Meet Our Newest Kentucky Missionaries

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Each year we learn of individuals and couples that sense God’s call and leading to serve in ministries across Kentucky.  On Friday, April 10
th, twelve of these new missionaries will be commissioned by the Kentucky Baptist Convention, in conjunction with Kentucky WMU, during the WMU annual meeting at the Sand Spring Baptist Church in Lawrenceburg.  

These missionaries range in age from 20s to 70s, and serve in a variety of ministries.  Some have come to us from other states, while others are serving within their own home state or even their hometown.

Prior to the commissioning service, the missionaries will spend their morning and afternoon 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:

  • Frank & Judy Caulder (from Lugoff, SC), serving as Directors of Sacks of Love Ministry in Harlan County.
  • Lillian Cottingham (from Jackson, GA), serving as an Evangelism Catalyst with Crossroads Community Baptist Church & Learning Center in Whitley City.
  • Holly Decker (from Barbourville), serving as a Mission Support Catalyst with Cedaridge Ministries in Williamsburg.
  • Joyce Flaugher (from Falmouth), serving as Mobilization Consultant with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
  • David & Susan Hampton (from Corbin), serving as Disaster Relief Childcare Specialists with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
  • Jonathan Herald (from Manchester), serving as Missionary to Vulnerable Children & Families with Manchester Baptist Church and God’s Closet in Manchester.
  • Katheryn Pope (from Mt. Vernon), serving as Director of the Rockcastle Baptist Association’s Community Mission Team.
  • Paul & Mary Jo Radosevich (from Decatur, AL), serving as Directors of Calvary Campus in Blackey.
  • Madison Sawyers (from Corbin), serving as Disaster Relief Childcare Specialist with the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
  • Lorie Wells (from Corbin), serving as a Mission Support Catalyst with Cedaridge Ministries in Williamsburg.

You will not want to miss 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 2015 Kentucky Missionary of the Year will also be recognized during this service.

For more information on the activities of the WMU meeting go to

Hope to see you there.

Missions Strategy: Encourage Leaders

The call of the Great Commission (GC) is tremendous indeed.  It is a privilege to be an ambassador of our King, and yet it is a daunting responsibility.  The Lord never promised that making disciples of all nations would be easy; He did promise, however, that He would be with us.  Yet, the nature of such a task can become rather overwhelming without proper encouragement.

In recent months, I have discussed three components of GC faithfulness: empowering through prayer, evangelizing the unreached, and establishing churches.  A fourth necessary component of GC faithfulness is encouraging leaders.  Let’s face it.  Gospel work is people work and when working with people we can easily become weary.  We weary for lack of conversions or spiritual growth.  We grow weary from internal conflict or even outside conflict.  The number of reasons for our weariness is vast.

EncouragementEvery minister of the gospel, every church of the Lord Jesus, every follower of Christ needs to be encouraged that the race they are running is worth the struggle.  Paul understood the need to encourage believers in the gospel.  We are told in Acts 14 that Paul, upon planting churches, went back to those churches in order to “strengthen the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God’” (Acts 14:22).

I find it fascinating and also encouraging that these fledging churches needed encouragement so quickly.  I find it fascinating and encouraging because I know the same is true in my own life.  Life is hard.  Trials of life related specifically to the gospel and related generally to a fallen world mean that we are prone to become weary.

In fact, Paul says in Acts 14:22 that we will enter the kingdom of God through many tribulations.  We fight until the very end.  Now, Paul is not saying that we fight our way to heaven in the sense that we earn it.  Rather, he is saying that life is filled with fighting the good fight of faith—taking hold of the eternal life to which we are called (1 Tim 6:12).  We continual pursue after Jesus; we persevere (by His grace).

In order to continually pursue after Jesus, we need people in our lives to help us in this pursuit.  This is why Paul made an intentional effort to travel back to the churches he had already planted to strengthen them in the faith.  They needed it then; we need it now.

Churches seeking to be faithful and effective in the Great Commission will intentionally strategize about ways to not only strengthen and encourage their own people in the faith, but other churches and leaders as well.  If these early believers needed it then, surely we need it now.  May we pray for power, evangelize the lost, plant churches, but not neglect to continually build up one another to fight the good fight until the end.

A Coming Disaster

New york ChaplaincyThe Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a disaster as, “a sudden calamitous event bringing great damage, loss, or destruction.”  As these events come raging into our lives, people need someone to come alongside them, if they are to survive and recover.

What comes to mind when you hear:

West Liberty Tornado

Moore, Oklahoma Tornadoes

Colorado Wildfires

Hurricane Sandy


All of these provoke pictures in our minds of damage, destruction, loss, and tragedy.  The images of these events moved our hearts to reach out and respond as the people of God. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief rightly responded to the adversity caused by these calamitous events, and made a difference for the sake of Christ.

