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Small church makes big impact for hurricane relief needs

ATLANTA (BP)–Tumbling Creek Baptist Church may not be the largest church in the Southern Baptist Convention, but its members are making an impact on those affected by Hurricane Katrina. So far, the rural Tennessee church, which averages 200 in worship, has given more than $20,000 to recovery efforts.

“My wife and I are both graduates of Southwestern Seminary -– it was a special experience for us. That’s where we met,” Pastor Gene Price said. “I’ve always had a special place in my heart for young pastors, so I asked our church to do something for [New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.]”

The church responded by sending a $10,000 check to NOBTS. But they did not stop at that. The members gave another $10,000 check to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief. The church also is helping a displaced family and even donated two chain saws to their association’s disaster relief team.

Price has pastored Tumbling Creek for 21 years -– it was his first pastorate after seminary. The church, located between Gleason and McKenzie, Tenn., had the blessing of moving into new facilities in 1994, paying off their debt a short time later. Through the years, the church continued to save money in hopes of adding one additional building on their property.

“In the last 21 years, God has blessed our ministry here and we were considering adding additional space to our fellowship hall,” Price said. “This summer we were unable to determine exactly what the Lord wanted us to do as far as adding additional space.

“Looking back, I believe the Lord knew that New Orleans Seminary would [need] additional funds more than our church,” he continued.

Price said that the church wanted to give to the seminary and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief because they knew the funds would be used in “ministering to the hurts” of those in New Orleans.

In his letter to Chuck Kelley, NOBTS president, Price made only one request of the seminary -– use the money for God’s glory.
Contributions to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s recovery effort may be made by calling 1-800-662-8701; online at www.nobts.edu; or by mail at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 1608, Decatur, GA 30031 or New Orleans Seminary Hurricane Recovery Fund, Southern Baptist Foundation, 901 Commerce St., Suite 600, Nashville, TN 37203. Contributions to offset direct costs of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief response may be sent to state conventions, associations or churches responding to the effort or to the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Fund, online at www.sbc.net or toll-free 1-888-571-5895. Alternately, contributions can be mailed to the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, North American Mission Board, Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368-6543.