WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE GATLINBURG FIRES

By Randy C. Davis
TBC Executive Director

Randy C. Davis

Randy C. Davis

Dear Tennessee Baptists,

You no doubt know of the devastating news this week coming out of Gatlinburg and Sevier County. As someone who called that area home for 20 years, it has been especially gutting to me to hear the reports. Jeanne and I have so many friends in that area and know personally many of the families affected. Some have lost everything.

However, I want you to know I have never been prouder to be a Tennessee Baptist. Because your churches gave through the Cooperative Program and Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions, Tennessee Baptists were on the scene responding to people’s spiritual and physical needs less than 24 hours after the fires destroyed lives and property. In fact, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board missionaries were able to get to the sites of three of our Tennessee Baptists churches ministering to pastors while their destroyed buildings still smoldered. [Read more…]

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DISASTER RELIEF VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED

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Wayne Parker of First Baptist Church, Powell, was one of many Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers who worked in the Carolinas and Georgia in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Recovery and clean up, especially mudout volunteers, will be needed for weeks in North Carolina, according to DR officials in the state. Tennessee Baptists interested in volunteering in North Carolina can contact Wes Jones, disaster relief specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, at wjones@tnbaptist.org.

— Photo by Casey Jones, North American Mission Board

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RECOVERY STILL NEEDED IN N. CAROLINA

Baptist Press

Disaster Relief volunteers assist homeowner Lois Richburg with damage to his home and property from Hurricane Matthew. Photo by Geoff L Johnson/NAMB

Disaster Relief volunteers assist homeowner Lois Richburg with damage to his home and property from Hurricane Matthew. Photo by Geoff L Johnson/NAMB

CARY, N.C.  — Scenes reminiscent of the aftermath of 1999’s Hurricane Floyd are playing out across a 250-mile stretch of North Carolina. Already North Carolina Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers, and those from seven other states, have served Hurricane Matthew survivors by preparing more than 400,000 meals from six SBDR kitchens.

North Carolina Baptist Men Disaster Relief director Gaylon Moss said some of the same areas affected by Floyd were hard hit again by Matthew. Moss said volunteer days served in North Carolina have already surpassed 7,000. [Read more…]

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PLANS CHANGE; DR TEAMS HEADED TO SAVANNAH, GA.

Baptist and Reflector

dr-disaster-relief-logoBRENTWOOD — There is a reason Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief emphasizes fluidity in an “Introduction to Disaster Relief” course, said Wes Jones, disaster relief specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

On Friday, Oct. 7, DR leaders in the state were told they would be needed in Florida. A day later, however, Jones received a call that Florida did not receive as much damage as originally expected. The Tennessee teams were asked to go to Savannah, Ga., instead.

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. [Read more…]

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HURRICANE SLAMS HAITI, CUBA; HEADED TOWARD UNITED STATES

Baptist and Reflector

Image: NOAA.gov

Image: NOAA.gov

BRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptist disaster relief volunteers are on alert, awaiting word from Southern Baptist Disaster Relief as to where and when they will be needed 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, according to news reports.

Associated Press reported that at least 11 deaths have been blamed on Hurricane Matthew, which at one time was a Category 5 storm, making it the most powerful hurricane in the region in nearly a decade. [Read more…]

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‘CATASTROPHIC’ HURRICANE TO HIT HAITI

Baptist and Reflector

Image: NOAA.gov

Image: NOAA.gov

NASHVILLE — The Weather Channel is predicting that Hurricane Matthew will have a “catastrophic” effect on Haiti. The hurricane, which is predicted to make landfall on Oct. 4, also is expected to impact Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas, according to the weather network.

In addition, the hurricane is anticipated to strike the East Coast of the United States between Florida and Virginia.

If the dire predictions pan out, southern Haiti could receive up to 40 inches of rain. Western Haiti and eastern Cuba could get up to 20 inches of rain. The heavy rain could cause flash flooding and mudslides. [Read more…]

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DOM USES MECHANICAL SKILLS TO REACH ESKIMOS

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Tennessee Baptists from New Duck River Baptist Association, based in Shelbyville, relate to Eskimo children in Ambler, Alaska, this summer outside the Baptist cabin.

Tennessee Baptists from New Duck River Baptist Association, based in Shelbyville, relate to Eskimo children in Ambler, Alaska, this summer outside the Baptist cabin.

SHELBYVILLE — This summer Tim Key found a new way to minister to the Eskimo or Inupiat people in Alaska he has grown to love.

He repairs their four-wheelers or ATVs.

Key, director of missions, New Duck River Baptist Association, used to be a motorcycle mechanic.

There are many needs in the four villages he and other Tennessee Baptists minister in, explained Key. He and others would see many four-wheelers sitting around unused and in non-running condition, but he never found the time to try to repair one. The association has ministered in Alaska for four years. [Read more…]

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FLOOD RELIEF STILL URGENT NEED: JONES

Baptist and Reflector

dr-disaster-relief-logoMOUNT JULIET — An urgent need still exists for Tennessee volunteers to help flood victims, according to Wes Jones, Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief specialist.

Volunteers with different gifts and skills are needed. “Almost anyone can help,” Jones added.

In West Virginia, anyone with some construction skills — whether or not they are a disaster relief volunteer — can help the many flood victims there get into their homes before winter comes. [Read more…]

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TENNESSEE BAPTIST DR BRINGS GOD’S LOVE, HELP TO CITIZENS OF RAINELLE

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

John Knippen, left, of Hillcrest Baptist Church, Morristown, and Chuck Thacker of First Baptist Church, Gallatin, work at the command center in Rainelle, W.Va.

John Knippen, left, of Hillcrest Baptist Church, Morristown, and Chuck Thacker of First Baptist Church, Gallatin, work at the command center in Rainelle, W.Va.

RAINELLE, W.Va. — More than four weeks after this small town nestled in a valley in the mountains of West Virginia was hit hard by flooding, Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief teams are still helping families get back into their homes.

More than 200 houses were damaged by flooding in late June. At least 23 people, including 15 in Rainelle, died the night flooding began.

Rainelle, though hit hard by the flooding, was not one of the original three sites chosen by the North American Mission Board to host an incident command post, but due to the need and travel time to and from Rainelle from Lewisburg, a fourth site was set up in Rainelle in the parking lot of a hardware store on Main Street owned by Rob Bowen. [Read more…]

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