Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Michael McLaughlin, February 18, 1991

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - Christian Appalachian Project's involvement with Committee on Religion in Appalachia

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Partial Transcript: This is session number two with Mike McLaughlin, President of the Christian Appalachian Project.

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about Christian Appalachian Project's relationship with the Committee on Religion in Appalachia (CORA). He says that they did not have much interaction from 1974-1982, but that since 1982 they have had some limited cooperation and support one another. He briefly talks about Christian Appalachian Project's relationship with the Catholic Committee of Appalachia (CCA).

Keywords: Bishops; Catholic Committee of Appalachia (CCA); Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Committee on Religion in Appalachia (CORA); Cooperation; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Formation; Funding; Grants; Knoxville (Tenn.); Relationships; Roles; Support

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Appalachian Region--Religion.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Finance.; Financials; Grants-in-aid.; Nonprofit organizations.; Religion.; Voluntarism.; Volunteering; Volunteers

00:04:01 - Christian Appalachian Project's grant program

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Partial Transcript: What is the span of the types of groups that come looking to you, to you for like grant money?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about the various types of organizations that apply for Christian Appalachian Project's grant program. He talks about how the decisions regarding which organizations receive grants from CAP are made, how organizations hear about CAP's grant program, and where the money for the grants comes from. He talks specifically about Father Beiting's role in the grant program and about Mother Theresa receiving funds from CAP.

Keywords: Attitudes; Awareness; Bishops; Budgets; Changes; Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Churches; Conferences; Contact; Decisions; Direct giving; Economic development; Elderly people; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Finances; Food; Funding; Goals; Grant committees; Grant coordinators; Grant programs; Grant proposals; Grants; Guidelines; Housing; Human development; Kentucky; Money; Mother Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu; Mother Theresa; Newsletters; Non-religious organizations; Nuns; Personality; Procedures; Programs; Projects; Referrals; Requests; St. Michael's Parish; Virginia; West Virginia; Word-of-mouth

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Appalachian Region--Religion.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Finance.; Financials; Grants-in-aid.; Nonprofit organizations.

00:13:03 - Christian Appalachian Project obtaining grants

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Partial Transcript: In terms of another kind of--oh, well, n-next one will be, uh, in terms of CAP going after grants, uh, what have been the history of that...

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about how Christian Appalachian Project receives grants for its own operations. He talks about how their philosophy regarding outside funding sources has changed over time. He talks about the grant-writing process at CAP and how it has changed over time. He talks about the decision-making process at CAP regarding grants.

Keywords: Christian Appalachian Project (CAP); Construction; Corporate funds; Department of Development; Director of Development; Donations; Formal processes; Foundation gifts; Funding; Government funds; Grant proposals; Grants; Growth; Income; Independence; Individuals; Money; Needs; Operational funds; Philosophy; Professionalization; Program managers; Program-specific grants; Staff

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Finance.; Financials; Grants-in-aid.; Nonprofit organizations.

00:19:57 - State and federal government funding for Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: What about the state and the, and the federal government as a funding source?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about how much state and federal government funding Christian Appalachian Project receives and how it is used. He talks about their relationship with the government and about securing government contracts for some of their programs.

Keywords: Budgets; Contracts; Eastern Kentucky; Expansion; Federal government funding; Floyd County (Ky.); Funding; Funding sources; Government funds; Income; Juvenile delinquents; Kentucky; Legislation; Money; Mt. Vernon (Ky.); Programs; Residential programs; School lunch funding; Somerset (Ky.); Spouse abuse programs; Spouse abuse shelters; State government funding; State pass-thru money; Support; Youth in custody

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Finance.; Financials; Foster home care.; Government agencies; Grants-in-aid.; Group homes; Nonprofit organizations.; Politics and government; Spousal abuse.; United States--Politics and government

00:24:52 - Christian Appalachian Project's lobbying activities

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Partial Transcript: What about lobbying efforts?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about why Christian Appalachian Project avoids most lobbying activities. He talks about two of the issues they have lobbied for: the Right to Life movement and services for the deaf. He talks about their role in lobbying regarding the increase in postal rates.

