ABHMS seeks volunteers for two rebuilding efforts in Rainelle, W.Va.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is seeking volunteers to help rebuild flood-ravaged Rainelle, W.Va., during two efforts planned for June 10-17 and 17-24.

Last year, the “Mountain State” experienced record-breaking flooding.

For congregants of First Baptist Church (FBC), Rainelle, June 23, 2016, was expected to be just another day of vacation Bible school. To their shock, 11 inches of rain fell on Rainelle in a mere two hours, and residents were forced to flee their homes.

FBC Pastor David M. Bush and member Randy Tincher found themselves in a raft, rescuing another FBC parishioner from her front porch, and, later, wading waist deep into the four-feet-seven-inches of water that had accumulated on the church’s first floor.

However, as church members and other Rainelle area residents soon discovered, “the rain” was just a precursor to “the reign.”

“It didn’t just rain water in our town,” Bush explains. “The reign of Christ was seen all around, as help started to pour in.”

That help included a $10,000 One Great Hour of Sharing Domestic Emergency Disaster Relief Grant awarded by ABHMS on behalf of American Baptist Churches (ABC) USA to ABC of West Virginia.

“The aftermath of June 23, 2016—which brought massive amounts of water and destruction—also brought with it a massive amount of service from the body of Christ,” said Bush. “People from across the board denominationally have come together over what unites us—the love of a savior found in servant’s clothes. For this, we are eternally grateful to be a part of the body of Christ.”

Perhaps George Brooks, an FBC deacon, summed it best: “God filled the valley with water, but His love is much deeper.”

For more information about participating in “Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing…Rainelle, W.Va.,” contact Victoria Goff, ABHMS national coordinator of Volunteer-mobilization Ministries, at Victoria.Goff@abhms.org or 800.222.3872, x2449.