1125 Red Mile Road
Lexington KY 40504
Contact Information
Address 1125 Red Mile Road
Lexington, KY 40504
Phone (859) 269-7715
Contact Name Karen Owsley
Web and Social Media
Joining Justice, Compassion and Public Policy
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 1958
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer - Donations by check mailed to the P.O. Box 23171, Lexington KY 40523 address will be receipted promptly.
- Online credit card donations made from the Donate button on our web site are receipted automatically by email.
- A full spectrum of stock, property and legacy giving options are possible and we suggest an initial consultation by phone to assure a fit with our gift acceptance policy. 
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Mission Statement We witness to Christian unity through relationships and actions. In covenant with one another, we commit ourselves to continue to work for the visible unity of the Church of Jesus Christ, to proclaim reconciliation, justice, peace, and the integrity of creation under the leading of the Holy Spirit, to engage in common witness and ministry together.
Background Statement
The Kentucky Council of Churches stands on the shoulders of the Sunday School Movement that reached out to children of poor or struggling families. Because of this our main concern has always been on improving life for people in need. Many local anti-hunger programs got their start with us, as did most of the volunteer efforts for responding to major disasters. Our member churches diversified quickly so that by 1990 we included Methodists (United, AME, AMEZ and CME), Disciples, Episcopalians, Lutherans (ELCA), Presbyterians (PCUSA and Cumberland), all four Roman Catholic dioceses, and the United Church of Christ. The Kentucky Baptist Fellowship joined recently. Independent congregations are also eligible to join, such as Union Church in Berea.
As the Kentucky Council of Churches seeks to be a witness to the unity of the body of Christ, we are drawn to be a community of Christian hospitality to all, develop and support deep relationships, hold each other accountable to the ongoing mission of unity as we continue our faith journeys together, express a Christian voice of conscience in providing a voice for the voiceless, and increase the visibility of this mission and ministry by partnering throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Impact Statement

Social Justice Advocacy

Expungement of criminal records for low-level ex-felons became law this year, partly due to our work with the KY Smart on Crime Coalition. This law will enable over 100,000 people who have served their time an opportunity to get a better job, vote, and experience other rights most citizens take for granted. 
We also worked with legislators and coalition partners on criminal justice reform, sustainable energy, tax reform and responsible lending practices. Our legislative ministry gives voice to the voiceless and hope to those who want a more compassionate, just and sustainable economy.
Annual Assembly

We received rave reviews for our event this year, with the theme of “Religious Diversity and Interfaith Relationships.” We had excellent presenters and a panel discussion led by people of differing faiths. Participants attended workshops and an inspiring worship service led by the local ministerial fellowship and Dr. Kevin Cosby, pastor of St. Stephen Church in Louisville. 

The event’s qualitative impact was considerable. With the national concern about terrorism and the divide over welcoming refugees from primarily Muslim countries, the presentations were timely and informative. 

Our annual assembly is a catalyst for ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, and a cornerstone for our work in justice advocacy and Christian unity.
Leadership Development and Christian Unity
We sent five persons, two of which were seminary students, to the Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) event in Washington, DC in 2015. EAD opens Christians’ eyes to the larger church and the great potential Christian unity has for cooperating with God’s intentions for this world. It is the sort of event that galvanizes participants for ecumenical cooperation and imparts skills for education and advocacy.

The theme of the event was “Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation.” It built upon one of our well-attended workshops at the 2014 assembly; led by Edward Monahan of Kentucky’s Public Defenders offices, that addressed this very topic in the Kentucky context.

