Association finds it's cool to serve even on hottest day of summer

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ASHLAND, Ky. (KT) – They passed out water at intersections, washed cars for free and held block parties on one of the hottest days of the summer.

They also handed out gasoline gift cards and cleaned windshields, and even played Dominoes while visiting at a nursing home.

When the Greenup Baptist Association committed to being All In with a community-wide sweep event, they meant it.

An association-wide activity attracted more than 150 volunteers from eight churches on Saturday, said Associational Missions Strategist Brian Horton.

“First, we wanted a visible representation of Christ and we also wanted to show we were moving forward together, as our motto says. We’re all in this together.”

It was a triple play of sorts with connections from the local, state and national levels, Horton said.

The local was the Greenup Baptist Association itself and a grant from the Kentucky Baptist Convention and hands on help from KBC representatives represented the state level. Send Relief provided Bibles and also meals at low-income housing at the block party areas.

It also provided clarity to his title of associational missions strategist, Horton said. “There is a strategy in reaching our region for Christ and we’re working toward that goal.”

Horton said the work that was done showed what could be done when the association comes together as one.

“Together we’re stronger than we are when we are separate,” Horton said. “Opportunities like this gives the small church the same opportunity as a big church. It’s not about the individual churches. That’s why the t-shirts.”

Lime green t-shirts were given to the volunteers, who spread over four counties in northeastern Kentucky – Boyd, Greenup, Carter and Lawrence – for about five hours.

Some of the activities were cut short because of the baking hot heat. Temperatures hovered around 95 degrees with a heat index of about 105 degrees.

“I think it affected some of the older folks from being involved,” Horton said. “We had 174 registered and lost a few of those to a variety of issues, including the heat. But I didn’t hear any complaining about the heat from anybody.”

The heat affected some participants but even more affected were some who were the target of being served. “A lot of people just weren’t outside today or coming to the door,” he said.

Activities also included community canvassing and taking area businesses who work in the heat care packages full of goodies.

“It was a challenge, but people stepped up to it,” Horton said. “It was good to see an association come together and do ministry.”

Horton began planning the event in February after he was hired only four months prior. He said he learned a lot throughout the process and knows his association much better.

“It’s like when I’m doing puzzles. I pour out the pieces, organize them individual and then make the picture,” Horton said. “I’d only been on the job four months when I started planning. I had the picture but had to learn the pieces as I went along. Now I better understand the pieces I’m working with and the picture will look a little clearer.”

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