(Frankfort, Kentucky) On Friday, March 29th from 9:00 am to 10:30am (EDT) the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky (GABKY) will gather to voice their concern about bills that will ‘crucify’ our communities across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

This is a call to action for all GABKY clergy and our constituents.  We are calling March 29th Operation Good Friday.  That is the day we chose to signify the importance of having our voices heard as voters of this state.  Operation Good Friday will be held in the Capitol Rotunda, 700 Capital Avenue, Frankfort, Ky. 

There are several bills that GABKY have sincere concern that could hurt, hinder and/or isolate groups of people and/or counties all across the state.  Clergy will converge on the capitol to speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves.  GABKY leadership will be on site to give additional information and to conduct media interviews. 

We represent approximately five hundred Baptists churches across the state of Kentucky, and we want our voices to be heard to lawmakers we put in office.  This is not the time to be ignored but the time for us to give input on bills that affect Kentuckians who attend our churches. 

To setup an interview via phone and/or zoom after Operation Good Friday, contact at VIPP Communications at

To learn more about the General Association of Baptists on Kentucky go to


Unveiling of the William J. Simmons Portrait at the Heritage Center

Unveiling of the William J. Simmons Portrait at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage

The Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (Heritage Center), in partnership with Simmons College of Kentucky, invites the press and public to the unveiling of the William J. Simmons portrait on Monday, June 26, 2023, at 10 a.m. at 1701 West Muhammad Ali Blvd., Louisville, Kentucky. Simmons’ portrait will be a permanent installation joining other life-sized portraits in the Heritage Center’s Brown-Forman Great Hall Gallery, depicting African American leaders in the arts, civil rights, education, innovation, media, military, and sports. 

Dr. Rev. William J. Simmons (June 29, 1849 – October 30, 1890) went from enslavement to becoming Simmons College of Kentucky’s second president from 1880–1890, for whom the school was eventually named. Simmons College was the first school for higher education established for African Americans in Kentucky. The college was the vision of 12 formerly enslaved Africans who were members of the General Association of Baptists within the state. Their tenacity was fueled by their understanding of the importance of education for the sons and daughters who were formerly enslaved. 

Simmons developed multiple programs, including the teacher education program and one of the few Black medical schools at a Black college. Additionally, Simmons produced Kentucky’s first black medical doctor, Artishia Gilbert. In addition, he was a writer, journalist, and educator. In 1886 he became President of the American National Baptist Convention, one of the organizations that would merge to form the National Baptist Convention, USA. He was elected President of the Colored Press Association for his work as editor of the American Baptist, a newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky.

Simmons is best known for his 1887 work, Men of Mark: Eminent, Progressive, and Rising. The book compiled brief biographies of one hundred seventy-seven prominent African American men across the United States. Men of Mark was a best seller and the most extensive collection of African American biographies.

Aukram Burton, Executive Director at the Heritage Center, says:

“The time is overdue for Dr. Rev. William J. Simmons’ portrait to be a permanent installation at the Heritage Center to ensure that visitors will learn about Simmons’ accomplishments as a transformational leader who built a rigorous and inclusive learning environment that promoted academic excellence during an era that denied African Americans the liberties they should have enjoyed as U.S. citizens.

For media inquiries contact VIPP Communications at info at vippcommunications dot com or by calling KCAAH at 502-583-4100.