VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/3/23)—In this Holy Week, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) continues to pray for God’s comfort and strength for those devastated by the recent outbreak of extreme weather that swept across the Southeast, Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.
Within nine days beginning March 24, powerful storm systems spawned ferocious tornadoes that caused upward of 55 fatalities in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. The storms leveled homes and businesses and brought down trees, powerlines and cell towers, hampering communications and making many roads impassable.
“These storms are tragic,” says the Rev. Dr. James Mitchell Harrison, regional executive minister of American Baptist Churches of the South. “But they bring out the best in us. They call for us to show up and serve people, to help people. Neighbors really become neighbors, friends really become friends, family really become family, and strangers are no longer strangers.”
ABHMS representatives are communicating with regional leaders in all affected areas about relief efforts and will be delivering ongoing support long after journalists and camera crews have turned their attention elsewhere.
“The sudden loss of lives and possessions caused by tornadoes is shocking and heartbreaking, which makes a meaningful rapid response all the more vital,” says the Rev. Lisa Harris Lee, ABHMS’ director of Healing & Transforming Communities. “ABHMS depends on the One Great Hour of Sharing offering to disburse funds as quickly as possible to affected areas. Giving to OGHS is one of the most immediate responses we can offer. It is a reliable vehicle for you to get every dollar of your donation to the communities in need.”
How you can help:
Please join American Baptists in supporting the relief efforts directed toward those who were in the path of the recent tornadoes. One hundred percent of designated OGHS gifts are allocated to domestic disaster relief.
You can donate via your church or directly online to the Spring 2023 Tornado Response.
Checks designated to “OGHS Domestic Storms/Floods” should be mailed to ABHMS’ Office of Development, care of Kim Wilkins, 1075 First Avenue, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406.
Checks should include the name of the donor’s church to ensure that it receives credit for the gift.
The World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA administers One Great Hour of Sharing. The committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering received by churches.
To learn more about ABHMS, please visit abhms.org.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.