Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers bring hope, help after deadly tornadoes


Volunteers with Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief were called into action in the immediate aftermath of the deadly tornado outbreak in Oklahoma on Saturday, April 27.

From preparing meals to chainsaw/debris clean-up to chaplaincy ministry, Oklahoma Baptist DR teams are already making an impact in hard hit areas of the state.

Jason Yarbrough, Oklahoma Baptist DR state director, said, “We will serve our neighbors and communities in need. We want to bring hope and help in this difficult time.” He highlighted the following ways DR will be making an impact:

  • Oklahoma Baptist DR volunteers are preparing food that will be served to residents in Sulphur and Ardmore, with the expectation of helping other communities, as well.
  • The state Incident Command Center has been established at the DR TEAM Center near Okarche. Command centers also have been set up at Sulphur, Calvary and in Morris.
  • DR teams include feeding, chain saw/recovery and assessors. Chaplains are accompanying all teams.
  • The Oklahoma Baptist DR website is activated where storm victims may request assistance: okdisasterhelp.org.

Yarbrough is also in close communication with other relief organizations, including communicating with other Baptist state DR directors in the event additional DR volunteers from other Baptist organizations are needed throughout the duration of the response.

Todd Fisher, executive director-treasurer for Oklahoma Baptists, highlighted the importance of Oklahoma Baptist relief efforts and expressed compassion for the affected communities and individuals.

“I spent (hours) talking to pastors and directors of missions in the storm-affected areas of our state,” said Fisher. “This was a significant event in many communities—loss of life, loss of homes and businesses, extensive damage. We need to pray. Our pastors are in the middle of it. Some talked to me while making sandwiches for workers. Some already had a chainsaw in their hands.

“The April 27 storms have caused significant damage in a number of areas across our state. Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is already hard at work. We need to pray for these pastors as they lead and minister in trying times. Though difficult, there are great opportunities for the Gospel—to serve people in Jesus’ name and point them to the hope found only in Christ. Pray for those grieving, for those who lost their homes and businesses/places of work. Pray for first responders, utility crews, our DR relief teams and others serving people in this time. The Oklahoma Standard is that we weather any storm and sacrificially help one another. God bless our people and communities.”

People can make a tax-deductible financial donation to Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief to help storm victims and relief efforts. Go to www.okdisasterhelp.org/donate.


This story first appeared in The Baptist Messenger.