A number of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship pastors have reported they and their congregations to be safe on Thursday morning as Hurricane Dorian was just few miles east of Charleston, South Carolina.
That was the news via e-mail to Baptist News Global from Jay Kieve, coordinator CBF South Carolina, shortly after 11 a.m.
Some of the pastors reported power outages and damage caused by the Category 2 storm churning northward up the coast. Kieve didn’t say if that damage was to homes, churches or both.
“We will know more in the days to follow,” he said. He guessed communities still recovering from previous weather events may be especially affected.
“Areas in NE SC impacted by Hurricane Florence and recovering from last year’s flooding may yet be impacted again,” Kieve said.
He discouraged individuals and churches from taking up material collections due to difficulties with transportation and storage.
“If there is widespread damage that requires a long-term investment of people and resources, we will partner with local groups in affected areas who can host and supervise teams that we will recruit and fund,” he said.
It was a message echoed Thursday morning by Larry Hovis, executive coordinator of CBF North Carolina. Hovis sent an e-mail to members Thursday morning reminding them the Fellowship is not a first-responder organization.
Instead, he said, the Fellowship focuses its disaster-related human and financial resources on long-term recovery efforts. Its people and material often are at work in places months and years after a twister, hurricane or other disaster has disappeared from public consciousness.
But that doesn’t mean CBF congregations affected by Dorian will be hung out to dry when the winds recede. There are a number of first-responder ministries the Fellowship partners with, Hovis said.
“Fortunately, we enjoy a close relationship with partner organizations, primarily North Carolina Baptists on Mission (formerly Baptist Men) who do engage in such ministry,” Hovis said.