Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Forest S. Ford, October 9, 1984

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Education / Life before coming to Lancaster, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: The following is an unrehearsed taped interview with Reverend Forest Ford from Lancaster, Kentucky.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Rev. Ford talks about his life before he came to Lancaster, Kentucky. He graduated from Bryan College in Tennessee then went to Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia for two years. He then went to Union Presbyterian Church in Virginia to finish his seminary. When he graduated, he became a minister at a church in Virginia for four years. After this, he moved to Ashland, Kentucky where he served at a newly built church. He then came to Lancaster and is now serving at another church there.

Keywords: Churches; Congregations; Graduation; High schools; Historical churches; Methodist churches; Methodists; Ministers; Moving; Presbyterian churches; Richmond (Va.); Sanctuary; Union Presbyterian Seminary

Subjects: Appalachia.; Ashland (Ky.); Bryan College; Education, higher; Kentucky.; Lancaster (Ky.); Presbyterian; Religion.; Teachers.; Teaching.; Travel.; Universities and colleges.; Warfield (Ky.); Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia, Pa.)

00:06:59 - Meeting Father Ralph Beiting

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Partial Transcript: Uh, when did you first meet, uh, Reverend Ralph Beiting and what was your impressions of him?

Segment Synopsis: In this brief section, Rev. Ford talks about meeting Father Ralph Beiting and what his impressions of him were. Ford says his encounters with him were all good, even in moments where he had to defend himself, such as an incident at a rotary club meeting where there were misunderstandings about tax issues.

Keywords: Aggressive; Alert; Catholic priests; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Churches; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Property taxes; Rotary clubs

Subjects: Beiting, Ralph W.; Catholic churches; Catholics; Clergy--Kentucky; Financials; Priests.; Religion.

00:08:44 - Finding Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) / Scholarship committee

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Partial Transcript: Uh, so you became acquainted with, uh, Christian Appalachian Project, uh, when you first came and met, uh Father Beiting or did you hear about it before that?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Rev. Ford talks about how he became familiar with Christian Appalachian Project (CAP). He says that he met a lot of the priests at CAP and explains the relationships they had. Rev. Ford isn't intimately involved with CAP but he has attended several CAP meetings and served on a scholarship committee for several years. He explains the details of his job on the scholarship committee such as student requirements, the decision-making process, and who is on the committee.

Keywords: Catholic churches; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Committees; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Meetings; Projects; Scholarships; Students

Subjects: Appalachia.; Catholics; Clergy--Kentucky; Community involvement; Community life.; Kentucky.; Lancaster (Ky.); Nonprofit organizations.; Priests.; Relationships.

00:15:38 - Changes in Christian Appalachian Projects (CAP)

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Partial Transcript: Uh, since you've been here, although you haven't been involved with CAP in any, uh, intimate way, uh, have you--what, uh, changes have you noticed occur from a, uh, uh, observer from the outside, what have you--what changes have you observed in the twenty years you've been here?

Segment Synopsis: In this section, Rev. Ford talks about the growth of Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) from his outsider perspective. He says that he has noticed that the organization has become a lot more sophisticated and technology has played an important role in their growth. Ford says CAP has created a lot of new jobs in the community and within the organization, and that they offer a lot of services that they never offered before, such as a counseling service. Ford talks about growth of The Attic and other social work projects they had in the community that CAP was affiliated with, such as the civic board.

Keywords: Camp Nelson; Christian Appalachian Projects (CAP); Christmas basket program; Churches; Civic boards; Clothing; Computers; Development; Employment; Equipment; Expansion; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Jobs; Management; Michael McLaughlin; Offices; Operation; Outreach; Printing; Programs; Progress; Projects; Services; Sophistication; Technology; The Attic; Vacation Bible School

Subjects: Appalachia.; Community; Community development.; Community-based social services.; Families.; Financials; Growth.; Kentucky.; Missions.; Nonprofit organizations; Poverty.; Social work.

00:31:19 - Street preaching / Mainline churches

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Partial Transcript: Are you familiar with Father Beiting's street preaching?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Rev. Ford is asked if he's familiar with Father Beiting's street preaching excursions. Ford explains that it was uncommon for a mainline church to deviate from traditional practices. He talks about the certain standards the mainline churches follow with their music and sermons and how some people don't like when there is deviation. He says that he tends to be more traditional but he thinks that preaching also needs to be adaptable.

Keywords: Adaptation; Christian churches; Church songs; Deviation; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Gospel; Mainline churches; Music; Preaching; Seminary; Sermons; Standards

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Religion.; Christianity.; Clergy--Kentucky; Hymnals.; Prayer.; Priests.; Religious communities

00:36:05 - Negative attitudes toward Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) and Catholicism

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Partial Transcript: Uh, there's--evidently there-there have been some negative feelings about, uh, about CAP.

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Rev. Ford is asked about how Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) was received by people in different communities. Ford explains that a lot of negative attitudes came from a general suspicion of Catholics. He says that because the organization was aligned with Father Beiting, people assumed CAP was a Catholic organization. Rev. Ford talks about instances where Protestants and Catholics held services together, which he thinks contributed to the mellowing of people's suspicions. He says the Presbyterian Church never aimed to criticize people of other churches or the ways of other denominations. Ford talks about Father Beiting's role in the changes, and why some people might have perceived him as authoritarian.

Keywords: Attitudes; Catholicism; Changes; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Churches; Cliffview Lodge; Criticism; Differences; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Hostility; Presbyterian churches; Protestantism; Protestants; Suspicion

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Religion.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Appalachian Region--Social life and customs; Catholic Church.; Catholic churches; Catholics; Growth.; Kentucky--Social life and customs; Nonprofit organization; Relationships.; Religion.; Religious communities

00:52:01 - Personal attitude changes

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Partial Transcript: Has your attitude changed from the first time you came to, to now?

Segment Synopsis: In this segment, Rev. Ford is asked if his opinions on Catholics have changed at all throughout his life. Ford explains that his thinking has evolved a lot. He has always been respectful toward Catholics because he believes they're good people who are loyal to the church and through priesthood he has gained a greater respect for these people. Rev. Ford explains that growing up in Warfield, Kentucky there was no Catholic church and there was some misinformation spread about Catholics from people that lived there. Rev. Ford explains that people thought the Catholic Church was very rigid and that Catholics weren't serious about their religion.

Keywords: Ashland (Ky.); Attitudes; Brotherhood; Denominations; Evolution; Mass; Presbyterians; Protestants; Seminary; Warfield (Ky.)

Subjects: Catholic Church.; Catholic churches; Catholics; Catholics.; Childhood.; Growth.; Kentucky--Religion; Kentucky--Social life and customs; Priesthood.; Priests.; Religion.; Religious communities