PIKEVILLE, KY. – Christian Appalachian Project (CAP)* announced that Lula Bowling Ford, who recently retired as director from Morehead State University-Prestonsburg, has been appointed to serve a one-year commitment on CAP’s Board of Directors.
“Lula Bowling Ford was born and raised in Central Appalachia. She is well versed in the challenges faced by people living in Eastern Kentucky and Central Appalachia,” said Guy Adams, President/CEO of CAP. “Lula has committed her life to serving others and we are excited about her addition to CAP’s Board.”
Ford, who grew up near Huntington, West Virginia, stated, “I have seen firsthand what Christian Appalachian Project has provided to the area in its various functions. CAP provides for so many. It really makes a difference in their lives.”
CAP has worked to serve people in Central Appalachia for more than 50 years with a variety of human service programs that transform the lives of children, their families, and seniors in need. Those programs include mental health counseling services, housing, in-home respite, a food pantry, and Operation Sharing.
Through MSU-Prestonsburg and her church, Cornerstone Christian Church in Pikeville, Ford saw CAP’s impact firsthand through Operation Sharing, which collects and distributes as much as $60 million in goods annually to another 1.5 million people in need throughout the 13 Appalachian states, as well as to people in need in Missouri and Arkansas. This work is done through 1,200 partner agencies which include schools and churches.
While Ford was at MSU-Prestonsburg, the program provided students and their families needed items they might not otherwise have and served as a referral for families for counseling and programs for school children. According to Ford, most of the students at MSU-Prestonsburg were from single-parent families and the assistance from CAP was invaluable to them. In addition, her church serves between 400 and 500 low-income families a month.
“I could write a book about how people have benefitted from CAP,” Ford said. “I saw the impact myself through my direct connection with Operation Sharing. I believe individuals should serve their community, but I also see how CAP has served the community. I look forward to having a chance to serve my community by being on CAP’s Board.”
That personal experience with Operation Sharing is what made Ford an ideal candidate for the Board. “Lula knows Operation Sharing well,” Adams said. “She will be CAP’s first Board member who has been specifically chosen as an Operation Sharing partner. That program just celebrated 35 years of service. Lula’s first-hand knowledge of how that program works and its impact will add more depth to our decision-making.”
Ford attended Alice Lloyd College for two years, then finished her education at Berea College. She earned her master’s degree and an educational specialist degree in counseling from Morehead State University. During the 2020-2021 term, Ford will serve on the Business Affairs Committee.
*Christian Appalachian Project has been building hope, transforming lives, and sharing Christ’s love through service in Appalachia since our founding more than 50 years ago. With the help of donors, volunteers, staff, and the communities it serves, CAP has grown to impact the lives of more than 1 million people each year.