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How to help: Churches, ministries launch disaster relief efforts in wake of killer tornadoes

Church members and other volunteers take inventory of clothing, flashlights, batteries, candles, baby items and other contributions outside the Central Church of Christ building in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Photo by Royce Ogle)

In the wake of the April 27 tornadoes that wreaked havoc on the South, Christians across the nation are opening their wallets to help.
At the same time, disaster relief organizations associated with Churches of Christ are rushing resources to storm-ravaged communities.
At the Kittanning Church of Christ in Pennsylvania, the Summerville Church of Christ in South Carolina, the Jasper Church of Christ in Texas and numerous other congregations, special contributions are being taken.
“Our church and community were the beneficiaries of this kind of relief when Hurricane Rita hit our town” in 2005, said Sharon Wells, a member of the Jasper church.
Among the relief organizations at work:
Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort (www.disasterreliefeffort.org) shipped semi-truck loads full of supplies to hard-hit communities in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.
In keeping with its practice after wildfires, floods, hurricanes and other tornadoes, the Nashville, Tenn.-based ministry worked with local churches, including the Hackleburg Church of Christ in Alabama, to distribute bottled water, canned goods, cleaning materials and other essential items to victims — church members or not.
“We’re just thrilled about the response of our brethren,” Hackleburg minister Mike Lane said. “Our phone has just rung constantly. … I cannot express enough our love and appreciation for our brethren.”
• Mike Baumgartner with Disaster Assistance CoC (www.disasterassistancecoc.com), a feeding ministry overseen by the Lake Jackson Church of Christ in Texas, drove to Tuscaloosa and started cooking.
• The Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team (www.churchesofchristdrt.org), sponsored by the Melbourne Church of Christ in West Melbourne, Fla., made plans to set up a command center in Tuscaloosa.
WFR Relief (www. wfrchurch.org/relief), a ministry of the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, La., sent money, members and equipment and planned to “do more as the Lord provides,” church member Royce Ogle said.
• In Tuscaloosa, Ala., the Central Church of Christ is a major hub of relief efforts. See more details here.
•  Bethel Church of Christ, 25815 U.S. Highway 72 East, Athens, AL 35613, (earmark funds for church building or disaster relief).
• Hackleburg Church of Christ, P.O. Box 176, Hackleburg, AL 35564.
See other Chronicle coverage of the April 27 tornadoes.

  • Feedback
    Elders at 36th St, Vienna, WV began a collection Sunday of money to be sent to Churches of Christ Disaster Relief.
    Mark Mason
    May, 4 2011

    Homewood Church of Christ took up a special contribution yesterday that amounted to $20,000 and packed lunches for workers in several areas around Birmingham. Along with the lunches we sent hand sanitizer, toothpaste, toothbrushes to be handed out in the areas. We also sent boxes of masks, gloves, bug repellent and wasp spray for workers.
    Judy Giddens Howard
    May, 4 2011

    I know in the DeSoto County MS area that Goodman Oaks Church of Christ is sending supplies to the University C of C in Tuscaloosa AL as well as helping out in Smithville MS. The Olive Branch Church of Christ is sending supplies to the Central Church of Christ is Tuscaloosa AL.
    Michele Beaver Walker
    May, 4 2011

    The Lone Cedar Church of Christ in Florence, Alabama has collected 4 big trailers full of supplies and delivered to Phil Campbell and Hackleburg, Alabama. We also worked with the church of Christ Disaster relief in Hackleburg on Saturday organizing and distributing the supplies to the tornado victims. We are planning on taking more donations and manpower to these locations again in the next week.
    Lynn Jackson Grigsby
    May, 4 2011

    Jackson heights congregation in Florence, took up donations and sent them to Phil Camper, Al. Mars Hill bible school in Florence, Al taking up donations on Tues. May 3. Jackson Heights will be volunteering in the future to clean up.
    Shakaja Gersbacher
    May, 4 2011

    The Hartselle Church of Christ in Hartselle, AL is taking up monies and sending supplies to Bethel Church in Athens, Monrovia Church in Madison, and Central Church in Tuscaloosa I believe.
    Mark Evans Reynolds
    May, 4 2011

    We had a discussion at North Atlanta Church of Christ on how we could help. We would like to do something long-range, like we did after Katrina–we partnered with a CofC in the Biloxi area and sent teams down to help with the rebuilding.
    Tina Sergent Seward
    May, 4 2011