Keywords: Articles of incorporation; Beliefs; Charitable exclusions; Clients; Costs; Director of Fundraising; Donors; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Federal government; Frankfort (Ky.); Issues; Legislation; Literature; Needs; Political lobbying; Postage; Postal rates; Right to Life movement; Services for the deaf; Stances; State government; Testimony

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Appalachian Region--Religion.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Finance.; Financials; Government agencies; Nonprofit organizations.; Politics and government; United States--Politics and government

00:30:20 - Christian Appalachian Project's physical infrastructure in 1978

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Partial Transcript: Okay, well let's hop back to, uh, a little more historical stuff.

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about the physical property and buildings owned by Christian Appalachian Project in 1978. He talks about how their operations were geographically distant from one another, making logistics difficult. He talks about buying a new property for CAP through a donation by the Cowden family which allowed them to consolidate their operations into one location.

Keywords: Administration; Administrative offices; Buildings; Costs; Cowden Manufacturing Company; Cowden family; Distance; Donations; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Fundraising; Growth; Infrastructure; Lancaster (Ky.); Locations; Middle management; Offices; Printing; Property; Purchases; Warehouses

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Finance.; Financials; Nonprofit organizations.

00:34:05 - Evolution of Christian Appalachian Project's administration and management

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Partial Transcript: From there we began to, uh, uh, expand fairly rapidly.

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about Christian Appalachian Project's growth in the late 1970s and early 1980s which led to the need for more organized administration and management. He talks about the formation of the management team and discusses some of its original members. He talks about how administration at CAP became more standardized and professional. He talks about how his own responsibility changed over time, first as vice president in 1980 and then as president in 1986.

Keywords: Administration; Bill Begley; Board members; Board of directors; Changes; Churches; Comptrollers; Coordination; Costs; Decisions; Eastern Kentucky; Economic development; Ellen Burke; Employees; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Finances; Funding; Fundraising; Growth; Income; Management; Management teams; Maurice Mercier; Middle management; Mo Mercier; Money; Moving; Outreach; Overwhelmed; Personnel directors; Planning; Presidents; Professional staff; Professionalization; Program managers; Responsibility; Senior management; Standardization; Vice presidents

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Finance.; Financials; Nonprofit organizations.

00:41:41 - Issues during the transition of Christian Appalachian Project's administration

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Partial Transcript: In terms of the transitions, uh, what have been the rough spots?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about some of the issues that arose as Christian Appalachian Project's administration became more standardized and professional. He talks about how some people within the organization resisted the change from local autonomy to a more centralized management style. He talks about some of the budget concerns during this time.

Keywords: Budgets; Centralization; Funding; Growth; Income; Independence; Local autonomy; Management styles; Management systems; Money; Problems; Program management; Program managers; Resistance; Transitions

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Finance.; Financials; Nonprofit organizations.

00:44:53 - Christian Appalachian Project's budgetary process

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Partial Transcript: Okay, um, we were talking a little bit about the, uh, process between the management team and the people working out in the field...

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about his method of open communication with Christian Appalachian Project's employees regarding CAP's budget. He talks about the decision-making process regarding the funding of new programs versus the continuation or cancellation of current programs.

Keywords: Board of directors; Budgetary processes; Budgets; Communication; Contact; Current programs; Decision-making; Decisions; Department directors; Employees; Feedback; Finances; Funding; Growth; Income; Input; Meetings; Money; New programs; Program management; Program managers; Subcommittees

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Finance.; Financials; Nonprofit organizations.

00:51:25 - Problems at Christian Appalachian Project in the late 1970s and early 1980s

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Partial Transcript: This seems to be--this budget thing is like what's a way you're putting out fires now.

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin gives examples of problems he faced when he first arrived at Christian Appalachian Project in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He talks about the issues surrounding Camp Nelson, which was losing money at the time. He talks about the various fires, floods, and other hazards at Camp Nelson. He talks more about the personnel issues that arose as Christian Appalachian Project's administration became more standardized and professional.

Keywords: Buildings; Camp Nelson; Costs; Emergencies; Employee unrest; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Finances; Fires; Flooding; Floods; Hazards; Kentucky River; Losses; Management teams; Personnel policies; Personnel problems; Professionalization; Remodeling; Weather

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Finance.; Financials; Nonprofit organizations.

