Thursday, October 13, 2016

Transformed People

People, like roads, all go to some destination. Otherwise, they are a dead end in themselves and going nowhere in particular. Alice grew up with a privileged Puritan New England heritage. She learned to be responsible, respectful, and resourceful, as well as a religious adult. Preparing for college at Chauncey Hall, she graduated from Radcliffe, in spite of losing her father and caring for her grandmother during her senior year.

With the weakening of the family fortune, Alice became Editor of the Cambridge Press. Becoming a literary success, she soon married a successful newsman. “Sadly,” and at “the height of her literary success” she “seemed to be overshadowed by her health problems” concludes Jerry Davis (Miracle on Caney Creek/1982).

Staunchly immersed ethically and philosophically in helping other people, although chronically ill, partially crippled and somewhat paralyzed, Alice allegedly determined, “…if I have only a short time to live I’m going to use it for some good purpose’” (Davis/26). 

A short time later, Alice encountered one of her Presbyterian minister friends who had built and later abandoned a mission at Ivis, KY on Troublesome Creek.  Alice and her mother occupied that Knott County site of poverty and perversity in 1915 after making the trip via horse and buggy. With that, she launched what was left of her deteriorated life and began pouring her energies and resources into the best possible career then open to an articulate, dedicated, and caring young lady: helping other people to help themselves.

When June Buchanan’s road intersected with that of Alice Lloyd, the two devotees of improving the lot of humanity became lifelong companions. These two young women invested their lives  (42 years together) in the work begun by Alice Lloyd. The rest is a fascinating history of literally creating a community on Caney Creek and developing a role model as a self-help Community Center.

From its very humble beginning, Caney Creek Community Center evolved into an ongoing educational and ministry center that is today Alice Lloyd College. This four-year institution holds a strongly recognized commitment to Alice Lloyd’s original purpose and philosophy. Located in Pippa Passes, KY the college guarantees to meet the financial needs of mountain students. High academic and moral standards are demanded, and all students earn their way toward graduation by working part-time, while also developing personal character and a sense of purpose.

Graduates here are not a dead-end road! They are going somewhere, as all roads (and all people) should do. What many men would not attempt without government subsistence, two uninhibited and idealistic young women that did know any better than to trust in the Christian principles they had been taught from infancy, began helping others become the leaders their region required, if life deep in the mountains was ever going to get any better.

Reading this volume aloud to my wife, we were fascinated (Jerry C. Davis/Miracle on Caney Creek/Host Communications Printing/ Lexington, KY 1982). This was not a book about poverty and pollution, or the pros and cons of the coal industry; this was a book about people and possibilities. 

We were reminded of our friend, the Reverend Garland Lacy and his ongoing Applachian Ministries in Powell-and-Lee Counties, this being a continuation of both the Pine Crest Ministry carried on by Naomi Randal and that of Moses and Ruby Kitchen. We had helped support Garland when still in active pastoral ministry and I was privileged to visit him again only recently. The value of such ministries is beyond any price one can put on such, and is so deserving of ongoing and dedicated support.

When people experience the transformation of Christian character and directed purpose anything becomes possible. From Warner’s World, this is 

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