PADUCAH—Kentucky Baptists are working together and partnering with other ministries in Paducah to serve others and share the gospel in November.
“RISK: Paducah” begins Nov. 1 and leads up to the 176th Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, Nov. 12 at Lone Oak First Baptist Church.
Outreach efforts include revivals, a basketball camp, quilting event, wild game dinner, “girls’ night out” for middle- and high-schoolers, and more.
Lee Rust, founder of Freedom Forever Ministries, said RISK: Paducah is providing opportunities to reach more people through her ministry to the incarcerated.
For 14 years, Rust has ministered to women in prison, but by joining forces with Kentucky Baptists’, Freedom Forever will serve a meal and share the gospel with 40 male inmates of the McCracken County Jail.
“This is an opportunity to preach the gospel to these men but also to encourage Christian leadership in their families, in their home, (and) to boost these men and move them forward out of the system,” Rust said.
A second lunch is being held Nov. 2 for about 700 women at a local prison.
The meals and messages will expand Freedom Forever’s reach beyond their regular ministry efforts. Rust said the evangelistic push leading up to the Nov. 12 KBC Annual Meeting focuses on diverse groups in the community “to try to promote or start a wave of revival.”
For the incarcerated, acts of kindness such as a meal and an inspirational message can rekindle the Christian faith that 86 percent of the female inmates say they became familiar with years ago, Rust said.
“They are drawn back to it by what they were taught as a child,” she explained. “They miss it and desire it. Now they’re ready to hear the gospel; they’re ready to understand what they need to do to be released from this guilt and unforgiveness.”
Risk: Paducah has been a rallying point for members of First Baptist Church of Paducah, according to Pastor Russ Wilson.
“We’re to be witnesses outside the walls of the church,” he said. “The only way the world is going to hear about Christ is if we go, and it’s certainly the same way in our communities.”
First Baptist Church of Paducah is partnering with Lone Oak First Baptist Church on Nov. 9 to conduct door-to-door faith surveys and prayerwalk the communities.
Wilson said the surveys give believers an easy way to introduce the topic of spirituality in a door-to-door encounter.
“It’s just a good way, even for the people who are conducting the surveys, to feel a little more comfortable, kind of break down their fear barrier if you will,” he said.
Wilson said he hopes other churches in McCracken and Ballard counties will participate in the surveying and prayerwalking. For details, phone Wilson at (270) 442-2728 or Howard Fuller at (270) 554-1441.
Kristen White, an author and speaker from Shelbyville, is helping coordinate “Beyond Compare” on Nov. 9, a girls’ night out for students in middle and high school.
“Many girls spend a lot of time these days comparing themselves to one another or to images in a magazine or on TV,” said White, who consults for the KBC Evangelism & Church Planting Team. “We want to let them know that their real value lies in how God sees them and loves them, and how He demonstrated that love.”
First Baptist Church of Paducah is hosting the event which begins at 6 p.m., CST. Participants will make Pinterest-style gifts to take home as reminders of what they have learned, White said.
Additional volunteers, preferably from the church, are needed to help at the Beyond Compare event. For details, contact White by e-mail at email@example.com or call (502) 489-3349 or 1-800-266-6477, ext. 3349.
Twelve Oaks Baptist Church is hosting a wild game dinner Nov. 7 at its facility at 2110 New Holt Rd. in Paducah. Chuck McAlister, leader of the KBC Evangelism, Church Planting & Collegiate Ministries Team, said several KBC churches have hosted similar events this year with good results.
“What really excites church members is seeing their fellowship halls filled with people who probably would never feel comfortable coming to a church service,” McAlister said. “Those are the folks who need to hear about the love of Christ, and this is a great way to share that with them.”
For the complete list of RISK: Paducah activities, and information on the Kentucky Baptist Pastors’ Conference and 176th Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, visit www.kybaptist.org/annualmeeting.
Story by Whitney Jones and Dannah Prather, KBC Communications