Georgia Baptists serve free meals for security teams at Rosalynn Carter's memorials


PLAINS, Ga. — The chefs who prepared meals for hundreds of Secret Service agents, Georgia Highway Patrol troopers, National Guard troops, and others providing security during three days of memorials for former first lady Rosalynn Carter have vast experience feeding huge crowds, usually in disaster zones.

In their trademark yellow shirts and caps, Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers were busy in mobile kitchens cooking tasty cuisine that included, for evening meals, roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, salads, rolls and fire-roasted corn. At lunchtime, they prepared chicken fajitas, turkey sandwiches and ham sandwiches, along with chips and softdrinks. For breakfast, they dished up eggs and grits.

All of it was provided at no charge.

“It’s just a privilege for us to be able to do this,” said David Reynolds, a Baxley, Ga., resident who is heading up the project. “We know that we’re helping not only the Carter family but also these support people.”

The Disaster Relief volunteers served meals from Sunday through Wednesday.

Volunteers with Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief are supported by the 3,400 churches that make up the Georgia Baptist Convention, the state’s largest religious organization with about 1.4 million members.

Georgia’s Disaster Relief teams are routinely deployed across the state and nation to assist victims of earthquakes, floods, wildfires, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Besides the mobile kitchens, the volunteers shovel muck from flooded homes, cut toppled trees off homes, fasten tarps over badly damaged roofs, sift through ashes of burned homes in search of anything that can be returned to families, and provide spiritual counseling to hurting survivors.

Georgia volunteers went to Poland last year to assist refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.

The overall goal, said Chris Fuller, a longtime Disaster Relief volunteer and a retired campus minister for Baptist Collegiate Ministries, is “to bring hope, healing and help” to those who need it most.

And, this week, the goal was to make sure hundreds of security personnel serving in a tiny town with few restaurants were well-fed.