Two events in Greenup Association and one in Pike Association serve as examples of churches and associations that are reaching out to their communities not just in word, but also in deed.
Rose Hill Baptist Church in Greenup Association wanted Ashland residents to know of the love the church had for them. The church hosted a series of block parties to provide a night of fun for all ages, while also providing church members with an avenue for sharing the gospel.
Rose Hill’s block parties included free hotdogs, popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, inflatables, crafts and carnival games. In addition, the church conducted Bible lessons for children and adults.
Matt Shamblin, the church’s pastor, came to the church from the West Virginia Baptist Convention with a vision to make an impact on the community. Angie Vanover, children’s minister, said, “We wanted to love on our city, so we brainstormed together on some things we could do to impact our city.”
The campaign began with “I heart Ashland” yard signs. The signs popped up all across the city. The theme, “I heart Ashland,” resulted in bringing a health fair to the Ashland Town Center Mall in cooperation with Cedarville University. The church also provided volunteers for “Summer Motion,” an event held annually by the city of Ashland.
The goal of Rose Hill was obvious: to take the church beyond the four walls of their worship center.
Unity Baptist Church in Ashland, a member of Greenup Association, launched its acts of kindness campaign with the help of 125 volunteers. Pastor Jeremy Couture had the goal of making a difference in the Ashland community.
Unity’s efforts to impact their city included a gas buy-down by providing gift cards as they pumped gas for residents. They washed more than 40 cars, delivered homemade cookies, passed out bottles of water, conducted lawn work and visited in nursing homes.
Couture said, “We’re not here for ourselves. We’re here to make the community better.”
“It is a pleasure to work with these gospel-centered churches and associations in East Kentucky,”noted Paul Badgett, regional consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention. “It is a joy to know that they are not only interested in sharing God’s Word in speech, but they also are willing to illustrate how much they care through their compassionate deeds.”
Pike Association conducted its second annual “Love Loud Campaign” June 26-July 1. Their theme verse was “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18).
Jason Lowe, director of missions, reported that more than 100 volunteers and 12 churches participated in “loving in deed” projects.
Jason said, “We held several projects such as roof repairs, building wheelchair ramps, landscaping, painting and free car washes.” He added, “It’s wonderful to share the Word of Jesus by helping people who have a need.”
The association washed 400 cars at no charge, and they gave away 450 copies of the Word of God. They repaired 15 homes, and they also gave out 850 tracts. They installed six wheelchair ramps, and offered their prayers for individuals as they completed each project.
The objective was not just to tell their neighbors, “We love you,” but to illustrate that they love them by their actions.
In addition, 12 community service projects were completed, which included yard chores and landscape care.
Jason said, “We gave out bottles of water, articles of clothing, and household items in a five-day, free yard sale.”
After a hard day of service projects, the churches would gather nightly at Grace Baptist Church in Pikeville for an evening meal, sharing testimonies, and worship. (WR)
Paul Badgett, Eastern Kentucky Regional Consultant