Let the warning sirens sound, as a greater disaster looms on the horizon.  According to the North American Mission Board, the church-to-population ratio in the United States peaked during the first World War with one church for every 430 people.  Today in the U.S., the ratio is one church for every 6,194 people, and some areas of our nation have as few as one church for every 60,000 people.  Even though Kentucky ranks much higher with one church for every 1,708 people, the somber reality is that barely 2 out of 10 individuals, who live in our state, choose to attend any of our existing churches on a given Sunday.  This is a looming spiritual disaster as many areas of our nation are living with little to no Gospel presence.  Nowadays, even areas of the Bible Belt are experiencing a rapid decline in church attendance.

Fortunately, Southern Baptists have developed a disaster strategy for recovery, as our nation suffers the loss created by this immense spiritual void.  Southern Baptists are engaging in a disaster relief program called “Send North America” that is seeking to plant churches across our nation.  The Kentucky Baptist Convention is also responding to this looming crisis by seeking to plant fifty new churches a year to reach our state with the Gospel.

You and your church could be part of the relief team by helping to start a new church in your community, or by seeking to join strategic partnerships to plant churches in another area of our nation.  Will you be part of a recovery strategy in Kentucky, Louisville, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Utah, New York, or another area of of our nation?

I would further encourage us to not miss the strategic opportunities that natural or man-made disasters give us to share the help, healing, and hope of Christ.  The tragedy and loss of those affected often opens doors and hearts to the hope of Christ.  But, it is critical that we step through these doors while they remain open.  Churches often miss the momentum provided by disaster relief by not connecting with disaster relief ministry, and by not utilizing the opportunities for outreach and church planting provided by Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.  As God’s people, we must seek to capture this momentum for the sake of the Kingdom.  Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief would love to assist you in establishing a response strategy and have developed an initiative called “Ready Church” to assist you. Please contact our office for more information about “Ready Church” or go to  to learn more about disaster relief ministries.

Jesus teaches us in Matthew 9:36-38:

“When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were bewildered and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Therefore, ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.'”

God has only one recovery plan for our nation and the world.  This looming disaster will not be abated without the followers of Christ stepping into the fray.  Would you join me in becoming part of one of the most critical disaster response teams in history?

Growing Churches Engage Their Communities

In Autopsy of a Deceased Church, Thom Rainer explores consistent themes among churches that have died. Then, in response to those themes, and most importantly, he walks the reader through the “radical paths necessary to keep the church alive to the glory of God.” One of the consistent themes he discovered was that dying churches refused to look like or minister to their community. He found that people in the pew were more concerned about protecting the way they did church than reaching residents of their community.

KY InAsMuch LogoChuck Lawless reports from his findings that one common denominator among “healthy growing churches in America” was that they were externally focused on the needs of others rather than themselves. If churches are going to grow and their message be heard by the community – most are going to have to re-establish trust. They are going to have to first show their ability to love their community and meet them at their point of need.

I’ve consulted with churches that were dying – and stubbornly, many have refused to be involved in their community and were only concerned about maintaining their “fort”. In these situations, it’s only a matter of time before death comes because the church no longer has a heart for ministry in their own community. It’s not enough that the church building sits in the community. Buildings and property don’t change lives, restore families and transform communities – Jesus does. And He is present in the church body which is supposed to be present and active in the community! Vibrant and growing churches are interested in their communities and consider the needs of others above their own (Phil 2:1-4).

Churches that wish to be growing and healthy will discover ways to reach outward into their communities. One effective way to do this is through an “Operation Inasmuch Day”. Inasmuch Kentucky is a one day mission blitz by the church in their local community. It is an inter-generational event mobilizing Christians to heal some of the hurts of a neighborhood or an entire community.

Churches can choose to do an Operation Inasmuch day at any time. However, as part of a statewide initiative, Kentucky Baptist Convention churches are challenged to choose a day in September of 2015 to participate.  Training opportunities are being provided throughout the state during March and April to equip churches for Inasmuch Kentucky.

How exciting it would be if churches across the Commonwealth decided to show their faith by their works. Imagine what an impact it would make for the Kingdom if the community saw the church leaving the seats and going to the streets to serve “the least of these”.

Not only is Inasmuch Kentucky a day of helping people at their need, it also…
• encourages sharing the love of Christ with the community
• strengthens fellowship and builds relationships in the church
• gives believers an opportunity to use one’s personal gifts in missions

For more information, training opportunities or resources on Inasmuch Kentucky, visit