Devastation in ‘Church of Christ country’
Is the flooding disaster in Nashville receiving too little national attention?
Yes, according to many residents of Music City — the Tennessee capital sometimes called “the buckle of the Bible Belt” and known for its heavy concentration of Churches of Christ.
Patrick “Paddy” Flanagan, youth minister of the Concord Road Church of Christ in Brentwood, Tenn., shares this firsthand account of the devastation:
This past weekend, most of the country was watching other things, but for those of us in the Nashville area, nothing else mattered, just the rain. Even my own extended family outside the area did not realize that anything was happening, and unfortunately, most people still don’t know what has happened.
There are stories everywhere you turn. A landslide destroyed the home of church members I know. A lady who works with my wife had to be rescued from the second floor of her home, only taking with her the literal clothes on her back. No one even knew what had happened until she did not show up to work on Monday. It turned out she had to stay in a hotel, wearing the same clothes she had on Saturday without any shoes.
I saw many amazing things on the local news this past weekend: The road I had just driven down half an hour before covered in 4 feet of water; a portable classroom floating down a highway until the waters twisted it in half. Watching the news as it showed the waters rise over the top of flag poles at Riverfront Park in downtown Nashville hit me. Striking even closer to home, as I drove up Interstate 65 on Sunday night trying to find an open grocery store, I noticed that Tower Park, the home of the WSM tower, and five full-sized soccer fields looked like a river.
You see, Tower Park is just a block away from our church building. During the summer I run there, but there it was, under 10 to 12 feet of flowing water. I could not believe what I was seeing. Most of you have been to the Opryland hotel. If you want to get a sinking feeling in your gut, just find a few pictures of where you were standing a month ago now under 10 feet of water.
Unfortunately, very few people outside of our area know that there is a need here. But as more identified bodies are found and more people realize they have lost every single thing they own, the need for help continues to grow. I encourage those of you who are outside of Middle Tennessee to first check on your friends and family who may be here, and second, contact a church to see what you can do to help them handle all the needs they are trying to meet.
Do you know of relief efforts or needs involving Churches of Christ and church members in the Nashville area? Please leave a comment with details and contact information.
Read other posts on the Nashville flood.