An impactful legacy: Giving ‘flowers’ to the living


Facebook has its days of being a really good tool and days of being a really bad one. Most of us have experienced both sides of it.

Wednesday was a good day.

Rob VanHoose, an Ashland businessman who is on a mission trip to Uganda with the Amy For Africa organization, made it an incredible day with a kind gesture toward his spiritual mentor, a Kentucky Baptist who pastored Unity Baptist Church for 17 years.

VanHoose spoke reverently about Harold Cathey who, along with wife Beverly, also spent a dozen years on the mission field in Uganda, starting a seminary that trained pastors that are spread throughout 400 churches in Uganda.

He talked about the impact Harold Cathey had on his own life and countless others. The numbers are staggering of the people he touched. Bro. Cathey is in failing health in Ashland and VanHoose, moved through being in the country that Harold loved so much, wanted to do something special for him.

What VanHoose asked in his simple Facebook post was something his father told him: Give flowers to the living.

He went on to ask those who were impacted by the Catheys ministry – not just a casual acquaintance - to post a comment, giving him a flower. For every “flower,” VanHoose said he would make a $20 donation to Global Theological Seminary, the one that the Catheys started in the early 1990s that is still active today 
with pastors preaching God's work effectively throughout Uganda.

The messages of gratitude began pouring in immediately. The “flowers” were piling up high with more than 50 comments around 10 p.m. It also had nine shares and more comments were probably to come. It was translating into more than $1,000 donation to Global, where the Catheys put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears during their days in Uganda.

The comments on the Facebook post were heartfelt and could bring you to tears, many talking about how Bro. Cathey led them to a relationship with Jesus. God has used this couple in a powerful work here on earth. It was obvious from reading comment after comment after comment about how they were touched by them in some way.

If the Catheys have impacted you, it’s not too late to comment. It can be found on the Amy For Africa Facebook page (or mine or Rob VanHoose).

The number who have already commented doesn’t include many, many, many Ugandans who don’t have access to Facebook that were impacted and so many others in the United States outside the Ashland area who I’m sure didn’t see the post either.

Full disclosure: Harold Cathey was my pastor for several years at Unity Baptist Church and he and Beverly are best friends with my in-laws, who made multiple mission trips with them to Uganda.

Amy For Africa’s partners and board members in Uganda all have a connection to Global Theological Seminary as two of them were baptized by Bro. Cathey, another attended and received his diploma from Global and one still runs the seminary and preaches at the church they built in Jinja.

That makes Amy For Africa a proud partner with the Catheys in carrying out the ministry that they started. God’s work will carry on because it’s a good work.

There’s something that Harold Cathey and Amy Compston, the Amy in the Amy For Africa organization, have in common: A vision and passion for lost souls and for the people of Uganda.

It is contagious and that’s a very good thing.

MARK MAYNARD is managing editor of Kentucky Today. Reach him at


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