KBC Regional Mobilization Consultants Stand Ready to Help

The Kentucky Baptist Convention’s Mission Mobilization Team is blessed to have 7 “self-funded” mobilization consultants across the state that stand ready to help a church, association or individual connect with in-state missions.

Their primary duties are to:

  1. Establish and maintain good relations with Directors of Missions, pastors, and churches in their regions.
  2. Recruit and enlist Kentucky Mission Service Corps and North American Mission Board MSC-funded (self-funded) missionaries, including developing prospects, following up on missionary leads, maintaining contact with the prospects, and assisting with the application process.
  3. Identify needs and discover places of service in Kentucky. This includes assisting with the completion of missionary requests and suggesting possible uses of KY-MSC missionaries to ministries, churches and associations.
  4. Promote and actively “tell the Kentucky missionary story.” They are available to make presentations at churches, associational executive board meetings, associational annual meetings, mission fairs, community events, On Mission Celebrations, etc.
  5. Serve as a liaison between the missionaries in their region and the KBC and/or NAMB. The consultants check regularly on the missionaries to offer support, encouragement, networking, and prayer, and communicate specific needs and prayer concerns related to the missionaries.
  6. Assist with short-term volunteerism, helping to identify new ministries and locate areas where short-term volunteers are needed. The consultants also help to connect mission teams with mission opportunities.

Serving as Mission Mobilization Consultants are:

  • George & Cathy Chinn from Hartford (South-Central Region).
  • Ryan Horrell from Louisville (Central Region).
  • Pat Howard from Bowling Green (South-Central Region).
  • Arlene Miller from Crofton (West Region).
  • John Morris from McDowell (East Region).
  • Twyla Sheffield from Winchester (North-Central Region).

Currently the South Region position is vacant and Teresa Parrett, KBC Missions Mobilization Coordinator, covers that area.  (If you live in the South Region and are interested in serving as a KBC Regional Mobilization Consultant, please contact the Missions Mobilization office at [email protected].)

We are grateful for these 7 individuals, their knowledge of Kentucky missions, and their commitment to serve.  They are available to you, so feel free to call on them at any time.  They will be happy to assist.

 

The Kathy J. Strange Answer Center – Sharing Christ Through Social Ministry

 

For nearly 18 years men, women, boys, and girls have heard and seen the gospel message lived out through the efforts of the Kathy J. Strange Answer Center in Henderson, KY.  In the year 2000 a couple of churches in the Green Valley Baptist Association saw the need for a social ministry in their area, and the Center was started in September of that year as a ministry of the Association.

The Answer Center is named after its founder, Kathy J. Strange, a retired social worker who had a vision and a heart for ministering to the people of Henderson, Union, and Webster counties.  She wanted a place where people could come and shop for needed items and have the gospel of Christ shared with them.  A place where they could see and feel Christian love.  Kathy served as Director of the ministry for a nearly 15 years, before being diagnosed with cancer.  She passed away in December 2015.

The Center continued and, according to Director of Missions Bill Patterson, has been a strong ministry for a number of years.  “It is like the face of the association now,” said Patterson.  “It is the number one social ministry of the association and has a great evangelistic outreach.”   Last year (2017) 31 professions of faith were reported as a result of the ministry and so far they have seen 6 professions of faith in 2018.  “That is why we do what we do,” said current director Jeff Burke.

Jeff, along with Nancy Brown, a retired school teacher, and nearly 90 volunteers from the Green Valley Baptist Association churches, serve on the average of 105 – 110 persons each week by providing clothing and household items to those who have a need.  They are on pace to serve nearly 4200 in 2018.

The Center is open every Saturday (except for the fifth Saturday of the month or holidays) from 9:00 – 10:30 AM.  Clothing is laid out just like a department store and the families come in to “shop” every other month.  When the family enters the Center they are given one bag for each person in the household, and can fill the bags with as much clothing as they can put in them.  Donations have been very generous, which allows them to give out extra bags to the families if needed.  The clothing includes coats in the winter months and they are beginning to carry school uniforms for the children.

