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Appalachian Ministries Share the Love of Christ


Members of Appalachian Ministries work with area children during a recent mission trip. File photo.

Williamsburg, Ky. During the summer months, University of the Cumberlands (UC) Appalachian Ministries (AM) has been working hard to lead people to Christ. Their goal is to share the love of Christ with surrounding communities through the avenue of children and youth ministries.

AM students look to grow as disciples by finding additional disciples from building relationships with the children, youth and families in the areas they work with. This allows them to show the love of Christ. Appalachian Ministries are there to meet not only spiritual needs, but emotional and physical needs as well. AM desires to see others come to know the love and forgiveness of our Savior Jesus Christ.

“I love watching the students grow as the summer progresses as they begin to discover their spiritual gifts and realize what a great purpose God has for them,” said Magan Atwood, Appalachian Ministries Director. “It is truly a blessing to watch them learn, serve and grow.”

This summer students arrived on campus at the end of May to start their training. During training week student missionaries learn the Vacation Bible School curriculum, choreography, crafts and games. Students are also taught how to share their testimonies more effectively and how to help lead a child to Christ.

Students who participated in the program this summer were: Ezra Anderson (St. Louis, MO), Psychology and Theatre major; Seth Schilling (Dayton, OH), Criminal Justice major; Lee Sharp (Paris, KY), Religion major; Jonathan Carmack (Manchester, KY), Elementary Education and Religion major; Stephanie Lawless (Corbin, KY), Elementary and Middle School Education major; Kirby Sowder (Lexington, KY), Special Education major; Michelle Pratt (Rosebud, MO), Early Elementary Education major; and Abbey Cherry (Cincinnati, OH), Middle School Special Education and Math major.

AM also has a North American Mission Board Semester Missionary, Michael Marsh, working with them this summer.

“AM fits in with UC's overall goal because it gives students an opportunity to do hands on ministry by putting into practice what they are learning in the classroom and in their own walks with God,” exclaimed Atwood. “They have an opportunity to discover areas in which they are gifted and they get to serve the local community which is something Cumberlands strives to do.”

Over the 2011 summer months, Appalachian Ministries have been involved in many activities. They began the summer by working with Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Corbin, Ky. helping the run a day camp for their youth group and serve with them at a Back Yard Bible Club at Corbin Manor Apartments.

From there they served as camp counselors in Centralia, Illinois for Kaskaskia Baptist Associates. The camp is run by one of the original founders of the program in the 1970s, Mr. Jim Shemwell.

Then the group teamed up with Walnut Street Baptist Church (Louisville, KY) to serve in Canada Town in Whitley County during Vacation Bible School and worked on projects at Friends for Families.

The summer continued with work in the Davenport Community during Bible School and at Blackford Baptist Church Bible School and Mt. Eden Baptist Church Bible School in Western, KY

Back in Williamsburg, AM served at the Brush Arbor Apartment complexes conducting a Vacation Bible School and participating in warehouse projects for Friends for Families. Their final projects were a Bible School in the R.D. Rains community and serving at the local nursing home.

“Appalachian Ministries provides a way to meet the needs of the community and share the love of Christ in a powerful way,” said Atwood. “It's a great experience to watch children, youth, and families come to know the Lord or grow closer to him through the work He is doing through Cumberlands students. So leading this program means more to me than I could ever put in words; I just feel blessed and honored to be a part of what God is doing here.”

Established in 1975, Appalachian Ministries gives students the opportunity to minister to area children, youth and families. Under the direction of the Appalachian Ministries director, student workers pick up and take participating children to local churches to lead them in recreation, crafts, games, and Bible lessons.

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; nine graduate degrees, including two doctorates, a specialist, and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.