maincurve UC Library MyUC iLearn Webmail Home
title Media Relations Home



UC Students Serve in Northern Ireland


God’s love speaks every language and although cultures may vary, the truth and word of God remains the same. The innocent and uninformed children and parents of Northern Ireland have been blessed with the opportunity to experience God’s grace through the wonderful teachings of Kid’s Club and Adventure Leadership Training (ALT). ALT is a charity organization which engages children in fellowship and the worshiping of Jesus Christ, our personal Lord and Savior through gatherings and fun-filled events such as archery, adventurous wall climbing, competitive soccer (football) clinics, and Kid’s clubs in order to share the gospel.

This dedicated group of God’s people at University of the Cumberlands (UC) who have so lovingly given their time and faith to this organization in hopes of bringing those of Ireland to salvation, include, Dean Whitaker (Williamsburg, Ky. – Main Street Baptist), Tyler Bird (Burnside, Ky. – Cornerstone Community), Caroline Johnson (Bowling Green, Ky. – Morganfield FBC), Kayla Smith (Williamsburg, Ky. – Faith Baptist), Carla Fountain (Springfield, Ne. – Lifespring Church), LeAnn Wright (Waynesburg, Ky. – Double Springs Baptist), Angel Johnson (McKee, Ky. – Rock Springs Primitive Baptist) and Joanna Collett (Georgetown, Ky. - Buck Run Baptist).


Ireland has an extended history of being ravaged by political and religious hatred and division. This unfortunate circumstance has left many individuals feeling a sense of hopelessness when it comes to religion and some are completely lost and without Christ. As families choose to not practice Christianity due to lack of knowledge or understanding, it becomes a tradition that continues to be passed down through generations, resulting in fewer and fewer followers of Christ.

“It was an eye opening experience and a blessing,” said UC student, Tyler Bird. “It was a blessing to work with the people we ministered with. At times, it was very trying but it was more a blessing than anything else. This is the third mission trip I have been on and it was completely different than Africa and Belize, but the hurt and need for Jesus was just as obvious. I learned so much culturally and spiritually while I was there.”

This outstanding organization has engaged parents who are actually non-believers but who are filled with gratitude towards Adventure Leadership Training and the Kid’s Club for all that they are doing for the sake of their children. Approximately thirty children and parents came out to listen to them speak the word of God and teach valuable and interesting Bible stories such as Luke 15, The Parable of the Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, and the Lost Son. These parables were all told clearly and left them with an understanding of their morals and a yearning for wanting to know more about the Savior, Jesus Christ.

“I wanted to go to Northern Ireland to share God’s love with people,” said UC student, Kayla Smith. “The need there is not nearly as visible as in some underdeveloped countries, but it’s just as great, if not greater, because the religious violence has turned people away from anything to do with God.”

This group also participated with a ministry called The Dock at the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Ireland, which is where the famous Titanic ship was built and from which set sail for New York in 1912. During this ministry, tea and bread were served to anyone who wanted to come by the lounge and listen to the magnificent stories of Christ, the numerous miracles He performed and listen to the heart-felt testimonies of those people God is working through today. The Dock typically targets college/university students, athletes, local business people and whoever wants to hear the gospel and enjoy the weekly time of fellowship.

“Going on this trip has really opened my eyes to see the needs of people I don’t know more clearly and without a judgmental eye,” said UC student Carla Fountain. “I would love to go back to Northern Ireland one day for a longer period of time if that’s what God wants me to do at some point in the future.”

Even though some children and parents might still be non-believers, the word of God is reaching out to them through the Christian ministries. Thanks to the people who are so willing to do God’s will and spread his love in hopes of saving others of their sins and living in eternity in that beautiful home called Heaven. The Northern Irish people were hospitable and encouraging and that God’s spirit is moving there in so many ways. This ministry feels blessed beyond words to be a part of His kingdom.

“Watching children and their parents listen and agree about the sin of humanity and the love of God who, through Jesus, died to set all of us free from our sins is a rich and humbling blessing,” said BCM Director, Dean Whitaker.

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; twelve graduate degrees, including two doctorate, two specialist and eight master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.