Wesley Jones, Disaster Relief Specialist
Elizabeth Holmes, Administrative Assistant
Missions Mobilization Center
6434 John Hagar Road
Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
Disaster Operations Center
Introduction to Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief
Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief is a cooperative, volunteer ministry of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board and its affiliated churches. It is totally dependent upon volunteers who give of their time, energy, talents and finances to assist others in a time of disaster. The ministry is led by the State Director, an employee of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. He and one administrative assistant are the only employees working primarily with Disaster Relief.
Within Tennessee, there are over 2,000 currently credentialed and trained volunteers from churches and associations who are ready to respond to a disaster of any size any where. Many of these churches and associations own and operate their own equipment. Beyond Tennessee, our state cooperates with the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and 41 other state conventions that have similar ministries. At the national level, Statements and Memorandums of Understanding are in place with American Red Cross (ARC), The Salvation Army (TSA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Angels of Mercy (AOM) and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). Because of these agreements, TN Baptist Disaster Relief is normally one of the first to respond with Disaster Relief services during a time of crisis.
Services that can be provided during a disaster response:
Recovery Teams (107 units with equipment)
- Chainsaw Teams
- Clean-up Teams
- Flood Recovery Teams
- 1 state unit capable of preparing up to 50,000 meals per day
- 2 associational units capable of preparing 10,000 – 20,000 meals per day
- 2 associational units capable of preparing 5,000 – 10,000 meal per day
- 5 associational units capable of preparing up to 5,000 meals per day
- 1 state unit with equipment to utilize in caring for 80 children at one time
- Unit Chaplains
- Community Chaplains
Rebuild and Recovery
- Damage Assessment
- Rebuild and repair
- 12 Association / Church Units with a total of 52 shower heads and 7 washers and 8 dryers
Laundry for Victims
- 6 units with a total of 15 washers and 20 dryers and 4 showers
- Command and control unit with satellite phone technology
- Trained ham radio operators with equipment
Because of agreements with national agencies and organizations, Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief has the following requirements for volunteers:
- Must be a member of a cooperating Tennessee Southern Baptist Church.
- Must be at least 18 years of age.
- Must have satisfactorily completed the training course, “Introduction to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief” and specialized training.
- Must complete an application and be approved for service.
- Must have a servant heart.
- Must be ready to show Christ’s love in action
- Must be flexible.
- Must be trained by TBC-certified instructors.
- Certain units may require criminal background checks (e.g. Childcare unit).
- Certain responsibilities may require background checks, motor vehicle checks and special licensing requirements. (e.g. driver for any state equipment)
- Responsible for own insurance coverage and medical expenses if injured or ill during activation.
- Responsible for own transportation to and from activation site.
- Must be able to follow instructions and guidelines from DR officials during a response. Failure to do so will result in volunteer being instructed to return home.
Funding for Disaster Relief:
Since 1925 the Cooperative Program has been the lifeline of Southern Baptist Mission efforts. Over the years, it has provided equipment, training, and personnel for Disaster Relief. Currently, the Cooperative Program funds State Director and Administrative Assistant positions for Disaster Relief and provides office and facility support to the ministry.
Designated for Specific Disaster
Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief is dependent upon churches and individuals who donate during a specific disaster response. These funds are used, based on approved policy, in providing relief and assistance to the victims of a disaster.
Designated Gifts for General Disaster Relief
Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief is also dependent upon generous churches and individuals who donate to the General Disaster Relief. These funds are used to purchase new equipment and to expand the ministry.