In addition to clothing, the Center also has household items such as towels, sheets, pots & pans, dishes, etc.  Director Jeff Burke shared about a couple who recently had 5-year old foster twins placed in their home.  They had gotten help with clothing but did not have beds for the twins.  There were no beds at The Answer Center when they came in but, the very next day, Habitat for Humanity called saying they could provide $100 vouchers for families to come and buy anything out of the Habitat store, which “just happened” to include beds.  The family got their clothing, the beds they needed, and the family is now regularly attending church.

Another success story was told of a lady and children that came from a local shelter to get clothing.  After working with her for about three months, the lady not only got clothing, but found Jesus.  She was saved, baptized, and continues to be active in a local church.  She moved into her own apartment, and the center helped her with household items, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, and a fan.  She got a job at a local fast food restaurant, then went to school to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.  She now works full time in a nursing home.

Each year mission teams come to serve at the Center.  Recently 160 young people with World Changers came to serve and some of the students said, “we just feel the presence of the Lord in this place.”

The Center has close ties to the Kentucky Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board.  Both Jeff Burke and Nancy Brown are Kentucky Mission Service Corps Missionaries in their roles at the Center.  They receive grants from the Eliza Broadus Offering which helps meet the needs of the families they serve.  In May 2019 the Center will be hosting a free medical and dental clinic in conjunction with the North American Mission Board dental trailer and the Kentucky Baptist Convention Missions Mobilization Team.

“It is a great blessing to serve at the Center,” says Nancy Brown.  “Every day it is amazing to watch God meet the needs.  As a teacher I prayed ‘for’ my students.  Now, when they come to the Center I can love them, hug them, and can now pray ‘with’ them.”  How rewarding.  Needs are being met and lives being changed at The Kathy J. Strange Answer Center.  Kathy’s vision lives on.

To see how you might volunteer or assist this ministry contact the Green Valley Baptist Association office at 270-827-9867.

Kentucky Missionaries Impacting their Community for Christ

Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, on the southern edge of the Daniel Boone National Forest and the northern end of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, is scenic McCreary County, Kentucky, a county with numerous gorges, waterfalls, rock shelters, and natural stone arches.

Kentucky missionaries Grant & Gina Hasty serve in this beautiful area.  Grant is the founding pastor of Crossroads Community Baptist Church and, along with wife Gina, they direct a “free” restaurant called The Lord’s Café.

Crossroads CBC began when a small group of individuals met in the Hasty’s living room on September 5, 2010 for Bible study.  From this small group, the church was birthed.  Today they meet at the former “Blue Heron Restaurant” building, where they gather on Sunday mornings for coffee, Bible study, and worship, and on Wednesday evenings for Bible study and dinner.

Although rich in beauty, McCreary County is poor economically, and poor spiritually.  Considered by some statistics to be the poorest county in Kentucky and in the United States, McCreary County has a 41% poverty rate, which is more than double the 15.5% national poverty rate.  23.8% of the people affiliate with a religion, while only 5% are reported as actual attenders.

Grant & Gina, along with new self-funded staff members Josh & Bobbi Chesser, are helping to make a difference in the physical and spiritual lives of families in this area.  Less than a year after the church was planted, The Lord’s Café was begun, and the first lunch was served on June 6, 2011.  Each year over 17,000 free hot lunches are served, every “customer” is prayed with, and the gospel is continually spoken and lived out.  On Wednesday of each week they also have a Grocery Giveaway Day, with over 100 families receiving free groceries.

In May 2017, Crossroads secured 13 acres of land to develop into a new area of ministry called The Light Community.  Their God-sized vision is to build 20 tiny homes that will be a safe-haven for individuals and small families to regain traction in life.  These may include individuals that have gone through rehab and need a place to get traction, families that need a safe home environment, or families that have experienced burn-out.

