, other than a brief stint back to their home state, this South Carolina couple has served the people of eastern Kentucky through 3 different ministries, Meridzo and United for Jesus Ministries in Harlan County, and Haven of Rest Family Ministries in Inez.  In August 2012 they became the new Directors of Haven of Rest, when founder Eileen Mullins stepped down for health reasons.  Haven of Rest is a ministry to families of federal prisoners at the Big Sandy penitentiary in Inez.

Harold & Joyce became true Kentuckians and special friends to our Kentucky missionary family.  We were all shocked and saddened to learn of Harold’s massive heart attack and his passing on February 16th.  Fellow missionary Jamie Reynolds shared, “Harold was a wonderful friend and a great example of trusting in the Lord and walking with Him in ministry. I appreciate his sense of humor and wit, his good nature and the perseverance he displayed while walking (literally) through great physical, spiritual and emotional difficulties. He always just “kept going”. You cannot hardly say Harold without saying “Harold and Joyce”, because they are such a wonderful pair. They experienced the joy of serving the Lord and His kingdom together 24/7, and JOY is the operative word. So many, like us, will miss Harold’s physical presence with us, but we shall certainly see him again on that great Day. Until then our thoughts and prayers are with Joyce and the family, and we look forward to joining him at the throne of God forever. May all who come behind us find us as faithful as Harold was.”

Thank you, Harold, for your service in eastern Kentucky. We loved you and will miss you.

A “celebration of life” service will be held at a later time in Kentucky.

“…to help churches reach KY and the world for Christ”

What is our mission?  In short, it’s to make disciples of Jesus in all nations (Matt 28:16-20; Acts 1:8).  The call to make Jesus known among the nations is a call for the church.  The Great Commission was not given to a national or state denomination; it was given to the church.  The church of our Lord is called to multiply herself to the far corners of the world.  As a state convention, the KBC was created by churches, for churches, to help churches reach Kentucky and the world for Christ.  Plain and simple.  All we do as a state convention is meant to strengthen the church and equip her to reach others for Christ.

In order to help your church reach KY and the world for Christ several opportunities are available to be equipped for Great Commission impact this Spring.  Each opportunity is designed to help you think biblically, strategically and practically about missions in your neighborhoods and nations.

ITLT1)      International Team Leader Training- March 13-14.  Leading an international mission team can be quite intimidating and overwhelming.  We want to help prepare you to lead others who will take the gospel across the globe.  From team preparation to logistics, come learn how to lead your next overseas mission team.  To learn more or register for this free training, visit

EngageKY_600_3002)      Engage KY Vision Tours- March 20-21 (Northern KY) and May 18-19 (Lexington).  Two Spring tours are planned to awaken KY Baptists to the multiple opportunities to engage your own Judea with the gospel. Find out how your church can partner for gospel impact with existing churches and ministries in these two areas.  To learn more or register for this free vision tour, visit

one-day-600_3003)      Mission: One Day- April 16 (Elkton, KY) and April 17 (Berea, KY).  This one event, two location training is designed to equip pastors, mission leaders, and DOMs to think biblically, strategically, and practically about mobilizing the church for Great Commission impact.  Learn from experienced pastors, IMB missionaries, and NAMB church planters.  You may attend the location nearest to you.  For more information or registration for this free training, visit

Because of the generosity of Kentucky Baptists through the Cooperative Program we are able to offer these Great Commission equipping opportunities.  Please take advantage of these trainings to further equip your church to make a global impact for the sake of God’s glory.  After all, the KBC was created by churches, for churches, to help churches reach KY and the world for Christ.  So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s reach our state and world for Christ together!

Hope for the Brokenhearted

When disasters come roaring into our lives, loss follows.  The loss can be material possessions: our home, vehicles, household belongings, income, photos, and keepsakes.  Even more devastating, the loss can involve loved ones.  West Liberty -6

Those who have been affected by these disasters are left to cope with feelings of:

  • Loss
  • Intrusion
  • Vulnerability
  • Escape

We must have an understanding of these inner responses, if we are to minister to those seeking to recover from the devastation of disasters.

