Cedaridge Ministries Celebrates 30th Anniversary

On Friday, June 10th, I was privileged to attend the 30-Year Celebration of Cedaridge Ministries in Williamsburg, KY.  Cedaridge is a non-profit ministry with a primary focus of serving needy families in Whitley, Knox, Laurel, and surrounding counties with food, clothing, household items, home repairs and, most of all, share the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

In 1999, when I first began with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, Cedaridge was one of the first ministries I was introduced to, and it has been exciting to see how it has grown through the years.  What started as a ministry of the South Union Mount Zion Baptist Association, Cedaridge has now grown into its own 501(c)(3) organization, with three warehouses. 

Cedaridge is directed by Mission Service Corps Missionary Keith Decker.  Keith was approved by the North American Mission Board on June 18, 1997 and is one of the longest serving MSC Missionaries in Kentucky.  He is not only a co-worker in ministry but has become a dear friend and encourager to me.  He is one of the most humble, grateful, and dedicated persons you will ever meet.  Having grown up much like the clients he now serves, Keith has a heart for those less fortunate and for those lost without Christ.  Over the past six years, Keith has reported four hundred twenty-nine (429) persons have prayed to receive Christ through the ministry of Cedaridge. 

Cedaridge operates a thrift store where families in the community can shop for good used clothing, household items, and furniture at a minimal cost.  They operate a recycling center that meets a big need for Whitley County and brings in revenue for the ministry.  They have facilities that can provide shelter in times of emergency.  Just recently, Cedaridge was a distribution hub for the government food boxes.  Working with churches and other ministries, these boxes provided food for hundreds of families in southeastern Kentucky.

Mission teams come to Cedaridge throughout the year to direct Vacation Bible Schools and other outreach events, work at the Center, do wheelchair ramps and home repairs in the community.  During the Christmas season, Cedaridge partners with churches and individuals to provide Christmas Backpacks filled with food, clothing, toys, clothing items, and a Gospel witness to hundreds of children.

Kentucky Mission Service Corps Missionaries Joyce Decker, Lorie Wells, and Brenda Sparks now serve alongside Keith, and are all there to help in times of need.

To learn more about Cedaridge go to www.cedaridgeministries.com.  Email [email protected] to volunteer or partner with Cedaridge.  Or, visit Cedaridge at 189 Factory Lane, Williamsburg, KY.

Would You interSEED for our KY-MSC Missionaries?

Each month we post an interSEED prayer calendar for Kentucky Mission Service Corps Missionaries and Church Planters.  Many of you download this calendar and pray for the missionaries and planters on their birthdays, and we thank you for doing so.  But now, I am asking that you go another step and pray for all of the 117 KY-MSC Missionaries for the next month. 

The last few weeks have been difficult for many of our missionaries, and they have shared many specific prayer requests.  Some have experienced health issues, others surgeries, family deaths, family and ministry-related issues.  All of these going on while continuing to minister to others.

Ministry can be hard and discouraging at times, especially when the missionaries are dealing with personal problems.  They need our prayers and encouragement more now than ever. 

I would like to ask you to go to www.kybaptist.org/msc, where you will find a list of the missionaries, their pictures, a ministry description, and email address.  As you view their profiles would you pray for each missionary and perhaps even send an encouraging email.  (If you would like to send encouragement or prayer cards email [email protected] for mailing addresses.)

Pray for the missionaries’ physical, mental, and emotional health.

Pray for their families, their children, their marriages to remain strong.

Pray for the missionaries to have strength to do the work they have been called to do.  Most all of them work long hours, days without a break, and without enough help.  Pray for co-laborers to come alongside and share in the work.

Pray for safety.  Yes, even in Kentucky, many are serving in dangerous areas.

Pray for both personal and ministry finances.  All of these missionaries are self-funded and often find support very lean.

Most of all pray for them spiritually.  Pray that the missionaries have a personal, intimate, growing relationship with the Lord.  Pray that they are bold in their witness and that they are a shining example of Christ.  Pray for mentors and support groups.  Pray that the missionaries are surrounded by other strong Christians and get connected to a strong, supporting church family.

