TBC Names New Disaster Relief Leader

Wes Jones

BRENTWOOD, Tenn.— The Executive Board Ministry Staff of the Tennessee Baptist Convention has named a long-time disaster relief and ministry veteran to lead its state disaster relief effort. The appointment culminates a nearly one-year national search process.

Wesley A. Jones, a former state disaster relief leader in Iowa and former International Mission Board missionary in Guatemala, was chosen to fill the role of Disaster Relief Specialist. The announcement of Jones’ hiring comes after disaster relief veteran, David Acres, retired last September. Jones is scheduled to be in his role with the TBC Sept. 1, 2015. Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief has been led by interim leader and retired TBC employee, Mike Overcash, since Acre’s retirement.

“We are very excited to have Wes joining our team and serving Tennessee Baptists in this role,” said Randy C. Davis, executive director/treasurer of the Executive Board ministries. “He brings a great deal of experience to the position. Our Tennessee Baptist disaster relief volunteers are a dedicated group of individuals who love to both serve and share the gospel. We wanted to find someone who shared that same passion, and we believe Wes does.”

Jones is a native of Virginia and graduated from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark. He also received his Master’s of Divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Kan. He has served as a pastor and he, and wife, Pam, served overseas as church planters with the IMB in Costa Rica, Belize and Guatemala. Since 2002, Jones has been a Director of Missions and most recently held the position of Missional Church Planting Catalyst. He became heavily involved in disaster relief while in Iowa, earning certifications in National Incident Command Training (White Hat), S.P.H.E.R.E. (trained through Baptist Global Response), Chaplain Training, National Incident Management System Training (100, 200, 700, 800 A/B), Unit Supervisor Training (Blue Hat), SBDR Disaster Assessment Training, Introduction to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (Yellow Hat), Chainsaw Training and Chainsaw Safety Training.

Since 2013, Jones has been a member of the National Disaster Relief Steering Committee of the North American Mission Board and also a member of NAMB’s National Incident Command Team since 2006.

“It is an honor to be selected to serve as the Disaster Relief Specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention,” Jones said. “Nobody ever wants to see a disaster hit, but it is good to know that when they do, Southern Baptists are there to respond. I am excited to see what God will continue to do through the continued work of Tennessee Disaster Relief volunteers.”

 

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.