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Tennessee Church Hits the Road to Benefit UC's MO


Williamsburg, Ky. – Recently, several members of Clinch River Baptist Church, Lake City, Tenn., took to the highway for their 3rd annual “Toy Run for Mountain Outreach” to support the children of Whitley County, Ky., and Campbell Country, Tenn.

Led by Pastor Keith Tillman, 11 motorcycles made their way followed by a van loaded with gifts from the church in Lake City, TN to the campus of University of the Cumberlands (UC) in Williamsburg. The purpose of the trip was to raise awareness and support for UC’s Mountain Outreach program and its annual Christmas Gift Day, which will be held on Dec. 10.


“This event means a lot to our church because we are able to get out of the walls of the church and help out the ministries such as Mountain Outreach,” said Pastor Tillman. “We’re able to go out and do what God has called for us to do by helping out the poor and the orphans.”

“The toy run is a unique way that people from one church have become involved to raise awareness of the need for assistance,” said Hensley. And raise awareness they did, when they thundered into the parking lot of the Mountain Outreach building on the campus of University of the Cumberlands, followed by a church van that contained more than 100 gifts for children.

Mountain Outreach has sponsored Gift Day for more than a decade, providing Christmas gifts for children of needy families in the area. For three years, Clinch River Baptist Church has participated in Mountain Outreach’s summer building program, and they have extended their assistance by helping to provide much needed toys and volunteer labor to assist Mountain Outreach with their ministry to families and children in Appalachia.

Hensley stated, “Clinch River has been and continues to be an important partner alongside our students at University of the Cumberlands as we try to impact the folks in this area with basic needs, from housing and clothing to toys and food and even firewood during the Christmas season.”

While Mountain Outreach is primarily a student initiated construction ministry, the group turns its efforts towards food, clothing and toys during the holidays when building is not possible.

“Our sincere thanks go out to Clinch River in their significant support of what we do,” said Hensley. “Each year we depend upon our many local and area volunteers help to make this event a success.”

Inquiries about Gift Day and how individuals or churches might help can be directed to the Mountain Outreach office at (800) 343-1609, extension 4346, between 8am and 4pm Monday through Friday.

Mountain Outreach has been nationally recognized for its work several times: the Action Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty selected it as one of ten charities to receive the Samaritan Award; USA Today noted the program in its 1996 “Make a Difference Day” competition; and President George H. Bush honored Mountain Outreach as his 220th Daily Point of Light.

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; nine graduate degrees, including two doctorates, a specialist, and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.