Small Church, Big Impact
Tumbling Creek Baptist Church may not be the largest church in the Southern Baptist Convention, but its members are making an impact on those affected by Hurricane Katrina. So far, the rural Tennessee church, which averages two hundred in worship, has given more than $20,000 to recovery efforts.
The church has sent a $10,000 check to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and another $10,000 check to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. The church also is helping a displaced family and even donated two chain saws to their association's disaster relief team.
Gene Price has been pastor of Tumbling Creek for twenty-one years — it was his first pastorate after seminary. The church, located between Gleason and McKenzie, Tennessee, had the blessing of moving into new facilities in 1994, paying off their debt a short time later. Through the years, the church continued to save money in hopes of adding one additional building on their property.
"In the last twenty-one years, God has blessed our ministry here, and we were considering adding additional space to our fellowship hall," Price said. "This summer we were unable to determine exactly what the Lord wanted us to do as far as adding additional space.
"Looking back, I believe the Lord knew that New Orleans Seminary would [need] additional funds more than our church," he continued.
Price said that the church wanted to give to the seminary and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, because they knew the funds would be used in "ministering to the hurts" of those in New Orleans.
In his letter to Chuck Kelley, NOBTS president, Price made only one request of the seminary - use the money for God's glory.
Contributions to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary's recovery effort may be made by calling 1-800-662-8701; online at www.nobts.edu; or by mail at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 1608, Decatur, GA 30031 or New Orleans Seminary Hurricane Recovery Fund, Southern Baptist Foundation, 901 Commerce Street, Suite 600, Nashville, TN 37203.
Six Million and Counting
Meals prepared by Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers surpassed an historic 6 million by October 5.
Since Katrina's landfall in late August and Hurricane Rita's in September, six thousand disaster relief volunteers from forty states have prepared 6,087,549 meals for residents and relief workers. Previously, the most meals prepared in a Southern Baptist Disaster Relief response was 2.5 million during Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
More than half of all mobile Southern Baptist Disaster Relief units have been involved in Katrina/Rita response, said Jim Burton, director of volunteer mobilization at the North American Mission Board (NAMB).
Southern Baptist volunteers prepare most of the meals distributed by the American Red Cross and provide cleanup and recovery, communications, childcare and other vital disaster services. Southern Baptists are the third-largest disaster relief operation in the country behind the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army, with more than thirty thousand trained volunteers on call for local, state, and national emergencies.
Contributions to offset direct costs of the disaster relief response may be sent to state conventions, associations or churches responding to the effort or to the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Fund. Donations to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief may be made online, www.namb.net/disasterrelief, or by calling 1-888-571-5895. Alternately, contributions can be mailed to the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, NAMB, Box 116543, Atlanta, Ga., 30368-6543.