Annie Armstrong’s Legacy Lives on Through Local Churches

Annie Armstrong’s Legacy Lives on Through Local Churches

Gary Newman

Ashland Beacon


Every March, Southern Baptist churches across the country begin to mobilize to collect an Easter offering named after Annie Armstrong. This offering serves a specific purpose, as it is earmarked for North American Missions. Churches across our region, including the 40+ churches of the Greenup Baptist Association covering Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Lawrence, & Elliott Counties contribute to the cause through a week of prayer for the offering and collection during the weeks leading up to Easter.


Annie Armstrong (1850-1938) supported missions throughout her lifetime through service to the poor and a heart for social justice. Among her many accomplishments, her commitment to mission work led to her influential role in the foundation of the Women’s Missionary Union. The WMU was devised as a way for local churches to gain a greater understanding and motivation to support missionaries. By encouraging local churches to be active participants in learning and raising funds, she grew the cause in financial ability and broader understanding of the needs of missionaries. Southern Baptist women at local churches everywhere gained that understanding and generation to generation have passed on this passion and support for missionaries. She grew this network with her passion and her willingness to reach out by mail, and she wrote on average 8,000 letters a year, to meet the cause. In 1934, the annual Easter offering for Home Missions (later to become the North American Missions Board) was renamed in her honor, just a few years before her death. reported, “Today, more than $2 billion has been donated by Southern Baptist churches and individuals to support thousands of missionaries in church planting and compassion ministries. Because of this sacrificial giving, millions of lives have been and continue to be transformed by the power of the gospel.”  The website, administered by the North American Mission Board continued “The Annie Armstrong Easter Offering is a tremendous way to partner with those who are serving as the hands and feet of Jesus throughout North America.”

“Without this offering and churches’ ongoing commitment to the Cooperative Program, it would be impossible to financially support disaster relief efforts, thousands of military chaplains, and church planters at current levels,” stated Jason Lowe, East Region Consultant for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, “Southern Baptists believe that we can accomplish more when we work together than we can do ourselves, and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering is one of the finest examples of partnering together to provide help and hope to others in the name of Jesus Christ.”

You may be asking, what is our local impact and what is our local benefit?

In Boyd and Greenup County, there are 35 Southern Baptist churches in the Greenup Baptist Association and each one can send a donation toward the cause Annie held dear for a lifetime over 100 years ago. The churches are Blackburn Avenue Baptist Church,  Burnaugh Baptist Church, Central Baptist Church, Chadwick’s Creek Baptist Church, Christ Covenant Church, Cornerstone Community Church, Crane Creek Baptist Church, Danleyton Missionary Baptist Church, Fairview Baptist Church, Faith Baptist Church of Westwood, Fellowship Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Cannonsburg, Greenup First Baptist Church, Flatwoods First Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Russell, Garner Missionary Baptist Church, Grace Baptist Church, Hay Esperanza, Hyland Heights Baptist Church, Kenwood Baptist Church, Liberty Missionary Baptist Church, Lifesong, Lloyd First Baptist Church, New Hope Baptist Church, New Life Bible Church, Oakland Avenue Baptist Church, South Shore First Baptist Church, Rose Hill Baptist Church,  Rush Baptist Chapel, Second Baptist Church of Ashland, Summit Missionary Baptist Church, Unity Baptist Church, Wayside Baptist Church, Wildwood Baptist Church, & Wurtland Missionary Baptist Church.

While the local church aids in the fundraising, our area is also a recipient of some of the funding of the North American Mission Board at the Appalachia Ministry Center. pointed to the Cannonsburg center as being, “Committed to strengthening communities, offering mobilization opportunities and protecting children and families.” The center provides literacy and education resources, offers medical and dental care, and resourcing Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams nationwide.

The WMU is still active today, and within the local church, they play a huge role in receiving the Annie Armstrong Easter offering. You can donate at or at virtually any of the local Southern Baptist Churches.

Book Clubs for Young Readers

Book Clubs for Young Readers

Kathy Clayton

Ashland Beacon

book club

                On a chilly Friday evening, two teenagers are setting up displays just inside the entryway of Broadway Books on Winchester Avenue, as customers stroll in from the street to browse through the selections.

                The teens, both employees of the bookstore, are hoping to inspire others their age to love reading as much as they do. Reading is not only fundamental, to quote an advertising phrase, it’s also enjoyable, improves students’ overall educational achievement, and promotes lifelong learning.


                With this objective in mind, two young employees are starting book clubs for teens and pre-teens. Elliott Fosterwelsh, a senior at Paul G. Blazer High School, has started a book club for high school-age students. Maggie Wehrle, a junior at Russell High School, is starting a book club for middle-school-age students.