The goal for The Light Community is to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ, and to not be a “shelter” but a place to live and to care for1`.  The desire is for the families to work, either on the farm or to find jobs where they can make a living for themselves.  The farm currently has horses, goats, a mini-pony, a mini-donkey, and chickens.  They hope to have a crafting center, a blacksmith shop, and other items as resale for artisans.

A chapel, made from reclaimed lumber, has been erected on the property and, when finished, will be used for a place of serenity and prayer, and small group Bible studies.

What can I do?

Life on mission at Crossroads depends on volunteers and mission teams.  Over the past seven and a half years, God has allowed this ministry to impact lives in the area.  They have on-going ministries throughout the year, and are seeking individuals, churches, or businesses to come alongside.  Whatever gift, skill, or talent you have, more than likely Crossroads has a place for you to serve.  For more information to http://www.crossroadscommunitybc.org/.

It’s Not Too Late

As the school year comes to a close and minds are turned toward summer vacations, let me remind you that it is not too late to include missions as a part of your summer.  There are many opportunities to serve the Lord during these months ahead, and what a blessing it will be.  Whatever gift, skill, at talent you may have, there is a place for you.  Whatever your team makeup (individual, children, youth, women, men, or a family group), there is a place for you to serve.  However long you would like to serve, there are opportunities for you.

Our Kentucky Baptist Convention mission opportunities webpage has been updated and there are lots of places and ways to serve.  Go to www.kybaptist.org/go and check out the many opportunities in our state (as well as a few out of state).  You can search the projects by type of project, location, and length of assignment.  Once there, you can view some detail about each project, along with contact information for each ministry.  Feel free to contact the church, association, and/or ministry directly for additional information and/or for scheduling your mission trip.

If you have questions, or if none of these projects seem to fit your team, don’t worry.  There is still a place for you to serve.  Contact Teresa Parrett, Kentucky Missions Mobilization Coordinator, at [email protected], for assistance.

One great way to serve the Lord this summer is right in your own church through Vacation Bible School. Whether transportation, food service, decorating, craft and recreation leaders, photography, mission and Bible study leaders, or cleanup crew, there is a place for everyone.  What a joy it is to see the smiling faces of the children and they meet together to learn about Jesus.

Let me suggest also the Christmas Backpack Project as a mission project for your Vacation Bible School.  For information on this project go to www.kybaptsit.org/backpacks to learn more.  We can also suggest some  “real live” missionaries to visit your VBS to share and interact with the children.

Summer is a great time for ministry.  Don’t let yours pass without getting involved.  Contact us if we can assist.

HAPPY SUMMERING!!

2018 Kentucky Missionary of the Year


Tim Bargo, Executive Director of First Priority Tri-County, was recognized as the 2018 Kentucky Missionary of the Year on Saturday, April 7, during the Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union Celebration at the Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort.

Each year this award is presented to a missionary or missionary couple that demonstrates:

  • Commitment to and effectiveness in evangelism, church planting, or ministry.
  • Demonstration of “going the second mile.”
  • Outstanding performance in achieving assigned tasks.
  • Tenure.
  • Unusual commitment to our Lord’s service.
  • Positive representation of Kentucky Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board.
  • True reflection of being an “On Mission Christian.”

First Priority Tri-County is part of a national organization (First Priority America) whose main goal is to encourage, equip, and empower students to share their faith in Jesus on their middle and high school campuses.  First Priority Tri-County serves Knox, Laurel, Whitley, Clay, and McCreary counties and has 27 student led evangelical First Priority clubs meeting weekly.

In June of this year (2018), First Priority will be 10 years old and Tim has been at the helm since its inception.  During that time, 1981 students have prayed to receive Christ.  Since August of this school year alone, the organization has give out 1432 Bibles, witnessed 10 students praying to receive Christ, trained 210 students to be campus missionaries, brought together 25 local churches and 1109 students for a local youth rally, and organized 2411 students for the “See You at the Pole” event.

