Jones: How You Can Help

Baptist and Reflector

As the updates and images continue to emerge from the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey, many Baptists in Tennessee are looking for ways to help aid the relief effort.

Wes Jones, disaster relief specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, wrote a letter to Tennessee Baptist Churches that outlines ways in which churches can get involved. The letter, which can be viewed below, was sent to pastors and church secretaries across the state. Continue reading

Hurricane Harvey Response (video)

Hurricane Harvey is shaping up to potentially be the greatest natural disaster in our history. Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief teams are staged and ready, but they need your financial support to sustain what will be a prolonged effort. TBMB Executive Director Randy C. Davis offers a timely perspective on what Tennessee Baptists are doing and will do, and how you can help.

Tennessee DR Teams on Alert for Hurricane

Baptist and Reflector

Photo: Texas National Guard

MOUNT JULIET — Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief is monitoring Hurricane Harvey closely.

As of Monday, Aug. 28, the Tennessee Baptist DR feeding unit was still on alert status while response/recovery units are on standby, said Wes Jones, disaster relief specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

Alert status means there’s a good likelihood the feeding unit will be called out quickly while it’s more of a “wait and see” scenario for the response/recovery units, Jones said. Continue reading

Update on Hurricane Harvey

Image: NOAA

Update on Hurricane Harvey and what we are being asked to do at this point. I shared this information with all team leaders, secretaries and Directors of Missions earlier this afternoon. Please be in prayer for those in the storm’s path and those preparing to respond. Please let your team leader know if you are available for possible deployment.

I know that many of you have been monitoring Hurricane Harvey which is expected to make landfall later today in Texas and then possibly sit there for a while before going back into the Gulf and then hitting Louisiana. Pray for those in the path of the storm and that its impact will not be as bad as they think.

We have been asked to place many of our units on alert and standby. The following is part of an email that I received from the North American Mission Board… Continue reading

Dr ‘Tree Climber’ James Brown Recognized

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

James Brown

KNOXVILLE — He’s known as the “Tennessee Squirrel” or the tree climber among Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers. Children seeing him swinging around in a tree with ropes have called him Spiderman.

He is James Brown, a Tennessee Baptist disaster relief volunteer. Brown not only climbs and swings from ropes in trees, he manhandles a chain saw. The trees have been damaged by storms or fires and need repair or removal. Many times the trees are reached by volunteers working from bucket trucks, but sometimes the trucks can’t be used. Continue reading

Jones Surveys Damage

Wes Jones, disaster relief specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, recently surveyed the storm damage at the home of Will and Kristi Johnson in Brentwood. Though a massive response was not needed, a team from Cumberland Baptist Association, based in Clarksville, traveled to Brentwood to cut the downed trees and clear debris from the home.  Jones said Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief units are gearing up in order to respond if needed as storms move across the state this spring. Jones encourages Tennessee Baptists to let the TBDR office know of areas where volunteers can be used. Call Jones at 615-371-7927 or Elizabeth Holmes at 615-371-7926.

— Photo by Royce DeGrie

Tennessee Baptist Assistance Continues

From Baptist and Reflector

TBC President Steve Freeman surveys the damage to property immediately behind Roaring Fork Baptist Church. Several homes near the church were destroyed, four of which belonged to church members. Freeman has called on Tennessee Baptists to give $20 for tragedy to help in the disaster relief effort. Contributions can be made at TNDisasterRelief.org/contributions.

TBC President Steve Freeman surveys the damage to property immediately behind Roaring Fork Baptist Church. Several homes near the church were destroyed, four of which belonged to church members. Freeman has called on Tennessee Baptists to give $20 for tragedy to help in the disaster relief effort. Contributions can be made at TNDisasterRelief.org/contributions. -Photo by Chris Turner

GATLINBURG — Tennessee Baptist Mission Board (TBMB) leaders are grateful for the quick response, both financially and with physical assistance, following the wildfires which struck the Smoky Mountains in late November.

What’s more, help will continue in the months to come, leaders agreed.

“I am thankful for the quick response of our disaster relief volunteers at the very start of this tragedy in Sevier County to meet the immediate needs of first responders and evacuees,” said Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the TBMB. Continue reading

Gatlinburg Fire Update

161212gatlinburgI want to thank everyone for their prayers, giving, patience and willingness to serve those affected by the fires.  I also want to thank those groups who went and assisted after the tornados struck different parts of the state.  That did not get as much press because of the situation in Gatlinburg, but I am very grateful for the teams that responded.

The area around Gatlinburg was kept mostly closed off to the public until last Friday.  For more than the first week, first responders were the only ones let in and after that only home and business owners.  Lest you think your Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief personnel have not been doing anything during this time, here is a brief update on what has been happening… Continue reading

Hurricane Matthew Response Update

Image: NOAA.gov

Image: NOAA.gov

There is a reason why we try and teach fluidity in the Introduction to Disaster Relief class and this week has been an example of that!

At this writing, Hurricane Matthew is still pouring rain on the states of South and North Carolina. It was slower in arriving in Florida and moving up the coast than originally thought. Then when it hit, it stayed offshore as it moved up the coast. As a result, they are discovering that the damage in Florida was not as great as thought. Originally they had asked 9 kitchen units to prepare to respond and TN was one of these kitchens. After almost a week of planning and preparation, we received word late yesterday that we would not be needed for response in Florida but, they wanted to keep us on standby to possibly respond in one of the other affected states. Continue reading

DR Teams Sent to Florida; Others Will Be Needed in Hurricane’s Aftermath

Baptist and Reflector

Photo: NOAA.gov

Photo: NOAA.gov

BRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptists have been asked to respond in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on Oct. 4, causing massive destruction before hitting Cuba later that night. The damage in Cuba was not as extensive as first expected but some areas were hard hit.

In Haiti, at least 478 deaths have been attributed to the massive storm and the number is expected to rise. Continue reading