                “People would come in (the bookstore) and ask if we have a book club, and now we do,” said Elliott. (Note: Broadway Books has an adult book club that has met for a few months.) He said he wants to focus on books that are “newer releases, books that relate to what’s going on the world,” and will include different genres.

                “We (the high school club) just started last week, and we meet on Saturdays at five at the bookstore,” Elliott said. “I had read ‘Lark Ascending,’ by Kentucky native Silas House, and it’s a really good book. It has some deep themes like climate change and authoritarianism, but it’s also hopeful.”

                Elliott said he wanted to get people to “sit around and talk about books and buy books. We haven’t decided how many pages to read each week, but I’m putting together questions for discussion.” He also said he hopes to get the author Silas House to come to Broadway Books for one of the discussions.

                “I think everyone should be interested in reading,” said Maggie. “I’ve always been interested in books, and I came in one day and asked if they needed help. I’ve only been here a few months.” The middle school book club that she started meets at 6 on Fridays. “Two kids showed up the first week, and no one came last week. But hopefully, we’ll get some more people.”

                For her first book, Maggie chose Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen. The first in a series, Hatchet was written in 1986 and describes the adventures of a 13-year-old boy surviving alone in the Canadian wilderness. “I’m thinking maybe we’ll try a mystery for the next book. I like mysteries.” She said the club members would decide on the number of pages to read per week, and she will provide questions for discussion.

                “We wanted to start book clubs,” said co-owner Jill Donta.

                “And, the workers readily agreed to it,” said co-owner Nancy Miller. “They wanted to do it.”

 Miller noted that the adult book club, which has been meeting for a few months, took a hiatus over the holidays, but is back up and running. Donta noted that the adult club meets at The Mill on Wednesdays at 6:30 for a dinner meeting and discussion. “We switch up the genres,” she said, adding that she likes a bit of fright in a book. “I like somebody to die when I read a book,” she laughed. “Next we might pick a mystery.”

Donta also said that Broadway Books has a children’s story hour on Saturdays at 11 a.m.

A current feature of the bookstore, in keeping with March Madness, is a bracket featuring a contest of people’s favorite books. The bracket includes both children’s and adult books, and classics as well as newer books. Look for the giant bracketology display in the window.

Around the Diamond: March 28, 2023

Around the Diamond: March 28, 2023

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon

Raceland 16th Region All A Classic winners



   Ashland went 0-4 this week with losses to Paintsville, Cabell Midland and a twin-bill to Raceland.

   Ryan Brown and Brady Marushi had a pair of hits and each drove in a run in the Tomcats 6-2 loss to Paintsville. Layne Brammer worked 4.1 innings in the loss giving up five runs while striking out four.

   Brown went 2 for 3 and worked 5.1 innings from the bump in Ashland’s 11-1 loss to Cabell Midland. Brown gave up four runs on six hits and struck out seven.

   LaBryant Strader, Rheyce DeBoard and Marushi each doubled in the Tomcats losses to Raceland. Strader drove in a pair of runs in game two and added three hits in the first contest. Brown collected a hit in all five plate appearances in the first game.

   Ashland visits Greenup County Monday, welcomes Fairview Tuesday, visits Rowan County Wednesday and welcomes Lewis County Thursday.


   Boyd County went 3-0 this week with wins over Greenup County, Morgan County and Lexington Lafayette in extra innings.

   Brayden Coleman went 3 for 3, homered and drove in a pair to lead the Lions to a 6-5 win over Greenup. Peyton Jackson went 2 for 4 in the win and Jacob Vanover went 2 for three. Alex Martin hit a two-run home run.

   Grant Slater struck out nine over four innings to lead Boyd County to an 8-1 win over Morgan County. Slater allowed only one hit and did not allow a run. Vanover went 2 for 2 with a double and a pair of RBI and Slater added a pair of hits from the dish.

   Boyd County outlasted Lafayette, 12-10 in eight innings. No stats were reported in the win.

   Boyd County welcomes Lawrence County Monday, visits Ironton Tuesday and welcomes South Point Thursday.


   Fairview went 1-1 this week with a win over Rose Hill and a loss to Raceland in the 16th Region All “A” Championship.

   Fairview hammered Rose Hill, 11-1 in five innings in the All “A” Semifinals. Dustin Allen tossed a complete-game win while giving up only one hit and an unearned run. He struck out five. Izaac Johnson went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI to lead the Eagles.

   Fairview fell to Raceland 10-0 in the championship. Cameron Harper had the lone Fairview hit.

   Fairview visits Russell Monday, Ashland Tuesday and welcomes West Carter Thursday.