Recently Tim has taken the lead to create a “Day of Prayer Over Students” for the state of Kentucky.  Applying to have a proclamation signed for several years, it was finally approved in 2016 and 2017. Currently it has been filed as a bill and passed the House.  Join them in praying that it passes the Senate to become law.

“Tim Bargo embodies all that for which the Kentucky Missionary of the Year Award is presented,” says Director of Missions Steven Jett.  “He directs his organization of excellent evangelism and discipleship ministry in the context of an ever-growing network of schools through his personal example, with inspiring enthusiasm and integrity, encouraging participants to reach out in Christ’s name to lost students to win them to Jesus and grow them up in the faith.  There is no more relative, fruit-bearing ministry to our society than that which Tim Bargo and all the volunteers of Tri-County First Priority flesh out in a most effective way!”

Tim is a native of Harlan County, Kentucky and currently lives in Corbin with his wife and best friend Tammy.  He has three children – Brittany, Justin and Dylan.

Tim was commissioned as a North American Mission Board MSC-funded Missionary on June 23, 2009 in his role with First Priority and, in addition, has served as a North American Mission Board Chaplain with the University of the Cumberlands Football Program for 10 years.

Tim is an active member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Corbin, where he has led several mission trips, led small groups, and served on a number of committees.

Thank you, Tim, for your love for the Lord and your faithfulness in serving Him.  CONGRATULATIONS on being chosen as the 2018 Kentucky Missionary of the Year.  You are most deserving.

Meet Our New 2018 Kentucky Missionaries

Each year we learn of individuals and couples that sense God’s call and leading to serve in ministries across Kentucky.  On Saturday, April 7th, several of these new missionaries will be commissioned by the Kentucky Baptist Convention during the WMU annual meeting at the Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort.  

These missionaries range in age from 30s to 70s, and serve in a variety of ministries.  Prior to the commissioning service, the missionaries will spend Friday in orientation to learn more about the Kentucky Baptist Convention, Cooperative Program, and resources available to them.  This time of networking with each other is most valuable.

The new missionaries are:

  • Forest Aalderink, serving at The Center for Christian Work Development in Louisville
  • John Barnett, Executive Director of Refuge Louisville, Inc.
  • Nancy Brown, serving at the Kathy J. Strange Answer Center in Henderson
  • Joyce Decker, serving at Cedaridge Ministry in Williamsburg
  • Hilton & Barbara Duncan, Executive Directors of Integrated Community Ministries in Stearns
  • Chuck & Dottie Gebhart, serving with Mission Hope for Kids in Elizabethtown
  • Marvin Gore, Director of Bags of Hope Food Pantry in Hardin
  • Richard & Amy Greene, Directors of the Koinonia Mission Center in Salyersville
  • Tom Grugel, Chaplain at the Boyle County Detention Center
  • Grant & Gina Hasty, serving with Crossroads Community Baptist Church & Learning Center in Whitley City
  • Sandy Kiper, Director of Grayson County Center for Women’s Ministries in Leitchfield
  • Terry McIlvoy, Director of The Way Home Transitional Recovery Ministry in Springfield
  • Garry McKinney, Director of Morgantown Mission in Morgantown
  • Laura Roberts, Director of Starfish Orphan Ministry in Paducah
  • Lee Rust, Director of Freedom Forever Ministries in Paducah
  • Summer Watson, Director of Heart Cry for Hope in Glasgow
  • Amanda Westerfield, Director of Alpha Alternatives Pregnancy Care Center in Hopkinsville

Please join us for this special service and meet our newest Kentucky missionaries.  Perhaps you can connect with them and learn of ways to be a support to them in these ministries.

The 2018 Kentucky Missionary of the Year will also be introduced during the service.

For more information on the activities of the WMU meeting go to www.kywmu.org/annualmeeting.

Hope to see you there.

