DALLAS—Among the 79 missionary candidates presented for appointment during the Sending Celebration at the Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting in Dallas June 12 were seven couples with ties to Kentucky Baptist churches:
Trey and Kaitlyn Lancaster, of Redemption Hill Baptist Church in Fisherville, and their two sons will work with Sub-Saharan African peoples. He attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
"God redeemed both of us at a young age, and our local churches discipled us," Trey Lancaster told SBC messengers."
"His love is not just for us," added Kaitlyn Lancaster. "It is a life-changing and saving gift to be shared with all peoples around the world."
Jason and Kim Milton, of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, and their four children will serve in Kenya. They attended The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
"We spent most of our careers climbing the corporate ladder," said Jason Milton. "But the more we served our church, the more we felt called to missions."
Kim Milton added, "Through our church, which has a heart for the nations, we learned from missionaries and began working with refugees."
Lance and Kelsey Capshaw*, who attended a Kentucky seminary and are connected to a Kentucky Baptist church, and their two children, will be engaged in church planting among Central Asian peoples.
"God has been refocusing our lives around seeking his glory among the nations," Lance Capshaw told messengers."
"Lostness around the globe and God's grand story of redemption for all peoples have changed our hearts," said Kelsey Capshaw.
Matt and Jill Kirke*, who attended a Kentucky seminary and are connected to a Kentucky church, and their son, will be working among Central Asian peoples.
"In middle school, Jim Elliot's story ignited a passion within me to share Jesus in hard places," Matt Kirke shared.
"As a child, the Lord used my parents, church, biographies, and visiting missionaries to give me a desire to take the gospel to the nations," Jill Kirke added.
Josh and Melanie Smith*, who attended seminary in Kentucky and have ties to a Kentucky church, will work among East Asian peoples.
"I first understood God's heart for the nations on a short-term trip to East Asia," Josh Smith said.
"Early in life, God gave me a passion for His Mission," said Melanie Smith, a native of Kentucky. "Serving two years in East Asia confirmed His call to go."
Mark and April Rivera*, who attended seminary in Kentucky and are connected to a Kentucky church, and their three daughters, will serve among Southeast Asian peoples.
"Both of us were raised around missionaries and missionary stories," April Rivera told messengers. "Our love for God grew. And so did our desire to make Him known throughout the nations."
Mark Rivera, a native of Kentucky, added, "Just as so many have gone before us, we now have the privilege of going."
Garrett and Natalie Wright*, natives of Kentucky who did their undergraduate studies and worked in Kentucky, and their infant daughter, will work among European peoples.
"Mentors have guided us in learning Scripture and God's direction, and we have a fire for nations in need of the Gospel. We have been blessed to go on several trips and feel drawn to Europe," Natalie Wright said.
Two more couples with ties to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary also were among participants in the June 12 Sending Celebration.
Names withheld for security reasons.