Convention News

  • Power to Serve: Haven of Rest meets respite needs of inmates’ families
    by KBC Webmaster on August 4, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Sharing Christ with the families of inmates at the Big Sandy Federal Prison as well as the surrounding area is the goal of Haven of Rest Family Ministries. By Kristen White Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union Second in a series of Eliza Broadus Offering impact stories. When Jenny’s* husband was arrested and sent to prison at the Big Sandy Federal Penitentiary, she felt scared and helpless. Without her husband’s income, she lost her home and had to sell most of her belongings to make ends meet. On the weekends, she had the opportunity to go to visitation at the prison, but how could she afford to travel and pay for lodging? Through the hard work of Haven of Rest Family Ministries in Inez, supported by the Eliza Broadus Offering and churches around Kentucky, Jenny found hope and met Jesus. Now she looks forward to what she calls her “weekend retreats.” Although the prison is still a stressful place for her, she knows she is loved at Haven of Rest. For 10 years, Haven of Rest has provided free food and lodging for families who are visiting inmates at Big Sandy. Joyce and Harold Scroggs, who accepted the position of directorship two years ago, share God’s love through meeting physical needs, providing a safe place of encouragement, and holding a chapel service on Saturday evenings. The lodge is also used during the week to house teams providing VBS, Backyard Bible Clubs, block parties, nursing home, home repair and Christmas on the Mountain ministries. Through various types of outreach, people’s needs are met and lives are changed for an eternity. Those who have never heard the name of Jesus or a clear explanation of the Gospel come face-to-face with truth. Laundering linens, shopping for food, making meals, assigning rooms, loving people in desperate circumstances—the adventures at Haven of Rest never end. “There’s never a dull moment!” said Joyce. When the Scroggs could be spending their retirement years focusing on their own happiness, they are committed to focus on others. How do they find their energy to serve? “We remember where our source of power comes from,” Joyce said. “During a lengthy battle with health issues, we wondered if our ministry was coming to an end, but God had other plans for us. Even during that difficult period of our lives, God was preparing us for our next ministry at Haven of Rest. We find power to serve as long as God is leading the way. All we have to do is be obedient and be blessed! “The moment we are saved, our lives are changed forever and we have a divine calling to share our faith,” Joyce noted. “Ask God what He wants you to do and do it. When we asked, God confirmed that our call was at Haven of Rest.” Jenny is one of many who travel to Inez to visit their family members in prison, and some come from as far as California. Others drive all night after getting off work on Friday to have time with their loved one on Saturday. Haven of Rest is a crucial step in the journey of these families toward restoration and wholeness, but it takes resources and people to maintain the buildings, purchase food and reach out into the community in other ways. “Pray for the fruits of our labor,” Joyce said. “We are doing this to intervene in families who have no hope outside of Christ. He gives us our power to serve. He has power to transform lives.” *Jenny’s name was changed to protect her privacy. Prayer request: Pray that God will grant Harold and Joyce health, resources, energy and help from teams to carry out this life-changing ministry. Ask God to protect those traveling each weekend to visit their loved ones in prison. Ask God to give prisoners and their families the ability to understand that Jesus can wash away past mistakes and help them restore their lives.

