ABHMS aids Bacone College disaster recovery with One Great Hour of Sharing grant

fc_BaconeCollegeClassroom2_200wBacone College, Muskogee, Okla., is putting to good use a $20,000 Emergency Grant provided by American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ Disaster Response ministry from American Baptist Churches USA’s One Great Hour of Sharing funds. Founded in 1880, the American Baptist-related institution suffered damage from torrential rain, gale-force winds and severe flooding during the Christmas season.

Damaged areas of the college include the 95-year-old Samuel Richard Memorial Hall, the chapel, administrative offices, classrooms and dormitories. Mold resulted because the moisture went undetected while employees and students were offsite for holiday break.

According to Dr. Leroy W. Thompson, Bacone’s vice president of Christian Ministry and assistant professor of religion, a portion of the grant will be used to pay for SERVPRO’s professional services in Memorial Hall—specifically, drying wet areas, recycling air and removing contaminants.

Thompson says reconstruction has not yet begun, but rubble removal is under way. Costs are estimated at $300,000.

“The entrance area to the president’s office is now open,” says Thompson. “However, all of the affected offices and classrooms are still blocked, and that part of the building is shut down.”

Chapel restoration is expected to cost an additional $100,000, as estimated by the building’s original architect.

“A stained glass window was blown out, and torrents of rain poured in,” Thompson says. “The building is in use, but pieces of the interior steeple wall are missing, mold is running down the interior steeple walls and floor tiles are popping up from the water damage.”

Donations designated to “One Great Hour of Sharing—Oklahoma Flooding” can be mailed to the attention of Kim Wilkins at American Baptist Home Mission Societies, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851. One hundred percent of donations go to relief efforts; no dollars are retained for administrative costs. For more information, contact Wilkins at 1-800-222-3872, x2413, or kim.wilkins@abhms.org.