Tennessee Valley Baptist Association
Thursday, April 02, 2020


Tennessee Valley Baptists Build Ramps


By Marcia Knox

Special Features Assistant

Baptist & Reflector

November 16, 2011



DAYTON – The executive board of the Tennessee Valley Baptist Association recently launched “Operation Reaching Out,” a ramp building ministry for families with disabled members, according to Mike Young, the association’s director of missions.


“This is the greatest thing that we’ve done with ‘hands-on missions’ for the association since I’ve been here,” said Young. “It is the most successful missions event for us.”


The wooden ramps are built offsite by association volunteers and then taken to homes where they are installed.


The ramps are also made to be removed and recycled when no longer needed. They are built to specs and are professionally made by volunteers, according to Lee Miller, Operation Reaching Out director and member of New Union Baptist Church, Dayton.


Young added that this is a combined missions project with the association providing funds for tools and rental equipment, the churches supplying free labor and Tri-State Resource Advocacy Corporation (TRAC), Chattanooga, authorizing federal grant money for materials to build the ramps and qualifying the residents for the addition of the ramps.


Some low income families with disability needs are able to qualify for free ramps through TRAC, an area social services organization. TRAC is under the leadership of Van Veller, Home Access Program manager in Chattanooga. The organization assists residents in 10 East Tennessee counties.


“Even if the residents are not eligible for TRAC assistance, we will provide the ramps and manpower through association volunteers,” noted Young.


The association ministry has expanded across Rhea County and Meigs County. A group of at least 25 association volunteers from Yellow Creek Baptist Church, Spring City; Smyrna Baptist Church, Evensville; New Union Baptist Church, Dayton; and Lake Drive Baptist Church, Sale Creek, have worked since May to build ramps for needy people.


The construction teams have completed at least 16 ramp projects to date, Miller reported.


“We’ve had one opportunity to witness to a man who had a ramp installed on his home,” said Miller. “The association plans to furnish us with Bibles to give to the ramp recipients. The team members will sign their names in the Bibles and give them to the recipients.”


“The volunteers are mostly retired senior adults who complete the projects on weekdays,” said association administrative assistant, Angie Price, who is responsible for the volunteer call outs for the projects.


“We also schedule weekend construction projects so that others may participate,” she said.


This association ministry was modeled on “Neighborhood Helpers,” a volunteer construction ministry located in Soddy-Daisy.


Building a ramp for Vivian Crawley were volunteers from churches in the Tennessee

Valley Baptist Association, based in Dayton, through its "Operation Reaching Out"

ministry. Working on the ramp were, from left, Lee Miller, New Union Baptist Church,

Dayton, and Operation Reaching Out Director; Carl Smith, Smyrna Baptist Church,

Evensville, Ronnie Calbaugh and Bob Tumlin, both of New Union Baptist; Roger Rothwell,

pastor of Smyrna Baptist Church; and Troit Cleveland, First Baptist Church, Dayton.



For more information on Operation Reaching Out, please visit our Mission Opportunities page.