Eastern Kentucky Christmas Ministries

backpacksMinistry centers in Eastern Kentucky and throughout Appalachia need our help in providing Christmas toys, food, and clothing.  I have recently learned about two special efforts.

Backpacks for Appalachia is a special effort to provide backpacks for children in need. Georgia Baptists have set a goal of providing 20,000 backpacks this year, but in a recent visit with Bill Barker, Director of Appalachian Regional Ministry (ARM), I learned that he has received requests for 30,000 from ministry centers throughout Appalachia. (Many of the centers are in Eastern Kentucky.)  Reaching this monumental goal will allow ARM ministries to share a gift of love along with the Gospel message, with children living in poverty throughout Appalachia this Christmas. Here are the guidelines for preparing backpacks:

  • Use one NEW, zippered backpack of any color for each child.
  • Determine whether your backpack will be for a girl or boy.
  • Select an age category: 2-4; 5-9; 10-14 years of age
  • Use a Christmas label to clearly indicate a boy or girl and the age category selected.
  • Fill the backpack with a variety of gifts. (*See below)
  • Securely tape the label to the outside of the backpack.
  • Pray specifically for the child that will receive your backpack.

*Christmas in Appalachia Gift Suggestions:
 (All gifts are to be NEW items. No used items please)
TOYS: small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, small Etch A Sketch®, toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries), game toys, Slinky®, etc.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES: pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or markers, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
HYGIENE ITEMS: toothbrush, toothpaste, mild bar soap (boxed and in a plastic bag), comb, washcloth, etc.

OTHER: hard candy and lollipops (please double bag all candy), mints, gum, T-shirts, socks, ball caps, sunglasses, hair clips, toy jewelry, watches, flashlights (with extra batteries), age-appropriate religious books, Bible, and pop-top cans of food.

NOTE from Bill Barker: The backpacks can be shipped to the address below,or if they will contact me,I will connect them with a site that still has a need and they can deliver or ship directly to them. Most will need the backpacks by December 7.
Ship to:  Bill Barker
Appalachian Regional Ministry
28 White Rock Road
Hurricane, WV 25526
Phone: 606-316-4298

Kentucky solid greenEastern Kentucky SONrise is preparing gifts for three Eastern Kentucky ministries. Here is a note from Linda Otterback about the needs.

Dear Friend of Eastern Kentucky SONrise:
If you or your church/group could help this year with our annual Christmas give away in Eastern Kentucky, we (they) would be most grateful.  I have committed to providing 500 this year to Appalachia Reach Out and Haven of Rest in Inez, and the Freeda Harris Center in Elkhorn City.

Simpsonville Baptist Church will be receiving gifts starting November 11 and wrapping them November 16-17.  The gifts will be delivered after Thanksgiving for the ministry sites to give away at their Christmas activities.   We appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity in helping.  So many people are struggling due to coal mine shut downs and the need is great.

The following is a suggested list of needed items:
– Shampoo, soaps, hand sanitizers
– Toothpaste,  toothbrushes
– Wash cloths
– Combs, brushes
– Hats, mittens, scarves
– Socks. underwear
– Toys for appropriate age (no used or fast food meal toys)
– Christian books or materials (coloring books, devotionals)Please DO NOT WRAP.  Deliver items to Simpsonville Baptist Church, 7208 Shelbyville Road, Simpsonville, KY  40067. Call Linda Otterback with questions.  Phone: 502-245-8003.

Thank you so very much for your kindness. Financial contributions are also accepted for those who may want to help but do not have time to shop or are at a distance.

Love Through HIM,
Linda Otterback , MSC Eastern KY SONrise, KBC, NAMB

Other Kentucky Ministries: For information about helping a Kentucky ministry or adopting a Kentucky missionary, contact Teresa Parrett, Missions Mobilization Consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.  Learn more at: www.kybaptist.org/missionsmobilization

Three Forks Association WMU Report

I always enjoy receiving reports about the work of WMU in churches and associations. It is exciting to see what committed WMU members get done. This week I received the WMU report from Three Forks Association.  Three Forks is in far eastern Kentucky and includes places like Hazard, Hyden, Neon, Jenkins and Whitesburg.  The association has 34 churches. Thank you Joyzette Fields and WMU leadership team for planning and inspiring great participation.

