TBC DR Teams Respond to Ice Storm

BRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief teams are responding to damage caused last week by ice storms across the state.

Most of the response work took place in East Tennessee and has occurred at the local level, said Mike Overcash, interim Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief director.

Teams from First Baptist Church, Concord, in Knoxville; Knox County Baptist Association; Nolachucky Baptist Association; Jefferson County Baptist Association; and Big Emory Baptist Association have taken the lead in helping to clear downed trees caused by ice and snow storms, Overcash said.

“The teams in East Tennessee have been working hard,” he added.

The weekend ice storm also created major ice issues in many Middle Tennessee counties.

Overcash said that a team from Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Hermitage, was scheduled to serve in Putnam County on Feb. 23. Teams from Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood, and First Baptist Church, Hendersonville, were set to serve in White County while a combined team from Nolachucky Association and Knox County Association were heading to the Crossville area, he added.

Teams sent out on Monday will work through the end of the week, Overcash said.

Amid reports of outside companies charging for clean up services, Overcash reminded Tennesseans that many volunteer agencies across the state, including Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief, provide such services at no cost.

“We do it because we are trying to share Christ,” Overcash said.

“As we provide services we are not only interested in clearing trees. We also want to get involved in people’s lives as much as they will allow us.”

To report damage or to request volunteers, contact Overcash at (615) 714-9320 or Elizabeth Holmes at (615) 371-7926.

TBC DR Teams Meet Needs in East Tennessee

BRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptist disaster relief teams are responding to damage caused this week by ice storms across the state.

Most of the response work has taken place in East Tennessee and has occurred at the local level, said Mike Overcash, interim Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief director.

Teams from First Baptist Church, Concord, in Knoxville, Knox County Baptist Association, Nolachucky Baptist Association, Jefferson County Baptist Association, and Big Emory Baptist Association have taken the lead in helping to clear downed trees caused by ice and snow storms, Overcash said.

“The teams in East Tennessee have been working hard,” he added.
As of Feb. 19, Overcash was not aware of teams needed in Middle or West Tennessee, but that could change with another storm system expected over the weekend, he said.

To report damage or a need for volunteers, contact Overcash at (615) 714-9320 or Elizabeth Holmes at (615) 371-7926.

Tennessee Baptist Convention Names Interim Disaster Relief Director

150105-overcashBRENTWOOD, Tenn.— The Tennessee Baptist Convention has named a former employee and veteran of numerous disaster relief efforts to lead the state’s disaster relief initiative on an interim basis.

Mike Overcash began his duties as the TBC’s interim disaster relief director Jan. 5, succeeding David Acres who retired from the position last fall. Overcash was a computer systems specialist with the TBC from 1995-2001. However, he has long been involved in Tennessee disaster relief efforts through Judson Baptist Church where he’s a member. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C., Overcash escalated his involvement and became a fulltime disaster relief volunteer, helping in the wake of that incident as well as multiple hurricanes and tornados that wreaked havoc across the Southeastern United States from 2003 to 2005. He has remained an active part of disaster relief efforts since.

“Tennessee disaster relief teams were called on to support the effort following three hurricanes that hit Florida and the eastern coast as well as Katrina in New Orleans,” Overcash said. “It was a very busy time, however Tennessee has always been one of the leading states when it comes to disaster relief involvement. It has been a great opportunity to go and help people who can’t help themselves physically while also having the opportunity to help them spiritually.”

Overcash has served as an emergency services coordinator with TEMA (Tennessee Emergency Management Agency) and has been a liaison with Tennessee VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters). He has also been a trainer for various disaster relief certifications available through TBC disaster relief. According to Gary Rickman, the TBC’s director of strategic relations, the position that oversees the TBC’s disaster relief effort, Overcash will serve as interim until a fulltime replacement is found. Rickman said there is a nationwide search and that he hoped to fill the position in six to nine months.

In the meantime, TBC Executive Director Randy C. Davis said Overcash is an “extremely qualified” interim.

“We are blessed to have Mike step into this position and fill the gap for us,” Davis said. “He knows Tennessee and Tennessee Baptists, and is a veteran of our disaster relief efforts in Tennessee and beyond. His experience ensures we’ll maintain a high level of readiness when we’re called on to respond and the many dedicated volunteers we have serving locally with disaster relief teams can be confident in his ability to lead effectively.”

David Acres Retires

David AcresWe will greatly miss David Acres, our former state Disaster Relief director. He officially retired from the Tennessee Baptist Convention yesterday and has become pastor at First Baptist Church, Jamestown, TN. Please remember him and his wife, Paulette, in your prayers as he starts an exciting new ministry.

Flood Recovery in Kingston

We had a flood recovery team from Cedar Grove Baptist Church, Kingston go to the Detroiit, MI area. They worked 4 jobs and completed 3 of the 4 and got about ¾ of the last one done before they had to come home. The big job they worked on led to the salvation of a 20yr old man. It was great.

The team consisted of 5 men and 2 women.