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UC Students & Professors Attend Catalyst 2011


Left to Right: LeAnn Wright, Stephanie Lawless, Bob Dunston, Megan Atwood, Kelsey Day, Kayla Smith, Kenny Newton, Dean Whitaker, Raul Maya (kneeling), and Kirby Clark. Not pictured: Hannah Robinson and Fred Cummings.

Williamsburg, Ky. - University of the Cumberlands (UC) sent nine students and five faculty and staff members to Catalyst 2011 in Duluth, Georgia held on Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7.

Among the 13,000 in attendance were UC students Kelsey Day (Harlan, KY – Dione Baptist Church), Matthew Gilbert (East Bernstadt, KY – First Baptist Church), Stephanie Lawless (Corbin, KY – Central Baptist Church), Raul Maya(Dry Ridge, KY – Centro Cristiano Bethel), Kenny Newton (Cincinnati, OH – Strait Gate Apostolic Church), Donte Paul (Edmonton, KY – Ebenezer Baptist Church), Hannah Robinson (Corbin, KY – 4ward Community Church), LeAnn Wright (Waynesburg, KY – Double Springs Baptist Church), and Kayla Smith (Corbin, KY – First Baptist Church). Faculty and staff members in attendance were Magan Atwood, Kirby Clark, Fred Cummings, Bob Dunston, and Dean Whitaker.

Catalyst 2011 was the 12th year of Catalyst, a conference devoted for equipping Christian leaders, especially young leaders, for evangelizing and ministering in the church today.

“Through Baptist Campus Ministries (BCM), I have been taking student leaders to Catalyst since 2003,” said Dean Whitaker, BCM sponsor. “The information and inspiration received there is transformational in each person's life and in the body of Christ that each person is a part of--local church and the fellowship on campus of BCM. God moves powerfully through excellent preaching, worship, leadership development and call to live the gospel locally and globally as a lifestyle and not just a series of "projects."

Featured speakers included Andy Stanley, Dave Ramsey, Francis Chan, Judah Smith, Mark Driscoll, and Priscilla Shirer. Worship was led by Hillsong, Eddie Kirkland, and others. Since UC participants represented a variety of Kentucky Baptist churches, what they learned and experienced will bring a renewed enthusiasm and fresh ideas not only to the University of the Cumberlands campus but to the local church as well.

“Catalyst is refreshingly creative and spiritually sound!” said Whitaker. “I am thankful that we were able to invite and have three of our UC Missions and Ministry Department professors attend with us this year. It was a blessing for us UC participants to be counted among the number of 13,000 participants from all 50 states and many different countries!”

Bob Dunston, Chair of the UC Missions and Ministry Department, stated: "I went to Catalyst 2011 knowing I would learn how to be a better minister, teacher, and leader, but I also experienced a personal revival through the worship experiences and the fellowship with our students. I am already looking forward to Catalyst 2012, but more than that, to continuing to minister with our committed, Spirit-filled students."

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.