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Mulberry Springs, FBC Vernon meet needscomment (0)

April 5, 2012

By Leigh Pritchett

Two churches in Lamar Baptist Association chose a special way to help those affected by the April 2011 storms.

One congregation gave a significant sum of money that actually kicked off an associational gift card project to assist those whose homes suffered damage.

Another congregation adopted a church in a storm-damaged area to support it in addressing needs in that community.

Director of Missions Scott Stokes said the association established a disaster relief fund, through which Lowe’s gift cards were distributed in Phil Campbell and Hackleburg and in Smithville, Miss.

The gift cards were presented to pastors in those areas to give to people affected by the storms. It was handled this way, Stokes explained, to help the pastors and churches in those areas to create stronger ties within their communities.

Approximately $8,000 in gift cards has been given so far, Stokes said. “We still have money in that fund. We’re still helping people in rebuilding.”

The money that went into the fund came from many churches in the association, Stokes said. However, it was a sizeable donation from a small congregation that got the project going.

“One of our smallest churches was the first to step up,” Stokes said of Mulberry Springs Baptist Church, Sulligent.

That church voted soon after the April tornadoes to give $5,000 from its regular budget to this fund, said Robert Campbell, a deacon. “We just wanted to help out.”

Mulberry Springs Baptist, which recently called Robert Stamps as pastor, generally has an attendance of about 20 for Sunday morning worship, Campbell said.

Most of the church members are not able to assist in a physical way after a disaster. Therefore, this was their avenue for helping the hurting, he said.

A sister church in Lamar Association — First Baptist, Vernon — kept feeling prompted to minister in Phil Campbell.

“I think the Lord led us up there,” Pastor Clyde Stevens said. “We kept going up into that area to see what we could do.”

The church made about a dozen trips, ministering each time to and through First Baptist Church, Phil Campbell, in Franklin Baptist Association.

“We unofficially adopted that church and the pastor’s family,” Stevens said. “We were helping the church and they were helping the people. We just carried whatever they needed up there.”

First, Vernon, also provided food service and debris removal during some of the trips, which spanned from May through September, Stevens said. First, Phil Campbell, “was helping so many people that we wanted to help them. If they had a particular need for something, we took it.”

Actually, all of Lamar Association assisted in some way. Stokes said all the churches brought items to the association office for First, Phil Campbell.

Stevens said First, Vernon, still has contact with First, Phil Campbell, and is ready to help if a need arises. First, Vernon, also had the opportunity to provide a needed getaway for the pastor of First, Phil Campbell, and his family.

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