photo courtesy of NASA
In the weeks following Hurricane Katrina, the Free Will Baptist National Offices received hundreds of phone calls from concerned individuals and churches across the nation. Donations of money, supplies, and time poured in. The newsblog below details the generous outpouring of love demonstrated toward the residents of the Gulf Coast in the wake of the disaster. Send your hurricane relief donation to:
DISASTER RELIEF FUND
National Association of Free Will Baptists
PO Box 5002
Antioch, TN 37011-5002
To contribute to the fund online using a PayPal secure transaction, click the button below:
Current donations total more than $207,000 (Executive Office alone).
These funds will be split among the various FWB agencies providing relief to hurricane victims, including Master's Men (click on the link below to see pictures of their latest relief efforts), the state association of MS, and others. For more information regarding the distribution of funds, call the Executive Office at
(877) 767-7659. Thank you for your donation.
KATRINA RELIEF EFFORTS NEWS BLOG
As more details become available about damages and opportunities to help the states affected by the storm, they will be posted below:
October 18, 8:00 a.m. -Per email from J.L. Gore, Mississippi Executive Secretary
STATEMENT ON DISTRIBUTION OF MISSISSIPPI RELIEF FUNDS
Money designated for Hurricane relief will be used only as it is designated. The MS Executive Board will oversee the distribution of relief funds. We are in the process of planning some local efforts designed to locate and identify those most in need. FEMA and other organizations are reaching most. Our goal is to find those who deserve help but have not received it.
The response to the relief effort has been tremendous. Some relief funds were sent to the Gulf Coast FWB church designated for the restoration of the church building and to help the congregation. I have asked some who have called about sending money to the Gulf Coast church, that if they agreed, some of the funds they sent would be used for further ministry of the church; such as providing for a short-term, full time pastor/missionary to minister to the church in order to bring it back to a self-supporting position. My reasoning is that one of the best ways we can help this area is to have a solid, gospel preaching Free Will Baptist church active here on the coast.
Again, no money designated for hurricane relief given without that understanding will be used other than the restoration of the building, which is still in progress.
The only money to be used for the support of a missionary will be money received designated for that purpose. The insurance coverage on the building is not settled at this time. The church entered into an agreement with the MS Mission Board to place any surplus funds received from the insurance into a fund to support a recovery effort for the congregation. This is planned to be a short-term effort to get the church congregation built back to a self-supporting position.
J. L. Gore, Mississippi Executive Secretary
October 12 , 3:00 p.m. -Information from Ken Akers, General Director, FWB Master's Men
Update on Master’s Men Disaster Response Team
On Tuesday September 13, approximately fifty men and women gathered in Gulfport, MS to begin repairs to Gulf Coast Free Will Baptist Church, damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
On our way to the church, the team witnessed the total devastation caused by this storm—many downed trees and houses, roads washed away, and large buildings sagging. The church also sustained substantial damage to the roof and water damage inside.
The first order of business was to repair the roof and tear out damaged sheet rock and insulation. A crew from Arkansas came with tools, materials, and the knowledge to repair the roof. Several cleaned and cleared the damaged interior. Others began working in the neighborhood around the church, cutting up and removing fallen trees from yards and housetops.
See the next issue of ONE Magazine for more details about the workers who came. After the first week was done, other groups continued the work. As I write this, a group from Oklahoma is putting the finishing touches on the church. The work has gone well and the workers have been great.
Thanks to everyone who participated, from those who volunteered their time to those who financed the efforts. You spent a lot of time and money to serve!
September 17, 9:30 a.m. -Per email from Jim Marcum, Promotional Director, North Carolina State Association
North Carolina / Benny Hartley Relief Efforts
Brother Benny and I have been in contact, and he shared with me his new plans. He is heading back into the hurricane-devastated region to stage new relief sites in Gulf Port, Bay St. Louis, and as close to New Orleans as he can get. He made it clear that in this particular region many victims have had no one to help them. His work will follow the same process: feed, clothe, pass out tracts, and hold services.
