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.