Originally published at Western Recorder – www.westernrecorder.org
Hardin—Two 15 passenger vans, a barbecue trailer and a block party trailer are just a few of the unusual resources that western Kentucky-based Blood River Baptist Association and its Director of Missions Tim Cole provide their 46 churches as a means of staying engaged.
“We only have one goal, and that is to win souls to Jesus Christ, obviously. What we do is, we evaluate ourselves each year to win more and send more in order to reach that goal. Our goal is to work together to do something that we can’t do by ourselves,” said Cole, who has been DOM at Blood River for 10 years.
“We help each other out,” he continued. “Our largest church may contain 250 members, so we’re pretty much all small churches. That is why we have all of these things that we do together.”
In addition to the items that Blood River provides to its churches, they band together for a community pantry, the Jerusalem Project, a WIN (Widows in need) program, and Baptist Builders.
The community pantry provides food, clothing, furniture and personal hygiene products to families in need. The WIN program builds ramps and repairs doors and windows on homes of widows. Baptist Builders assists churches with projects like Sunday School room additions within the association.
“With our Jerusalem project, we go into the local housing projects within the community where the association is, and we do Vacation Bible Schools and block parties. We do a backpack program, where we get backpacks for all the kids in the community. We do a grill out. We do all those things that you’d normally do on a mission trip,” Cole explained.
Blood River is also involved in Kentucky Changers and hosts an On Mission Celebration for the associational WMU. These are just a few of the many mission endeavors the association participates in and hosts.
Holly Hills Baptist Church in Calvert City has only been cooperating with Blood River Baptist Association and the Kentucky Baptist Convention since 2011, but “they began immediately to support the Cooperative Program and the association and have supported various mission offerings that Southern Baptists do,” Pastor Dewayne Holland said.
“The fellowship with the other churches has been great,” he said. “They are just very happy to learn about Kentucky Baptists and Blood River Association and Southern Baptists, and they are really enjoying themselves.
“Blood River is an extremely missions-active association. There are a number of local programs that we’re involved in. The church is excited to have a hands-on mission endeavor in that way,” Holland added.
Owen’s Chapel Baptist Church’s pastor, James Stone, said, “We would not be able to do what we are doing without having the association. Because of being able to pool our money with other churches, we are able to do more and reach more people and meet the needs of people.”
Stone believes that being part of the association has benefited the church because it is more involved and able to make a bigger difference in the area.
“Since Tim (Cole) has come on board as our DOM, we’ve been more involved in a lot of different things—a lot of projects, mission trips, local ministries and things like that,” Stone continued.
Cole becomes really excited about missions projects, and his excitement passes on to the pastors and members of all of the churches, he said.
“We can’t do it by ourselves as a single church,” Cole continued, “and that is why we do it together. Anytime any church needs anything, we pull together. It’s pretty cool.” (WR)