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Ohio Church Group Volunteers with Mountain Outreach


Traveling from Troy, OH, First Presbyterian Church has returned to their summer destination in Williamsburg, Ky, helping with construction ministry Mountain Outreach. This is the group's fourth year volunteering to help build homes for underprivileged families.

Spending the week of July 11 - July 15, Bruce Browning, a First Presbyterian Church volunteer comments on the program and what it offers to volunteers that participate, "I think we're giving back to God, we're more fortunate and don't live in these conditions. We're able to help them [home recipients] and we bond as a group, it's a rewarding experience."

In previous years, the crew has constructed everything from vinyl flooring to the final coat of paint, "We always come on the last week of the build, a lot of finishing touches, whatever isn't done," Browning says, adding that everyone has something to do, "the ladies do the curtains, towel racks, and drapes that help make this a home you can live in and appreciate. We blend everybody's talents and skills with a little luck."

The primary focus of Mountain Outreach is to help families in need. Normally, families observe as homes are under construction, however the owner of the home First Presbyterian Church is currently building prefers to view only the finished product, "The woman we are building for has not been inside the house yet, neither have her children," Browning reports, "she said she wants to be surprised. Friday when they get the keys to the house, it's going to be a pleasant surprise and an awesome God-given gift."

Originally starting with a group of 9 members, the mission has spanned to 18, Browning says that the church is very supportive of the program and the opportunity it provides for the church as well as the families it benefits, "The church helps support this project financially, but they also support us in prayer. The church believes it's a good project, and we enjoy doing it, and there is a definite need in this area."

The Mountain Outreach program started in 1982 when a local Cumberland student decided to show a friend through the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. The friend, who came from a middle-class family, was shocked to see the amount of poverty and lack of running water, electricity and sanitation. Deciding that something needed to be done, the two students started helping others improve their living conditions, which formed what we know now as Mountain Outreach.