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Baptists’ 10.5 million meals shatters prior disaster relief record

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Southern Baptist Disaster Relief announced Nov. 2 that volunteers have prepared a record 10.5 million meals since Hurricane Katrina made landfall in late August. The meal count shatters the previous record of 3.5 million meals set in 2004.

In one of the most active hurricane seasons in U.S. history, more than 9,000 Southern Baptist volunteers from 41 state conventions have been deployed following hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

“The milestone of more than 10 million prepared meals in the recent response to hurricanes exceeds the expectation of most any national, state or associational leader within Southern Baptist Disaster Relief,” said Jim Burton, who coordinates the Baptists network.

“To go from ‘buddy burners’ in 1967 in the response to Hurricane Beulah to massive tractor-trailer and other feeding units today reflects the commitment across the Southern Baptist Convention to meet the needs of disaster victims.

“Those 10 million plus meals represent a renewal amongst our people to be on mission with God in North America. Disasters throw the gates of North American missions wide open, and our people have sacrificially carried the banner of Christ to their neighbors in need,” Burton said.

It was announced Nov. 1 that monetary donations to the North America Mission Board for disaster relief also have surpassed all previous records. Donations received so far top $18 million, with much of the money already sent to areas devastated by the hurricanes to minister to needs of individuals and Southern Baptist churches and to share Christ.

Currently, 365 Southern Baptist Disaster Relief units are engaged in preparing meals and in cleanup and recovery efforts. Volunteer days donated total 121,283 since August and 14,073 jobs have been completed by volunteers.

Southern Baptist volunteers continue to serve in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas in areas affected by hurricane devastation, including:

Florida — First Baptist Church, Belle Glade; Boca Glades Baptist Church, Boca Raton; former discount store, Clewiston; Salvation Army kitchen, Fort Lauderdale; First Baptist Church, Hallandale; First Baptist Church, Homestead; Fifth Street Baptist Church, Key West; First Baptist Church, La Belle; Miami Dade Public Works, Miami; West Kindall Baptist Church, Miami; First Baptist Church, Naples; Opa Locka Airport; First Baptist Church, Pompano Beach; First Baptist Church, Stuart; Sweetwater; and Haverhill Baptist Church, West Palm Beach.

Mississippi — Bay St. Louis; First Baptist Church, Salvation Army warehouse, Bay Vista Baptist Church and SA Yankee Stadium, Biloxi; Grace Memorial Baptist Church, Pass Road Baptist Church and Gulf Coast Baptist Association, Gulfport; Hattiesburg; Long Beach; Temple Baptist Church and New Horizon Baptist Church, Moss Point; First Baptist Church, Ocean Springs; and First Baptist Church and Jackson County BA, Pascagoula.

Louisiana — Calvary Baptist Church, Algiers; First Baptist Church, Belle Chasse; First Baptist Church, Kenner; East Bayou Baptist Church, Lafayette; Salvation Army, LaPlace; Camp Living Waters, Loranger; Metairie Baptist Church; First Baptist Church, New Orleans; First Baptist Church/New Jerusalem, Pearl River; First Baptist Church, Slidell; Alerio Center, Westwego; Sports Complex, Dequincy; Dry Creek Baptist Camp, DeRidder; First Baptist Church, Lake Charles; Maplewood Baptist Church, Sulphur; and First Baptist Church, Vinton.

Texas — Wooster Baptist Church, Bay Town; Calvary Baptist Church and Salvation Army, Beaumont; Hillcrest Baptist Church, Jasper; Simon Recreation Center, Nacogdoches; Orange; Port Arthur; Sabine Pass; and First Baptist Church, Vidor.

Contributions for disaster relief may be sent to state conventions, associations or churches responding to the effort or to NAMB. Donations to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief may be made online, www.NAMB.net, or by calling1-866-407-6262. Contributions also can be mailed to the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, North American Mission Board, Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368-6543.

Disaster relief information including downloadable videos are posted regularly at www.NAMB.net.

    About the Author

  • Tim Yarbrough