The Red Bird Missionary Conference is the most comprehensive mission of the United Methodist Church in the United States. The Red Bird Missionary Conference is in ministry with Appalachian families living in the coal region of southeastern Kentucky. Its goal is to minister to the whole person by addressing spiritual, physical, educational and economic needs.
Historically, this region has been one of high unemployment and lack of opportunity. The mountains cause isolation making basic life services difficult to reach. In the rural areas, it can take an hour to drive to basic places like the grocery store, the bank, or the hospital. Industries are very few in this area. Therefore, many people are left unemployed or are forced to travel extensively to work. Even with new roads and better transportation the seclusion the mountains create still lingers, leaving many people isolated from work and basic services.
The Red Bird Missionary Conference helps ease the need and the isolation through its churches and mission institutions. The churches are working to teach and train local leaders, as well as to provide long term discipleship. Church and outreach workers work diligently with the children through camp and youth groups. They provide Bible studies for their adults as well as fellowship activities. The Appalachian Local Pastors School (ALPS) is also provided to train local pastors to serve in churches.
The Mission Institutions of the Red Bird Missionary Conference offer a wide range of ministries. Henderson Settlement
provides community care and Outreach ministries: agricultural, craft and clothing ministries, elderly and children's ministries, and workcamp and retreat ministries. Red Bird Mission and Clinic
provides a medical clinic, dental clinic, laboratory and xray; elderly, family and children's ministries; housing repair, craft and clothing ministries, Red Bird School and early childhood development program.
There are thousands of individuals all across the United States that have been partners with the Red Bird Missionary Conference by volunteering, sending supplies, and through Covenant relationships with the permanent mission workers serving here. It takes the support of the entire United Methodist Church to meet our needs.