    I am delighted to see how local churches are responding. WFR Relief is helping too. White’s Ferry Rd has sent members and equipment as well as money and will do more as the Lord provides.
    Royce Ogle
    May, 4 2011

    Ohatchee, AL Church of Christ collected an offering yesterday to assist their community as it took a hard hit from the tornadoes.
    Rhonda Coleson
    May, 4 2011

    Brentwood Hills Church of Christ (Nashville TN) had our White Bucket contribution day and collected over $22, 000. Also, several men from the church traveled to Cleveland, TN Sunday to help people clean up after the storm damage.
    Renee Alley French
    May, 4 2011

    Strickland Church of Christ, Berea Church of Christ, Snowdown Church of Christ, Fraley’s Chapel Church of Christ, and Foote Street Church of Christ have taken two loads of supplies to Smithville, Ms. Have set up cooridnators for work crews and cooking crews to go one day each week and every Saturday as long as we are needed. All these congregations are in North Ms. Alcorn and Tishomingo counties.
    Ricky Fields
    May, 4 2011

    The Churches of Christ in the Northeast Arkansas area have collected money, supplies and donated time to the folks in Vilonia, AR. Gary and Christy Cupp have organized a lot of this help. Christy Cupp’s parents live in Vilonia.
    Denise Stroud
    May, 4 2011

    The Sunset Church of Christ in Springfield, Missouri is taking up a collection for tornado victims on May 15.
    John Kail
    May, 4 2011

    Riverchase Church of Christ in Birmingham has earmarked Sunday’s contribution for Church of Christ Disaster Relief. Also we are gathering supplies and working closely with the Central congregation in Tuscaloosa who lost their building.
    Kim Jones Ledingham
    May, 4 2011

    Meridianville Church of Christ put boots on the ground and headed to a member’s home with chainsaws, etc. We worked our way down his road to anyone who needed help. The women dug for pictures, etc. We are asking to be a staging area for the trucks with supplies coming down from Nashville. Anderson hills, and the area surrounding it in the Harbest, AL areas were devastated.
    Karen Graben Woodard
    May, 4 2011

    Travis Peak Church of Christ, Marble Falls,Texas had a contribution yesterday for the victims of the tornado in Ohatchee, Alabama. The supplies will be distributed by members and friends of the West Side congregation in Southside, Alabama.
    Leon Tomberlin
    May, 4 2011

    The West Fayetteville church of Christ, Fayetteville TN sent a U-Haul truck of supplies to Tuscaloosa, AL on Friday. There was such a generous response another truck was sent on Saturday. Many cash donations were also sent. This was done through the Northport church of Christ in Tuscaloosa.
    Phyllis Cherry Sain
    May, 4 2011

    I am very much impressed about the quick response to
    the victims. I am so much happy to all who gave something to support.
    I wish I could help eventhough I do not have money but I still believe that I can do something to help. Please let me know
    Thank you
    Lawrence Lamptey
    May, 4 2011

    The Disaster Assistance Mission setup in the parking lot of Central Church of Christ has with the help of many congregations served and taken out nearly 12,000 meals in the past 5 days. You can help us www.disasterassistancecoc.com
    Mike Baumgartner
    May, 4 2011

    The Central Church in Athens, Alabama, is a disaster relief center. The church is using the gymnatorium as a staging area for food, personal supplies, baby needs, cleaning supplies, and furniture. As of today the congregation has helped put 10 families who were wiped out into housing with basic furniture, kitchen setup, linens, and groceries. Over 150+ families have been through for immediate needs and prayer. Visit the church website under the youth tab to see a video of the devastation in North Alabama.
    Deb Ezell
    May, 10 2011

    The Disaster Assistance Mission setup at Cetral Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa has served over 20,000 meals so far.
    Mike Baumgartner
    May, 10 2011

    I am a youth minister for the Crossings Church of Christ. Our ministry of about 30+ teenagers/chaperone’s were planning a trip to New Orleans on June 10th – 17th of this year. We are now wondering if our efforts might be of more use in Joplin? Does anyone know who might be the best organization to speak with to plan a week of service in that area? thank you.
    May, 24 2011

    The Disaster Assistance Mission(setup up on the Central Church of Christ parking lot)recap of work so far.
    142 Bible Studies Setup
    10 Baptisms
    32,376 Meals Served
    Over 625 families helped with cleanup(chainsaw and other work)
    Many Many loads of other food, water and supplies handed out.
    Church building is completely torn down and hauled away in trucks.
    Over 200 volunteers scheduled here to work here this week.
    Mike Baumgartner
    June, 8 2011

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