Once again, Brother Benny will need non-perishable items and volunteers. If you are interested in providing goods or services, contact Beacon Baptist Church at (919) 872-2215. The secretaries will direct your call to the proper people to assist you.
To find out more about what North Carolina FWB relief efforts, visit their website at www.ncfwb.org.
September 13, 6:30 a.m. -Per email from Jack Williams, Director of Communications, Free Will Baptist Bible College
Free Will Baptist Bible College Responds to Hurricane Katrina
NASHVILLE, TN—More than 55 Free Will Baptist Bible College students will give up their October fall break and spend four days helping victims of Hurricane Katrina, according to John Murray, director of Christian service. This is the third year that FWBBC students have responded to weather-related crises. In 2003, they went to North Carolina to help hurricane-flooded churches. Last year they went to Florida after a series of hurricanes pounded that state. This year, students will volunteer on the Gulf Coast.
The students will be housed near Waynesboro in the South Mississippi Youth Camp, about 90 minutes from the devastation at Gulfport. Camp Director Robert Dykes and the camp board made arrangements for volunteers to stay in the camp while working in Mississippi. Mississippi Executive Secretary J.L. Gore will coordinate with Dykes to send the students where their energies and skills can best be used.
Students at the college also took a collection for storm victims. “The students responded generously," Murray said. "The faculty, staff, and students at FWBBC gave over $2,600 to the disaster relief effort. I love the heart of our students.”
September 13, 6:30 a.m. -Per email from Marcus A. Brewer, State Office Coordinator, Texas State Association of Free Will Baptists
While the state of Texas was thankfully spared from the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, the bulk of the resulting relief effort for evacuees has been centered here. At last estimate, around 250,000 evacuees have been relocated to cities all across Texas, whether in shelters, hotels, or homes of individuals. We thank the Lord that Texans, whether Free Will Baptists or not, have been blessed to contribute in such a tremendous fashion.
Currently, many evacuees are relocating to more traditional housing, much of it with friends or relatives, or in free or reduced-rent housing donated by apartment complexes, nursing homes, and cities. However, even though populations at a number of shelters are falling, the long-term needs still exist; employment, school, transportation, and permanent housing are chief among them. Many evacuees are making plans to return to their homes as soon as they are able, while many more are deciding they will try to make a fresh start where they are. This means that many cities in Texas will be gaining a sizeable number of new residents who are starting from scratch. These are the people that will be the focus of relief efforts in the weeks and months ahead. Among Texas FWB's we have seen an outpouring of support in donations and volunteering, many from our churches in and around Houston and Dallas who are working with nearby shelters and relief agencies. Among the reports the State Office has received are:
Primera Iglesia Bautista Libre in Houston has served as a donation drop-off site for distribution to local relief agencies.
North Point FWB in Conroe has donated over $2,000 to local efforts and had a number of volunteers cooking meals for evacuees and working at a Salvation Army distribution center. They are working with shelters at the Salvation Army, First United Methodist Church, and Spring Tabernacle.
Fellowship FWB in Bryan has donated $2,000 to local relief efforts and the Master's Men Disaster Response Team thus far, and their youth group is planning a volunteer outing to help evacuee children in local shelters.
Buncombe FWB in Carthage has adopted three evacuees and is raising money to be distributed through the FWB National Offices.
Collin Creek FWB in Plano has had multiple drives to collect donations and supplies, the latest being to help furnish 10 apartments for 10 families to be relocated from a shelter at nearby Hunter's Glen Baptist Church.
There are efforts by other Texas FWB churches whose results have not yet been reported to the State Office; however, the aid and support that all of Texas will need to provide is just beginning. While we pray for a speedy recovery for those directly affected by this disaster, we also ask for your prayers for those who still cannot go home and those who are trying to make a new home in Texas.
If you would like to know more about relief volunteer and material needs in Texas, or if you need information on how to locate an evacuee who may be in a Texas shelter, please contact us at email@example.com.
