After hurricanes battered Texas and Florida, rebuilding has begun thanks to the generosity of GARBC churches and individuals. Since Sept. 1, more than $68,000 has been donated to the Regular Baptist Builders Club Disaster Relief Fund.
One Nebraska church gave $14,000 to Regular Baptist Builders Club as a legacy gift when the church voted to dissolve earlier this year. Gretna (Nebraska) Baptist Church gave $3,370 to the Disaster Relief Fund, and the Nebraska Association of Regular Baptist Churches presented Clare Jewell, director of Regular Baptist Builders Club, with a gift of $1,110 during the Stronger Church Conference earlier this month in Nebraska City.
The Regular Baptist Builders Club board of administrators approved a gift of $20,000 to Berean Baptist Church, a GARBC church in Humble, Texas, a Houston suburb where floodwaters reached the ceiling in some church members’ homes. While the storm caused minimal damage to Berean Baptist’s roof, several church members are still displaced. The church used the financial gift to purchase building supplies that work crews from two Colorado GARBC churches used over the last week to rebuild interior walls.
A team of 12 people from two Colorado churches—Rustic Hills Baptist Church in Colorado Springs and Faith Baptist in Fowler—installed insulation, hung drywall, taped, mudded, and repaired electrical wiring in two homes that the owners had to evacuate.
Reba Watson expresses her appreciation for workers who gave up their time to help strangers. “They have given up a whole week of their life to come help us get our house back together, and they had never seen us before and didn’t even know us. Yet they were being unselfish and we appreciate it very much. I know God will bless them.”
In a video that Reba and her husband, Bill, recorded in their front yard last week, the couple thanked Regular Baptist Builders Club, the GARBC churches, and the people who gave to them. James and Sandra Wolbreuch are fellow church members who live two houses down the street from the Watsons. The Wolbreuchs also expressed their appreciation for Regular Baptist Builders Club’s financial assistance and for the work of the Colorado team.
And more crews will be coming. A church in central Iowa is planning to send a work crew to Katy, Texas, at the end of October to assist Good News Baptist Church. Julie Hawk, wife of Pastor Gerald Hawk, says Good News Baptist received minor storm damage but is trying to discern how best to help its community.
In Florida, while most of the GARBC churches escaped Hurricane Irma with almost no damage, many churches and church members’ homes lost power. Maranatha Village, a Baptist retirement community in Sebring, was not as fortunate. High winds and heavy rain damaged carports, porches, roofs, trees, and administrative offices.
The Regular Baptist Builders Club board of administrators approved a gift of $5,000 to Maranatha Village to help with the repairs. Village Administrator Jerry Webber thanks Regular Baptist Builders Club Director Clare Jewell and the board for providing assistance to the village even though Maranatha Baptist Church, which sits in the middle of the retirement community, was not damaged.
“I speak for all our residents when I express my appreciation for your willingness to include Maranatha Village in your giving toward Disaster Relief in the wake of Hurricane Irma,” Webber says. “The need is real and we are truly grateful.”