This is Oneida: Letter to Clay Countians

By Larry Gritton

Published: July 10, 2018

The Lord planted Oneida Baptist Institute in Clay County, Ky., for a reason, and we continue to work to minister to the children and families of our local community. Acts 1:8 says, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." We are challenged to begin our work at home and then to reach out into the state, country and world. The following is a letter I sent to our local newspaper.

My Fellow Clay Countians,

I have lived most of my years in Clay County, Ky. The only years I spent away were four years in college and nine other years of training and preparation in Florida to return home to lead OBI. I am proud to be a Kentuckian and I am proud to be an Oneidian, but I am also proud to be a Clay Countian. OBI has a long, rich history within this community. Our founder, James Anderson Burns, believed the way to stop the feuds of Clay County was to educate our children and teach them about the love of Christ. Thankfully, he was correct. We opened our doors on Jan. 1, 1900, with 100 Clay County kids in attendance.

For most of our history we have maintained that same level of Clay County kids attending OBI, but five years ago our local student population had dropped to only nine students. We finished this past school year with 77 local students, and I'd love to have over 100 beginning with our new school year in August.

We live in a great community and there are some great things going on here, but we also face some real challenges. Five years ago, God burdened my heart for the people of this county and community. We were compelled to send our buses back out to bring in local kids, which hadn't been done since 1980. We also re-opened our doors to kindergarten through 5th grade local students, something we had not done since the 1950s. While OBI is not for everyone, it is certainly a good fit for many.

I want the families of Clay County to know that our doors are open to you. It's tuition-free. We have small class sizes and excellent programs, and we have a tremendous staff who will invest in your child. If you are interested in touring our campus or speaking with someone about the possibility of enrolling your child, please call 847-4111, extension 266.

Thank you, and may God bless the fine people of Clay County, Ky.

Partnering Together for our Children,

Larry Gritton Jr.