Officers for 2012-2013
WMU Director  – Joyzette Fields
Assistant Director – Estella Brashear
Prayer Coordinator – Lisa Harvey
GA Leader – Vera Stacy
Treasurer – Sharlene Lockenvitz

2012 – 2014 WATCHWORD: “As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”   Acts 4:20

October 25, 2012
Event:              Fall quarterly WMU Associational Meeting
Host:               Smithsboro Baptist Church
Attendance:    58 from 8 churches
Program:         Testimonies from members of Big Creek Baptist, which has been an Acts 1:8 church since 2007.  Speakers included Vera Stacy, Rosie Smith, Grant Smith, and Brad Dean.  They chose to give the $100.00 honorarium we give to our program speaker to the disaster relief shower trailer.  Everyone encouraged to collect 125 of some money denomination from pennies to dollars in honor of this being the 125th birthday of WMU.  The money will go into the Heritage Fund.  The mite boxes were displayed and encouraged to be used to collect the money.

January 24, 2013
Event:              Associational WMU Meeting
Host:               Big Creek Baptist Church, Hazard
Attendance:    64 from 13 churches
Speaker:          Deacon Steve Jones & Pastor Lowell Parker, Consolidated Baptist and Pastor John Morris, Lothair
Program:          Partnership Ministries of local churches, Consolidated & Lothair
Offering:         $148.00; $100.00 was given to the Homeless Shelter Ministry at Consolidated
At this meeting we began the drive for prenatal bundles for Melissa Newell (FBC, Whitesburg) to take to Haiti in March of 2013.   A list of needs were given to attendees.

April 5-6, 2013
Event:              State WMU meeting
Host:               First Baptist Church, Hopkinsville
Attendance:    9 from 4 churches
Theme:            “The Story Lives On”
Speaker:          Rosalie Hunt, theme monologues of Lottie Moon, Eliza Broadus, and Annie Armstrong
We were asked to bring to our home WMUs and associations ways to celebrate the 125th birthday of WMU and the 100th birthday of GAs.

April 19-20, 2013
Event:              WMU Retreat at Laurel Lake Baptist Camp in Corbin, KY.  Joy attended with the women from Central Baptist Church in Corbin.
Theme:            Being a Grape in a Raisin World
 Speaker:          Nicole Coomer

April 25, 2013
Event:              Spring Associational WMU Meeting
Host:               Rockhouse Baptist Church, Hyden
Attendance:    59 from 15 churches
Speaker:          Peggy Balou, Mt. Zion Baptist in South Union association.  She spoke about the work in Haiti where her granddaughter serves as a missionary.  She taught the local women to make jewelry out of cereal boxes for their income.  Peggy had some jewelry on display that the WMU ladies could purchase.  The money went to the Haitian lady who made the jewelry in order to send her children to school.  The attendees were asked to bring cereal boxes for Peggy to send back to Haiti.
Program:          Martha Shaw from Mt. Zion church had a demonstration on making sleeping mats from plastic bags.  These are often made for the homeless.  We had the WMU Centennial quilt displayed that the Big Creek WMU made 25 years ago to honor the WMU Centennial year.  It was from this meeting and encouragement from our WMU that these ladies and a former WMU member from Three Forks, Patricia Campbell, went back to her home church, Central Baptist in Corbin, and started having Associational quarterly meetings.

July 25, 2013
Event:              Celebration of 125th birthday of WMU picnic
Place:               Perry County Park, Hazard
Attendance:    50 from 9 churches
Program:          “Memories”
Speakers:         Mildred Ritchie, WMU Director at FBC, Hazard; Imogene Maggard, WMU Director, Lothair Baptist; Kim Dean, WMU Director, Big Creek Baptist; Estella Brashear and her two daughters, Glenna Gamble and Amy Stidham, shared how the “Story Lives On” in their family.
Music:             “Happy Birthday, WMU!”
Prayer Calendar:  Consolidated WMU.  We released red, yellow, black, and white balloons and sang “Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World.”
We announced that our birthday celebration for 125 years of WMU work would continue into our October 2013 quarterly meeting.  We hope to make a DVD of the history of WMU work in the Three Forks Association.

September 12-14, 2013
Event:              Baby Changing Station, Perry County Black Gold Festival, Hazard
Sponsors:         Three Forks Association and First Baptist, Hazard
Staff:               18 from 3 churches
Served:            48 babies, whose mother received a hospitality packet which included a Gospel tract, a devotional booklet, and a copy of John & Romans if they had no copy of their own.

