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University of the Cumberlands at Heart of New Community Center


UC’s Appalachian Ministries worked with the community in Canadatown holding Vacation Bible School this summer in their new Community Center.

Williamsburg, Ky. - Mid-Springs Community Park was, for over twenty-five years, a place for children to play, families to meet, and for University of the Cumberlands’ (UC) Appalachian Ministries program to minister to the children of western Whitley County, Kentucky.

As time progressed, however, committee member squabbles, community disinterest, and severe vandalism forced the children to leave, families to meet somewhere else, and UC’s Appalachian Ministries to meet in local churches.

For fourteen years, the park stood nearly abandoned and in severe disrepair until UC’s Appalachian Ministries needed a new place to meet and community members responded favorably to reopening the park as a family meeting place. In the fall of 2010, Appalachian Ministries began to hold their Monday and Wednesday evening Bible studies in the park.

Slowly but steadily, work progressed on the park. UC students, individuals from the community, members of the South Union Mount Zion Baptist Association, and visiting groups from churches as far away as Kansas City, Missouri have contributed time, materials, and labor toward reconstructing and refurbishing the park. During the summer of 2010, Mountain Outreach, another UC ministry, donated time and materials to rebuild the 24’ X 60’ picnic shelter while a group from Verona, Kentucky built a 12’ X 28’ storage building.

“The community center is an answer to almost twenty years of prayer,” said Magan Atwood, UC’s Appalachian Ministries Director. “Appalachian Ministries has been praying for a steady place to hold our weekly ministries for years. We are so thankful for the way God has provided. It's been incredible to watch the community, local and out of state churches, and the students of the University of the Cumberlands come together to make this dream a reality. It's been really neat to watch the progression as so many people have volunteered their time and resources.”

The new centerpiece of the park, however, is the new 1800 square foot Mid-Springs Community Center, built in part by a group from Kansas City, Missouri.

The Center consists of a large gathering room, two classrooms, a kitchenette, restrooms, and rustic front and back porches. The Center was dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Whitley County Judge Executive Pat White, Community President Raleigh Meadors, and UC Appalachian Ministries Director Magan Atwood.

“Expectations for future generations are promising and we are happy to work in conjunction with UC to help our community,” says South Union Mount Zion Baptist Association Director of Missions, David Aker.

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; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.

Article provided by Tiera Ball, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia and Athletic Services Department Student Assistant