January 19, 2019
Updated Jan. 20, 9:22 a.m.: Montgomery Baptist Association’s chainsaw team was deployed this morning to work for one week in Wetumpka.
Updated Jan. 19, 7:48 p.m.: A group of Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief assessors will begin work tomorrow at 6:30 a.m., according to Mark Wakefield, state DR strategist. “There are also teams from surrounding associations coming to begin chainsaw/clean-up work,” he added. The Wetumpka DR effort will be managed by Mel Johnson, lead mission strategist for Autauga Baptist Association. In DR lingo, Johnson will serve as the White Hat.
Updated Jan 19, 5:39 p.m.: Tomorrow’s church services for FBC Wetumpka will be held at the Wetumpka Civic Center at 10 a.m.
Original Story below posted Jan. 19, 4:39 p.m.
The downtown Wetumpka community, including two churches, sustained significant damage this afternoon (Jan. 19) following a tornado touchdown.
First Presbyterian Church was destroyed and the sanctuary of First Baptist Church has roof damage. The old sanctuary of First Baptist also has roof damage and glass was blown out of the educational building. A full assessment of the damage has not yet been done because of safety concerns. The churches are across the street from each other.
Mark Wakefield, disaster relief strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, said he is currently working with ministry leaders in the area as well as city officials to determine the best way for Alabama Baptist DR to help the community and the people.
“We are communicating with EMA in the county and trying to determine where to plug in,” he said, noting the area around the church took a hard hit.
James Troglen, pastor of First Baptist, and Ray McKenzie, associational mission strategist for Elmore Baptist Association, along with other pastors in the area are looking for a place for First Baptist to have services tomorrow.
“They don’t know if the building is safe,” Wakefield said.
Wakefield also noted he is trying to confirm reports of other damage in the county to see what help might be needed there as well.
The Alabama Baptist will provide updates as they become available. (TAB)