SBTC Exec. Director Jim Richards visits hurricane-affected churches in Houston

Richards calls Southern Baptist response 'phenomenal'

HOUSTON—As Houston residents continue to grapple with the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Harvey, SBTC Disaster Relief teams are mobilizing throughout the area to offer hope in the midst of crisis.

On August 30, a mobile feeding unit deployed from Flint Baptist Church to Clay Road Baptist Church in northwest Houston, where the team of 19 volunteers is partnering with the Red Cross to help distribute food to those impacted by the storm.

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The crew’s unit director, Ralph Britt, said the kitchen is equipped to prepare 5,000 hot meals a day, and the relief unit is also outfitted with a shower and laundry trailer.

Britt has been working with the SBTC Disaster Relief ministry since 1997 and has responded to a number of hurricanes and storms in the decades following.

He described the widespread devastation wrought by Harvey as “massive.”

“Our role here is to try to attempt to alleviate some of the suffering,” Britt said. “We’ve got to help our brothers and sisters.”

In addition to meeting the immediate physical needs of the local community, crew members also get the opportunity to share the love of Christ with countless hurting people, many of whom lost homes due to flooding.

“They have just been through the worst thing in the world. They have nothing else to turn to, but we can give them hope in Jesus,” said Frank Bailey, an SBTC DR volunteer from Livingston.

SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards visited Clay Road along with several other churches throughout the greater Houston area and said the response he’s witnessed by Southern Baptists has been “phenomenal.”

“It’s incredible to see the cooperation of churches and how people have risen to the occasion to do the work.”

In the days, weeks, and months ahead, Richards said he hopes churches and volunteers maintain unity as they seek to aid in relief efforts. 

“Our greatest need is to come together and stay together for the gospel,” he said. “We want to help people who are hurting and we want to minister to their physical needs, but the greatest need they have is the gospel.”

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