September 28, 2013
Event:              Women of Worth conference
Host:               Big Creek Baptist Church
Attendance:    158 from 20 churches
Theme:            “Finding Joy in Serving”
Speaker:          Carol Brashear
Door prizes:     5 WMU groups from TFBA churches

WMU Mission:  To inform and inspire the Christian woman to influence her world for Christ.
As I compile this annual report, I realize how blessed Three Forks still is by having as many active WMU groups as we do.  Knowing most of these women, I feel grateful to have so many friends who have a passion for WMU work – women who pray, give, and GO!  Ladies, thank you for attending our quarterly meetings and being host churches.  I love you all dearly!    Joyzette Fields, Associational WMU Director


In response to this report and the concluding reminder of the WMU mission, I would like to say “mission accomplished,” yet for WMU the mission is always before us as we keep on informing and inspiring our churches. The International Mission Board sums it up well in their theme “The Unfinished Task.”  While there are yet lost people in our world, the task is unfinished and we must continue to inspire and inform so that more people join in the Great Commission.     Joy Bolton

November Opportunties

One of my life goals is to learn how to be two places at once!  I come close through the Cooperative Program and missions offerings which allow me to be involved in ministry in many places at one time, but as for my body being two places at once, now that’s not likely…though I keep trying!

November 2013 is such a time. We have wonderful ministries going on this month. Please pray for the eternal impact of these efforts with college students, children, and people in the Paducah area.

Engage takes places Friday, November 1 through Sunday, November 3 at the Horse Cave Convention Center.  International students from Kentucky colleges and universities are invited to attend this cultural event which celebrates the presence of internationals on our campuses and introduces them to Jesus.  Sponsored by Baptist Campus Ministry with funding from the Eliza Broadus Offering, this annual event is a great opportunity for American and international students to interact as they share in Family Groups. The weekend closes with a worship service on Sunday morning.

GA 100th ribbonGA JAM will be held on Saturday, November 9, at FBC Bowling Green.  This statewide event for Girls in Action members and leaders will celebrate the 100th birthday of GA, the WMU missions organization for girls in grades 1-6.  Learn more at kywmu.org/gajam.  Many of our groups make a big trip with their girls, coming on Friday to spend the night, then participate in the event on Saturday. Pray for the missionary speakers and all who are leading crafts, games, and other activities.

RISK: Paducah is a new effort to provide evangelistic outreach in the days preceding the state convention annual meeting.  RISK (Reaching Into the State of Kentucky) is the new name of the annual KBC evangelism event in February.  Now RISK goes a step further by providing ministry opportunities in advance of the KBC annual meeting. All Kentucky Baptists are invited to help share the Good News of Jesus Christ through participation in RISK: Paducah, November 1-10.  Ministries include a men’s prison event, women’s prison ministry, Friend Day at local churches, a Wild Game Dinner, Basketball Camp, a girls’ night out, a women’s quilting event, prayerwalking, community surveys and more.  A complete list of ministries and contacts is available on the KBC Annual Meeting page:  www.kybaptist.org/annualmeeting.

Forward Annual Mtg logo 2013KBC Annual Meeting will be Tuesday, November 12, at Lone Oak Baptist Church in Paducah.  Join us for inspiration and fellowship as we focus on the work of Kentucky Baptists in our state and around the world.  Come by and visit the WMU display, as well as the display from Baptist Global Response.  We are partnering with BGR in the Bucket Project in 2014 and this will be a big part of of the 2014 Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting.  Get a head start on your buckets!

Even though I cannot be both in Paducah and Horse Cave on November 1-2, or in Bowling Green and Paducah on November 9, I am praying for all of these ministries. Their eternal and global impact will be felt for years to come!

An Invitation to Ministers’ Wives

Love Letters luncheon logoI am a PK – preacher’s kid.  I grew up right next door to the church where my father pastored.  Then I grew up and married a preacher.  We’ve served in churches in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Kentucky.  My background helps me understand  some of the challenges that the role of minister’s wife can bring.

So, I am very excited that Kentucky WMU is joining Michelle Chitwood and the Kentucky Baptist Convention in sponsoring a Ministers’ Wives luncheon during the KBC annual gathering on November 12 at Lone Oak Baptist Church in Paducah.

Using the theme Love Letters, the luncheon will be a time to be encouraged and for each of us to learn to be a better encourager to our husbands.   Kathy Litton from Flourish Ministries will be the guest speaker. Kathy has an amazing story to share about how God’s grace has empowered her through grief, loss and constant change. Lunch will be provided as well as a few other gifts and surprises.

I would like to invite all ministers’ wives to join us for this special luncheon. Because of the Cooperative Program and the generosity of our Kentucky Baptist and Southern Baptist institutions and agencies this is a free event!  Advance registration is required.

If you are a minister’s wife, plan to join us.  If you are an encourager to someone in this role, please be sure she knows about our luncheon and this invitation.