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Kentucky Baptist Foundation celebrates 10th Anniversary build for County


The sound of saws and hammers have filled the air in Smithtown as Kentucky Baptist Fellowship (KBF) continues their 10th Anniversary Extreme Build in McCreary County.  This year’s recipients are Tasha Eldridge and her two children, Lucas (8) and Gracie (3).  A third child, Nicholas, passed away at age one due to health problems.  When the house is completed later this week, the Eldridge family will move from a camper trailer to a nice, safe home of their own.

Tasha was interviewed by the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation to determine her ability to stay independent and pay a subsidized, zero-interest mortgage.  Once Tasha was approved, KBF organized churches to donate funds and send work teams from across the state to begin a ten day building blitz to complete a new home, from start to finish, for the Eldridges.

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Photo by Kentucky Baptist Fellowship Tasha, Lucas (8) and Gracie (3) Eldridge is the tenth recipient of Kentucky Baptist Fellowship’s Extream Build home for 2015.

Making the 2015 Extreme Build even more special is the return of native McCreary Countians Julia Gilreath Barkley (& Curtis) and Lori Taylor to their home county to sing at a celebration event at the Whitley City First Baptist Church at 6:00 p.m. on Friday June 12.  Members of Julia’s Georgetown church volunteered during the build, and both ladies are thrilled to be “part of a love story-a God story-for our hometown.”  Julia and Lori are the daughters of former McCreary Country residents Charlie and Karen Gilreath.  Karen was, at one time, a teacher at Smithtown Elementary.

According to KBF, the miracle of Extreme Build is not just that a house appears in about ten days; but that partnerships between organizations, individuals, churches, and approximately one hundred volunteers form to make a seemingly impossible task become a reality.

According to data collected in 2010 by the U.S. Census Bureau, Kentucky is one of the poorest states in the nation with a median household income level of $40, 089 and a poverty rate of 18.4%.  McCreary County is almost twice as poor as the state with a median household income of $24,691 and a poverty rate of 36.5%.  Nearly half of the children in McCreary County live in poverty.

In addition to Friday night’s celebration dinner, music, and fellowship, a dedication ceremony for the home will take place on Saturday June 13.

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