ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (The News-Enterprise) – Since 1899, a group of Baptist churches in central Kentucky has been known as the Severns Valley Association of Baptists. But now, the name has changed to Lincoln Association of Baptists.
The association is composed of 52 churches in Hardin and LaRue counties.
The name was changed to help eliminate confusion because the association shared its name with the Elizabethtown church, which is the oldest evangelical congregation west of the Allegheny Mountains.
“This association office receives the Severns Valley Baptist Church’s postage mail and has received some checks intended for Severns Valley Baptist Church,” said Shawn Edwards, associational mission strategist of the Lincoln Association of Baptists.
He said conference attendees have accidentally gone four miles out of their way to the church on Ring Road, instead of the association offices located at 500 College Street Road in Elizabethtown.
The confusion, he said, is due to the name similarities.
“Some in the community and the church have believed my office is at the church,” he said. “Some Severns Valley Church members have believed that I am on staff at the church.”
To avoid confusion, it was announced in late September that the name of the association was changed.
“The Leadership Team believes this name will be more fitting and less confusing than our current name,” Edwards said. “The new name will be easier to promote associational ministries.”
He’s meeting with the trustees to figure out signage design and office administrator, Ali Grinnell, is working on upgrading social media information with the new name, he said.
“Lincoln Association of Baptists exists to assist churches in proclaiming the good news of God’s love as manifested in God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ,” he said. “Additionally, the association assists churches in equipping church members and others to develop their respective spiritual gifts and talents.”
Edwards said churches in the association work together to enhance fellowship, promote Biblical values and doctrine and assist each other in their mission.
“We can do together more than a single church can do by herself,” he said. “We teach and promote cooperation, the cooperation we enter into voluntarily to honor God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
There are a variety of things the association does in the community, including Bible drills, a partnership with Elizabethtown Community and Technical College’s Baptist Campus Ministry, Christian counseling referrals, children and youth camps at Camp Schafer, financial guidance, church staff mentoring, church employment, mission trips and guidance for those in need because of chemical substance abuse.
The association also provided through a variety of efforts during the pandemic.
A unity service is being planned for 5 p.m. Oct. 17 at Stithton Baptist Church in Radcliff with Nate Bishop, pastor of Forest Baptist Church in Louisville, as the guest evangelist and Larry Jones leading the music.
In November, the association will partner with the Kentucky Baptist Convention for Crossover Hardin and LaRue, an evangelism outreach led by area churches aimed at meeting community needs and sharing the love of Jesus. Church members and Kentucky Baptists volunteers from across the state will help to winterize homes, offer oil changes for single moms and widows, host a 5K run/walk and an international soccer tournament, and provide an Evangelistic Youth Rally.