It is a 3-hour drive from the Kentucky Baptist Foundation office in Louisville to Clear Creek Baptist Bible College.
The drive to Southside Baptist Church in Princeton is a little under three hours. Oneida Baptist Institute is two hours and 45 minutes away. Rose Hill Baptist Church and First Baptist Hopkinsville are just about three hours away, too.
As trust counsel, I have traveled all over Kentucky with the foundation’s former president, Richard Carnes. Looking back, a lot of those drives were about three hours. Some more, some less.
You learn a lot about a person during windshield time. We talked about everything — sports, family, work, the economy and God.
Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby was the Sunday school study that transformed his spiritual life.
He and his love, Karen, grew up in rural Alabama. Karen was from the “big” town nearby that had the stop lights. His dad raised chickens, thousands and thousands of chickens. After each harvest of chickens, countless feathers would be left behind. Richard and his brother would take turns cleaning up the feathers with a flame-thrower.
He saw “Pistol” Pete Maravich play for LSU against the University of Alabama. Richard says Maravich’s pre-game warmup mesmerized the crowd.
He was among the first in his family to graduate from college. He has two wonderful sons and two granddaughters who have captured his heart completely.
Richard retired at the end of June. This is his second time serving as KBF president. He has dedicated more than 20 years of his life serving Kentucky Baptists, Baptist causes and the kingdom of God. Even during his years in private banking, he helped churches and ministries with their investment management.
In all, well over $75 million has gone to Kentucky Baptist churches, institutions of and causes under his leadership at the foundation. And his faithful management of the endowments at the foundation secures financial blessing for those same causes until Jesus returns.
Richard, on behalf of all Kentucky Baptists and those whose lives have been changed or will be changed through the foundation’s ministry, thank you. Thank you for your faithful service to Christ and the church.
And thank you for being my president, mentor, colleague and friend. I will miss our 3-hour drives together.
Austin Wilkerson is trust counsel for the Kentucky Baptist Foundation.