As you spend time in prayer each day don’t forget to thank God for the missionaries serving in our state and pray for them to stand strong in their service.

You might also consider “adopting” a Kentucky missionary through our “Adopt-a-Missionary” initiative.  For information go to www.kybaptist.org/adoptmissionary.

Thanks for your care and concern.

Introducing the 2022 Kentucky Missionary of the Year

Stacey Burton, Director of Lake Cumberland Baptist Association’s PM59 Ministries in Somerset, is the 2022 Kentucky Missionary of the Year.

Stacey has served as a Mission Service Corps Missionary since June 2013.  She directs a ministry to children and families which, in the past, has included a children’s choir, family mission action projects, mission education for children, day camps, family movie nights, and much more. 

In March 2020, when the pandemic forced their regular ministry activities to stop, Stacey found new adventures and new ways to reach her community.  Working with five partnering churches, they began drive thru dinners and, when these stopped, she focused on two housing areas where they continued to deliver meals.

Stacey ministers to ladies at a local rehab center, where she builds relationships, feeds them meals, and offers encouragement.  Over the past couple of years, she has seen many of these ladies profess faith in Christ and follow through with baptism.  Stacey helps to connect them to a local church and continues to disciple them in their new walk with the Lord.

On her 2021 KY-MSC ministry report, Stacey reported thirty professions of faith and twenty-five baptisms as a result of her ministry and/or personal witnessing. 

Each year Stacey coordinates the Christmas Backpack program in Pulaski County, serving nearly one thousand local children.  She works with other churches in the Lake Cumberland Baptist Association to create, organize, and/or maintain their preschool, children, and family ministries, and helps many of the smaller churches with Vacation Bible School.

Stacey left a career as a public-school teacher a few years ago to devote full-time to this ministry position.  In addition to her ministry, she has adopted and fostered several children, some of which are now teenagers, and is leading them to be active in ministry. 

Bro. Ed Amundson, Stacey’s pastor at High Street Baptist Church in Somerset, has shared how valuable Stacey has been in leading their church and other churches in the Lake Cumberland Baptist Association to be on-mission in their local communities. 

Stacey is most deserving of this award, which is given annually to a missionary 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 the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
  • True reflection of being an “On Mission Christian.”

CONGRATULATIONS, Stacey!!

Meet Our New 2022 KY-MSC Missionaries


We have survived the long Winter season.  Spring is on its way, and things are beginning to point to new life.  What an exciting time of year.  It’s time once again for our annual missionary orientation and commissioning of the new missionaries serving in Kentucky. 

Fifteen men and women that have sensed God’s call to serve in ministries across our state will be commissioned at the Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union Annual Meeting and Missions Celebration on Friday, April 8th, at Hodgenville First Baptist Church.

These new missionaries are:

  • Mollie Bentley, Rockhouse Baptist Church Mission Center in Hyden.
  • Perry Cooke, Mark 12 Ministries in Louisville.
  • Marilyn Creighton, KBC North Central Regional Mobilization Consultant in Lexington.
  • Virginia Dial, Connect Community Village in Somerset.
  • David Little, Western Kentucky Correctional Complex in Fredonia.
  • Daryl & Sheila Mullins, The Haven at Clarity in Elizabethtown.
  • Pam Polkey, Irishtown Mission in Lexington.
  • Bryan & Stephanie Proctor, Orphan Care Alliance in Lawrenceburg.
  • Roberta Robertson, Bright Life Farms in Princeton.
  • Rebecca Salyer, The Branch in Prestonsburg.
  • Mary Jane Schopp, Kentucky Joy in the Mourning in Burlington.
  • Jerry & Kimberly Wallace, Northern Kentucky Re-entry in Cold Spring.

The orientation is a time for the missionaries to learn about the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the Cooperative Program, Eliza Broadus State Missions and many resources and support available to them.  This time of networking is most valuable.

