Springfield, Ill. | IBSA Disaster Relief Coordinator Rex Alexander and other disaster relief leaders are in the Fairdale, IL area this morning assessing tornado damage. A deadly tornado hit the small town in northwestern Illinois at sunset Thursday night. Two people were killed and several others were injured. Tornadoes and severe storms also caused major damage in the nearby towns of Ashton, Belvidere, Kirkland, and Rochelle.
The Illinois Baptist State Association has nine churches and 15 missions and church plants in the storm damaged areas. None have reported any damage at this time.
Chainsaw teams from Metro Peoria, Sinnissippi, and Three Rivers Baptist Associations have been put on alert. “As soon as we are able to respond to the needs in the damaged areas, these three teams and available disaster relief volunteers from Region 1 (northern Illinois) will be the first ‘wave of response,’” Alexander stated.
Brad Pittman, pastor of Grace Fellowship Baptist Church in Ashton, is guiding Alexander and his team through the area to assess the initial damage. “We will determine how accessible the damaged areas are which helps us to determine how quickly our volunteer teams will be able to respond,” shared Alexander. “If law enforcement agencies are keeping everyone out of the damaged areas, then we must wait until the areas are open to volunteers.”
Alexander asked Illinois Baptists to, “Pray for the people who have been impacted by the storms and that God will open doors for ministry and sharing help, healing, and hope in Jesus name.”
The Illinois Baptist State Association has nearly 1,000 Southern Baptist member churches and missions in Illinois. IBSA’s main office is in Springfield and it was established in 1907. Southern Baptists operate the nation’s third-largest disaster relief organization, behind only the Red Cross and Salvation Army.