Loss:  It is vital that the relief volunteer understands that the sense of hurt won’t be magically wiped away.  A spiritual experience will not take away the loss that victims have experienced.

Intrusion:  Devastated by disasters, victims are often forced to trust strangers for the most basic of necessities such as food, water, shelter, and medical care.  It is important to offer love and support that enables the person to feel valued and respected as a person.

Vulnerability:  Often victims of disaster feel abandoned, forgotten, overwhelmed, angry, depressed, and hopeless.  Survivors feel extremely vulnerable, and it is important for a volunteer to avoid any behavior that even hints at manipulation.

Escape:  Recovery after disasters can take months and years.  The pain of survivors is very real and should not be glossed over.  We must always avoid offering the Gospel as a magic cure for the loss suffered by victims, or as a panacea that overlooks the real concerns that they are facing.

Here are some bits of wisdom in sharing the hope of Christ with those devastated by crisis events:

• Listen to their story.
• Assist them in any capacity that you are competent in or that you have been trained to respond.
• Assure the victims that you are there to help without any expectation of compensation.
• Demonstrate genuine concern for the person.
• Be cautious in promises and be sure to fulfill all promises made.
• Avoid using manipulative actions or words.
• Realize that unbelievers may not act or behave like followers of Christ.  Our witness needs to be positive and avoid actions or words that seem judgmental or condemning.
• Share openly the reason why you seek to help.
• Be prepared to share your faith story.
• Be ready to walk them through plan of salvation, if God’s Holy Spirit opens the opportunity.
• Allow time for questions, conversation, and the possibility of follow-up by you or someone else in your church.
• Pray with them.  This is always appropriate!
May we always remember that often the greatest source of strength and healing that enables people to recover is hope; and the greatest source of hope is found in a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  As the prophet reminds:
“But those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”  (Isaiah 40:31)


Mercy Will Expect Change

ReThink Postcard FrontWe’re all familiar with churches that minister to the hungry by providing a bag of groceries, hot meal or sack lunch. Some churches provide financial assistance to individuals and families needing help with their rent or utilities. Others provide clothing, household items,  job training, pregnancy resources or shelter to those in need. Each of these acts of mercy are good and the church should be involved in many different forms of ministry to those in need.

Scriptures instruct us to care for those who are orphaned, widowed, naked, homeless, hungry and imprisoned (James 1:27, Matt 25). But what does that look like and should the church just give without any expectation of the recipient? Some people deserve mercy because they are working and show gratefulness for what they receive from the church. But do the wicked and ungrateful deserve mercy as well? The answer is yes … initially.

We can only understand our responsibility to others by looking at the grace and mercy God shows to us. His mercy is unconditional and He loved us while we were still in our sin (Romans 3:9-18). God’s mercy comes to us without any conditions, but it demands a response from us. God loves us so much that He can’t leave us in the same condition He finds us. We must actively pursue Christlikeness through prayer, worship, Bible study and service to others. Otherwise, our condition will not change.

In this same way, we should show mercy to those in need just as Christ did to us. The church shouldn’t judge those needing mercy as underserving, even if they are in this condition because of their own sin. We should give a witness to the free grace and mercy of God. But mercy doesn’t stop there. It isn’t only about meeting a felt need or stopping the current suffering. Our goal in showing mercy is to see those we help come to know God as their Lord. Total restoration and self-sufficiency of the person in need requires active pursuit and cooperation on their part. So, while we show mercy and offer help to all regardless of their condition, we won’t be satisfied to only band aid the situation. Eventually, Mercy will expect change of the individual or we’re not really showing the love of Christ. We offer mercy so that people will grow in Christ, not so that they will continue to rebel against Him.

So, if your church has a mercy ministry of some kind, how effective is it in total restoration of the individual in need? Is it very intentional and gospel-centered? Mercy ministries must do more than just meet a felt need. They must lead to total restoration of the individual in need. Perhaps your church is considering starting a mercy ministry in order to engage the lost. Whether you’re starting a new ministry or refining an existing one, the Missions Mobilization Team is ready to assist you. Contact our office for help with your mercy ministry.

Ministry training is provided through ReThink Mercy workshops scheduled for next week, February 12 or 13, in Louisville or Bowling Green. For more information or to register: