Simple Baskets, Simple Message

by:  Jay Prall

As Decherd’s potluck luncheon wrapped up, it was time to create and assemble another meal.  Potatoes, green beans, gravy mix, apples, cornbread and cookie packets, oranges, and other food items needed to be arranged into simple baskets to bless the community.  A marketing postcard showing the church on the front, and an invitation to Sabbath services and a Wednesday night Ladies Bible Study was conspicuously tucked into the front of each package.

Once the baskets were finished with a red ribbon tie, it was off into the surrounding streets, knocking on doors, doing introductions, and leaving a blessing for the surprised neighbors.

“The annual event is a reminder that the church is in the community for a greater purpose than to just serve as a meeting place for members of the congregation,” explains Pastor Nelson Mercado.  “One of the recipients spent considerable time telling us about health problems facing her family, and asked us to pray for them.  Another neighbor called the church the following week regarding a crisis he was facing.”

The baskets are part of the church’s strategic plan to love the community in practical ways throughout the year.  Church members had previously responded to a county health department plea for packages of diapers and wipes that were donated to needy parents.

“One of the strengths of a small church is its ability to respond quickly to emerging needs,” explains Kathy Prall, elder and community services coordinator.  The Decherd Church always looking for new opportunities to show God’s love in a practical way.

Starting Over and Doing it Right

by Frank Barton

Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

My wife and I both came out of bad first marriages.  I was a Catholic, and she was in the Assembly of God. We both had had unpleasant experiences with churches.  We didn’t know where to turn, but we decided to try to find Bible truth and not just accept whatever somebody was preaching.

When we got married and started thinking about attending a church, my wife said to me, “Would you mind returning tithe on my paycheck? You can do what you want with yours.”  I told her that we had made a commitment to serve the Lord in our marriage, so even though I didn’t have enough money to pay the past month’s rent, we were going to tithe on both of our salaries.

The Lord soon led us to the AdventistChurch.  He has blessed us for our commitment to follow Bible truth and to use the opportunities that He places before all of us to have a part of His ministry through our tithe, offerings, and time.

On many occasions we were thrilled to hear of opportunities and needs in other parts of the world to advance the Lord’s work.  We felt impressed to give money without calculating the consequences on our own lives.  But it seemed that no matter how much we committed to these various projects, we were never without our own needs being met.

Even though we were starting a new life in middle age with five children to support, no home, and many bills, the Lord continued to bless us so much that in twelve years we were able to buy ten acres, a home, and vehicles, and to have them all paid off.  I was able to retire at 55 and volunteer full time to building a prison-ministry program in the Florida Conference.  In eleven years the Lord has made it grow to 500 volunteers working throughout the conference and affecting about 80 institutions.

In 23 years of marriage, we have never missed paying a bill on time.  The Lord has continued to bless us to such an extent that we have lived completely debt-free for about twelve years.


This story, about the experience of my friends Frank and Maxine Barton, was first printed in the 2000 edition of the book Over & Over Again! 2.  Frank was the long-time coordinator of the successful Florida Prison Ministries.  As active members of Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASi) they are firm believers in “sharing Christ in the market place.” The Bartons are presently members of the Paris, Tennessee Seventh-day Adventist Church.  By Lin Powell, Stewardship Director


Madison Academy Serves the Community

by:  Karen Hamberger

In this season of giving, Madison Academy students and staff spent Friday, November 8, giving back to their community and neighbors.  The first all-school service day for the school year included projects such as painting houses, cleaning gutters, and fixing shutters.  Students also fed the homeless, played games with the elderly, and decorated for Christmas at a retirement home.  Other groups spread mulch, raked leaves, and cut down blown over trees.  Everyone worked hard and shared the love of Christ through service.  Madison Academy students made a difference in their community.

HAY!FAITH Festival Launched in Paris, TN

by: Jay Prall
On October 27th, the Paris church launched their first annual HAY!FAITH Festival.  Banners, balloons, and newspaper ads combined to announce to the community the intent of Paris church to be more involved in the lives of the families of Paris.

Every child was given a card to punch at each station – ranging from face painting to a bouncy castle, from roping a steer to petting a goat that knew how to shake hands.  At the end, the completed card could be turned in for a special snack.

Along the way, the children heard stories the Native Americans once told their children, made a basket out of rolled up newspaper, practiced archery, and took a 30-question Bible quiz.  Food and hot apple cider were provided as well.

“It was a great inaugural event,” Matthew Lucio, pastor of Paris church, said.  “We look forward to next year.  HAY!FAITH has made me ask myself why more of the ministries we do are’t this much fun.”

Layman Darrin Shephard Presents First Evangelistic Series

by: Darwin Foley

Two years ago Darrin Shephard gave his heart to the Lord and in October, Darrin presented his first evangelistic series.  Darrin is 22 years old and a member of the Pewee Valley church. Pastor Douglas Na’a pastors the Shelbyville and Pewee Valley churches.

