A small church outside the Appalachian town of Booneville in eastern Kentucky has received a huge boost from a fellow Kentucky congregation five hours away in the far western part of the state.
Lerose Community Church, which serves one of the most impoverished communities in the United States, needed a church bus to get local residents to and from services. Pastor Adam Stall and his congregation had been praying, asking God to meet that need.
Zion’s Cause Baptist Church in Benton, Kentucky, west of the region’s Land Between the Lakes, ended up being the answer to prayer.
When Pastor Charles Frazier first learned of the need at Lerose from a fellow minister, he “began to think about the situation.”
“At Zion’s Cause, we had a bus that we did not use that much,” he said. “I felt that it could have a great kingdom use for Lerose Community Church.” When he shared his idea with the membership at Zion’s Cause, the church voted to partner in meeting this ministry need.
Frazier, who is completing a one-year term as president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention in November, and Jim Oswalt, a licensed bus driver in his church, drove the bus and a car to Lerose on October 11—one vehicle to leave, the other for the return trip home.
Frazier, who also serves on the SBC Executive Committee, said his church didn’t want to deliver the shiny new bus empty. So, his congregation filled it with supplies, plus gave the church $1,000 to help with other needs.
KBC Executive Director Paul Chitwood said Frazier and Zion’s Cause are serving as examples of what it means to work together for the cause of Christ.
“Like all of our KBC leaders, President Charles Frazier models cooperative missions and comes from a church that models cooperative missions,” Chitwood said.
“Zion’s Cause not only gives sacrificially through the Cooperative Program to support each and every one of the fifty-two new churches being planted across the state of Kentucky right now; the church is finding new and creative ways to bless church planters and church plants,” Chitwood noted.
“And though Zion’s Cause is literally on the other side of the state than our church plants in the mountains, Dr. Frazier has instilled within the hearts of his congregants a vision for sharing the Gospel in Kentucky’s most unchurched region,” he said.
Upon their return home, Frazier and Oswalt made a presentation to the church during the evening service on October 14. Members asked them to tell the story the following Sunday morning, October 21, during which church members contributed another $1,000.
The following Sunday, October 28, an individual in the church made a $500 gift to purchase turkeys and challenged the church to contribute canned good and other non-perishable items to help feed families at Thanksgiving that Lerose is ministering to.
Zion’s Cause is considering other ways to assist the church in the future, having set-up a “donation station” where people can give financial gifts each week to be forwarded to Lerose on a monthly basis.
“I hear the words of our Savior in Luke 12:48, to whom much is given, from him much will be required,” Frazier said. “I feel we have a responsibility to use our resources for God’s work. Zion’s Cause had a bus that could be used for a church plant. We felt the need to give to this new church plant. God blessed us so that we could be a blessing to someone else.
Pastor Charles Frazier said he and his congregation are “so blessed” to be able to help the new church.
“We’re thankful for this partnership in the Gospel,” Frazier said. “This has been a great experience for us.”