Remembering Ms. Pauline

 

This past week I attended the funeral for 87-year-old Mission Service Corps Missionary Pauline White.  Ms. Pauline left her home in Sebring, Florida on March 1, 2003 and came to “feed the sheep” as she called it, in the mountains of eastern Kentucky.  Her ministry to families in Harlan County, Kentucky lasted nearly 15 years.

In 2002, while listening to a sermon at the First Baptist Church of Sebring, Ms. Pauline heard about an 86-year-old woman who was still serving God.  “See, you still have at least 14 years to go,” the Holy Spirit seemed to whisper.  “Yes, Lord, send me!” Pauline answered.

Later, she read an article in a North American Mission Board publication about the needs of a ministry in Cumberland, Kentucky.  So moved by the article, Ms. Pauline sold her house, moved to Kentucky, and began her own 14+ year ministry.  And, just as God had spoken, she served until she was 86 years old, just a few days shy of her 87th birthday.

Ms. Pauline directed Shepherd’s Pantry, a ministry that provided food to 500+ low income families each month.  In addition to food boxes, the families were also given personal hygiene items, snack food, and treats for the kids.  Gospel tracts were placed in each food box and Ms. Pauline was very intentional to share the Gospel message with those she served.

Many local volunteers worked alongside Ms. Pauline at the Pantry, and mission teams from other areas of Kentucky and other states came, many times bringing truck loads of food and hygiene items for distribution.  Ms. Pauline’s home church in Sebring, Florida and volunteers from London, Kentucky were also big supporters and volunteers at the ministry.

Pastor Dennis Williams of Cumberland Missionary Baptist Church very fittingly shared from Matthew 25:34-40 at the funeral service.

 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Ms. Pauline, you committed your life to the Lord, remained faithful to the end, and have now “inherited the kingdom prepared for you.”  Thank you for coming to Kentucky.  Many children and families were changed physically and spiritually by your faithful service.  You were loved and will be missed.

It is Not Too Late to Plan a 2018 Mission Experience

Well, supposedly Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Ground Hog’s Day, so guess we are in the middle of six more weeks of winter.  At any rate, Spring is coming (Lord willing), with the official first day set for March 20th, and most all of us can’t wait for it to get here.  Daylight Savings Time begins on March 11th and we will once again enjoy the longer days, more sunlight, and hopefully warmer temperatures.  It will be here before we know it, as the time just seems to fly by.

Have you planned your 2018 mission experience yet?  If not, there is still time.  Not only do you have time to plan something for Summer and Fall 2018, but it is still not too late to plan something for Spring break.

There are lots of opportunities to serve.  Projects have been updated on the KBC website and new projects are being added almost weekly.  To see a list of the opportunities, go to www.kybaptist.org/go.  Once there, you can search by type of project you would like to do, location of the project, and length of assignment.

Most projects are for one week or less, however there are some summer-intern type opportunities, as well as some full-time (2 years or more) opportunities.  If available, and you feel the Lord leading you to do so, consider serving for an extended period of time.  You will be blessed.

Whether one person or a larger team, there is a place for you.  Whether a men’s group, women’s group, youth group, children’s group, mixed group, or a family team, there is a place for you.  Whether in Kentucky, the United States, or around the world, there is a place for you.

Let us help connect you with a place to serve in missions in 2018.  Not only will you make a difference, it will make a difference in you.

For more information contact us at [email protected].

Faithful Servants

God is “no respector of persons” when it comes to calling out people to serve Him.  In the Bible we see Him calling Moses at age 80, and Samuel and David as young boys.

Currently there are 98 missionaries serving in various ministries across Kentucky.  In looking over this list of missionaries, it was interesting to note that they range in age from 23 to 90.  Four of them are in their 80s and, yes, one is still serving in his 90s.

Jack Simmons, along with wife Wilma (who is in her 80s), heard God’s call to missions more than 26 years ago when they met a Director of Missions who told them about needs in Indiana.  After looking over the area and trying to get something started, they just could not seem to get anything done.  Eventually they realized that God was calling them back to Wilma’s home of West Point, Kentucky, where they began meeting with children in one of the trailer parks each week.

