Churches minister to physical, spiritual needs in Pikeville

Published: May 15, 2018

PIKEVILLE—First Baptist Church of Pikeville partnered with the North American Mission Board SEND RELIEF dental unit on April 14 to offer a free health clinic to its community.

This was one of several Kentucky Baptist Convention Whole Health initiative events that started in March in Bowling Green and wrapped up at the end of April in Hopkinsville.

Eric Allen, missions mobilization team leader with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, is "excited to see churches engaging their community meeting physical and spiritual needs," he said.

The Pikeville clinic "attended to the patients' spiritual needs while attending to their physical needs," said John Colston, a doctor and a member of First Church, Pikeville.

More than 40 nursing students from the University of Pikeville's Elliott School of Nursing, under the supervision of Dr. Karen Ross, also a member of Pikeville First; 50 medical students from the University of Pikeville's School of Osteopathic Medicine, under the direction of Dr. Colston; and two local dentists and two dental hygienists were involved.

Doctors, nurses, dentists, hygienists, students, and community volunteers came together to minister to physical and spiritual needs in Pikeville.

Approximately 70 volunteers from Pikeville and other churches from Pike Baptist Association also participated throughout the day.

Health screenings, medical evaluations, osteopathic manipulative treatments, prescription medication reviews and basic dental care were provided.

As people registered, they were assigned an advocate who stayed with them throughout the entire process, accompanying individuals to the nurses' station for a work-up of vital statistics and ushering them to other necessary stations.

After medical or dental needs were met and before their assigned patient, the advocate would invite them into the church sanctuary for prayer and to share the gospel.

Refreshments and nursery care were also provided. 

The clinic was "a huge success, and it provided a tremendous blessing to many residents in our community as well as the 100-plus volunteers who served," Jason Lowe, Pike Association of Southern Baptists' director of missions, said. "I am extremely grateful for the partnership with NAMB and the KBC in making the mobile unit available to the people of eastern Kentucky." They are already making plans for a similar event next year.

"This was just the tip of the iceberg," Colston, who organized the health clinic, echoed. "Hopefully this will grow into a powerful outreach tool to meet the needs of people and share the love and good news of Jesus Christ."

Allen added, "We can always do more together and it was encouraging to see churches partnering together to meet the medical and dental needs of people in their area." (WR)