Couple serves together in times of crisis


October 16, 2020

Roger and Debbie Collins, members of FBC Union Grove, serve together on the Marshall Baptist Association Disaster Relief chainsaw team. Most recently, the Collinses served in recovery efforts in Louisiana and Alabama’s Gulf Coast. (Photo courtesy of Roger Collins)

Since Roger Collins and his wife of 51 years, Debbie, retired, they serve together on a chainsaw team with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.

“We know this is where we should be,” Debbie said.

The Collinses are active at their church, First Baptist Church, Union Grove, where Roger serves as Brotherhood director and Debbie is WMU director. But when Marshall Baptist Association or Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief calls, they are ready.

The couple recently worked with ABDR in Leesville, Louisiana, and then in Alabama’s Gulf Coast region following Hurricane Sally.

But their relationship with the Lord has not always been so dedicated. When Roger’s father died, they were not involved in any church.

Bill Barnett, pastor of Union Hill Baptist Church, Oneonta, where Roger’s father was a member, visited with them and talked to them about their relationship with Christ.

Even though it was a 45-minute drive one way, they started attending Union Hill Baptist for worship every Sunday and Wednesday.

After two years, they decided they needed to become involved in a local church, so they joined Union Grove.

Finishing the job

Roger, who served in the Army and later worked for Goodyear, is not afraid of hard work and keeps at it until the job is done.

Twice while serving in Bay Minette, Roger called the feeding team to say that his team would not be finished with their jobs by supper time, asking politely if the cooks could save them a plate.

Roger also keeps a secret when he is driving the skid steer — no matter how hot or humid the weather conditions, he does not turn on the air conditioning in the skid steer.

“I can’t be sitting in the cool while the other men are working so hard in the heat,” he said. “I just can’t do it.”

Roger and Debbie serve despite his heart issues, diabetes and recent foot surgery and her past cancer diagnosis.

“That doesn’t matter,” Roger said. “This is what God wants us to do.”


By Cynthia Walker Watts

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