It all started when Darrin heard that his dad, Jeff Shephard, was attending an evangelist series. Darrin and his mother, Jean, were already members, but Darrin was not living a life that uplifted Jesus.  His dad’s surrender and baptism led Darrin to surrender and be rebaptism. At that point, everything changed for Darrin.

At the time of his conversion, Darrin was enrolled at a college in Louisville. In the fall of 2011,  Darrin attended GYC (Generation of Youth for Christ) in Houston with a group of young people from Pewee Valley and Shelbyville.  The next summer Pastor Douglas went with Darrin to Andrews University were Darrin gave his testimony.  Then this past winter Darrin attended GYC in Seattle.

When it came time to plan an evangelistic series for Shelbyville, Darrin was suggested as the evangelist. He wanted training so he settled on a four month course at PEACE – Center of Evangelism in the North England Conference. Arriving back home at the end of September, he began preparing for his first Prophecies of Hope seminar.  The seminar was held each Friday, Sabbath, and Sunday for a period of five weeks, and Darrin preached a total of 18 sermons.  Attendance and response to Darrin’s heartfelt messages was excellent.

Giving Successful Bible Studies

by: Kieth Noll
Photo courtesy of Jason Steffens via Flickr

I love preaching and giving Bible studies.  Finding Bible study interests is much easier than we think.  Just ask God for someone who is interested and I can assure you He will answer your prayer.  If we ask God to make us sensitive to His Spirit and guidance, He will open doors by putting people right in our path.

One Tuesday, I went out with Steve Evans from Clarksville, TN.  It was dark, 5:30 p.m. and people were just getting home for the day and preparing dinner.  It was not a good time for Bible studies, but within 15 minutes and speaking with four people we had two Bible studies.  One young ex-serviceman commented, “It is interesting that you came by.  I just pulled out my Bible the other day and was trying to read and understand it and now here you are.”  I assured him that it was not an accident that we came by; that we had asked God to lead us to people hungry for Him.  We left a Bible study and made an appointment to go back the following week.

Friends, I am happy to set an appointment and go out with anyone who wants to give a Bible study.  Just call my cell at 615-559-2297 or 253-226-8667 and ask for Kieth Noll.  If you leave a message, I will call back and set up an appointment with you.

Conference Office Fire

You might be already be aware, as it did get some local late night news coverage, that the conference office caught on fire last night shortly after sunset. Fortunately Doug Hilliard, Charles Byrd and his assistant Janel were in the building and smelled smoke on the third floor. Unsure of the problem, as there were no visible flames, Doug went out to the parking lot and saw smoke coming from the roof area. The Fire Department was then alerted. Before they arrived, Doug and Charles opened a few third floor ceiling tiles to see flames in the attic, which they then put out using our office fire extinguisher.

It appears that the source of the fire was electrical, which ignited insulation and burned through at least one of our roof/ceiling wood support beams.

The Fire Department inspected the area and determined that in order to ensure there were no possibilities of flare-ups or hot spots that could re-ignite, they watered the are down. We do have some water damage in the upstairs third floor. The damage is largely contained to Janel’s office, but there is a small amount of water damage in Xiomara’s office, which is directly below Janel’s on the second floor.

We will be assessing damage and repairs as soon as possible, but I join Doug in saying how grateful we are that there were staff in the building after closing hours, that the fire began directly over the office where our staff were at the time, and that the fire was identified and quickly extinguished.

Had no one been in the building or if the fire had begun in another part of the attic, the consequences could have been devastating to the building. God has watched over us, and we are very thankful!

Steve Haley

Should You Become a CREATION Health Presenter?

by: Lynell LaMountain
Photo courtesy of

One of the most common things people tell me is that they are anxious to share God’s life-changing message with others, but they don’t know how.

Good news! I have an answer. Our mission is to extend the healing ministry of Christ and point hearts to our gracious Father just as Jesus did in His time on Earth. If you want to relieve pain and share hope and joy with others, then consider becoming a certified CREATION Health presenter, and discover how to effectively share God’s original plan for living life to the fullest on this Earth, and in the Earth made new.



Lynell LaMountain


Kentucky-Tennessee Conference Office

Monday, February 10, 2014

10:00 am – 4:00 pm


Thunder In the Holy Land on 3ABN!

If you missed the live broadcast, click the link below for the recorded program, which features President Steve Haley, Pastor Charles Byrd and Pastor Melvin Santos discussing this exciting media ministry tool with Shelley Quinn.
Directions: scroll to the middle of the page and click TL1356A for the first hour, and TL1356B for the second hour.

Photo courtesy of isrealtourism via Flickr

President’s Message

Welcome to the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference website!
We’re hopeful that as you review it, you will find useful information regarding our conference’s administration, churches, schools, ministries, and most importantly, what I and the fourteen thousand members of this conference confidently believe: Kentucky-Tennessee is a great place to live, work, and serve our communities in anticipation of Christ’s soon return. If you don’t find the information you’re seeking, please contact us and we will do our best to assist you.
Elder Steve Haley