LOUISVILLE–Joy Bolton, executive director of Kentucky WMU and David Melber, president of Crossings Ministries, have announced that Kentucky WMU will assume responsibility for Kentucky Changers and Creative Ministries Festival effective immediately.
As part of the 2012 restructuring of the Kentucky Baptist Convention staff, Crossings Ministries assumed responsibility for youth ministry consulting as well as operation of Kentucky Changers and the Creative Ministries Festival. After leading the initiatives for a year, Crossings approached Kentucky WMU about accepting responsibility for the two programs.
“We came to realize that our biggest growth opportunities are through more traditional types of camping programs with expansion into more kid’s camps,” David Melber, president of Crossings Ministries, said. While Kentucky Changers and the Creative Ministries Festival are both excellent ministries, he said, they are “not the best fit” for Crossings’ style of programming.
“Because of the missions components and the utilization of volunteers, we felt that these programs might be a better fit for WMU,” Melber added.
Kentucky Changers is a youth missions opportunity that allows youth and leaders to work with families in need and learn hands-on construction skills.
When Melber approached Bolton in early August, she said her initial reaction was, “We can’t handle another thing.”
“But the more I thought about it, the more I knew it was a good opportunity for us,” Bolton added.
Information about the proposal was sent to the Kentucky WMU Executive Board, and in a Sept. 9 conference call, the board agreed to accept responsibility for Kentucky Changers and hire a program coordinator soon.
The WMU board also accepted responsibility for the Creative Ministries Festival, which trains leaders and youth in drama, interpretative movement, puppetry, clowning and other arts. However, no event will be held in 2014.
Instead, WMU will invite representatives from the KBC, Crossings and WMU to develop either a new event or a repurposed festival that will include training both in creative ministries and youth missions.
“Crossings could not be more thankful for the decision from the WMU,” Melber said.
“Our hope was that Kentucky Changers and Creative Ministries would continue to provide programs that serve our churches and minister to those in need throughout our state.
“The WMU family of constituents match so well with the family of these two ministries, which will allow for ministry and missions to continue in a significant way to produce Kingdom growth,” he said.
Joe Ball, who directed Kentucky Changers in 2013, will work with WMU to ensure a smooth transition. He will be transitioning into a new role within the Crossings Center for Youth Ministry.
Promotional material about 2014 Kentucky Changers events will be released as soon as available, Bolton said.
“We welcome Kentucky Changers to the WMU family,” Bolton said. “We want to assure all of those who have worked with Kentucky Changers as volunteers as well as those who have brought youth groups, that Kentucky Changers will continue its fine traditions of intergenerational hands-on missions, worship and local impact.
“We want this ministry to continue making a difference in Kentucky,” she said.
Used with permission from Western Recorder, Kentucky Baptists’ newspaper of record. Subscribe to the print or online edition of the Recorder at www.westernrecorder.org.