Beiting was introduced to Appalachia when he traveled to the region on a mission trip in 1946. He had lived through the Great Depression and was familiar with living in poverty, but in Appalachia, he said during an interview with Story Corps, he had found "that there was another America ... the America of Appalachia." He said the poverty there at the time was the worst he had ever witnessed.
Charles Compton of WEKU, the public station at Eastern Kentucky University, reports that Beiting was called in 1950 to start a Catholic church in Berea, just outside the Appalachian coalfield, and though his reception was not warm, he continued to "spread the faith and raise money" to build more churches throughout Eastern Kentucky. In the 1950s, Beiting launched a summer camp, Cliffview Lodge, that offered recreation and fellowship to boys from poor families. In 1964, the camp became the Christian Appalachian Project, which Beiting declared would "be a group that would roll up our sleeves and get the job done." It expanded its work to a variety of projects to help the Appalachian poor.
Beiting served as pastor of parishes in the Berea region until 1981, when he transferred to Eastern Kentucky, where he founded and/or constructed 20 churches. He served as CAP's president until 1986 and was chairman until 1999. Here are links to three videos of Beiting and Father Terry Hoppenjans talking about their work.