maincurve UC Library MyUC iLearn Webmail Home
title Media Relations Home



Tennessee Church Hits the Road to benefit UC’s MO


Williamsburg, Ky.,- On Saturday, November 3rd, several members of Clinch River Baptist Church, Lake City, Tenn., hit the road for their 4th annual “Toy Run for Mountain Outreach”, to support the children of Whitley County, Ky. and Campbell County, Tenn.

Led by Pastor Keith Tillman, 5 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 behind the trip was to raise awareness and support for UC’s Mountain Outreach program and its annual Christmas Gift Day, which will be held early in December.

“This kind of community service means a lot to us. We raise awareness to help out the local kids and experience the good feeling of volunteering our time to help. Also, we get to ride our motorcycles as a cool way to grab the attention of other people as well,” said Leslie Snyder, a member of Clinch River Baptist Church.

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

Marc Hensley, head of the Mountain Outreach program stated, “Clinch River has been and continues to be an important partner in our work. The church itself is one of the most mission-centered churches from locally to internationally; they are always moving to help others. These people and our student volunteers are what make the Mountain Outreach program possible and we sincerely thank them for their help and support.”

With less than 200 people in the church, Clinch River Baptist has helped many people in a short period of time. Last summer, they sent their people to reach a helping hand from their hometown to Guatemala and more.

“The little things like providing a single toy for these children for Christmas helps more than I ever imagined,” said Andy Braden. “Not only do we get to help provide the materials for this program, but we also come back during Gift Day to assist in handing out the toys, just seeing how much help we can be to others is an awesome experience.”

“Last Christmas alone, we served 433 children through our Gift Day program reaching 178 families in the area. This program has nothing to do with us, it is all about the people in the ministry and those being ministered to,” said Hensley. “This program has grown a lot over the past 8 years and we plan to continue to make improvements as we hold to the attitude of Jesus in the Mountain Outreach program”.

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 8 am and 4 pm on 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.

Article Provided by Kyla Edmondson, UC Multimedia & Athletic Services Student Assistant