September 10, 7:30 a.m. -Per email from Danny Conn, editor of the Coordinator, Florida's Newsletter for Free Will Baptists
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The following pictures will say all that needs to be said about clothes.
Let me express how grateful the Gulf Coast church is for the outpouring of generosity represented by the donations they have received. But the amount of clothes is overwhelming. The fellowship hall of the church is full from top to bottom. And as donations continue to flood into Gulfport, the church, along with other residents, have simply begun to stack the clothes in the parking lot of the local mall. They have no place to store them, not enough people or time to sort them, and no means of dispersing them.
At this point, the greatest need in the community is volunteers to help clean up or to donate building materials to use in making repairs. But even these resources must be coordinated with the people in Mississippi to avoid similar complications. Too much of a good thing can be a burden. With this in mind, the Gulf Coast FWB Church asks that donations of clothing be witheld.
September 9, 2:30 p.m. -Per email from Dennis Kizzire, Mississippi state moderator
According to a call from Brother Danny Conn, working in the ongoing Free Will Baptist relief effort in Gulfport, MS, the church has been inundated with clothing and there is no structure in place to receive all the clothes.
Workers ask that no more clothes be sent to the GULFPORT FWB CHURCH. The relief agencies have found it necessary to pile clothes in the parking lot of the local mall because they have no system to sort, size, and process these massive amounts.
We are still receiving nonperishable along with bottled water (no clothes) at the Beech Springs FWB Church located at 146 CR 1702 (north of mall) at Tupelo, Mississippi. Phone (662) 213-0231.
September 7, 4:00 p.m. -Per email from Cliff Donoho, Chairman of the Master's Men Board
CALLING ALL MASTER’S MEN FOR RELIEF EFFORTS
Master’s Men is recruiting volunteers for a large-scale relief effort September 13-16. We are going to Gulfport, MS. We will be staging in Meridian Mississippi. VOLUNTEERS MUST ARRIVE BETWEEN 10:30 AM and 12:00 NOON on Tuesday, September 13.
Any church with men and equipment is encouraged to accompany Master’s Men to the gulf coast. If you plan to help in this endeavor, Contact Cliff Donoho with the following information at (615) 365-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Name/location of church:
Number of volunteers:
Date and length of stay:
Equipment at your disposal:
Volunteers should be able-bodied men who are willing workers. There will be no provisions for sleeping and creature comforts. Fuel is scarce. Each group is asked to bring all materials they need.
Staging information and directions:
Arrangements have been made for the Master’s Men group to meet in Meridian, MS on the property of the new mission church, located just off I-20 at 1377 Cotton Gin Rd.
To Meridian, MS:
From I-20, take the 45 N Bypass approximately 5 - 7 miles. Turn Left on Cotton Gin Rd. A large water tank should be visible before you reach the intersection. The church will also be visible by the time you get to the intersection. It is a red-topped metal building that is partially walled with a sign stating it is the future home of the FWB Church.
You will be meeting Ronnie Salters cell (601) 479-0562. He will be there Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. Salters will not be going with the group, but will be provide any additional information you may need.
To Gulfport, MS:
From Meridian, take I-20 W to I-59 South into Hattiesburg, MS. At Hattiesburg take Hwy 49 S to Gulfport.On the north side of Gulfport you see the Crossroads Mall. You will meet Bro. J.L. Gore in the parking lot. His cell phone is (662) 216-8940.
Police have advised that relief workers not travel into certain areas of town. However, the church is in a safe neighborhood. Just stay together. According to Bro. Gore, the electricity is on at the church and the water leak has been capped. So, people will be able to use the restroom at the church.
IMPORTANT: The tap water is NOT safe to drink or even wash your hands or body. It is advisable to not even stand in the puddles of water around the building.
Volunteers must be completely self-sufficient. Bring your own food, drinking water, cooking water, cleaning water (and bring plenty of it-- you can give away anything left over). Bring sunscreen and sunglasses. Bring enough gasoline to get back out of town at least 100 miles.