   Rose Hill went 1-1 to open its season this week with a win over Elliott County and a loss to Fairview.

   Christian Blevins worked six innings, allowed two hits and struck out 12 to lead Rose Hill to a 5-2 win over Elliott County. Cody Hensley went 3 for 3 for the Royals.

   Allan Boss tallied the only Royals hit in their 11-1 loss to Fairview in five innings.

   Rose Hill visits West Carter Monday, welcomes Hannan, WV Tuesday and Cross Lanes Christian on Thursday.



   Raceland went 5-0 this week with wins over Menifee County, West Carter and Fairview in the All “A” Tournament and a twin-bill over Ashland.

   Raceland defeated Menifee County, 25-3, West Carter 15-0 and Fairview 10-0 in the championship of the All “A” Classic. Clay Coldiron went 2 for 3 and drove in three behind a single and a triple in the Rams championship win over the Eagles. Kadin Shore drove in a pair. Parker Fannin and Connor Thacker each doubled in the win.

   Conner Hughes went 2 for 3 for the Rams in their 11-8 win over Ashland. Hughes doubled and homered in the win. Fannin tripled and drove in two. Hughes went 2 for 3 in game two and Zane Bailey had three triples in a 5-4 win.

   Raceland welcomes Fleming County Monday, Fairland Tuesday and Buffalo, WV on Thursday.


   Russell defeated Rowan County, 6-5 in eight innings in their only game this week. Elijah Hankins and Ethan Oborne each had a pair of hits and drove in a run in the win. Clark Looney worked five innings before handing the ball off the Nathan Totten who closed the final three innings with four strikeouts while giving up only two hits.

   Russell welcomes Fairview Monday, West Carter Tuesday and Johnson Central Friday.


   Greenup County went 1-2 this week with a win over Johnson Central and losses to Boyd County and Pikeville.

   Cohen Underwood and Carson Wireman supplied a pair of hits in the Musketeers 6-5 loss to Boyd County. Underwood drove in a run and Hunter Clevenger doubled in two runs.

   Greenup County defeated Johnson Central, 7-6 and lost to Pikeville, 6-4. No stats were reported in either contest.

   Greenup County welcomes Ashland Monday, visits Huntington Tuesday and welcomes Symmes Valley Thursday.

Fastpitch Highlights: March 28, 2023

Fastpitch Highlights: March 28, 2023

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon


 Bryna Wellman by LB copy



   Ashland went 1-2 this week with a win over Fairview and losses to Greenup County and Raceland.

   Ashland fell to Greenup, 24-11. Erin Patrick and Jada Erwin each had three hits. Erwin tripled and Patrick added a double in the loss. Alauna Troxler homered and Maddie Kersey added a double.

   Katie Samuel tossed a one-hit shutout in a 16-0 blanking of Fairview in five innings. Aubrey McCreary went 2 for 3 and doubled. Addi Lane hammered two home runs and drove in four. Kersey and Troxler added long balls and Kersey drove in four. Ashland tallied three doubles and four home runs.

   Troxler, Samuel and Patrick each went 2 for 3 in the Kittens 10-3 loss to Raceland. Patrick had a pair of doubles and Troxler and Erwin each added a two-bagger.

   Ashland welcomes Spring Valley Monday, visits East Carter Tuesday and Coal Grove on Thurs-day.


   Boyd County went 4-0 this week with wins over Fairview (15-0) in three innings, Elliott County (20-1) in five innings, Fleming County (12-11) and Mason County (11-8).

   Sara Bays went 4 for 5 and hit three home runs in the win over Elliott County. She drove in nine runs in the win and doubled for her fourth hit.

   Elyn Simpkins tossed a complete-game winner while striking out eight in the Lions win over Fleming County. Kyli Kouns, Grace Stephens, Jaycee Goad, Emily Shivel and Simpkins each had two hits. Shivel had two doubles and Kouns and Goad each added one.

   Kylie Thompson went 3 for 4 and drove in two to lead Boyd County past Mason County. Myla Hamilton and Maddison Badgett each had two hits.

   Boyd County visits South Point Tuesday.


   Fairview went 1-2 this week with a 21-0 win over Hannan, WV and losses to Boyd County (15-0) and Ashland (16-0).

   Shelby Gibson went 3 for 4 and drove in three to lead Fairview past Hannan. Kailyn Adkins and Sydney Johnson doubled and Carole Shannon had a triple. Annabelle Menshouse tossed a no hitter in the three-inning contest and struck out eight.

   Fairview welcomes Tolsia, WV Tuesday for a twin-bill, Morgan County Thursday and Hannan on Friday.



   Raceland went 1-1 this week with a win over Ashland and a loss to Lewis County.