 We sent some of our leaders to this event again in 2016. They returned with enthusiasm and greater knowledge, which they have been sharing with the Council since. The theme was “Lift Every Voice,” and focused on the ongoing challenge of race relations in the U.S. and the importance of all persons having a voice in our nation’s governance. With the current situation in our country and around the world, this theme is both timely and crucial.
Needs Statement
KCC's top needs include:
1. Funding for our legislative efforts. Our Executive Director also serves as our legislative agent. The ability to have a lobbyist in Frankfort is crucial to our work in justice advocacy. ~$15,000 per year
 2. Our annual assembly is the cornerstone of our ecumenical work. It is here that we bring people from across the state together for education, fellowship and business. We vote on policies that guide our advocacy work, and educate our constituency on important issues like civil discourse and religious diversity. ~$20,000 
3. We bring church and denominational leaders together for mutual support and dialogue on important issues in a state and nation. Because we are a state-wide agency, we need to be able to hold gatherings in different locations around the Commonwealth. This requires staff time and travel, and meeting arrangements and expenses. ~$10,000 per year
4. To sustain KCC into the future, we established an endowment fund. Contributions to this fund can help shore up our ministry, and assure that the mission of Christian unity and justice advocacy will continue for many years.
CEO/Executive Director Statement
Kentucky Council of Churches has the distinct privilege of being a voice for over 1100 congregations in the Commonwealth, and countless numbers of persons who are victimized, oppressed or discriminated against by unjust laws and failing economic systems. Our organization is one of the few Christian fellowships where blacks and whites come together as equals to make decisions, speak out with a common voice, and fellowship and learn together. 
Our gatherings are rich with meaningful dialogue about issues that matter to our state and our world. We take seriously our call to be the Body of Christ in and for the world by speaking the truth to power, and by creating safe places to speak the truth in love to one another. 
Without KCC, Kentucky would lack any common Christian voice. Today, perhaps more than ever, we need the moral influence that KCC brings to our government officials. We have their ears, and though legislators do not always agree with us, they care what we have to say. 
Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Community Improvement, Capacity Building / Community Coalitions
Tertiary Organization Category Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy / Intergroup/Race Relations
Geographic Areas Served
The Council serves the whole state of Kentucky. Our member churches are from 11 traditions that are present throughout the state representing over 100 congregations and about 18% of Kentucky's population. Some of their leaders also serve parts of surrounding states.
Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.

The Kentucky Council of Churches speaks for our 11 denominational members across the Commonwealth to advance all forms of justice in the interests of strong, healthy, and compassionate communities. Our goals are:

1) Criminal justice reform. As a founding member of the Kentucky Smart on Crime Coalition, KCC aims to achieve change in Kentucky’s criminal justice laws and correction system. A new penal code will result in cost savings for the state, less crowding in jails, and restorative alternatives for low-level criminals.

2) Strengthen the unity of our voices through the diversity of our membership. KCC will expand our constituency outside our traditional alliance of mainline organizations and within our current membership to represent the interests of youth, minorities, and women.

StrategiesHelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?
To reach our goal of reforming the penal code, our legislative agent and volunteers will be directly involved in advocating for changes that are just, cost-effective and restorative. We will continue to be present at coalition meetings and legislative gatherings where criminal justice reform is being discussed, and provide educational resources and action alerts to our congregations.
We already have a solid base for Christian unity with 11 denominations as members. We will build on that in three ways:
1. Strengthening our communication with constituents and others through added social media presence and regular newsletters and legislative updates.
2. Host more gatherings for church leaders throughout the state. We already hold regular lunch gatherings for judicatory leaders. This year we are also holding two-three extended gatherings for deeper conversation, education on issues, and mutual support. We will also hold regional gatherings for congregational leaders.
3. Provide more resources for congregations and communities, including advocacy training, speaking engagements, and educational materials. Our annual assembly will continue to be our primary state-wide event. 
CapabilitiesHelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?
KCC currently has the staff and resources needed for legislative agency and our cooperative work for criminal justice reform. Our Interim Executive Director is an active member of KY Smart on Crime, as is one of our Board members. We use VoterVoice to keep our constituency abreast of progress and to call for action when needed. 
Our budget is limited, but we maintain our high standard of quality through individual contributions, grants, partnerships, and mission focus. Programs such as annual assembly and other gatherings require grant funding and donations of time and energy from our leadership. We could do much more with more funds. 
IndicatorsHelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact?
In April 2016, Governor Bevin signed HB40 into law. This bill enables low-level felons to apply for expungement of their records. It was a huge step in the right direction for Kentucky's justice system, and an indicator that our work with coalitions like KY Smart on Crime does make a difference. 
We will know we are successful when a new penal code is in place. This will not be easy, but we are encouraged by Governor Bevin's desire to get it done during his first term in office. Every step we take toward a more restorative and compassionate penal code is a win. 
How does one measure success in Christian unity? We already have 11 denominations committed to working together for a better Commonwealth. Indicators that we are making more progress include a successful annual assembly, healthy participation in regional gatherings of congregational leaders and judicatory leader gatherings, and a rise in church and individual financial support.
ProgressHelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?
KCC is limited only by our imagination and funding. We have accomplished so much in terms of Christian unity and justice advocacy, but we could do so much more. 
Over the past 10 years, we have cut staff in half. We have moved our offices three times. These challenges have not kept us from pursuing our mission, but they caused constraints and limited potential. With adequate funding and staff, we could offer more resources and programming for our congregations and communities.
We received a generous grant from the Lilly Foundation five years ago to focus on the health and wholeness of pastors. We started ecumenical cohort groups and gave them funding for regular meetings, retreats, and resources like special speakers and study materials. The grant runs out this year, which means we can no longer fund these groups or begin new ones. Although we plan to offer programs and resources, we will have to do so without adequate funding.
It is clear to us that we need to find other funding streams. We have a development committee that meets regularly with our Interim Executive Director, but an additional staff person dedicated to development would make a tremendous difference.
The gift of being under staffed and under funded is focus. We have focused our efforts on justice advocacy and support for judicatory and congregational leaders. We cannot take on every social issue. We can have an impact on legislation. We cannot be present in every congregation or community in Kentucky. We can support the leadership of those communities, and encourage joint mission and ministry. 
We are strengthened by our reliance on God and each other, and the mission to which we have been called. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Rev. J. Gregory Alexander
Company Affiliation Christian Church In Kentucky
Term Oct 2013 to Oct 2016
Board Members
Rev. Greg AlexanderChristian Church DisciplesVoting
Rev. Robert AmundsenUMC-Red BirdVoting
Rev. Heather ApelELCAVoting
Rev. Donna ArosUnited Methodist ChurchVoting
Rev. Reginald BarnesCMEVoting
Ms Rhonda BlevinsKBFVoting
Rev. Jonathan CarrollPresbyterian Church (USA)Voting
Rev. Tami ColemanUMC-KYVoting
Rev. Batavi CombsAME Zion
Rev. Amy CoultasEpiscopal of KYVoting
Bishop Lindsey DavisUnited Methodist ChurchVoting
Rev. Kenneth DickPresbyterian Church (USA)Voting
Ms. Martha Duttlinger2nd VPVoting
Rev. William W. Easley Jr.AMEVoting
Rev. O. Lacy EvansAMEZ
Rev. Charlie EvansPCUSA-WesternVoting
Rev. Anthony EverettUnited Methodist ChurchVoting
Bishop Roger FoysRoman Catholic ChurchVoting
Bishop Bill GafkjenEvangelical Lutheran Church in AmericaVoting
Rev. Cindy GeisenEvangelical Lutheran Church in AmericaVoting
Rev. Kent GilbertSecretaryVoting
Rev. Kenneth GolphinChair-Justice Comm.Voting
Rev. Joe GraphisChair-Nominations & PersonnelVoting
Rev. Keith HaithcockUnited Church of ChristVoting
Rev. Phillip HartUCC-OH/NKYVoting
Ms. Melissa HollandTreasurerVoting
Rev. Mark JohnsonKentucky Baptist FellowshipVoting
Rev. Angela JohnsonMid-Kentucky Presbytery
Rev. Elise JohnstoneEpiscopal ChurchVoting
Rev. Ronald KettelerRCC-CovingtonVoting
Rev. Elizabeth KingChristian Church DiscipleVoting
Bishop Joseph KurtzRoman Catholic ChurchVoting
Rev. Bryan LanglandsUnited Methodist ChurchVoting
Bishop Jeffrey LeathAfrican Methodist Episcopal ChurchVoting
Rev. Jason LewisEpiscopalVoting
Fr Martin LinebachRCC-LouisvilleVoting
Rev. Dana LockhartELCAVoting
Rev. Philip LotspeichTransylvania Presbytery
Rev. Sky Lowe-McCrackenUMC-MemphisVoting
Bishop Bill McAlillyUnited Methodist ChurchVoting
Rev. Faye McCaskellAfrican Methodist Episcopal ZionVoting
Rev. Amariah McIntoshChristian Methodist Episcopal ChurchVoting
Bishop Bill MedleyRoman Catholic ChurchVoting
Rev. John OdomMid-Kentucky Presbytery
Fr Nick PaganoRCC-Lexington
Dr. Margaret N. RalphFirst Vice-PresidentVoting
Rev. Roy ReidCMEVoting
Rev. Lori ShroederUnited Church of ChristVoting
Rev. James SmithAMEVoting
Bishop Darryl StarnesAfrican Methodist Episcopal ZionVoting
Bishop John StoweRCC-LexingtonVoting
Bishop Farley StuartUnited Methodist Church
Bishop Marvin Frank ThomasCMEVoting
Rev. Greg WaldropUMC-MemphisVoting
Rev. Mike WardPresidentVoting
Rev. Stephanie WeinerUCC-IN/KYVoting
Bishop Terry WhiteEpiscopal ChurchVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity. Add number
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 37
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 35
Female 17
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 47%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 58%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 38%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 3
Board Co-Chair
Board CoChair Rev. Elise Johnstone
Company Affiliation Episcopal-Lexington
Term Oct 2013 to Oct 2016
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Human Resources / Personnel
Program / Program Planning
CEO Comments Three commissions report to and overlap with the governance board, one for the planning of assemblies, one for justice and advocacy work, and one for "formation initiatives", i.e. educational and partnering projects that nurture leadership. We also have a Creation Care Unit.
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Rev. Dr. Peggy Cecil Hinds
Term Start July 2015
Experience Dr. Hinds served 15 years on the staff of Mid-Kentucky Presbytery, a regional office of the Presbyterian Church USA. Before then she was co-pastor of three rural churches in NC. She is a certified professional coach, church educator and minister. 
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 50
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 2
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs
Rev. Nancy Jo Kemper1991 -
Rev. Dr. Marian TaylorJune 2009 - Feb 2015
Senior Staff
Title Interim Executive Director
Experience/Biography Ms. Smith previously served on staff at University of Kentucky and the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Tri-Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Description The Kentucky Council of Churches provides the forum in which church leaders decide what needs to be done together and how to accomplish it. 
Our main means of doing this include:
Annual Assembly -- We focus on a different theme of importance each time, with speakers and workshops and worship events. Themes in recent years have included creation care, immigration and globalization, access to health care, and civil dialogue. Participants learn, network, and commit to act.
Leader Clusters -- We help leaders meet in various groupings. Louisville and Lexington each has such a cluster. Others have formed around our clergy peer learning group program.
Community Initiatives -- We encourage and resource ecumenical collaborations in Kentucky's communities, including ministerial associations, community ministries and annual community worship events. 
Budget 50,000
The Council develops and delivers the voice of member churches on public issues we believe are close to God's heart.
Forge consensus -- Our Justice Commission studies the issues and recommends positions that draw from the areas of agreement among our member churches.
Work in coalitions -- The Council serves and leads in coalitions working on issues such as fighting poverty, increasing health care access, or reforming the judicial system.
Educate for advocacy -- By sponsoring training sessions, making presentations at hearings and rallies, reaching large numbers of subscribers through legislative alerts and more, we educate about advocacy as part of the Christian call. 
Budget 60000
The Council fosters in each generation the ability and commitment to live into the gift of unity that Jesus prayed his disciples would enjoy.
Support leader groups -- We recently provided the catalyst for six ecumenical clergy groups to form. Also, long-standing groups ask us for assistance.
Communicate ecumenically -- Through a lively web site and social media, email and ground mail, we resource church leaders for their witness to unity.
Budget 60000
The opportunities for our witness together are numerous and urgent, and so we work to strengthen our capacity.