Below is a list of tools and supplies needed for this trip. Please let me know what items you can bring with you. If you can’t transport items, but would like to contribute to purchasing them, please contact Cliff Donoho at (615) 365-8000 or email@example.com
-Brooms and mops
-XL Heavy duty garbage bags
-Trash container (dumpster type if feasible)
-Heavy rubber gloves for wet work
-Rubber boots for working in some of the wet areas inside & out
-First aid kit
-Wet vacuum cleaners
-Generators to provide steady electricity
-Hand tools to unfasten pews from floor (not sure if they are attached)
-Tools to remove wet carpet
-Stump grinder if feasible (two small trees on church property have been cut down, but numerous trees in the community are also down)
-Chain saws for working in the community
CONTRACTOR'S LIST OF SUPPLIES NEEDED TO REPAIR ROOF:
20 2 x 6 x 16
50 4 x 8 x 1/2" plywood or 7/16 osb plywood
12 2 x 4 x 12
Box of # 8 sinkers
Box of # 16 sinkers
10 rolls of 30# felt
2 buckets of simplex nails for felt
3 8' step ladders
September 7, 8:00 a.m. -Per email from Brad Ransom, Pastor, First FWB Church, Sulphur, OK
The First Free Will Baptist Church in Sulphur, OK is supplying the needs of 21 people (from one family) who relocated from the New Orleans area. The church is trying to find permanent housing. In the meantime, they are accepting donations of furniture, pillows, blankets, pots and pans, dishes, and other necessities.
The evacuees are planning to stay in the Sulphur area long term. When they lost everything in the disaster, they decided to make OK their new home. Six members of the family attended our church this past Sunday and have promised to attend again.
First FWB Church has set up a special account that will be used for the relief efforts. Donations can be made and sent to:
First Free Will Baptist Church
1222 West Oklahoma Street
Sulphur, OK 73086
September 5 , 5:00 p.m. -Per email from Sherry Anderson, Executive Assistant, Donelson FWB Church, Nashville, TN
The Donelson FWB Church in Nashville, TN is partnering with Homewood Suites to sponsor seven families, a total of 35 people displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Another 20-30 families is expected to arrive later this week. Local and regional FWBs can get involved in several ways:
1. Donate money or provide shopping cards. Most families have only what they could carry, and desperately need clothes, toiletries and other basic necessities. You can also drop off items at the Homewood Suites Hotel on Elm Hill Pike where these families are staying or send cash donations to the Donelson FWB Church, earmarked Disaster Relief.
2. Provide food that can be prepared on a stovetop or in a microwave. Their rooms are equipped with a microwave, full-size refrigerator, a 2-burner stove, and a dishwasher. Drop these items at the Homewood Suites Hotel or bring them by the church.
3. Donate clothing. We will soon have sizes for these families, and we will publish that information so those who want to provide clothing--either used or new--can donate these items.
4. Provide long-term housing. If you would be willing to provide shelter for any period of time, or if you know of available housing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with that information.
Pictured above: Volunteers at the Disaster Relief staging area at Beech Springs FWB Church; a 53' trailer quickly fills with relief supplies
September 5 , 4:30 p.m. -Per email from Dennis Kizzire, Mississippi state moderator
I have had calls and contact from Free Will Baptist representing 21 states. My heart is overwhelmed with such outpouring of love being demonstrating by materials and money that is coming in. Continue to pray for us that we may have the wisdom to best serve those who have been devastated by this storm.
Please do not hesitate to call me if you have questions or if you have problems getting into the area or want to know where to distribute your relief items.
September 4 , 10:30 p.m. -Per email from J.L. Gore, Mississippi Executive
The schools along the coast of MS have been severely damaged by the hurricane. Note the list below and see if you could help supply these items. The school where my daughter is principal suffered roof damage and took in a lot of water. This resulted in the loss of many of their supplies. A neighboring school has been completely destroyed. The two schools will combine--each going a half a day, to accommodate the students affected. The pictures below reflect the damage to the buildings.