   Raceland defeated Ashland, 10-3 behind a seven run fifth inning. Davanna Grubb went the dis-tance to earn the win for the Rams. Brenna Wellman doubled in the win.

   Raceland fell to Lewis County, 10-3. No stats were reported in the loss.

   Raceland welcomes Greenup County Monday, Gallia Academy, OH Tuesday and Russell Thurs-day.


   Russell went 0-2 this week with losses to Rowan County (21-5) in five innings and Elliott Coun-ty, 16-11. No stats were reported.

   Russell welcomes Lewis County Tuesday and visits Raceland Thursday.


   Greenup County went 2-1 this week with wins over Ashland and Powell County (23-0) in three innings and a loss to Rowan County.

   Greenup County defeated Ashland, 24-11 behind an 11-run sixth inning after trailing 10-9. Kay-lie Lawrence homered in the win and had two doubles. Skyler Lawrence, Kamrin Chapman, Madison Ross and Maddy Steele both had two doubles for the Musketeers.

   Greenup County fell to Rowan County, 10-7 and picked up a win in the Kentucky 2A-Section 6 over Powell County.

   Greenup County visits Raceland Monday, Green, OH Tuesday, Portsmouth Wednesday and Portsmouth West Thursday.

National Athletic Training Month - Celebrating Area Athletic Trainers

National Athletic Training Month - Celebrating Area Athletic Trainers

Doug Calhoun

 Ashland Beacon


Denny Kellington is a name that is rather unrecognizable to most of us, yet he has received votes for MVP of the National Football League for this year. Denny Kellington is one of the Buffalo Bills’ assistant athletic trainers. He was one of several people surrounding Damar Hamlin on the field on January 2 of this year when a nation held its collective breath and uttered collective prayers for the life of Hamlin. Denny Kellington is credited with administering proper CPR to Hamlin after he collapsed following a routine tackle. Without Kellington’s training and expertise as a certified athletic trainer, many believe that Damar Hamlin would not have survived cardiac arrest.

March is National Athletic Training Month and gives us an opportunity to recognize, thank, and celebrate these essential healthcare providers. Our area is blessed with schools and healthcare organizations that recognize the importance of certified athletic trainers as an integral part of their athletic programs. According to Andy Gilliland, MD, sports medicine physician, “The community of Athletic Training in our Tri-State region is special. Our region benefits from their shared knowledge and passion with respect to improving outcomes. They serve our community as first responders, leaders, and mentors. They are the spear point to a very large population-based health initiative being driven by our local hospitals such as King’s Daughters Medical Center and Cabell Huntington Hospital.”

Our athletic trainers not only serve athletes during athletic practices and competitions but are often the liaison between the athlete and sports medicine specialists at our local hospitals. Further, they frequently serve the athlete through education, therapy, mentoring, and even counseling. According to veteran West Carter High School Athletic Trainer Meredith Calhoun, “The most rewarding aspect of my position is celebrating the return of an injured athlete back to playing the sport they love. When an athlete returns to the field or court and I catch a glance from them letting me know all is well, I can get a little emotional.” The athletic trainer also considers other stakeholders in the athlete’s care. Calhoun added, “I am always mindful of the athlete’s best interest above all, but I also empathize with the athlete’s parents/guardians, the coaching staff and the athlete’s teammates. Ultimately, my goal is to treat each athlete with professional care and get them ready to return to play as quickly and safely as possible.”

Dr.Gilliland works closely with many of our area’s athletic trainers and recognizes the quality and professionalism they exhibit. “I have always been impressed with the diagnostic capabilities of certified athletic trainers. They are on par with advanced level allied health professionals. This goes beyond treating musculoskeletal injuries. Their training is broad, and for that knowledge base to be in direct contact with our student athlete population on a daily basis is an invaluable resource.”

The range of our athletic training network spans hundreds of miles and dozens of schools from Johnson County to Rowan County, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. They serve athletes from middle school ages through collegiate levels. We are truly fortunate to have such a rich network of capable people protecting our kids. It is a rarity for such a rural area to have such a resource. This is a credit to our community and its schools embracing the athletic training philosophy.

The chances of any of our student athletes facing a situation like Damar Hamlin are statistically slight. But, there is comfort in knowing that athletic trainers are prepared for emergency situations as well as the more common types of injuries our hard-working student athletes may face. Damar Hamlin was fortunate that athletic trainer Denny Kellington was prepared and present. The Damar Hamlin moment has already been etched in many sports fans’ memories. Hamlin had his Denny Kellington. Our student athletes have their qualified, skilled athletic trainers there to serve them. Throughout March as well as the rest of the year, we are thankful for the service of our athletic trainers.