Funding -- Growing all of our forms of giving, we aspire to add an annual income growth of $125,000 to make us less dependent on grants. As part of this plan we seek $1.5 million in permanent funds.
Participation -- With 11 distinct traditions already claiming membership, and a fine number of other affiliates, we are nevertheless always aware of the traditions and the individuals who could still be part of this effort. Invitations to begin a conversation toward that end are actively sought.
Budget 40000
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 6
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Oct 2010
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Kippie Award for excellence in Creation CareKentucky Interfaith Power and Light2010
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2016
Projected Revenue $175,895.00
Projected Expenses $229,865.00
Endowment Value $32,000.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$19,415$36,533$32,368
Investment Income, Net of Losses($10,136)$7,451$16,387
Membership Dues$99,033$96,097$102,289
Special Events$16,717$11,226$8,620
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$43,704$40,678$40,800
Administration Expense$137,135$165,156$166,092
Fundraising Expense$995$1,645$3,191
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses9.510.860.81
Program Expense/Total Expenses232%20%19%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$218,584$242,265$272,809
Current Assets$82,954----
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$4,634$867$3,060
Total Net Assets$213,950$241,398$269,748
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Campaign Purpose We seek permanent funds sufficient to cover half of our budget.
State Registration Yes
Foundation Staff Comments This organization is exempt from filing the Form 990. Financials presented here are from the organization's audits and from information presented by the organization. 
Address 1125 Red Mile Road
Lexington, KY 40504
Primary Phone 859 269-7715
CEO/Executive Director Rev. Dr. Peggy Cecil Hinds
Board Chair Rev. J. Gregory Alexander
Board Chair Company Affiliation Christian Church In Kentucky