As you remember, Hurricane Dorian caused extensive damage to the Grand Bahama and Abaco Islands last September. Tennessee Disaster Relief and the international Baptist Global Response (BGR) have been exploring opportunities to assist with recovery on Grand Bahama. As a result, BGR has asked us to assist two Baptist churches on the west side of Grand Bahamas in fixing their facilities and, from there, assisting the community at large. At our Associational Annual Meeting in October, we as an association of churches voted to take part in this ministry. A team visited this area in December to scope out the project. The pastor from St. Peters Baptist Church, West End, hosted them, which is one of the churches that needs repairs. Plans are being made to send teams to Grand Bahama Island beginning in March.
We recently had our informational meeting at our office where Don Harvey and Doyle Pittman discussed their trip to the Bahamas in December. Based on the needs of a couple churches there, the teams are not just limited to disaster relief trained volunteers. The teams will be staying at the St. Peters Baptist Church in West End, Grand Bahama and will be responsible for paying their own travel. The church members will provide meals. Pray for those coming to the meeting to see if the Lord might be leading them to participate. If you would like more information on this ministry opportunity, please get in touch with Doyle Pittman at email@example.com
Prayerfully consider what the Lord might be leading you or your church to participate in. Below are some pictures from the trip in December. Please contact me if you have any questions.
IMPORTANT! The upcoming Regional Disaster Relief Trained scheduled for May 2nd has been postponed for the time being.
Send questions to Doyle PIttman at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The below information about the eventual training and registration in the future have not changed:
Tennessee DR Training Facts:
- All volunteers must be 18 years old to serve.
- All volunteers must be a member of a cooperating Tennessee Southern Baptist church.
- In order to be fully credentialed, you must take at least one specialized classroom training (e.g. chainsaw, flood recovery, mass feeding, shower/laundry, etc.) and the “Introduction to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief” course.
- Disaster Relief credentials and the yellow hat/visor will be given after “Introduction to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief” and specialized classes have been taken.
Because of directives from Homeland Security, FEMA and other national agencies related to the training and screening of volunteer disaster relief workers, there is a cost recovery plan. The cost of a new 3 year (ID badge) credential is $36.00 (for newly trained volunteers or those that had credentials that expire in 2020). The new badge will expire in three years. Payment can be either by cash or check to Tennessee Baptist Mission Board or TBMB.
Annual Report for 2019
It was another busy year for disaster relief as about 120 Hamilton County Baptist volunteers responded to disaster callouts. This included responses to the following disasters:
Location Type of Response Date
Leesburg, GA Chainsaw October 2018
Soddy-Daisy, TN Flooding October – November 2018
Warsaw, NC Rebuild January 2019
Spring City, TN Flooding February 2019
Knoxville, TN Flooding February 2019
Chattanooga, TN Flooding February 2019
Pine Bluff, AR Flooding August 2019
Volunteers from the following churches and organizations participated in these callouts:
Abba’s House Bayside Brainerd Hills Christway Concord
Dallas Bay Mt. Carmel Oak St. Ooltewah Red Bank
Ridgedale UTC Baptist Collegiate Ministry Woodland Park
Local participation events included the New Salem and Ridgedale shower trailers being used, along with the Brainerd feeding unit, again this year for participants in the Chattanooga World Changers in July and Brainerd Hills feeding the Chattanooga Police Department a meal.
There are currently about 20 churches involved in Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief in Hamilton County with about 180 trained volunteers. This includes the following response teams:
Brainerd Feeding Unit and Chain Saw Unit – Contact: Bob Rann
Brainerd Hills Chain Saw Unit – Contact: Joel Crawford
Concord Recovery Unit – Contact: Richard Pershey
Mt. Carmel Chain Saw/Flood Recovery Unit – Contact: David Owens
New Salem Shower Trailer – Contact: Alan Rogers
Red Bank Chain Saw/Flood Recovery Unit – Contact – Jim Denham
Ridgedale Shower and Laundry Trailers – Contact – Phillip Adams
Woodland Park Chain Saw Unit – Contact – Rick Taylor
Hamilton County Response Team – Contacts – Doyle Pittman or Stephanie Hudman
The Hamilton County Response Team is made of volunteers from the following churches and university:
Abba’s House Bayside Christ Community Dallas Bay Hixson First Baptist
Lookout Valley Morris Hill Ooltewah Rechoboth Silverdale
Stuart Heights The Point UT Chattanooga White Oak
Disaster Relief training was sponsored by UTC Baptist Collegiate Ministry in December 2018 and the East Tennessee Regional training by Red Bank in August with about 10 and 70 in attendance, respectively. About 10 Hamilton County volunteers received certification to teach DR classes by attending training at the Missions Mobilization Center in Mt. Juliet in February.
Disaster Relief Training Costs:
Because of new directives from Homeland Security, FEMA and other national agencies related to the training and screening of volunteer disaster relief workers, we have begun a cost recovery plan. The cost of a new 3 year (ID badge) credential is $36.00 (for newly trained volunteers or those that had credentials that expire in 2015). The new badge will expire in three years (2018), effective January 1, 2015.
This fee will cover not only the cost of the ID and background check but also the cost of any of the basic training courses a volunteer wants to take (except for First Aid classes and other specialized classes such as ServSafe.