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Volunteer dies after helping share Christ

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (BP) — Robert “Bob” Waldron, a longtime volunteer with the Kentucky Baptist Convention Disaster Relief, died May 16 while on assignment in Michigan helping victims of recent flooding.

Waldron, of Mount Washington, was leaving a job site Friday afternoon when he reportedly lost control of and crashed his vehicle. Fellow volunteer Buford “Butch” Turley, a passenger in the automobile, was critically injured in the crash.

Both men were taken to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich., where Waldron, 79, was pronounced dead. He is survived by his wife Janice.

Turley, a member of Millville Baptist Church in Frankfort, remains in stable but serious condition while on life support.

“Our hearts are heavy,” Coy Webb, KBC disaster relief director, said. “We ask Kentucky Baptists to pray for the families affected by this accident and for our teams as they continue to serve while in Michigan.”

Webb left Kentucky early Saturday morning to be with families at the hospital and offer his prayers and support for team members as they continue to press on with the ministry work of disaster relief.

“Our purpose is to show the love of Christ through this ministry,” Webb said, “to help the hurting and lift up the hopeless — and ultimately lead others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. That is exactly what Bob and Butch were doing.”

Wynn Williams, director of the Baptist Convention of Michigan Disaster Relief, said moments before the accident Turley had prayed with a homeowner to receive Christ as Savior.

“We give God all the praise for this news in the midst of such a difficult time,” Williams said.

North American Mission Board disaster relief executive director Fritz Wilson said, “Our state partners are blessed with amazing volunteers and Bob was one of the best and so is Butch. I’ve had the privilege of serving alongside both men in several responses.

“Bob loved God and people and he served them both through his work with disaster relief,” he said. “He also knew that long-term healing and hope only comes through a relationship with Christ. That’s why it is so comforting to know that he and Butch were sharing Jesus just before this accident occurred. Our prayers are with Butch and the families who are walking through this tragedy right now.”

Team members continuing to serve in Paris, Mich., include Dave Hampton, Susan Hampton, Chris Cropp, Petra Messer, Gina Harbold, Ramona Watkins, Elvis Brown, Rick Woodside, George Shanks, Bonnie Prince, Jerry Kemper, Tony Callan, Pat Callan, Patrick Neal, Bud Willis and Rodney Collins.

Teams will be based at Charity Baptist Church in Paris, Mich., through next week.
Robin Cornetet Bass is news director of the Western Recorder, newspaper of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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  • Robin Cornetet Bass