Archives For Illinois Disaster Relief

The Briefing

IBDR flood response teams activated
The heavy rains that fell in late April and early May leaving behind several inches rain have caused major flooding in Southern Illinois and the St. Louis Metro area. Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief (IBDR) has been monitoring the situation and called assessors. Now, multiple IBDR flood response teams are on the ground in Williamson and Franklin Counties in Illinois.

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Sources: Illinois Baptist, Florida Baptist Witness, Baptist Press, Christianity Today, World Magazine

ibdr-screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-12-16-34-pmThe storms that swept through the Midwest Feb. 28 developed into tornadoes when they went through southern and northern Illinois. Now, Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief (IBDR) volunteers are assisting victims with storm clean-up efforts.

Working in the southern Illinois town of Vergennes, volunteer Don Kragness told local television station WSIL, “We are here, basically, because we love Jesus and we want to serve Him and the best way we know how to serve Him is to help people when they’re in need.” Teams from Williamson and Saline Associations are serving the southern communities of Elkville and Vergennes. A shower unit from Franklin Association will also be deployed.

A team from Greater Wabash Association is at work in Carmi and Crossville, where one was killed, in the southeastern part of the state.

Dwayne Doyle, Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief Coordinator, said disaster relief assessors were on the ground in both parts of the state March 1. “The need is probably greater in the north in the Ottawa area, but assessment there is taking longer due to the damage.” Three died in the tornado that struck Ottawa. Doyle estimates chainsaw crews and chaplains could serve at locations around Ottawa and nearby Naplate doing cleaning up work for a week.

In an e-mail sent by Kathy Schultz on behalf of Three Rivers Association Director of Missions Dan Eddington, he wrote, “Our Disaster Relief Team leaders and Pastor John Patterson (Parkview Baptist, Marseilles) are assessing the damage… Parkview Baptist had three members from their church sustain damage to their homes from the tornado.” Volunteers from that association have been put on stand-by and were told, “There is much work to be done.”

The Illinois Baptist State Association’s Streator Baptist Camp is providing housing to volunteers serving in the Naplate area.

IBDR has over 1,600 trained volunteers who serve as part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief ministry, the third largest relief agency in the United States. Disaster Relief often responds to natural disasters by providing feeding stations, mobile kitchens, child care and chaplains. In the case of flooding, volunteers in their signature yellow shirts help homeowners with “mudout,” clearing flooded properties of debris and contaminated building materials, so they can begin rebuilding and recovery.

Fulkerson and Porter group photo web

Disaster Relief volunteers Bob Fulkerson and his wife Margie (left) and Butch and Debbie Porter (right) rest for a moment during a call out a few years ago in New York. Fulkerson passed away Tuesday, March 29 while serving on a call out in Leesville, La. Both couples are members of First Baptist Church of Galatia, Ill. Photo courtesy Butch and Debbie Porter.

Funeral arrangements have been made for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) volunteer Don Fulkerson, who died of a heart attack Tuesday, March 29, while serving flood victims in Leesville, Louisiana. Fulkerson, 77, was with a group of trained DR workers from First Baptist Church of Galatia, IL, and volunteers from other Illinois Baptist churches.

Visitation will take place Friday, April 1 from 6-9 p.m.  and Saturday, April 2 from 9-11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Galatia, 108 E. Church St., Galatia, IL 62935. His funeral will be Saturday, April 2 at 11 a.m. also at First Baptist Church of Galatia. Fulkerson was a member of the church.

Rex Alexander, Disaster Relief coordinator for the Illinois Baptist State Association (IBSA), suggested DR volunteers attending the funeral, “wear your yellow shirts in honor of Don’s faithful service to the Lord through Disaster Relief Ministry.” Southern Baptist DR volunteers are easily identified at disaster recovery scenes by the bright yellow shirts they wear.

“The callout to Louisiana was Don’s 15th response over a period of only four years and his wife, Margie, was almost always by his side serving whenever the opportunity arose,” shared Alexander. “Their faithful service to Christ brought great joy to both of them as they served side by side in the ministry of Disaster Relief.”

