Youth Mission Trip from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Travels to Bland County, VA

Participants in the 2016 St. Paul's / Appalachian Service Project Mission Trip
Participants in the 2016 Appalachian Service Project Mission Trip gathered at the entrance to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church just prior to their departure on Saturday morning – Image (c) JMcCT, 2016 all rights reserved

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Back-windowThree shining passenger vans left Bedford’s St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Saturday morning, headed for the congregation’s third Appalachia Service Project (ASP) mission trip.

Recent heavy rains and severe flooding changed the mission trip’s original destination in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, to Bland County, Virginia.

While in Bland County, the teams will repair three homes in need of insulation, drywall, flooring and siding. They will also get to know the residents on whose homes they are working, and meet other ASP volunteers from around the country.

In Gettysburg,
In Gettysburg, enjoying the hospitality of Prince of Peace Episcopal Church – Courtesy image, Emily Mitchell (c) 2016 all rights reserved

Two dozen teens and adults departed from St. Paul’s parking lot on Saturday morning. They drove as far as Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where they were guests of the Prince of Peace Episcopal Church.

St. Paul’s visit to Bland County is the congregation’s third youth mission trip with ASP, and the largest. The first trip to Logan County, West Virginia in 2013 drew just four youth and two adults, the 2014 trip to Craigsville, West Virginia counted 11 youth and 4 adults.

Three generations of the Parks family - Image (c) JMcCT, 2106 all rights reserved
Three generations of the Parks family – Image (c) JMcCT, 2106 all rights reserved

Long-time church member Jan Gurley was present to wave good-bye. “This is my church family,” she said with just a bit of a catch in her throat. Celia Parks was there too as the grandmother of a participant; she appreciated that members of other faith communities are traveling with the group from St. Paul’s.

For more information about ASP, visit, and The Citizen looks forward to a wrap-up about the trip after everyone is back in Bedford.

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