Click here for most recent updates




‘We go to serve, and we return blessed’: Campbellsville University’s Carver School, Campus Ministries travel to Eastern Kentucky to help flood victims

From left, Carver School of Social Work volunteers Cynthia Colyer, director of Bachelor of Social Work field education and lead social work professor at Campbellsville University- Somerset; Chad Rakes; Stephen Hinkle; Hunter Rakes and Roger Colyer, along with John Sizemore, pastor of Millstone Church of Grace, second from right, assist with loading a refrigerator onto a truck. (Photos Provided)

By Gerard Flanagan, news writer and photographer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – In the aftermath of devastating flooding in Eastern Kentucky that has left at least 37 dead, hundreds displaced and a trail of unprecedented destruction, members of the Campbellsville University family are answering the call to help those dealing with the devastation.

Members of the Campbellsville University Carver School of Social Work and Office of Campus Ministries traveled to Eastern Kentucky recently to aid in recovery efforts.

The Carver School’s volunteers assisted with cleanup in Neon, Ky., and the Millstone Church of Grace, both in Letcher County, and Meridzo Ministries in Harlan County.

Dr. Helen Mudd, professor of social work, said working alongside the selfless Campbellsville University students, faculty and family members is a blessing.

“We serve with our faculty and students because we are called to serve,” Mudd said. “Servant leadership requires us to lead in serving others. We go to serve, and we return blessed.”

According to Mudd, those affected by the flooding will need help for the long term.

Mudd said, “I encourage each of you to serve as you are called—go, give, encourage, but most importantly, ask God what He would have you to do to be His hands and feet.

“The devastation is widespread, and the needs will continue long after the volunteers and organizations leave the area.”

Mudd said the Carver School is planning to return to the area to further help with cleanup efforts.

Carver School of Social Work volunteers worked at Mill- stone Church of Grace that was flooded with five feet of water. The church’s floor collapsed, and the church was moved off its foundation.

Catina Searcey, a graduate student from London, Ky., described the experience as humbling and said she is in awe of the resiliency those affected by the flooding have displayed.

“It is humbling to watch God arrive not only with tools but also with volunteers,” Searcey said.

“Determination frequently goes hand-in-hand with persistence and resiliency; these individuals have the ability to persevere despite obstacles and disappointments, and they have the fortitude to keep going,” she said.

Members of Campus Ministries spent time in Manchester in Clay County and Bethel Camp in Breathitt County’s Clayhole community cleaning up. Campus Ministries assisted in clearing mud from homes, preparing places for flooding victims to stay, general cleaning and tearing out and removing flood-damaged flooring.

They followed up with a return trip to in Whitesburg in Letcher County to further assist with cleanup efforts.

Gentry Phillips, a junior from Mt. Vernon, Ky., called the scenes in Eastern Kentucky “devastating.”

Phillips said, “It really was devastating just seeing homes being moved out of place, cars and campers being flipped over, cloths and towels hanging on trees, and some roads being torn up.”

“But the fact that we got to help clean up, fix, and bring supplies for homes and the people down there and give them hope was something of a miracle from God and all the people who stepped up to help was just terrific to see.”

From left are Campus Ministries volunteers Gentry Phillips, Silas Collie, Trent Creason and Chris Greer.

Mercy Enemuo, a senior from Nigeria, said the amount of donations pouring into Bethel Camp is “amazing.”

“There were people who drove for hours just to drop off donations and return while others stayed,” she said. “We met a crew from Ohio and Pennsylvania. To know that prices of things are increasing yet we have people helping out with whatever needs.

“Grateful to God for all that was preserved.”

Trent Creason, Campbellsville University’s campus minister, said the Office of Campus Ministries will continue sending volunteers and supplies as needed throughout the upcoming fall semester to assist in clean-up efforts.

“The greatest tangible example of God’s love is seen through the way Jesus has served through His work on the cross,” Creason said. “Central to what Campbellsville University holds dear is the value of such servant leadership.

“Serving in East Kentucky is an expression and continuation of love that overflows from the love God has already shared.”

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university that has enrolled up to 12,000 students yearly. The university offers over 100 programs of study including doctoral, masters, bachelors, associate and certification programs. The website for complete information is

Vehicles and children’s dolls were among the items damaged.