For more information, contact J.L. Gore at (228) 588-0227 cell (662) 216-8940 or e-mail MSFWB@aol.com
NOTE: BROTHER GORE IS AT THE GULFPORT CHURCH TO TRY TO DO SOME DISTRIBUTION FROM THERE. (228) 588-0227
School Supplies needed:
Student desks, chairs, and tables
Teacher desks and chairs
Dry erase markers
Staplers and staples
Tape dispensers and tape
Red and Black ink pens
Spiral bound notebooks
3 ring binders any size
Educational posters, etc.
School uniforms (Khaki or navy bottoms -blue, white, yellow polo shirts to fit students ages 9-14)
September 4 , 4:30 p.m. -Per email from J.L. Gore, Mississippi Executive
The immediate plans for now are to meet with a group from North FL on Monday to begin the cleanup of the Gulf Cost FWB Church. Also, I plan to continue to locate other families from the church to determine their needs.
I hope to be able to get the Gulfport building in shape to be a staging area for FWB Hurricane relief to be sent this way.
Right now the most immediate need is money to help the families through the next few weeks.
PICTURED ABOVE: Damage to the Gulf Coast FWB Church; J.L. Gore stands amid the devastation in Pascagoula, MS
September 3 , 9:00 a.m. -Per email from J.L. Gore, Mississippi Executive
I was able to go to Gulfport yesterday (Friday, September 2). As feared, the Gulf Coast FWB church building was damaged severely as well as the mobile home in the back. Water was running out the back doors. I had no way to turn off the water and could not find any members of the congregation.
In route to the area we passed through some of the hardest hit areas. We were especially concerned about the Pascagoula area (we live about 25 miles north of Pascagoula). We found total devastation five to six blocks back from the coast. It was common to see an entire house moved out into the street. Along Beach Boulevard, we saw multi-million dollar mansions completely destroyed. Senator Trent Lott's home has only the foundation left. Many of these historic structures were built in the mid 1800s.
Late yesterday, we located a family from the church staying with friends in Mobile. They had nothing, so we took them some supplies from what we have and from what the Beulah and Soul's Harbor FWB churches in Florida brought over.
I will continue to evaluate the needs in the area and give direction to the distribution of funds and goods to the stricken.
Pascagoula is the forgotten area. While you hear very little on the news about the area, it was one of the hardest hit.
I will send more information later. Our mail service is out and all correspondence should be channeled through Mississippi Clerk Dick Williams at 4105 Goodman Road, Olive Branch, MS 38654.
Thank you for your prayers and concern. We now have phone service and can be reached at (228) 588-0227 or cell at (662) 216-8940. Email at email@example.com
September 3 , 8:00 a.m. -Per email from Dennis Kizzire, Mississippi state moderator
I just talked with MEMA (Mississippi Emergency Management Agency) They said NO ONE was allowed beyond Hattiesburg.
Regional relief donations can be taken to:
Bailey Lumber & Supply
4750 North Side Methodist Home Road
Supplies will be stockpiled in that location and military convoys will take them into the storm ravaged area. Contact MEMA at (601) 960-9028 or (661) 960-9982
or contact me for updated information.
The 18 wheeler trailer is now located at BEECH SPRINGS FWB CHURCH. The trailer is accepting any non perishable items for relief. The trailer will remain at Beech Springs until fully loaded. I estimate that it will be here through Wednesday. Donations are welcomed, but please call before you come.
September 2 , 5:00 p.m. -Per email from Ken Akers, General Director, FWB Master's Men
We are still in constant contact with leaders in MS and FL about the crisis. Most recent reports confirmed damage to several churches in southern MS. While volunteers are anxious to get started, keep in mind the ministry of Master’s Men’s Disaster Response Team. We are not first responders. We will go in when we can begin doing repairs. This will be a long process. We will need crews to go soon, but we will also need groups in a month and longer. Before we can leave material must be available. This is not the case now. Please be assured we are staying on top of the situation and will contact our volunteers when the appropriate time comes. We are still accepting donations to help with repairs when we go. Visit our website at www.nafwb.org/mm for more information. Thank you for all the concern you have expressed.
