By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector
Kay Thompson of Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Hermitage, in metropolitan Nashville, prepares to do some laundry in the shower/laundry unit of the church in Gonzalez, La. Thompson is part of the Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief effort to help flood victims in Louisiana.
MOUNT JULIET — “A lot of humanity is suffering because so many people are without their homes,” said Don Kohanski, disaster relief director of Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Hermitage, who has served recently in Gonzalez, La., leading a shower/laundry operation.
“What we are doing is being backup for the teams who are really doing the work and helping the public. … We’re trying to help the people, giving them some kind of relief.”
The shower/laundry unit and its volunteers are set up at First Baptist Church, Gonzalez. The unit began serving Aug. 19.
Kohanski described seeing neighborhoods of houses in Gonzalez with almost everything that was in the house pulled out and placed on the street including insulation and drywall. He could see water lines on houses showing how high the water had been. Though most of the flood waters are down, he heard of residents who still had water, up to four feet, in their houses. Gonzalez is located about 25 miles southeast of Baton Rouge. Continue reading
By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector
Home of the pastor of Still Waters Baptist Church in Hammond, LA. Photo: Lonnie Tucker
MOUNT JULIET — Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief shower trailers and flood recovery teams were mobilized by the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to respond to recent flooding in Louisiana Aug. 17.
Wes Jones, director of Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief, said a shower trailer and volunteers from Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Hermitage, left Aug. 18 and one from Holston Baptist Association, based in Johnson City, will leave Aug. 22. Continue reading
Photo: Baptist Press
Just a short update on what is going on with things in Louisiana. They are still in the process of beginning to assess the need for teams and finding locations to set up. According to reports today, some 10,000 people are displaced from their homes in shelters, 40,000+ homes have been affected, 11 dead and over 20,000 have been evacuated or rescued in some form. Continue reading
Slow-moving storms are causing record flooding and significant damage as they move across South Louisiana. Thousands of residents have evacuated, at least three people have died and there is significant property damage and loss to more than 50,000 homes. At least three interstates are closed by the flooding of the Amite River and much of Louisiana State University’s campus is covered by water.
The rising water is the result of more than 27 inches of rainfall over a 36-hour period near the city of Baker, just northeast of Baton Rouge. Continue reading
We’ve been contacted by NAMB to assist in the flooding in W.V. We have immediate needs for mud-out teams to work out of Charleston, W.V. We also have an immediate need for a laundry trailer in a different area. If you or your unit is available to respond, contact us as soon as possible. If there is an individual without a team, but you’re willing to go, contact us also. Call, or email email@example.com.
By Lonnie Wilkey, Editor
Baptist and Reflector
BRENTWOOD – Retired Tennessee Baptist Convention staff member and long-time disaster relief volunteer Mike Overcash died June 8 following an apparent heart attack.
Overcash, 80, a former employee of LifeWay Christian Resources who served several Tennessee Baptist churches as minister of music, was on the staff of the TBC from 1995-2001 as computer services specialist and as interim director of Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief in 2015. Continue reading
BRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers have been asked to respond in the wake of deadly storms and flooding that occurred across the nation during the Christmas holidays.
As of Jan. 4, 11 states had Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers serving at ministry sites in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.
“The lives of so many families and communities are forever changed,” observed Mickey Caison, interim executive director of SBDR.
Wes Jones, disaster relief specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, reported that a Tennessee team led by Gary Cate of Knox County Baptist Association served last week at First Baptist Church in Yukon, Okla., helping cut up downed trees.
Jones said Missouri Baptists have asked for mud out teams to assist residents affected by flooding in the state.
He noted three teams were scheduled to leave over the weekend to travel to Elmore, Mo. In addition, five groups of assessors are traveling to Missouri to assist, Jones added.
For more information about volunteer opportunities, call 615-371-7927.
On December 23, storms producing tornadoes and straight-line winds roared across our state. In the path of these Christmas season storms, lives were lost, homes, businesses and property were destroyed. Governor Haslam has declared a state of emergency. And your TBC Disaster Relief staff, led by Wes Jones, has been preparing to respond.
A fund has been set up for the response to the December 2015 storms in Tennessee. Please visit our Contributions page to give by credit or debit card. There is also information for mailing in a payment.
Our host of DR Volunteers will be still responding with help and hope long after the news crews have moved on to the next story.
Continue to pray for those affected by the storms as well those assisting in the recovery.
MOUNT JULIET — Just after concluding five weeks of work helping flood victims in South Carolina following Hurricane Joaquin, Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers traveled to south Texas to help flood victims there.
One great result was that the first day they served, Tennessee Baptists saw two people make professions of faith, reported Wes Jones, disaster relief specialist, Tennessee Baptist Convention.
The team of eight are serving in Weslaco, Texas, near the border with Mexico doing mud out just like most Tennessee Baptist DR volunteers did in South Carolina, said Jones.
The team is led by Bill Sartain of Nolachucky Baptist Association, based in Morristown. They will serve about a week. The team left Nov. 14.
Jones said he doesn’t know at this time if any other Tennessee DR teams will respond to the needs in Texas.
For more information on Tennessee Baptist DR, contact Jones at 615-371-7927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please pray for our teams as they serve in South Carolina. Carolyn Watson will leading our first flood recovery team from the Cumberland Baptist Association. They will be leaving Sunday for SC. Their team will be serving with the North Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief. (In order to serve, you must be currently credentialed with the Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief.)
In the meantime, prepare yourselves in case we are called upon. Check over your equipment and supplies. Most of all, prepare yourselves spiritually to be called upon and pray for our brothers and sisters in South Carolina that God will use this disaster to bring honor to Him and many will be drawn to Him.
If you would like to contribute financially, make a contribution online, or make your check payable to: Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief. Mail it to: P.O. Box 728, Brentwood, TN 37024-0728. Mark on the check for SC Hurricane Relief.