Today, Jack and Wilma minister in two trailer parks.  The children’s program includes Bible stories, crafts, play time, and refreshments.  This ministry has also opened the door to minister by providing food, performing weddings and funerals, and making hospital visits and, at Christmas, they distribute gifts to the children.

In addition to the trailer park ministry, Jack pastors a small rural church and Wilma serves as secretary for the Salem Baptist Association.

Other Kentucky missionaries serving into their 80s are Pauline White, Shirley Barlow, and Pat Howard.

Pauline White heard God’s call to leave her home in Florida and move to eastern Kentucky nearly 15 year ago.  She served people in Harlan County as director of Shepherd’s Food Pantry, faithfully giving out boxes of food, and always sharing the Gospel message with them.  Many were fed both physically and spiritually by her service.  Pauline concluded her ministry with Shepherd’s Pantry at the end of 2017.

Shirley Barlow felt God’s call in the early 50s to be more involved in missions.  Today she directs River City Mission, a homeless shelter in Paducah.  The shelter works with individuals to overcome addictions, secure work, get back on their feet so they can go back into society and resurrect their family situation, and commit or recommit their lives to Christ.  Shirley works in all aspects of the ministry and her love for those she serves shines so brightly.

Pat Howard has followed God’s call into a number of ministries during her lifetime.  Pat’s heart has been in ethnic work for many, many years, and she has shared the hope of Christ with many through this work.  Currently Pat serves as a regional mobilization consultant with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, where she helps to enlist and encourage missionaries in her region around Bowling Green, KY.

It has been such a privilege to know and work alongside these missionaries.  They have been, and continue to be, such a blessing to me and those they serve.  Thank you, Jack, Wilma, Pauline, Shirley, and Pat, for giving to the Lord.  Many lives have been changed s a result of your dedication to His work.

Christmas – A Time of Giving

Christmas is a time of giving.  We are careful to select just the right gift for our family and friends.  They may or may not be expensive gifts, for giving is a means of showing our love, our thoughtfulness, and that we care for the other person.

At church we prepare food boxes for those less fortunate.  We may give poinsettias, fruit baskets, and/or gift cards to widows and widowers, and shop for clothes and toys for children.

At Christmas time we want to celebrate together.  We give of ourselves as we open our homes and hearts to those we love.   It is only December 12th and I have already been a part of 6 Christmas parties.  It was a time of food, fellowship, and sharing with one another, that may or may not have included Christmas gifts.

For Kentucky Baptists this Christmas included the giving of Christmas Backpacks filled with food, toys, clothing items, school supplies, hygiene items, and possibly a Bible or Bible story book.  Partnering with Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union and Appalachian Regional Ministry, Kentucky Baptist Churches exceeded their goal of 5000, by filling nearly 8000 backpacks.  Southern Baptists as a whole filled nearly 72,000 backpacks, with an estimated 20,000 of those given to children in Kentucky.  Along with each backpack, a gospel presentation was shared.

I had the privilege of participating in the distribution of these backpacks in at least three locations.  What a joy to see the smiles on the children’s faces as they were given a Christmas backpack.  A BIG thank you to all who filled these backpacks.

Today I felt a lot like Santa as I picked up and delivered large black plastic bags filled with stuffed animals from the Richmond LifeWay Store, that were donated by the customers that shop there.  Thanks to Store Manager J.B. Hall for his partnership in eastern Kentucky ministries year-round.

Homemade quilts, throws, witnessing dolls, winter coats, shoes, scarves and gloves, are just a few of the items that came from individuals and churches to share with families at this special time of year.

Yes, Christmas is a time of giving, and I have been blessed to see the generosity of people these past few weeks.  But, let’s not forget that we give because He gave.  God gave us the special gift of His Son that first Christmas.  Along with our giving, let’s not forget to give the message of Hope that He came to bring.  Won’t you share that message this Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!