September 2 , 2:30 p.m. -Per email from Dennis Kizzire, Mississippi state moderator
According to the Mississippi Highway Patrol, it is necessary to have documentation from our group (denomination) before anyone can take items into the storm area. I am currently trying to get through to Emergency Management to get this number. Anyone planning to bring supplies please call Dennis Kizzire at (662) 213-0231 or (662) 844-0792 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will get the documentation to them quickly.
Nurses who want access into the area please call EMMA at (601) 497-8022.
Physicians and EMTS call (601) 576-8085 for a permit number
September 2 , 12:50 p.m. -From Danny Conn, editor of the Coordinator, Florida's Newsletter for Free Will Baptists
A group from Pensacola made contact today with Bro. J.L. Gore. He and Mrs. Dot are fine; their house was not damaged. They have some trees and limbs down, but no other damage. Electricity is being restored in areas of south Alabama and southeast Mississippi. Gasoline is limited in these areas, although some is available. The lines are long, and the supply is not reliable.
I-10 is open from Pensacola through Mobile and beyond Ocean Springs, MS. (that is as far as we went today). Bro. Gore is going to Gulfport to check on the Gulf Coast FWB Church and make sure a route is open to them.
The Florida FWB Disaster Response Team will be making another trip Monday, meeting Bro. Gore and going on to Gulfport, hoping to set up a staging area at the Gulf Coast FWB Church to distribute supplies.
September 1 , 6:50 p.m. -Per email from Dennis Kizzire, Mississippi state moderator
Provisions have been made to put an eighteen-wheel trailer at the Beech Springs FWB Church to collect non-perishable items for relief efforts in South Mississippi.
Organizers ask that clothes be new and in packages or in good condition. Relief workers don't have the time nor resources to sort through unusable items. This is a relief effort for ALL REGIONAL FREE WILL BAPTISTS to participate in.
If you plan to bring items, please call (662) 844-0792 or (662) 213-0231 to make arrangements for delivery. If you can help unload items this weekend or during the next week, please let me hear from you as soon as possible.
Directions to Church: Exit US 45 at Barns Crossing (Cracker Barrel exit) go West 2 signals to intersection of 145. Go straight across the intersection(see sign there) and follow the road approximately 1 mile. The church will be on the left.
Red Cross CANNOT use Morganwood Youth Camp. If you know FWB families who have been displaced by the storm and need housing for a short period of time, they may be able to stay at the camp. Please contact the numbers above for inquiries.
September 1 , 6:15 p.m. -Per email from Ron Parker, pastor of the Heritage FWB Church in Shreveport, LA
The following notice was recently posted by the Shreveport, LA Chamber of Commerce. They are encouraging church groups to help meet these needs:
Today, we have 600 South Louisiana children attending Caddo Parish schools. This creates a great need for school supplies and uniforms for these students. Your Chamber is serving as a collection point for these items and accepting donations at the Chamber Plaza, 400 Edwards Street. If you can help, call us at (318) 677-2500 or drop items at the Chamber.
September 1 , 5:45 p.m. -Per email from Ron Parker, pastor of the Heritage FWB Church in Shreveport, LA
The following items are needed for the local shelters as they house the evacuees from southern Louisiana: baby formula, baby diapers, snacks, bottled water. Because there is no way for shelters to prepare food, they cannot accept any food that has to be prepared. Please check this site for changes and updates. Cash contributions are also needed as many evacuees cannot access their bank accounts and the shelters need funds to defray expenses. For more information, contact Ron Parker:
Church (318) 687-8637
Home (318) 688-2332
Cell Phone (318) 464-8637.
Thanks for your concern and help.
