GALLATIN — Almost as soon as the winds had calmed and the sirens had gone silent, the cleanup and recovery efforts got under way across Tennessee.
And Tennessee Baptists were there to lead the charge.
After a series of tornadoes swept through West and Middle Tennessee on the evening of Dec. 9, local churches joined forces with Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief teams to help the recovery efforts get started.
The tornadoes tragically caused six deaths, according to multiple news outlets, and caused substantial destruction in 11 different counties while leaving an estimated 80,000-90,000 Tennesseans without power.
Pastors and church leaders across the state sprang into action, immediately finding ways to minister to those who were hurting. Tennessee Baptist DR teams likewise went right to work, with some teams arriving as early as the day after the storms to help kickstart the recovery efforts.
First Baptist Church, Gallatin, served as the host church — and command center — for Tennessee Baptist DR teams from Nolachucky and Knox County Association of Baptists.
Mal Underwood, of Brentwood Baptist, served as a team leader for the group, which performed a variety of tasks in Gallatin and the surrounding areas.
The group included three assessment teams, three chain saw teams and one team with the laundry and shower trailer.
Kaye Thomas, who served as site commander with her husband John, told the Baptist and Reflector that the bulk of the work had been chain saw jobs. Thomas said the teams had received eight job requests as of Dec. 14 — which was lower than expected.
“It’s a credit to the community, and to the way that neighbors have helped neighbors,” Thomas said.
The teams spent much of the day on Dec. 13 clearing brush and doing chain saw work at residents’ homes near Old Hickory Lake. The team also removed a boat dock that had been blown into the trees by the storm winds.
See more coverage HERE and HERE.