New state missionaries commissioned; Missionary of the Year recognized

Originally published at Western Recorder –

Madisonville—Seven men and women were commissioned as Kentucky missionaries on April 9 during the Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union Annual Meeting.

John Morris with God’s Appalachian Partnership was also recognized as Kentucky’s Missionary of the Year.

“Each year this award is given to the missionary or missionary couple that demonstrates commitment to effectiveness in evangelism, church planting ministry, going the second mile, outstanding performance in achieving the assigned task, tenure, unusual commitment to the Lord’s service, positive representation of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and North American Mission Board, and true reflection of being an on-mission Christian,” Teresa Parrett with the KBC’s missions mobilization team, said before presenting the award.

Morris is the Executive director of God’s Appalachian Partnership in McDowell. He assumed that role in 2014, and since that time, the ministry has expanded. In the past two years, the ministry has seen 58 professions of faith.

Morris and is wife Shaughnessy, both Kentucky natives, feel called to work with “the people, our people, who do not know Jesus Christ,” he said.

The missionaries commissioned were Jeff Burke with the Kathy J. Strange Answer Center, Joshua and Tasha McWherter with God’s Appalachian Partnership, Joyce Scroggs with Haven of Rest, Allison Norris with Sisters Without Borders, Kimberley Robinson with Hands of Hope for Women, Nelle Thomas with Mission Hope for Kids and Amy Wells with New Heights Church.

Ron Leonard, MSC missionary with NAMB, challenged the newly commissioned missionaries from 2 Timothy 2:1-7,13.

“When the Apostle Paul got radically saved at the road to Damascus, the Apostle Paul had two goals in mind. That was to serve his Lord and be honoring to Him, and to build his life into others so that they would go out and do the same thing. That was his goal. That was his message,” Leonard said.

He shared that God is calling the missionaries and all Christians “to commit your life to others,” “be a good soldier of your Lord Jesus Christ and take the gospel very seriously” and “simply to be faithful.”

“I think if Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong could look through the portals of Heaven today and see this they would say, ‘Glory to God! Great things He has done,’” he said.

Leonard encourage the new missionaries to “let your colors everyday be clear.”

“When people bump into you, you don’t have to say a word; they are going to know that you have been with Jesus,” he said.

“I do not have to remind you that there are many people right here in Kentucky who need the gospel that are hungry for the gospel,” Parrett added, as the missionaries promised to be “faithful in Bible study, prayer, to serve in love and loyalty as fellow workers toward the building up of God’s church” and the WMU promised to “support and pray for” them. (WR)