|Mission team travels to White Oak, Tenn.|
|Thursday, September 19, 2013 12:01 AM|
Henderson Settlement is a mission agency of the United Methodist Church within the Red Bird Missionary Conference, meeting the basic needs in Appalachia. It was started in 1925 by Hiram Frakes, a Methodist minister. The community of Frakes bonded together to build up the Settlement, counteracting the area’s reputation for moonshining and feuding. Bill Henderson donated 68 acres of land and several others contributed some of their holdings. The progress of the Settlement was made possible by the support of the Methodist Board of Missions and Churches.
Growth continued and many buildings were built to house a school, church, gristmill and sawmill. The emphasis shifted in the late 1960s as Henderson Settlement became a partner with the federal government in the war on poverty. The social worker became part of the staff. At this time the Laurel Fork Health Clinic and Frakes Volunteer Fire Dept. came into existence.
In the 1980s to present the settlement saw the beginnings of a community center, outreach service, tutoring and adult education. The work camp program took on home improvement. There have been new programs added as are needed.
Volunteers in Mission (work teams) from all over the country, primarily colleges and churches, come to work on community and campus projects. Housing for almost 200 people is available each week at Henderson Settlement. Because of an increasing need for work teams in the area of White Oak, a lodge was built in that area in 2001. Up to 48 people can be housed and fed at this lodge. Work teams are scheduled at the Work Camp Office of Henderson Settlement and a project manager is on site at White Oak to assist the teams during working hours.
Our team bid on and was awarded the job of building an addition on a young couple’s house trailer. We also painted walls and ceilings inside the trailer. The materials were paid for by donations from our church families.
We worked very well together as a team and the Lord saw to our safety. We were able to fellowship with each other and with the family and have stayed in touch with the family. We had two teenage boys with us that were a blessing to work with. They were willing to jump right in wherever they were needed. We are very happy with the work we were able to do in Tennessee and feel very blessed that we were able to make the trip. We are all hoping to go back again in the future.