Cards of condolence may be mailed to his widow Margie Fulkerson, P.O. Box 5, Galatia, IL 62935.

The DR team from First Baptist Church of Galatia were first responders in what is expected to be a series of callouts to aid victims of spring floods in Louisiana. IIBSA teams will serve alongside teams from around the country.

IBSA has 1,600 trained volunteers who serve as part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief ministry (SBDR), the third largest relief agency in the United States. Disaster Relief often responds to natural disasters by providing feeding stations, mobile kitchens, child care, and chaplains. In the case of flooding, volunteers in their signature yellow shirts help homeowners with “mudout,” clearing flooded properties of debris and contaminated building materials, so they can begin rebuilding and recovery.

Don Fulkerson

Don Fulkerson

Leesville, Louisiana | A volunteer with a Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) team from Illinois died of a heart attack Tuesday, March 29, while serving flood victims in Leesville, Louisiana. Don Fulkerson, 77, was a member of First Baptist Church of Galatia, Illinois. He was serving with a group of trained relief workers from the church and others from churches around Illinois.

“The callout to Louisiana was Don’s 15th response over a period of only four years and his wife, Margie, was almost always by his side serving whenever the opportunity arose,” said Rex Alexander, Disaster Relief coordinator for the Illinois Baptist State Association (IBSA). “Their faithful service to Christ brought great joy to both of them as they served side by side in the ministry of Disaster Relief,” Alexander said.

The DR team from First Baptist Church of Galatia were first responders in what is expected to be a series of callouts to aid victims of spring floods in Louisiana. Illinois teams will serve alongside teams from around the country.

“Our Illinois Baptist family certainly grieves with and is in prayer for the Fulkerson family, and the entire church family at First Baptist in Galatia,” said IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams. “We appreciate so much Don’s and Margie’s service, along with so many other devoted disaster relief volunteers, and we are confident that Don’s life and sacrifice will bring eternal rewards, both to him and to the lives he touched.”

The North American Mission Board (NAMB) coordinates Southern Baptist Disaster Relief on the national level. NAMB president and former Illinois Baptist pastor Kevin Ezell extended his condolences to the family of Fulkerson as they mourn his passing. “Don is a great example of someone who chose to stay active into his later years and to contribute in a way that truly made a difference in the lives of others,” said Ezell. “I pray that his wife Margie and his entire family will feel God’s love and comfort during these days and that they will also be aware of the gratitude and appreciation for them from their entire Southern Baptist family.”

IBSA has 1,600 trained volunteers who serve as part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief ministry (SBDR), the third largest relief agency in the United States. Disaster Relief often responds to natural disasters by providing feeding stations, mobile kitchens, child care, and chaplains. In the case of flooding, volunteers in their signature yellow shirts  help homeowners with “mudout,” clearing flooded properties of debris and contaminated building materials, so they can begin rebuilding and recovery.

Contact:
Illinois Baptist State Association
Lisa Sergent, Director of Communications
3085 Stevenson Drive
Springfield, Illinois 62703
LisaSergent@IBSA.org
(217) 391-3119

 

Illinois flood callout complete, Missouri recovery ongoing

Kincaid_flood_recovery

Illinois Disaster Relief teams, including one from Capital City Baptist Association, dismantled destroyed houses in Kincaid.

Illinois Disaster Relief volunteers were busy with flood recovery efforts in two states throughout the month of January. They came to the aid of flood victims after holiday storms dumped 10 or more inches of rain across Illinois and Missouri.

Flooding in the states killed at least two dozen people, affected roughly 5,000 homes and temporarily closed portions of Interstate 44 and Interstate 70. The flooding was particularly bad in Missouri where in some areas along the Mississippi, floodwaters rose to 48.9 feet, surpassing the 1993 record by nearly half a foot. “It’s bigger than people realize,” said Joe Banderman, leader of the Missouri Baptist Convention’s collegiate relief team. “Unless you’re here, it’s hard to get an idea of the scope of the flooding.”

