TBM / BGCT disaster relief partnership in continues to expand - Word&Way

TBM / BGCT disaster relief partnership in continues to expand

DALLAS—Baptist General Convention of Texas congregational strategists now serve as "point men" to aid Texas Baptist Men when the missions organization responds in the wake of disasters.

Trained volunteer Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief workers provide immediate response, including emergency food service, when disasters strike. The Baptist General Convention of Texas disaster response team coordinates long-term recovery that follows. (FILE PHOTO/Ken Camp)

The strategists—BGCT staff located across the state—will help TBM find locations where disaster relief units can set up to serve and will serve as a conduit for congregations to report their disaster relief needs to TBM.

The move is the latest step in a decades-long relationship between the BGCT and TBM. Through the Cooperative Program—the primary giving channel for the convention—Texas Baptists provide a portion of the TBM budget, and the convention encourages churches to be involved in TBM disaster relief efforts.

The organizations also cooperate in response to disasters, with TBM meeting immediate needs and the convention taking on long-term rebuilding and recovery needs.

"It is an honor for our Texas Baptist congregational strategists to be in a position to serve hurting folks in a time of disaster," said Chris Liebrum, who leads BGCT disaster response efforts.

"This new arrangement with TBM continues our 40-plus- year partnership in disaster relief ministries."

The partnership with congregational strategists will help deepen the on-site disaster relief response network, as more point men will be on the ground around the state, TBM Executive Director Don Gibson said.

"We believe that the more point men we have across Texas, the greater opportunity we have to know when they need something of a critical nature in a disaster," Gibson said. "The more point men we have, the greater the opportunity to help people."

Through having additional point men around the state, Gibson hopes to connect with more needs, resulting in more relief units being dispatched, whether in the wake of a disaster or to help with other feeding opportunities through associational meetings, mission fairs or community and regional events.

"We have plenty of regional units in the state, and we hope to see more of them called out. We have more than 10,000 volunteers, and we would like to see them serve more and in whatever manner God calls us out to," Gibson said.