September 1 , 9:50 a.m. -Per phone conversation with Dennis Kizzire, Mississippi state moderator
The Mississippi State Association encourages people to display wisdom and restraint in their relief efforts. According to Dennis Kizzire, "We know people want to help the situation...but right now, trying to rush into the area might be more hindrance than help. We encourage people to wait until things have been coordinated." Currently a list of supplies is being assembled and will be posted, along with contact information, to this website in the near future.
If you have questions about relief efforts for Mr. Kizzire, please direct them to his email address at email@example.com.
To contribute directly to the relief efforts of the MS State Association, send contributions to:
MISSISSIPPI HURRICANE RELIEF FUND
% Dick Williams
4105 Goodman Road
Olive Branch, MS 38654
NOTE: This address has changed due to recent announcements by the United States Postal Service. For more information about where mail is being delivered in the states affected by the hurricane, visit the USPS website: http://www.usps.com/communications/news/serviceupdates.htm
September 1 , 7:30 a.m. -From Ken Akers, General Director of Master's Men
Many people continue to call and email concerning the Master’s Men’s Disaster Response Team and what we are doing about the situation in the South. I have been in contact with leaders from the affected states, and all I can tell you at this time is we don’t have a set place to go. We are standing by until we know where we can be most effective. It may be some time before people in the affected areas get home or start the clean up process.
We are receiving donations, however, to help with this effort. With the price of gas, it will be expensive to travel and to run our generators. If you can help, please send donations to:
Master’s Men DRT
PO Box 5002
Antioch, TN 37011
If you would like to volunteer your time, go to our website and sign up to be a DRT member at www.nafwb.org/mm. As soon as plans become definite, emails will be sent so you will know what’s going on. At this time, we are simply waiting for instructions from our contacts in the affected area.
August 29, 11:30 a.m. -From Ken Akers, General Director of Master's Men
Master’s Men Disaster Relief Team Master's Men efforts are still in a holding mode. We have contacted state leaders in FL, AL, MS, and LA. Current reports indicate that MS has sustained the most damage. We are waiting for more definite reports before we make solid plans. We have been contacted by numerous Free Will Baptist volunteers, and as soon as we know where to go, we will let you know. You can visit our website and sign up to be a DRT volunteer. As soon as information becomes available we will let you know. www.nafwb.org/mm
August 29, 11:00 a.m. -From Danny Conn, editor of the Coordinator, Florida's Newsletter for Free Will Baptists
The Florida FWB Disaster Response team is mobilizing to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina. Plans are underway to take needed supplies to areas that may be accessible in south Mississippi. Limited contact has been made with individuals in the area, and we expect to hear more soon. Florida FWBs are encouraged to contact FL Christian Ministries Board members to arrange donations:
FLORIDA CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES BOARD
August 29, 10:45 a.m. -Per phone conversation with Ron Parker, pastor of the Heritage FWB Church in Shreveport, LA
No FWB churches sustained damage in the storm (most are located in the northern part of the state). However, large numbers of hurricane evacuees are surging north, many with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. These evacuees are being housed in public buildings, schools, and churches, including FWB churches. A list of items needed (food, essentials for children and infants, etc) and shipping information will be posted as information becomes available.
August 29, 8:45 a.m. -From Danny Conn, editor of the Coordinator, Florida's Newsletter for Free Will Baptists
We are thankful to report that the churches in Pensacola have fared well. We had some wind and rain, but only tropical force strength. Structures on the beach and bay were the only ones that would have experienced significant damage in the Pensacola area. We thank everyone for their prayers.
Pray for members of the Gulf Coast FWB Church in Gulfport, MS. To my knowledge, that was the closest FWB church to the storm's point of landfall.
A note about relief efforts: Obviously, in areas that experienced the greatest damage, there will be a need for cleaning crews. But it will probably be a while before the roads are open. I fear that some areas will have nothing remaining to even clean up. Anyone who does go to help will have to be completely self-sufficient, including fuel to get back out of town. There is not much fuel available in Pensacola. It is probably the same situation for hundreds of miles.