Arnold flood recovery

It’s dirty work mudding out flooded homes in the Mississippi River region. Members of Genesis Church suited up to dig out in Missouri.

Illinois DR teams were kept busy in the rural Illinois town of Kincaid, extreme Southern Illinois in Alexander County, and in the suburban St. Louis town of Arnold, Missouri.
Flood recovery work includes helping homeowners dispose of flood-soaked belongings, ripping out floors and walls, spraying mold repellent on the remaining wall studs and floor joists. The process is very emotional for the victims.

Missouri was hit particularly hard by the flooding, said Dwain Carter, the Missouri Baptist Convention’s disaster relief director. He hopes Southern Baptists can continue to help families by deploying volunteer teams to assist in flood recovery, following the departure of teams in late January who prepared meals and engaged in various facets of outreach to flood victims.

“Our Disaster Relief teams had a great impact in Kincaid and also in several small communities in Southern Illinois,” said Rex Alexander, IBSA’s DR coordinator. “These smaller towns are often ignored during times of disaster and the residents were especially grateful for our ministry.”

He expressed his gratitude for all the volunteers who served during the coldest month of the year. “Their commitment and service to the Lord is an example for all of us to follow!”
Carter said the sacrificial service of disaster relief volunteers from 21 state conventions painted a “perfect picture” of Southern Baptist cooperation. “We talk about cooperative giving a lot, but this was a cooperative effort to overcome a disaster,” he said.

“Southern Baptist Disaster Relief,” he added, “is a cooperation of thousands of Southern Baptists to bring hope, help and healing while transforming lives and communities through the Gospel.”

In all, 48 volunteers from Capitol City and Metro East Associations served in Kincaid, while 41 volunteers from Harrisburg First Baptist and Williamson Association served in Olive Branch. A team of 14 volunteers from First Baptist Galatia worked in Arnold.

If you would like to become a disaster relief volunteer, training events are scheduled for April 8-9 at Western Oaks Baptist in Springfield, April 22-23 at Streator Baptist Camp in Streator, and October 14-15 at Lake Sallateeska Baptist Camp in Pinckneyville. For more information visit www.IBSA.org/DR or call Rex Alexander at (217) 391-3134.

– With additional reporting by Baptist Press

Tuesday_BriefingTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

The days start early for Disaster Relief volunteers helping to feed families displaced by recent flooding in Illinois. Around 5 a.m., the small team tasked with preparing 1,000 meals a day starts on lunch. It’s cooked and packed before most people have eaten breakfast. Then, they start on dinner.

For more than a week, Disaster Relief blue cap Jim Weickersheimmer has led the effort out of Woodland Baptist Church in Peoria. The team is using a mobile kitchen owned and operated by Illinois DR, and also has full run of the church’s kitchen facilities.

“And we are quite an imposition,” said volunteer Jamie Kincaid. “I mean, they have stuff going on every day and we’re kind of in their way, and they have been unbelievable.”

Disaster Relief volunteer Betty Stone prepares meals to be delivered to victims of recent flooding in Illinois.

Disaster Relief volunteer Betty Stone prepares meals to be delivered to victims of recent flooding in Illinois.

Woodland is sharing their building with more than just the Disaster Relief volunteers – twice a day, Red Cross ERV’s (Emergency Response Vehicles) pile into the church parking lot, waiting to be filled with meals that will be distributed around Peoria. The feeding effort will close down today, but relief efforts are far from finished.

A “mudout” team also is expected in Peoria this week to help residents begin the process of cleaning their homes, and similar work is taking place 90 miles to the northeast, in Marseilles. Illinois teams will continue to work in those locations and others, likely with help from Disaster Relief crews from neighboring states. Since flooding began in mid-April, nearly 50 counties in Illinois have been declared State Disaster Areas.

To donate to Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief, click here.

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