How you can help: Disaster recovery in West Virginia and Indiana

Severe storms in Indiana and West Virginia June 23-24 have caused significant damage in two American Baptist regions now in need of prayer and relief/recovery efforts.

In Indiana, the storm’s force destroyed buildings, disrupted utilities and closed roadways in and around Brookston, designated in a state of emergency. Federated Church of Brookston, an American Baptist congregation, is serving as a hub for relief activities, including American Red Cross efforts.

Heavy rain that crossed West Virginia particularly impacted the state’s central and southern regions. The number of American Baptist churches damaged by the flooding is still to be determined, but several have confirmed major damage.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) Disaster Relief office has released $10,000 in One Great Hour of Sharing funds to the West Virginia Baptist Convention and $2,500 to American Baptist Churches of Indiana/Kentucky for coordination of community recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Many West Virginia churches have begun to collect supplies to aid in recovery and cleanup efforts; hundreds of volunteers have joined to help those in need. The West Virginia American Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief team has been deployed to Rainelle, W.Va., where the team is headquartered at First Baptist Church.

Donations of food, water, cleaning supplies, diapers, paper goods and even pet food are needed for the West Virginia recovery effort. The following locations are collecting and distributing supplies: Big Clear Creek Baptist Church, Rupert; Rainelle Baptist Church, Rainelle; Summersville Baptist Church, Summersville (also serving as a shelter and volunteer host site); Shuck Memorial Baptist Church, Lewisburg (also volunteer host site); and Smith Grocery, Clendenin. Churches receiving donations for flood relief efforts include Vienna Baptist, Clarksburg Baptist, Ravenswood Baptist and Sutton Baptist.

Here’s what you can do:

PRAY for those impacted by these storms, and


  • Contribute cleaning supplies, food, water, paper goods, diapers and pet food at one of the collection sites. For assistance finding a drop site, call the West Virginia Baptist Convention office at 800-879-9822.
  • Congregations and individuals can contribute through their church Monthly Report of Mission Support, designating gifts to “One Great Hour of Sharing: West Virginia Floods” or “One Great Hour of Sharing: Indiana Floods.”
  • Give online, noting “OGHS – WV Floods” or “OGHS – IN Floods” in the comments section.
  • Mail a contribution to American Baptist Home Mission Societies, Attn: Kim Wilkins, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851.
  • Mail a contribution to West Virginia Baptist Convention, P.O. Box 1019, Parkersburg, WV 26102 (FLOOD).

One hundred percent of donations support relief efforts; no portion of contributions is retained for administrative costs.

ABHMS will coordinate a national call for volunteers to help with recovery when needs are more clearly identified; watch for information about these upcoming mission opportunities.

For more information, contact Kim Wilkins at 1-800-222-3872, x2413, or