Their basement flooded in a storm, and his family is doing what they can to salvage their stuff. But he can’t spend much time helping them. He’s a pastor with a church to check and deal with, members and neighbors to help, and—now that the news has spread—phone calls from caring folks across the nation to field. What’s a beleaguered pastor to do?
She’s heard the news about a catastrophe in another part of the country. As she prays for those devastated by the disaster, she wants to help. But more than that, she wants her money to count spiritually, not just materially. She’s not confident that secular relief agencies will funnel donations where they’re needed. She wants to give through a Christian organization—one that will share the love of God, not just labor, money, and goods. But where can she turn? Who can she trust? What’s a compassionate, conscientious Regular Baptist to do?
Here’s where Baptist Builders Club steps in to help.
BBC–USA Director Michael Nolan says that historically, “BBC has been there to assist churches that have experienced catastrophic events—such as fire, flood, and tornado—when the church itself has been damaged or destroyed. We have assisted them in getting back to ministering to their community.” BBC’s Help Up Fund was created to give churches immediate resources and financial and prayer support in cases like these.
Recent events, however, have demonstrated the need for a different kind of help: assisting churches in helping their devastated communities.
After Superstorm Sandy hit four regions of the U.S., Nolan contacted state representatives and pastors of fellowshipping churches in those areas. Surprisingly, he learned that not one GARBC church had been seriously damaged by the storm. But that was not the case for members’ homes and businesses or for their communities at large. Michael says: “The churches wanted to reach out to their communities and help, but they were limited in what they could do. People around the country wanted to go help, but were restricted from affected areas.”
- Read about cleanup efforts after Superstorm Sandy
BBC–USA and the GARBC’s Council of Eighteen wanted to do something practical and constructive. Together they voted unanimously to create a Disaster Relief Fund under BBC’s already existing Help Up Fund. Michael says: “It has been created to provide a trusted source to funnel resources from members of GARBC churches, to help churches in devastated areas minister to their neighbors, to show the love of God, to work through the local church (which is what our fellowship is all about), to give gospel literature to communities, to mobilize trained and equipped teams that can respond at a moment’s notice. BBC will receive funds, materials, and resources and will distribute them to churches so they can take the lead in ministering to their communities. Lack of finances and resources should not be a barrier to a church’s ability to minister in its community when a catastrophic event occurs.”
Michael points out that during a catastrophe, “a pastor has got to care for his own home, his own family, his own church, his own community.” The last thing he needs is to try to coordinate efforts, get teams ready, or choose and order Biblically sound, crisis-oriented gospel literature. Baptist Builders Club can do those things for a local church. BBC can step in as the coordinating national resource for that local body. It can also serve the compassionate church member who wants to know how to help.
BBC will supply several services to GARBC churches that request help, and will provide ways for others to give materially, spiritually, and physically.
BBC–USA will continue to manage donations with integrity. Contributors don’t have to worry about where their donations are going or how they are being used.
BBC–USA will coordinate donations. In the past, pastors using the Internet and social media have posted needed donations, receiving in turn thousands of one item but not enough money or other items, such as water. BBC will keep in constant contact with the churches (thus keeping them from being bombarded by individual calls from around the nation), and will coordinate the resources, ensuring that items or the funds to purchase items go where they are most needed. In some cases, needed items, like a generator, are unavailable in devastated areas. BBC will then take donated funds to purchase and ship the needed commodities, or in Michael’s words, “turn the resources into what’s needed.”
BBC–USA will mobilize response teams. In cooperation with Regular Baptist Chaplaincy Ministries, BBC will put together “Ready Now” teams of FEMA-trained, equipped individuals who will be allowed access into the ravaged areas. These teams will comprise members of GARBC churches, providing them the opportunity to be “boots on the ground” in hard-hit areas.
BBC–USA will send gospel literature to the churches leading the relief efforts in their communities. In conjunction with Gospel Literature Services, Baptist Builders Club will make available materials from GLS, such as the Why? booklet first published after 9/11.
“Our hope, prayer, and intention,” says Michael, “is that every member of every church fellowshipping with the GARBC would prayerfully consider how to get involved in this ministry to help rebuild communities in a God-honoring way. I am calling on every church to announce through the local body that the next time a disaster strikes or emergency situation occurs in the U.S., their association of churches—through Baptist Builders Club—is ready to work and respond.”
6 Reasons to Give through Baptist Builders Club
- Your gifts will go directly to a local GARBC church to help and minister in the area affected. You get to give both materially and spiritually.
- Your gifts will be used for exactly what is needed. BBC–USA will stay in constant communication with the local church to learn the ongoing needs and to serve as the church’s hub of communication.
- You know that the testimony being shared is Biblically sound. BBC works with Gospel Literature Services to provide tracts and booklets to the churches in or near affected areas.
- You can help in multiple ways: pray, give financially, or serve on a “Ready Now” team that goes to the area to assist a local church in the devastated area.
- You can be confident that you are giving to an accountable local organization.
- You are kept informed. Frequent updates on all relief efforts will be posted on the Baptist Builders Club website and in print media.