Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief crews at work in communities hit by weekend tornadoes


LaGRANGE, Ga. – Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief crews have begun what is expected to be lengthy deployment helping storm victims clean up after a weekend tornado outbreak.

Dwain Carter, director of disaster relief for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said crews responded in Troup County with chaplains, chainsaw units and a mobile kitchen, plus showers and laundry units.

The Georgia tornadoes damaged or destroyed about 100 homes and other structures, including Bethel Baptist Church in West Point.

Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency early Sunday after the scope the damage became clear.

Carter said Northside Baptist Church in Milledgeville also was damaged.

“The area right there around Bethel Baptist church is just totally devastated,” said Andy Buchanan, mission strategist in the Troup County Baptist Association. “It’s unrecognizable. The trees are all stripped bare, twisted and torn.”

Bethel Pastor Chris Hendricks said the plan is to erect a large tent on the church grounds to hold services until  the church is rebuilt. 

Hendricks said he expects his church to come back stronger.

“I believe God is using this as a door of opportunity to help the church grow bigger and stronger than ever before,” he said.