You can partner with these and/or one of our current 116 Kentucky Mission Service Corps missionaries by:

Plan to join us for this special commissioning service where you can meet the missionaries and pledge your support for them.  The 2022 Kentucky Missionary of the Year will also be recognized at the service.

For more information on the missionaries, email [email protected].  To register for the Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting and Missions Celebration go to http://www.kywmu.org/annualmeeting

We hope to see you there.

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Long-Term Missionary Opportunities

People all across Kentucky are being impacted by of the ministry of Mission Service Corps missionaries. A Kentucky Mission Service Corps missionary (KY-MSC), is an adult (18 years of age or older), called by God and connected to a Kentucky Baptist Convention church. They commit to serve from nine months to two years, with the term being renewable. The positions engage in or directly support missions, church planting, collegiate ministry, or evangelism, in cooperative partnership with a Kentucky Baptist Convention church, association, or organization. Kentucky Mission Service Corps missionaries are self-funded.

Currently there are 111 KY-MSC Missionaries serving, and eight others that have applied. These missionaries serve in a variety of ministries, from directing ministry centers, to pregnancy care centers, prison ministries, student ministries, homeless shelters, food & clothing ministries, equestrian ministries, Celebrate Recovery, ministries to internationals, and the list goes on and on. I often say that however God has gifted you, there is a place for you to serve in Kentucky.

Do you sense that God may be calling you? Many times we think a missionary call means to serve in another country or state; somewhere far, far away. And, while that might be the case, He may be calling you to a ministry right here in Kentucky, perhaps in your own county or community. If so, we would like to talk with you.

Currently we have ten open requests for long-term, self-funded missionaries. Please pray that these positions would be filled. And consider if God might be leading you to fill one of the positions.

Click on the following links to view the open requests.

  1. Allen Baptist Church – Allen, KY
  2. Baptist Mission – Luanda, Angola
  3. Crossroads Community Baptist Church Missionary Need – Stearns, KY
  4. Emergency Christian Ministries – Williamsburg, KY
  5. Freedom Center Ministries Assistant Directors – Cumberland, KY
  6. God’s Appalachian Partnership DB Director – McDowell, KY
  7. God’s Appalachian Partnership  E2 Director – McDowell, KY
  8. New Bethel Baptist Church – Eddyville, KY
  9. Red River Baptist Association – Stanton, KY
  10. South Union Baptist Church – Hopkinsville, KY

Please pray with us for individuals and/or couples to fill these positions. For information on how to get connected email [email protected].

Be an Encourager

The holidays are over.  2021 is history, and we are now a few days into 2022.  The New Year finds us reflecting over the year just ended and looking ahead with new resolutions, goals, and plans.  We vow to be a better person, to do better.  We commit before the Lord to be a better Christian, to be more consistent in Bible study, prayer, witnessing, missions, and/or other areas of our lives in the year ahead.

Several Scriptures over the past few days have really encouraged me as I begin this new year.  The Lord, speaking through Isaiah (43:18-19) says, “Do not remember the former things.  Nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.”

What “former things” from 2021 do I need to put behind me?  What “new thing” is God wanting to do in my life?

My New Year had begun in the Gospel of Mark from “The Living Insight Study Bible.”  Jesus is beginning His ministry.  He calls and teaches His disciples.  He is preaching and healing, casting out demons, and ministering to the people.  Chuck Swindoll comments, “Throughout the Gospel, Mark describes Jesus as a servant.  If Jesus is our model, then servanthood is our method.  If servanthood is our method, then people are our ministry.  We don’t serve things – we serve people.  If people are our ministry, then involvement is our means: Touching lives. Listening. Taking time. Looking. Caring. Helping. Seeing the one person in the crowd who needs us, and taking the time to touch, hear, and help. That is servanthood.”

 What does servanthood look like for you in 2022?  How might He be calling you to serve?  Who might He be calling you to reach out to? 

This past Sunday a visiting preacher at our church shared about Barnabas.  We immediately think of Barnabas as being an encourager.  Encouragement is a big way that all of us can serve others.  If there was ever a time that people (including all of us) need encouragement, it is now.  We are going into our third year dealing with a pandemic, and it is just a bleak time. 

