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Youth Group Grows With Mountain Outreach Experience


Woodrow Smith installs insulation beneath the new home.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. - For First Baptist Church’s youth group, this summer has not been simply a time to kick back and relax. The group chose to volunteer a week of its time to construction ministry. The church, located in Strawberry Plains, Tenn., sent a team to join University of the Cumberlands’ Mountain Outreach in continuing the construction of a local home.

“We were just looking [on the internet] for a summer activity for the kids, and we found a link for Mountain Outreach,” said Brock Webster, youth group minister. “We thought it would be a good opportunity to promote Christ and show the love of God.”


Madison McDaniel, a First Baptist Church youth group member, paints the ceiling of the home recipient’s porch.

Webster contacted and visited Mountain Outreach Director Marc Hensley and relayed the information to the church and his youth group. “The kids felt like God was drawing us here,” he said.

With that decided, twelve of the youth group members, ranging from sixth to ninth grade, along with six adult members made the church’s first construction ministry trip.

“So far, it has been a very maturing experience,” said Webster. “It has been surprising to see what happens when you take a prim and proper girl and put her on the job. She isn’t afraid to get her fingernails dirty.”

The student volunteers spent eight days insulating, painting and trimming the house.

“I have gained more confidence, gotten closer to God and I am having a great time out here helping out,” said Woodrow Smith a ninth grade youth group member.

Plans are already in the works for the group to return next year.

“I’d like to take these twelve kids back to relate their experiences [to the church] and bring more crews back [next year],” said Webster. “Ultimately, I’d like to get the whole church involved.”

University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, is a private liberal arts college in its 118th year of operation. Cumberlands offers four undergraduate degrees in 37 major fields of study, 30 minors and nine pre-professional programs, as well as online and accelerated, nontraditional programs for adults.