00:56:17 - Current problems at Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: In terms of fires you're putting out now, do you see them as really much different from when you were working with Father Beiting?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin gives examples of problems he is currently facing at Christian Appalachian Project at the time of this interview. He talks about how, due to better planning, they are now able to foresee future problems and begin solving them before they occur. He talks about how there are still natural disasters that occur at their properties, including fires and floods. He talks about how, due to their growth, there is now more bureaucracy involved in all of their decision-making processes, but says that part of their mission is still being able to address their clients' emergency needs quickly.

Keywords: Approval; Assistance; Board of directors; Budgets; Bureaucracy; Damage; Decision-making; Decisions; Emergencies; Emergency funds; Employees; Family; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Fires; Flexibility; Flooding; Floods; Floyd County (Ky.); Forward-looking; Funding sources; Growth; Helping; Importance; Large organizations; Looking ahead; Martin (Ky.); Paperwork; Planning; Prevention; Problems; Property; Recreation centers; Rectory; Response; Responsive; Small organizations; Spouse abuse programs; Spouse abuse shelters

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Finance.; Financials; Group homes; Nonprofit organizations.; Spousal abuse.

01:04:05 - Relationship with the Christian Appalachian Project board of directors / Facing Father Beiting's mortality

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Partial Transcript: In terms of dealing with the board, you've mentioned that they have committees and there's the board.

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about his current relationship with the Christian Appalachian Project board of directors and its individual members. He talks about how his role as president may need to change due to CAP's continued growth. He talks about their plan for training successors for himself, Father Beiting, and other key CAP employees. He talks about how Father Beiting's various accidents and health issues have made people at CAP more aware of his mortality and what will become of the organization when he is gone.

Keywords: Accidents; Age; Board meetings; Board members; Board of directors; Day-to-day operations; Death; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Growth; Health issues; Injuries; Management; Mortality; One-on-one meetings; Planning; Preparations; Professionalization; Recovery; Recuperation; Relationships; Replacements; Responsibilities; Roles; Subcommittees; Surgeries; Time commitments; Transitions

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.

01:10:55 - Father Beiting's increased independence in Floyd County, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Well, what about the CAP infrastructure over on the other side?

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about how Christian Appalachian Project's expansion into Floyd County, Kentucky has caused the return of some of their old, more independent ways, especially for Father Beiting. He talks about Father Beiting's attitude regarding decision-making.

Keywords: Administration; Attitudes; Criticism; Decision-making; Decisions; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Floyd County (Ky.); Freedom; Funding; Independence; Management; Martin (Ky.); Oversight; Paintsville (Ky.); Personality; Perspectives; Problems; Professionalization; Resistance; Standardization; Uptight

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.

01:15:43 - Outside attitudes about Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: Do you see what you call, uh, some jealousy out there in people that come to...

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks about criticism from outside sources regarding Christian Appalachian Project. He talks about how they have been trying to listen more to the communities they are working in regarding their needs and attitudes. He talks about how Father Beiting's role as the leader and spokesperson for CAP affects their reputation. He talks about the prejudice regarding Catholicism in Eastern Kentucky.

Keywords: Acceptance; Attitudes; Catholicism; Criticism; Eastern Kentucky; Ecumenical; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Fears; Grants; Growth; Image; Jealousy; Large organizations; Listening; Needs; Prejudice; Professionals; Reputations; Street preaching; Visibility; Well-known

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Economic conditions.; Appalachian Region--Religion.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Catholics; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.

01:20:36 - Communication within Christian Appalachian Project

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Partial Transcript: Uh, in terms of the getting used to, uh, I see a lot of that going on here in that you have new employees that just came to CAP that, uh...

Segment Synopsis: McLaughlin talks more about the evolution of Christian Appalachian Project's administration and management. He talks about some of the communication issues within such a large, geographically distant organization. He talks about the importance of communication between long-term employees and new employees. He talks more about Father Beiting's role as the leader and spokesperson for CAP and what will change when he is gone. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Administration; Challenges; Cohesiveness; Communication; Continuity; Difficult; Distance; Father Beiting; Father Ralph W. Beiting; Growth; History; Improvement; Leadership; Locations; Long-term employees; Management; Management styles; Management teams; Messages; New employees; Outreach; Perspectives; Presence; Problems; Roles; Symbols; Transitions; Understanding; Visibility; Voluntarism.; Volunteering; Volunteers

Subjects: Appalachia.; Appalachian Region--Social conditions; Communities.; Community; Community development.; Community involvement; Community-based family services.; Community-based social services.; Nonprofit organizations.