Kentucky ended 2021, and began 2022, with devastating tornados and flooding across the state.  Thanks to Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief for being on site to help during these times of crisis.  Thanks to churches and individuals that helped with cleanup, encouragement, donations, and for just “being there” to support and encourage families that have been impacted.

Being a servant would certainly include being an encourager.  November and December were extremely busy times for me as I worked with the Christmas Backpack program.  Approximately 15,000 backpacks were filled for boys and girls in Kentucky.  In-state churches provided 8,000 of these, with the remainder coming from partnering state conventions.  Even though I get much joy and satisfaction from the Christmas backpacks, I was tired.  Trying to make sure each location received the backpacks that were needed, and concern that we might not have enough backpacks to go around, I was grew a bit weary.  But what an encouragement it was for me when, two days before Christmas I received a large envelope from a teacher of a group of Hispanic children in Lexington.  These children were not on the list to get backpacks.  However, I received a call asking if we possibly had enough backpacks for them to get one.  There were no extra backpacks at the time but , after contacting other ministries, I was able to locate enough backpacks for these children.  They were so appreciative.  Each of them had written the sweetest “thank you” notes that I have ever received.  Words that said:

  • “Thank you for helping us to get the backpacks.”
  • “I appreciate your kindness.”
  • “I hope you have a great Christmas because you deserve one.”
  • “You are so helpful.”
  • “We appreciate the time of doing this for us, thank you.”
  • “Have a great Christmas.”
  • “We love you for that.”
  • “I really like that you care about us.”
  • “Some of it can go to a donation because some of it we already have so be aware it will go to a good home.”
  • “It was a huge help.”

Needless to say, I was so blessed and encouraged by these students that took time just to say, “thank you.” 

How can we say “thank you?”  How can we be an encouragement to others in 2022?  How can be a servant? 

As Swindoll said, “See the one person in the crowd who needs us, and take the time to touch, hear, and help.”  It could make or break someone’s day.

Happy New Year!!  And thank you for serving. 

“Gotcha Day” Celebration

When parents adopt a child, they many times will celebrate “Gotcha Day” to recognize and remember the day the child joined their family.  Recently CoffeeTalk Ministries and Events, a women’s ministry of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Lexington, had a “Gotcha Day” Celebration, or actually a “Gotcha Weekend” Celebration, for their adoptive KY-MSC Missionary Jill Boddy. 

Jill serves with HR Ministries in Princeton, a ministry of reconciliation that focuses on redemption, reconnection, and reentry.  HR mentors and ministers at several Kentucky Job Corps campuses, corrections facilities throughout Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama, and through a community-based thrift store, Joseph’s Storage Bin.  Jill is involved in all aspects of the ministry and is very active in showing and sharing the love of Jesus Christ to those she serves. 

Serving in ministry is so fulfilling for those God has called, however there are times the missionary gets tired, may be involved in difficult situations, or just needs the support of others.  That is where Jill’s adoptive CoffeeTalk Family comes in.  They are there to pray for her, to encourage her, to assist with needs she or HR Ministry may have, and even to get her away for some rest and relaxation time.    

Recently the CoffeeTalk ladies invited Jill to Lexington for the weekend to officially welcome her into their “family.”  They provided a hotel room complete with a welcome basket filled with candy, snacks, and even included an Ale-8. 

Saturday was filled with lots of activities which began with lunch at one of the ladies’ houses and a special covenant ceremony where they pledged to pray for Jill daily, to meet needs as they can, to join her in ministry and send their encouragement and support.  They had a time of prayer for Jill and presented her with a “Gotcha Day” certificate.  The day ended with dinner, shopping, and a tour of the Lexington.  Marilyn Creighton, director of CoffeeTalk, shared that they had an opportunity to pray with their waitress, who was having a bad day and broke down in tears when they asked how they could pray for her.  The waitress was so encouraged and told us we “were the kindest people I have served all day and you have meant so much to me.”     

