Tonight I’m staying at the Hampton Inn in Pikeville, Kentucky. Tomorrow I will be teaching at a Super Saturday event for the Kentucky Baptist Convention. As I type, I’m looking up the hill at the Pikeville College campus where I began my formal studies. I spent two semesters at the college before I transferred to the big city of Morehead, Kentucky where I eventually graduated from Morehead State University.
I spent a large percentage of my life here in these hills and I suppose it will always be “home” to me. I began my life here, grew up in “these parts,” taught school nearby, and pastored for 12 years at two different churches in the area. I often miss the mountains and miss serving as a pastor of a local church here. When I get to make a treasured visit back home I always feel a certain peace and serenity.
I remember when I left the First Baptist Church of Belfry to take a senior pastor position in Northern Kentucky. When my moving truck topped the last hill on the Mountain Parkway, I thought my heart would burst out of my chest. I knew at that moment that I might never live here again.
If you are reading this and you are from Eastern Kentucky, please know that you are blessed if you are able to live your life in these beautiful hills among these wonderful people. Although I have loved the people and places where God has allowed me to live, I know in my heart, this will always be home!