BRYANT, Ark. – Roughly 200 Arkansas Baptists gathered at Indian Springs Baptist Church in Bryant on Saturday for disaster relief training. Seventy-seven of those were new volunteers.
“It was a wonderful turnout,” Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief Director (ABDR) Randy Garrett said, touting Indian Springs Baptist Church and its facilities.
“The only way that we can continue what we do is to have new volunteers come online. Having these regional events and having such a turnout with new people is such a blessing.”
Garrett was excited to see the fresh faces along with the old. He said a highlight of the training was the presence of long-time disaster relief volunteers Ed Lauderdale, Merle Cunningham and Don Gephardt.
The picture above shows Lauderdale and other volunteers responding in Georgia in the early 1990s.
The regional training events typically, at most, average around 125 participants.
According to the ABDR website, volunteers offer help, hope and healing. They extend the “love of Christ to disaster survivors by preparing hot meals, removing damaging trees and debris, tarping roofs, cleaning up after floods, providing emergency communications, and coordinating our response through incident management teams. Following a common ministry pattern of Jesus Christ, Disaster Relief chaplains and volunteers seek to share God’s grace, hope, and truth while meeting physical needs.”
During his welcome on Saturday, Garrett noted 996 volunteers have deployed so far this year in Arkansas.
The next regional training event is Sept. 23 at the Olive Street campus of First Baptist Church in Rogers.
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