No one could have anticipated the magnitude of destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Free Will Baptists responded by giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to those devastated by the storm. Churches across the nation produced an army of volunteers to repair, rebuild, and relieve those in need along the Gulf Coast.
Katrina made it clear that Free Will Baptists needed an organized plan to channel relief efforts and supplies to victims of natural disaster. Unwilling to let another hurricane season begin without a plan for relief, Keith Burden, executive secretary of the National Association, Roy Harris, executive administrator, and Ken Akers, director of Master’s Men, met on March 16, 2006, and selected a National Disaster Relief Task Force to develop a plan of action.
Chosen from seven different states, the members of the task force had a wide variety of experience in disaster relief and response. The committee was asked to serve until a national Disaster Relief Plan could be approved in Birmingham.
The task force, which included Randy Bryant (FL), Danny Conn (FL), James Cox (WV), J.L. Gore (MS), Benny Hartley (NC), John Hewett (OK), Ernie Taylor (IL), Ken Akers, Keith Burden, and Roy Harris met May 8–9, 2006, in Nashville, Tennessee, and developed a disaster response plan to present to the National Association for approval.
Delegates to the 2006 National Convention approved the plan consisting of the following:
Each state appoints a representative to communicate disaster-related information in the event of an emergency.
The Executive Office acts as a channel for collecting and distributing donations to affected areas with the help of the contact person in each state.
The Master’s Men Department coordinates with local leaders to channel volunteers to assist in the efforts.
The Disaster Relief Plan extends the ability of the National Association to provide effective relief on a much larger scale. If you are interested in being a volunteer for Free Will Baptist Disaster Relief, visit the Master’s Men website at: www.fwbmastersmen.org.
Free Will Baptist Disaster Relief
National Association of Free Will Baptists
PO Box 5002
Antioch, TN 37011-5002
Phone: (877) 767-7659
Fax: (615) 731-0771
Ken Akers, director of Free Will Baptist Master’s Men
Phone: (877) 767-8039