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/.