  • Reaching Appalachia: Former optometrist office could be just what the doctor ordered
    by KBC Webmaster on August 4, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    SANDY HOOK — A building that once served as a doctor’s office could be just the prescription for reaching the lost in Kentucky’s Appalachian foothills. Dr. Ronald Pearce, an Ashland-based optometrist, donated the building to First Baptist Church in Sandy Hook after he closed his satellite office. “We’re considering using it as a logistics center for Baptist outreach in the area,” said Pastor Charles Johnson. “We’re looking at making some upgrades that could include creating a conference room, a kitchen and a bunk room so that we can accommodate missionaries who come to help us reach the lost in this area.” The Kentucky Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board, concerned about dwindling numbers of churchgoers in the mountains, have been pushing to help start new congregations and to expand existing ones throughout the mountain region. “Most people are aware of the poverty and physical needs in the region,” said KBC Missions Mobilization Coordinator Teresa Parrett. “There’s also a lot of spiritual needs that we need to meet.” Bill Barker, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Appalachian Regional Ministries, said Elliott County, where Sandy Hook is located, is of special concern because surveys have shown that more than 80 percent of the residents are unchurched. Some surveys put the number of unchurched there at more than 90 percent. Efforts already are underway to start a new Southern Baptist church in Elliott County, which now has fewer than 10 congregations, only two of which are tied to the SBC. A native of Carrollton, Johnson had served in central Kentucky until being called as pastor in Sandy Hook last year. He quickly became aware of the tremendous need to get the gospel into the rural expanse around the small town. “The number of people who don’t go to church has dropped so low that it’s almost to the level of some third world countries,” Johnson said. “We want to do all we can to change that, and we’re hopeful that this building might play a role in reaching the lost.”

  • Power to Serve: College students share faith through Experience 1:8
    by KBC Webmaster on July 30, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    The Eliza Broadus Offering helps make it possible for college students to share the gospel through Baptist Collegiate Ministry Experience 1:8. This video from the Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union can be found on Vimeo. By Kristen White Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union First in a series of Eliza Broadus Offering impact stories. One day in the summer of 2012, Eduardo walked through his apartment complex in despair. His twin brother had just committed suicide, and his mother left him a bottle of pills and a note encouraging him to do the same thing. Eduardo considered it, because his stepfather cruelly abused him. But that day he met guys from the Kentucky Baptist Collegiate Ministry Experience 1:8 team embedded with First Baptist Church, Shelbyville. Instead of suicide, through the witness and friendship of collegiate summer missionaries, he met Jesus. The 1:8 students virtually adopted Eduardo and discipled him the rest of the summer. They helped Eduardo understand that his Heavenly Father had a purpose for his life and wanted him to live with victory over his fears and feelings of rejection. Open Door of Hope Men’s Shelter (an EBO recipient), Shelbyville Baptist Church, and the Experience 1:8 team worked together to help Eduardo in his tumultuous transition from broken to born again. All over Kentucky, children, international college students, people living in low-income housing, fair workers, and camp-goers have been influenced by the enthusiasm and clear passion 1:8 team members have for Jesus Christ. Every summer through the ministry of 1:8 teams, salvation and life change results in many lives. To be selected to serve on an Experience 1:8 team, students apply to serve in the fall semester. They receive training paid for in part by EBO funding through the spring semester and land on the field to serve for eight weeks in the summer. Each Experience 1:8 team is provided a local missions opportunity and an international experience. Students have partnered with Kentucky WMU to lead summer camps and with local churches for area ministries. WMU staff and church members have the opportunity to work alongside the college students and mutually beneficial, lifelong friendships naturally happen. “The beauty of Experience 1:8 is that it gives the opportunity for students to do one-on-one sharing of the gospel and to receive one-on-one mentoring from campus ministers and church leaders,” said Brian Combs, Collegiate Evangelism Strategist for the Kentucky Baptist Convention. “We prioritize helping students develop a biblical foundation of missions in an environment appropriate for effective spiritual and personal development. This positions students to learn what it means to be an active Christ-follower and to help more people encounter Jesus.” “A holistic discipleship emphasis,” Combs explained, “provides each team with study plans that touch on everything from conflict resolution, how to plan ministry events, how to share your faith, to how to make good choices now that will lead to the best future later. “Thank you, Kentucky Baptists, for continuing to support college students. Because of your gifts to Eliza Broadus Offering, college students are learning that they have power to serve. And given that 67 percent of our BCM students end up in leadership positions within the local church, your investment in college students is an investment in the local church that changes lives for eternity. That makes EBO a worthy investment,” Combs said. Combs also is excited about expanding Experience 1:8 through Mission 1:8. “Starting this year, we are challenging former 1:8ers to step up to Mission 1:8 (M18). Each Kentucky BCM will have at least one or two M18 collegiate mobilizers that will assist in recruiting, developing and leading mission teams in Kentucky, the U.S., and around the world. M18 will increase the number of college students mobilized by more than six times to close to 200.” Prayer request : College campuses today are some of the darkest places in the world. The party culture and rejection of God that is deliberately taught in classrooms bring doubt and destruction to huge numbers of young people. Kentucky Baptist Collegiate Ministries reach into this darkness and literally rescue lives, then teach them how to give their lives away in Christ’s name through missions experiences. Pray that God will draw college students to His Son, Jesus Christ, as they start their fall semesters. Pray that God will guard, guide, and strengthen Christian college students. Pray that through the witness of Baptist Collegiate Ministries, many lives on campuses and in communities will be utterly transformed.

