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The Buckhorn Lake Area Church and the World

The congregation at Buckhorn Lake Area Presbyterian Church has long been involved in mission work, not only here in Buckhorn but in areas around the world.

Our church was founded in mission. The Rev. Harvey Murdock came to Buckhorn as part of mission work that Dr. E. O. Guerrant began with his group, The Society of Soul Winners, back in the early 1900's. Rev. Murdock was instrumental in founding Witherspoon College in Buckhorn in 1903, which drew students from around Eastern Kentucky to Buckhorn to receive a quality education, and started many a boy or girl in successful careers, and a deeper relationship to God.

With many folks in our congregation who are active teachers, and with many who are retired educators, our traditional connections to Rev. Murdock's goals of bringing education, religion, (and baseball) to Buckhorn continues. Every spring the Buckhorn High School and Grade School conduct their commencement programs in the Log Cathedral.

Local mission has much to do with our relationship with, and support of, the Buckhorn Children's Center. Not only does our church encourage attendance by the children and Center Staff at worship, but, our pastors provide chaplaincy services to them as well. We remain sensitive to the different faith journeys that the children and staff are traveling, and the church's efforts appear to be well received by all.

Currently our church maintains a mission store that provides our community with low cost clothing and household items. Whenever families in the area suffer some disaster to their homes, or their lives are disrupted, the store is opened to them, free of charge, to receive items of their choosing to help them in some small way to get their lives back to normal.

The Church partners with God's Pantry in Lexington, Kentucky, and the Buckhorn Children's Center, to provide food to people in the Northwestern part of Perry County, Kentucky. Our food distribution program began as a bi-monthly effort, and we now give out food monthly using the gymnasium at the Children's Center as the distribution point.

The photos above show volunteers from church and center preparing the food for distribution the following day. Not shown is the strenuous labor of moving hundreds of pounds of food from the truck and sorting it roughly by container type. A few of the stacks are shown in the first picture. Next, the food is examined and sorted into categories (second picture), then bagged for distribution (third picture) with the bagging turned eventually into an assembly line. To preserve the privacy of those receiving food, more than 140 households each month, we don't show the crowded gymnasium on the following day.

Mission in our church is also centered on health care. Many in our congregation have worked long and hard to see that a viable and well staffed medical clinic serves the people in our community. With the focus of health care moving toward "wellness programs", some of our members have participated in health education programs like one that was recently conducted by the Kentucky School of Nursing. This program focused on gathering individual health histories and provided information on how diet and exercise impacts those persons who are at risk for diabetes or heart disease.

Our mission outreach also includes providing a destination point for churches that are seeking work group mission opportunities. Over the years many mission groups have come to Buckhorn to work on projects either for the church or the Children's Center. We are looking forward this summer to several returning groups, one of which will assist us in conducting our Vacation Bible School (VBS), which is another opportunity provided by the Church to the community, since the majority of those attending VBS are not the children of members.

The Log Cathedral sits along Kentucky Route 28. This road is part of the route that bicyclists use to cross the United States. Riders from all over the world have the opportunity to use our facilities, to stop and rest, to take a tour of the church, or to stay over night.

The folks at the Log Cathedral have long contributed to the many mission programs of our denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA). These annual offerings support mission work, not only in this country, but to the people around the world. This spring, for example,members and friends of the church contributed over $1,600 to the One Great Hour of Sharing, designating these gifts for the communities in eastern Kentucky recently devastated by tornados. Such relief requires a long term rebuilding effort that is part of the work our congregation supports through their contributions.

We are now involved in our Join Hands fund raising campaign. As part of the monies raised, 20% will be used for mission related purposes. Our Mission Team is currently involved in reviewing our current mission programs to determine if there are other areas that God is calling us to be involved in.

These are the programs of the Buckhorn Lake Area Church; however, our mission work is larger than what is accomplished through church programs, since the friends and members of the church are themselves active in loving service to the community as individuals and families. We ask that you join with us in prayer as we seek to answer God's call through worship, mission, service and restoration.