ABHMS calls for prayers and response to Hurricane Beryl

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 07/10/2024)—Though Hurricane Beryl was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane before reaching Texas, the storm still wreaked havoc after making landfall. Devastating winds, rain and resultant flooding have claimed ten lives across Texas and Louisiana to date, a number expected to increase, and caused widespread power outages affecting millions.

“We knew about predictions that a severe hurricane season would begin earlier this year,” said the Rev. Lisa Harris Lee, director of Healing & Transforming Communities at American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS). “We learned of the storm damage in Texas and Louisiana from a weekly leadership meeting that Dr. James Harrison, executive minister of American Baptist Churches of the South, convenes.”

Commenting on the aftermath of Beryl, the Rev. Dr. Jacques Denkins, senior pastor of Blessed Hope Baptist Church and a minister to senior adults at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, both in Houston, Texas, said, “We were still recovering from the flooding caused by storms in late May, and now we are contending with the additional destruction of flooding from Hurricane Beryl.”

Denkins also prays for a rapid restoration of electric power, unlike what Texans experienced just weeks ago. “Parts of the greater Houston area were without power after [the May] storm for five days.” However, the harm from a similar delay could be much more significant following Beryl as summertime temperatures soar.

Starting as a tropical storm, Hurricane Beryl strengthened explosively on its ruinous journey across the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Said Harris Lee: “We are including in our prayers those in Jamaica, Barbados, St. Vincents, Grenadines, and Mexico who experienced great destruction.”

Through One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS), your donations are directed to the designated disaster areas in the United States and Puerto Rico within weeks of an event to address immediate needs and often for years afterward as additional needs emerge. All your gifts will make a difference in the lives of people we may or may not know and show the love of God where and when it is needed most.

The World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA administers OGHS. The committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work, and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing the distribution of the annual OGHS offering received by churches.

How you can help:

Please join American Baptists in supporting the relief efforts directed toward those affected by Hurricane Beryl and its aftermath. One hundred percent of designated OGHS gifts are allocated to domestic disaster relief.

You can donate via your church or directly online.

Checks designated to OGHS–Southern Storms and Floods–Beryl should be mailed to ABHMS’ Office of Development, care of Kim Wilkins, 1075 First Avenue, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406. If intended, donor checks should also include the name of the donor’s church and the name Beryl in the memo section of the check to ensure that the church receives credit for the gift.

To learn more about ABHMS, visit abhms.org.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.