Disaster Relief

First Baptist Church is actively involved in supporting disaster relief efforts locally and in Alabama. We have delivered supplies, a generator, and our disaster relief, child-care trailer to Williams First Baptist Church near Jacksonville, Alabama. We are continuing to send supplies and volunteers to Williams while also providing workers to assist with relief and clean-up efforts within Floyd County. We will be sending more supplies to hard-hit areas this week and in weeks to come and would welcome your contributions to support our efforts to be the hands of Christ to people who are dealing with grief and devastating loss. If you would like to make a contribution to our disaster relief efforts, please click here. If you would like to volunteer to assist with our efforts, please send an email to Joel Snider to let us know of your interest.

This page will be updated regularly with information, needs, and photos, so check back for updated information.

Click here to read the ABP article done on relief efforts at Williams First Baptist Church.

SUMMARY OF DISASTER RELIEF EFFORTS

Thanks to the many people who have volunteered time and energy so far, First Baptist Church is already active in disaster relief, both locally and in Alabama. Here is a summary of what we have accomplished thus far.

Thursday, April 28

Ministers started early in the morning, seeking to identify potential partner churches in areas where the storm damage was significant. Mike Oliver, pastor of Williams First Baptist Church near Jacksonville, Alabama, acknowledged that there was significant damage in the communities around that church. He identified a list of items needed immediately, and by 1 PM, members of FBC were shopping for supplies. At 4:30 pm, a team left Rome to deliver a 10 kilowatt generator, water, food, and basic supplies to Williams. By 6:30 pm that evening, less than 24 hours after the storm, members of the church had lights and power in portions of the church and were serving prepared meals to local residents.

Friday, April 29

In response to requests from Jim Bradshaw and the local COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster) for volunteers, FBC members distributed supplies to individuals and families affected by the storm.

Saturday, April 30

Many church members responded to assist the local COAD in working with the Red Cross in a variety of ways to respond to needs within the Rome/Floyd county community. Another team delivered First Baptist's Temporary Child Care Unit to the Williams Church. Members of the Alabama church will staff the TCCU to provide care to families with children so that the parents will be free to deal with government officials, insurance companies, and work schedules despite the closing of regular childcare facilities.

Sunday, May 1

After worship , many members lined up to sign up for different opportunities to serve.

A group of volunteers spent several hours clearing trees, branches, and debris from the yard of a church member.

Monday, May 2

Working from a list of needs provided by Williams First Baptist Church, FBC members procured needed supplies. By early afternoon, vehicles were loaded with plastic containers, boxes of packing supplies, cleaning supplies, and prepaid cell phones, were on the way to Williams. $1850 worth of gift cards were sent with the shipment on Monday afternoon. Locally, FBC was asked to recruit volunteers who would be willing to serve as volunteers for morning or afternoon shifts to answer phones at the Disaster Recovery Center. These volunteers will be answering calls from people with needs related to storm damage and will help connect those with need to the resources that are available in the community. This call center is scheduled to be available beginning on Wednesday, May 4. (click here if you'd like to volunteer).

Tuesday, May 3

In an effort to help the Williams church feed local residents who are still without power, FBC partnered with the Community Kitchen and Tip Top Poultry to send food and serving supplies. Shoppers continued working with lists of specific supplies needed in Williams. Three vehicles were on the road to Alabama at 1:00. The generosity of FBC members provided another $500 worth of gift cards to be distributed by Pastor Mike Oliver in Williams.

Other shoppers secured a limited number items needed by Woodland Forest Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa. These items will be delivered Thursday.

Locally FBC continues efforts to recruit a few members who can help organize the phone volunteers needed to answer phones at the Disaster Recovery Center. These volunteers are a local priority in order to receive, evaluate, and respond to local appeals for assistance. (click here if you'd like to volunteer).

Wednesday, May 4

Two ministers visited with Jim Bradshaw at the Disaster Recovery Center in Rome to learn about what resources are available. After talking with several people who will be meeting local residents who have needs, it was discovered that the group designated to gift cards had not yet received their supply. In order to help people immediately, $1000 worth of gift cards were delivered to the Disaster Recovery Center to be distributed to local people affected by the storms. In addition, a list of names of people willing to volunteer at the call center was sent to Jim Bradshaw, and several FBC members were already taking shifts to answer phone calls at the Disaster Recovery Center.

Two shoppers gathered items on the wish list provided by Williams First Baptist. In addition, a group of Methodist women contributed five casseroles through the Community Kitchen, and a couple of our members contracted with the chef at the Coosa Country Club to make pasta salad that could be sent to Williams to serve there. One of them had also arranged with Sara Lee to have five big boxes of granola bars donated. Two vehicles were loaded and left the church at 1:15 to go to Williams.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Four members shopped for items needed by Williams First Baptist, and another member brought by items that had been purchased. One member who is a local physician donated medical and first aid items. Someone else baked three cakes and brought them as well as some other baked goods to be sent to Williams. Two casseroles were also donated through the Community Kitchen. Two drivers left the church at 1:15 pm to deliver the items to Williams.

In addition, another $760 worth of gift cards was taken to the Disaster Recovery Center for local distribution.

Friday, May 6, 2011

After discovering the continuing need for gift cards locally, $500 more in gift cards were delivered to the Disaster Recovery Center. In addition, Jim Bradshaw called the church to let us know that the Discovery Resource Center was completely out of the comfort kits or toiletry kits that were being provided to storm victims. A couple from the church went shopping for the toiletry items and they worked along with several other members to pack and deliver more than 200 comfort kits by early afternoon.

Another member shopped for items requested by Williams First Baptist, and someone brought by a couple fresh cobblers for the people in Williams. Associate Pastor Bill Bigger delivered a carload of needed supplies to Williams and was able to spend several hours touring the church and the community with Mike Oliver, pastor at Williams First Baptist, to get a clearer idea of what is happening and what is needed. The devastation in several communities is truly overwhelming, and discussions are already taking place about long-term partnership opportunities.

Monday, May 7, 2011

Because they are running short of storage space, Williams First Baptist Church has begun requesting that no more general donations be brought to the church; however, they are still sending our church specific lists of needed items for their recovery work. One member shopped for and purchased these requested items, and another one drove the items to Williams during the afternoon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Click here to watch a video of the testimony of Mike Oliver, pastor of Williams First Baptist Church.