Members of the Church of God Executive Committee, as well as state overseers, pastors and local relief workers were on hand for a special disaster relief update Web cast on Tuesday night, May 10.
General Overseer Raymond Culpepper called for a special two-hour emphasis on the recent tornadoes that wreaked havoc in six southern states. In addition, the flooding along the Mississippi River has caused widespread damage in the states of Mississippi and Missouri.
Executive Committee members Culpepper, Tim Hill, David Griffis and Wallace Sibley were on hand to interview state overseers John Childers (Alabama), Michael Baker (North Georgia), Don Walker (Tennessee), Mitch Corder (Virginia), Tom Gillum (Missouri) and Joe Mirkovich (Mississippi). Assistant General Overseer Mark Williams was in Alaska preaching a camp meeting service.
Baker and Childers brought with them leaders of their disaster relief efforts and pastors directly affected by the tornadoes. Testimonials of miraculous delivery from danger were given by the pastors.
Tennessee State Representative Kevin Brooks, also a member of Church of God Communications, gave updates on recent legislation passed to assist tornado victims, such as tax-free assistance for replacement of household appliances. He also conducted interviews with local relief organizers, including Teddie Bennett with Men and Women of Action, William Lamb and Rochelle Mayberry with the Leonard Center at Lee University and Sharon Harper with the local county school system. Cleveland is the county seat of Bradley County, Tennessee, the county in the state hardest hit by the tornado outbreak of April 27. Nine people were confirmed dead and more than 500 homes destroyed or uninhabitable.
The final half hour of the Webcast featured Brooks and his wife, Kim, and Culpepper and his wife, Peggy, in a candid conversation about the events of the last ten days following the tornadoes which hit so close to home. Culpepper also interviewed Church of God Headquarters Director of Operations Charles Hollifield, who has been on site with assistance virtually non-stop since the tornado outbreak.
During the Web cast appeals were made for funds to assist the relief effort. Viewers were encouraged to call toll-free 1-800-535-9343 as operators were standing by to receive commitments and pledges. Viewers were also encouraged to contact their individual states about relief donations if they chose to do so. Moderating the Web cast for the evening was Church of God Director of Communications Scot Cater.
“Every penny of money pledged will be directed to disaster relief,” Culpepper stated. Before the Web cast began more than $25,000 had been received or pledged through Church of God World Missions. Donations can continue to be received at www.cogwm.org. The project number is 765-0047.
For those who missed the Web cast it will be archived in its entirety on the Church of God Web site, www.churchofgod.org. Click on the Web cast graphic and follow the prompts to the archive link.