On Sunday Jill attended worship at Cornerstone Baptist Church where she spoke in the women’s Sunday School Class.  During the worship service Jill was introduced to the congregation, prayed for by the pastor, and told she was a missionary to Cornerstone Baptist Church as well as CoffeeTalk.  Lunch with the pastor, his family, and some of the church family concluded this special weekend.

Jill was overjoyed by the hospitality of her adoptive CoffeeTalk Family and the church.  “It means so much to know that I have ladies that have my back and are constantly lifting me and the ministry up in pray,” Jill said.  “The weekend was such a blessing.  The ladies surprised me with gifts of lotions, candles, soaps, and cards.  One lady gave me a month’s worth of sealed encouragement cards and told me whenever I felt down to open one and read it.  These have become a part of my morning devotions.” 

Thank you, Marilyn Crieghton, CoffeeTalk Ministries & Events, and Cornerstone Baptist Church for your support of a KY-MSC Missionary.

You too can be an encouragement to a KY-MSC Missionary and will be blessed as well.  For information on adopting your KY-MSC Missionary go to www.kybaptst.org/adoptmissionary

The Simplicity of Cross-Cultural Ministry: Ordinary Conversations Serving an Extraordinary God

Each month I look forward to receiving Alex Tenenbaum’s ministry newsletter.  These newsletters are full of stories about how he ministers to people just as he goes about his everyday life.  Alex is a quiet kind of guy but wow, is he ever impacting those in his church and community circles. 

Alex is a KY-Mission Service Corps Missionary, serving through Forest Baptist Church in Louisville as Director of Community Engagement.  His main role is to equip church members and mobilize them to make disciples in the community by finding where God is moving and create ministries to meet the practical needs of the community.  Not only is Alex equipping church members but is leading by example.

Alex has a passion for unreached people groups of the world and desires to see them come to know Christ, as well as a passion to disciple believers to go deeper in their faith.  As a result, Alex has gotten involved in a cross-culture community in Louisville and even moved into this community to intentionally minister to and reach them with the Gospel. 

You may find Alex helping a young man with his driving test, connecting residents to ESL classes, helping to sponsor a cookout in order to meet his neighbors, partnering with a nearby hospital to offer materials, classes, and training for those he serves, helping residents to get into college, and organizing Bible study and prayer groups.  He shares stories of how all these activities have opened doors to share Christ and to help others grow in their relationship with Christ. 

One interesting story Alex shared is about an evening they ordered Chinese food and it was mistakenly delivered to the wrong address.  Alex went to the other home to share about the mix-up, which led him to a thirty-minute conversation with a high school student.  Not only was this young man in school, but he was also having to work to provide for himself, his mother and niece.  He had moved to Louisville from Rwanda in 2020 and is still growing in the English language.  Alex encouraged him, shared that he could support him with his classwork, and be another friend to connect with.  “He has an interest to connect with the church, but as of yet has not,” Alex said. “There were silent moments when we hung out but, as I was about to leave, this young student said that he doesn’t know how he will thank me for visiting him that night, that it is so good to have a friend.  This reminded me,” Alex went on to say, “that we just don’t know how our simple steps of faith can really bless and impact someone else’s life.”

You can be sure this is only one of many conversations Alex has with men and women each week, and that he looks for every opportunity to show and share the love of Christ. 

Please pray for Alex and for Forest Baptist Church as they reach out into their community to “know” their neighbors and share the Gospel.

To learn more about Alex’s work, or to subscribe to his monthly newsletter, go to https://fbcnewburg.org/ministries/community-engagement.   

Consider “adopting” Alex through the KBC Adopt-a-Missionary program.  Click on www.kybaptist.org/adoptmissionary for information.

Remembering Bro. Jerrell

Last week our KY-MSC Family lost one of our longest-serving members.  Bro. Jerrell White, who had served as a KY-MSC Missionary with the Earle C. Clements Job Corps in Morganfield since September 1999, went home to be with the Lord. 

