By Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is continuing its disaster relief efforts in south central Louisiana following devastating flooding in early August. Over the course of eight days, 20-plus inches of rain resulted in widespread flooding causing 13 deaths, an estimated $110 million in agricultural losses and damage to 40,000 homes.
CBF Disaster Response, led by Alan Williams, has been coordinating efforts alongside CBF of Louisiana, working in partnership with two Baton Rouge congregations — Broadmoor Baptist Church and University Baptist Church — as well as other state/regional organizations including CBF of Mississippi to assess ongoing need, provide aid and receive volunteer teams.
Broadmoor Baptist Church, which has served as the base of Fellowship relief efforts, has been significantly impacted by the historic floods, with 50 families whose homes were flooded. Bobby Rayburn, who serves as minister of spiritual formation at Broadmoor, said members ranging from young families with infants to seniors had seen anywhere from three to 10 feet of water in their homes. Everyone in the church’s three-parish area has had family or friends affected, Rayburn said.
Volunteer teams from CBF churches have traveled to Baton Rouge to take part in the relief work underway alongside teams from Broadmoor, including Emmanuel Baptist Church in Alexandria, La., First Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Mo., Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, The Memorial Baptist Church in Greenville, N.C., and First Baptist Church in Shreveport, La.
Nearly 70 additional Cooperative Baptists spent their Labor Day weekend in Baton Rouge participating in the disaster response efforts. Eight CBF churches sent teams, including: Second Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark.; Wilshire Baptist Church, Dallas; Broadway Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas; Austin Heights Baptist Church, Nacogdoches, Texas; Kirkwood Baptist Church, St. Louis; Second Baptist Church, Memphis, Tenn., Immanuel Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn.; and First Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tenn. CBF state organizations also assisted in the Labor Day relief work, including CBF Kentucky, which provided a trailer of tools, and CBF of Arkansas, which made available portable showers for the volunteer teams.
Rayburn noted that the recovery process will be a long journey.
“This will be a long process for many people here,” Rayburn said. “Everybody here has suffered in some way. For some it will be easy to physically replace things and dwellings, but for some they might never be able to.”
Rayburn encouraged Cooperative Baptists to “be the church.”
“Please pray without ceasing. Please ask people to help in any way they can. Please pray for our staff here at Broadmoor. I am blessed and grateful to work with such loving and gracious people.”
To provide monetary support for relief efforts in Louisiana, give online here, or you may mail a check payable to “CBF” with Acct. 17006 in the memo line to:
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
P.O. Box 102972
Atlanta, GA 30368-2972
For additional information, contact Alan Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.