Three Rivers Church ministers in South Alabama after severe floodingcomment (0)
July 3, 2014
By Bruce Sims
Following what meteorologists termed a 100-year rain in South Alabama in May, the members of Three Rivers Church, Seminole, realized the cloudburst had brought with it an opportunity to minister to the people of their community.
“A number of people were either flooded out of their homes or sustained water damage to their houses,” said Dan Lowery, pastor of Three Rivers, which derives its name from the confluence of the Styx, Blackwater and Perdido Rivers.
“We had just purchased a van from Silverhill Baptist Church, so we decided to use it to carry water, canned goods and clothing to those who had been hammered by this natural catastrophe,” Lowery said. “While we were making deliveries to these people we encouraged them to attend church, especially the children, and that we would be by in the van to give them a ride to Sunday School and church.”
Lowery noted assistance also came from Three River’s Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), Baldwin Baptist Association WMU, the Baldwin County Disaster Relief group, Home Depot, Dollar General, the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
“It’s really a good thing that we began to canvass our neighborhood, as both the Red Cross and FEMA thought other states were taking care of Seminole, and in reality, no one was,” he said.
Lowery said Dollar General donated clothes and other staples like water and canned goods, while Home Depot donated various housing items.
“One of the things we did as a church was to have a spaghetti dinner for those who had been made homeless,” he said. “We served approximately 80 people (who had lost their homes) and first responders.”
The church felt is was living up to its motto, “Serving God by serving others,” by the way they responded to the needs of the community.
Even today, if a family needs clothing or food it can go to the church for assistance.
“Due to the donations we’ve been able to enlarge our food and clothing closet,” Lowery added.
On average, the 5-year-old Three Rivers averages between 50 and 80 people each Sunday for Sunday School and is about to launch a building program.
The church was planted by Baldwin Association and has been meeting in mobile chapels provided by the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.
A permanent site has been secured, Lowery said. “We’re now in the process of finding a builder who can put up a structure that contains a sanctuary, as well as some classrooms.
“We’ve been blessed with a number of young couples, high school age students as well as talented musicians,” he said. “During the coming weeks we’ll have our third Vacation Bible School, which is always an opportunity to not only teach about Jesus, but also to invite the children’s parents to church when we use the van to go pick the kids up.”
The church also has jail ministries in Bay Minette and Foley.
“When Three Rivers first began we had a budget of $20,000, but today it has reached $50,000. We have been helped by a number of fellow churches within the county in terms of getting started,” Lowery said. “We give God the glory for the things He has been able to accomplish through our church. The flooding is just one example of the opportunities He has given us to serve others.”