Bro. Jerrell was one of the most encouraging men I have ever met and was the “life of the party” whenever we met for our annual missionary retreats.  During the last retreat he and Mrs. Connie attended, I walked out in the hall and heard singing.  He had found a piano, recruited a pianist, gathered a group of the missionaries together, and they were singing the old hymns to the top of their lungs.  Of course, I joined in. It was so much fun. 

Nearly every time I talked with him, whether on the phone or in person, he thanked me for the leadership I gave to the missionaries and then asked to pray for me.  I recall the evening I was working in western Kentucky, and they asked me to spend the night.  Before bedtime he, Mrs. Connie, and I gathered in their living room for a time of singing, devotion, and prayer.  It was such a special time and a memory I will never forget.    

Arlene Miller, the KBC west region mobilization consultant shared, “Bro. Jerrell was an inspiration.   He could do more than everybody else put together.  When I called to get his report each year, he had been involved in more activities than all of us put together.  This inspired me to want to try harder.” 

Not only was Bro. Jerrell involved in “activities”, but you can be sure he was befriending and sharing the love of Christ with those he encountered.  Every year he reported 8-15 men and women at Job Corps that he had led to faith in Christ. For his faithful service, Bro. Jerrell was chosen as the 2005 Kentucky MSC Missionary of the Year.

Bro. Jerrell, thank you committing your life to the Lord and for sharing Him with all of us.  May we follow the example you set for us to love Him, serve Him, and share Him with others.  We loved you and gonna miss you.

Please pray for Mrs. Connie and family during the difficult days ahead.  

Kentucky Baptists, Let’s Go Christmas Shopping!!

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Recently I spent a few days in the Smokies.  While there, my sister and I visited a couple of Christmas shops.  There was Christmas music playing and we saw all types of decorations and gifts.  My favorite decoration is the nativity, and they had some neat ones.  I sang along with the Christmas carols and, for a few minutes, found myself in the Christmas spirit, even in June.

With bright, sunny skies, and a current temperature of 90⁰, it’s hard to think about Christmas, but someone reminded me on Facebook a few weeks ago that Christmas was only six months away.  My reply was, “Is your Christmas shopping half done?”

Actually I (and my church) have begun Christmas shopping. We are shopping now to fill 50 Christmas backpacks for children in Kentucky and it is so much fun. There is an excitement in the air as the whole congregation comes together to provide Christmas gifts for children who are less fortunate.

Many churches across Kentucky are getting on board as well. The KBC Missions Mobilization Team has been preparing for the Christmas Backpack Initiative for a few months now and applications requesting backpacks are coming in from ministries across the state.

Kentucky Baptist churches are partnering together to reach a goal of 10,000 backpacks to fill these requests. While we will receive requests for far more than that, we are thankful for partnering states that also bring backpacks to help meet the needs.

Statistics show that one in four of Kentucky’s children live in poverty. So, for each of these children, a backpack from Kentucky Baptists may be all they will get for Christmas!  Would you join with churches across the state and commit to fill one, five, fifty, or perhaps a hundred or more, backpacks?  It is not too early to get started.  Remember, Christmas is only five months away now.

Instructions for filling the backpacks can be found at www.kybaptist.org/backpacks.  Once there, you can download a promotional bulletin insert and poster.   Also, check out our new “Christmas Story” leaflet.  And, don’t forget to register your backpacks.    

This year the North American Mission Board is offering churches up to 72 free backpacks which can be ordered and used for ministry.  Additional ones can be purchased for only $3.00 each.  To take advantage of this offer, go to www.sendrelief/backpacks and order yours today.

Let’s join together and exceed the goal of 10,000 backpacks from Kentucky Baptist churches! Many of them will be distributed directly to children living in poverty in Kentucky, while others will go to needy children in our partner SEND City, Cincinnati.

Thank you for helping a child this Christmas.  To learn more, contact the Missions Mobilization Team at 502-489-3403 or email [email protected] 

“Let’s not neglect to do good and share what we have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13:16