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Pinelake Baptist Church holds camp at University of the Cumberlands


Smiles were ever present on all the faces from Pinelake Baptist Church. This young man was helping paint at Emergency Christian Ministries.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. – On June 21, a bright, sunny Monday morning, tour buses carrying 230 people from Pinelake Baptist Church in Brandon, Miss., began arriving at University of the Cumberlands. Two hundred and eight middle-school-aged children and 22 adults disembarked onto campus for a week of fun, work and worship.

The youngsters were divided into teams and participated in daily planned activities. During the morning some teams worked with Mountain Outreach, a service-based ministry of the University, while others played, and then in the afternoon, the teams switched.


Before beginning work, the lime green team came together for a prayer.

Some of the good works they did with Mountain Outreach included painting and organizing at Emergency Christian Ministries, a shelter for the homeless; painting at one of the homes being built by Mountain Outreach this summer; and organizing clothes and food at the Mountain Outreach warehouse. Teams were also called to work at a home next to campus, where an 87-year-old, WWII veteran, who lost his wife of 70 years in February, needed some windows repaired. The eager workers scraped paint off the old wood frame windows, glazed the missing areas, and painted them with a fresh coat of white paint. Other teams completely painted the home of an elderly, wheelchair-bound woman, including the carport and front porch.

Marc Hensley, director of Mountain Outreach, stated, “I have never seen a more energized group, they completed 5 large projects in 2 days including work at Emergency Christian Ministries and Briar Creek Park. At the end of the first day of work I was able to locate a senior adult’s home that needed exterior paint, they completed the painting, trimmed the hedges, and cleaned the gutters all in one day, it was amazing, what an awesome witness and assistance to this community.”

Megan Lemly, an adult volunteer with Pinelake, said, “The best part of the week was watching the kids in my group take initiative and work so hard.”

However, the week wasn’t all work. Throughout each day, screams of laughter from the different color-themed teams could be heard on campus. They had scavenger hunts, tug-of-war, relay races and many other activities. At the end of each day, the entire group gathered in Gatliff Chapel on campus for worship. Jason Stoker, the middle school pastor at Pinelake, said that the services lasted longer than scheduled because of the spirit that was moving through the young people.

Stoker said that Pinelake had partnered with Mountain Outreach in the past, but this was the first time that a youth camp had been held at the University. During the week of July 12-18, Pinelake will send an adult team of volunteers to work in the construction of one of the three homes that Mountain Outreach is building this summer.

Mountain Outreach is a student-led organization that, at the end of the summer will have built 132 homes in 26 years. Throughout the year, the group also constructs wheelchair ramps and makes other small repairs and renovations for local residents, who, for physical or financial reasons, cannot make the home improvements themselves.