BRENTWOOD, 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.”