  • EBO gives Kentucky missionaries the ‘Power to Serve’
    by KBC Webmaster on July 30, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    By Kristen White Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union Acts 1:8 reveals both a call to serve and the power to serve. Jesus said to his disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8 HCSB). The call and the power are at work through Kentucky Baptist missionaries and missions volunteers. This year there are people in eastern Kentucky who heard the name and story of Jesus for the very first time. There are children in western Kentucky who received their first bikes—with the message that Jesus loves them. Across Kentucky, prisoners and their families heard that Jesus can save and set them free and hungry people were fed by members of church plants who want to build lives more than buildings. Dozens of self-funded missionaries, hundreds of short-term volunteers, and thousands of givers are working together, obeying God’s commission to go and tell. Through Him, they find their “Power to Serve.” Join Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union and the Kentucky Baptist Convention as we take a look at a series of ministries that share Christ with the lost. These ministries, and so many others, depend upon our giving to the Eliza Broadus Offering. May we find our power to pray, give and serve as the Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Word and through resources which make us aware of needs and opportunities. This year’s emphasis is on service. We serve as we pray for Kentucky missions. We serve as we give sacrificially. We serve as we personally share the gospel with others.  We serve as we go and minister in the name of Jesus. And in every avenue, the Power to Serve comes from the Holy Spirit. Eliza Broadus Offering for State Missions The Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union website holds a treasure box of resources for churches and missions leaders–including stories and links to videos about how the Eliza Broadus Offering is changing lives for Christ. The KBC will be featuring one of these stories (and accompanying video) each week leading up to the EBO Week of Prayer, Sept. 7-14, 2014. Additional resources, such as teaching materials, bulletin inserts and other promotional items, can be found at www.kywmu/ebo.

  • Pastors, others invited to tour Louisville’s dark side
    by KBC Webmaster on July 30, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    LOUISVILLE—Pastors looking to cultivate long-term missions projects will have the opportunity this summer when the Kentucky Baptist Convention hosts a “lostness tour” of Louisville. Pastors, directors of missions and other ministry leaders are invited to take part in the Louisville Vision Tour on Sept. 11 and 12 and get a close up view of Kentucky’s largest city, where a majority of residents don’t know Christ. The tour is part of an initiative called Engage KY, which is intended to get churches more involved in reaching out to areas within the state that are in dire need of the gospel. The bus tour is limited to the first 50 people who sign up. Participants will go to hard-hit areas of Louisville to see first hand the spiritual conditions and to pray. They also will hear about specific needs from local ministry leaders during an in-depth panel discussion. “We want churches and associations across the state to be aware of the many ways that they can engage the city of Louisville with the gospel through meaningful partnerships,” said KBC Missions Mobilization Strategist Doug Williams. The Louisville tour will be the first in a series. Williams said up to seven other cities will be added through next year. “The Great Commission calls us to be holistic in our approach—sharing the gospel in our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the nations. For some, Louisville is their Jerusalem, for the rest in Kentucky it is their Judea,” Williams said. “What might God do if Kentucky churches and associations descended upon key regions throughout the state in order to intentionally engage them with the gospel? Let it begin in Louisville.” Ministry leaders are encouraged to register now for one of 50 spots at this free event. The first 40 registrants will be additionally provided complimentary accommodations in the city. For more information and a complete schedule of the Engage KY: Louisville Vision Tour, visit www.kybaptist.org/engage.