Alive Together in Storm Recovery
In the month since Hurricane Michael ripped through Southwest Georgia as a category 3 hurricane, the South Georgia Conference has experienced so many ways in which we are Alive Together in the World. Allison Lindsey, associate Director of Connectional Ministries, and Luis Morales, Disaster Response Coordinator, have been coordinating response efforts across South Georgia.
“I am thankful for Allison and Luis, for their tireless service, and for their dedication to our annual conference and our people,” said Bishop R. Lawson Bryan. “I am also grateful for each of the countless volunteers, ERT members, and others who have given of their time, talents, and finances. May we all continue to keep those impacted by the storm in our prayers.”
Here are just a few ways you and the South Georgia Conference have made an impact and brought light in the darkness:
- Several Southwest District churches – Warwick UMC, Blakely UMC, Porterfield UMC, Colquitt UMC, and others – worshiped without power after Hurricane Michael. Many congregations gathered outside.
- Rev. Jean Watson, pastor of Cooks Union UMC in Colquitt, cooked 30 meals a day and delivered them to people in the community.
- Rev. Chris Calhoun, pastor of St. Mark UMC in Douglas, positioned the shower trailer he built in Donalsonville to be used as a community shower.
- The conference’s shower trailer was positioned at Casa de Vida y Paz in Bainbridge.
- Felix Marbury, a member of Albany First UMC, drove the Mission Change shower trailer to Reynolds Chapel UMC in Seminole County.
- Even without power, the Casa de Vida y Paz congregation in Bainbridge cooked meals and delivered them to the hard-hit Seminole County area.
- Generators from Park Avenue UMC were delivered to Casa de Vida y Paz in Bainbridge so they could run the shower trailer, etc.
- Albany's Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church shared the love of Christ by serving the Donalsonville and Albany communities with its Loads of Love laundry ministry. Immediately after the storm, church members laundered a record 135 loads of laundry at their Loads of Love laundry event in Albany. Rev. Nate Lehman, pastor at Friendship UMC in Donalsonville, then invited Porterfield members into his community for a Loads of Love event. Held after Hurricane Michael swept through the area, this outreach gave community members the opportunity to wash and dry their laundry for free.
- Despite extensive damage, on Saturday morning, October 20, Colquitt UMC opened and operated its monthly community food bank. It was held outdoors since the church building sustained damage.
- Nashville UMC connected with a media company in Valdosta to receive a donation of five crates of billboard vinyl for tarps.
- Dacula UMC, from North Georgia, was in Colquitt for several days with their food truck, providing three hot meals/day for the linemen, chainsaw crews, and others who needed food.
- A group from Palmer, Texas, who themselves experienced themselves the effects of a hurricane during Hurricane Harvey, sent generators to southwest Georgia.
- Blakely First UMC, through The Red Cross, provided lunch for their community
- Whigham UMC provided food to the Donalsonville area.
- Bishop Bryan, the Cabinet, and Conference had a work day in impacted areas on October 29.
- Cairo First UMC and Rev. Christy Bandy collected supplies and delivered food to North Grady County and those without power.
- Young men from The Methodist Children’s Home assisted with clean-up at Dooly County.
- Martha Bowman UMC in Macon partnered with the State Bank & Trust Company to deliver a semi-truck of relief supplies to their banking branch in Blakely for distribution in the community.
- Luis Morales, South Georgia’s Disaster Response Coordinator, traveled to Auburn UMC in the Alabama-West Florida Conference to train ERT teams.
- Several churches throughout the conference partnered with churches in the impacted areas to work with cleanup efforts and feeding ministries.
- Countless teams from nearly every community in the conference - and several from outside South Georgia - have assisted with cleanup, tree removal, and recovery in the days and weeks following the storm.
- Rev. Scott Parrish, North Georgia’s Disaster Response Coordinator, was in southwest Georgia for several days to serve and encourage teams and volunteers.
- Vienna UMC has assisted with clean-up in their community, Cordele, and Americus.
- West Green UMC in Douglas supplied cleaning buckets for Reynolds Chapel UMC in Donalsonville.
- Park Avenue UMC in Valdosta delivered 80 cleaning buckets to the Donalsonville area. They also collected and delivered gift cards to those impacted by the storm.
- The Avants, members of Centerville UMC, transported 300+ cleaning buckets to the Miller County distribution center.
- 1,200 UMCOR School Kits were distributed by Friendship UMC as students returned to school Nov. 5.
- Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, episcopal leader of the North Georgia Conference, issued an appeal and encouraged North Georgia UM churches to collect a special offering on Sunday, Oct. 28 to support South Georgia’s recovery effort.
Click here to give to South Georgia’s Storm Recovery fund, Conference Advance Special #6796 - South Georgia Storm Recovery.
Early Response Teams are still needed in Southwest Georgia following Hurricane Michael. If you have a team ready to serve, please contact Luis Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org or 478-335-6678.
If you know of any Alive Sightings that are not on this list, please let us know! Email Allison Lindsey at email@example.com.
Thank you, again, for all of the ways you are serving and loving those who have been affected by the storm. You are the hands of feet of Christ, His love in action. We will continue to keep you informed of needs and ask for your continued prayers in the weeks and months to come.