LOUISVILLE –With destinations of Russia, Greece, Zimbabwe and Ireland—in addition to four Kentucky communities—the 38 Kentucky college students and four coordinators serving through this summer’s “1:8 Leadership Experience” are sharing their Christian faith through a multi-faceted and multi-cultural approach.
“The method the teams are using to share the gospel is literally changing day by day,” said Brian Combs, collegiate evangelism strategist for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
“One team may be working with kids at Missions Adventure Camp in Cedar Crest here at home and another team will be ministering to adults in an urban area such as Belfast, Ireland.”
Created around Acts 1:8, which instructs Christians to take the gospel message to “Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” the 1:8 Leadership Experience equips students to serve in their community, throughout Kentucky, across North America and overseas.
There is an application process, interviews and multiple training sessions prior to the start of the short-term mission trips.
“The mission trips are a highlight, but the 1:8 Leadership Experience is also about discipleship and helping students to grow spiritually into mature Christians who are then ready to disciple new believers,” Combs said.
Some of the teams will be serving alongside established Kentucky Baptist congregations.
“Intentionally connecting the 1:8 Leadership Experience teams to local churches creates an environment where young adults and churches can learn from one another,” Combs said. “For some of our students, this is their first experience being part of a healthy congregation, and those students often come away with a desire to continue to engage churches like never before.”
Dozens of the 163 previous 1:8 participants have taken steps toward full-time Christian service, Combs added. Some already are serving through Southern Baptists’ international or North American mission boards. Others are enrolled in seminary or are continuing to minister on college campuses and in local congregations.
Bowing Green/Greece Team (click here to join the team’s Facebook group)
- Spencer Austin of Bowling Green; University of Kentucky; Eastwood Baptist, Bowling Green
- Meredith Eckstein of Union; Morehead State University; Crossroads Church, Florence
- Kristen Large of Russellville; Campbellsville University; Living Hope Baptist, Bowing Green
- Emily Rose Lewis of Carrollton; Western Kentucky University; First Baptist, Carollton
- Julie Paris of Ashland; University of the Cumberlands; Unity Baptist, Ashland
- Tara Shelton of Corbin; Eastern Kentucky University; Frankfort Baptist, Corbin
- Destinee Smith of Pineville; University of Kentucky; Mill Creek Baptist, Stoney Fork
- Cory Spaulding of Florence; Kentucky State University; Mosaic Church, Lexington
- Perry Swack of Bowling Green; Western Kentucky University; Eastwood Baptist, Bowling Green
- Coordinator Jessica “Jessie” Morgan of Guston; Ekron Baptist, Ekron
Cedar Crest/Belfast, Ireland (click here to join the team’s Facebook group)
- Chase Buchanan of Mayfield; University of Kentucky (Paducah); Trace Creek Baptist, Mayfield
- Adam Davis of Lucasville, Ohio; Morehead State University; Sciotodale Free Will Baptist, Portsmouth, Ohio
- Caitlin Elizabeth Glenn of Owensboro; University of Louisville; Sojourn Community Church, Louisville
- Sarah Lambert of Ironton, Ohio; Morehead State University; First Baptist, Ironton
- Peter Northcutt of Benton; Murray State University; The Journey Church, Murray
- Tamra Reid of Georgetown; Eastern Kentucky University; Gano Baptist, Georgetown
- Madison Schwettman of Murray; Western Kentucky University; Farmington Baptist, Farmington
- Jacob Sherrill of Princeton; Eastern Kentucky University
- Ashley Nichole Travis of Shelbyville; Murray State University; First Baptist, Shelbyville
- Amber Vance of Williamstown; Morehead State University; Williamstown Baptist, Williamstown
- Elizabeth Whisman of Mt. Sterling; Morehead State University; Hope First Church of God, Hope
- Coordinator Trenton Fleener of Owensboro; Red House Baptist Church, Richmond
Murray/Zimbabwe Team (click here for the team blog)
- Jon Claude Burlew of Somerset; Morehead State University; First Presbyterian, Somerset
- Emily Cain of Walton; University of Kentucky; Piner Baptist, Morningview
- Candice Coles of Russellville; Western Kentucky University; Hillvue Heights Church, Bowling Green
- Sarah Ashley England of Versailles; University of the Cumberlands; Versailles Baptist
- Morgan Whitney Harper of Brodhead; Western Kentucky University; Northside Baptist, Mt. Vernon
- Megan Hogan of Saline, Mich.; University of Louisville; Third Avenue Baptist, Louisville
- Jia Ong Ong of George Town, Malaysia; Western Kentucky University; Crossland Community, Bowling Green
- Darren Jones of Louisville; Northern Kentucky University; West End Baptist, Louisville
- Cheyenne Martis of Louisville; University of Kentucky; Centerpoint Church, Lexington
- Hannah Marie Priest of Louisville; Kentucky Wesleyan College; St. Matthews United Methodist, Louisville
- Coordinator Jeff Finley of Murray; First Baptist Church, Murray
Shelbyville/Russia Team (click here for the team blog)
- Emily Anderson of Somerset; Western Kentucky University; Pleasant Hill Baptist, Somerset
- Sara Donahue of Harlan; University of the Cumberlands; Loyall Church of Christ
- Chastity Hawkins of New Castle; University of Louisville; Sojourn Midtown, Louisville
- Kamryn Olivier of Harrison, Ohio; Northern Kentucky University; Church on Fire Ministries, Harrison, Ohio
- Jacob Spence of Falmouth, Northern Kentucky University; First Assembly of God, Alexandria
- Holly Stone of Wheelersburg, Ohio; Morehead State University; Union Freewill Baptist, Wheelersburg, Ohio
- Larry Thornhill of Shepherdsville; Northern Kentucky University; Cedar Grove Baptist, Shepherdsville
- Zachary Wagner of Portsmouth, Ohio; Morehead State University; Millers Run Church, Lucasville, Ohio
- Coordinator Sitha Sayers of London; First Baptist, Shelbyville
Stay up to date on the teams’ work this summer by Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentuckybcm.