Mississippi UM Tornado Relief Underway


Register to Attend Disaster Academy

Photo right: The Missouri Annual Conference disaster team pictured in Columbia, Mississippi.

Photo below right: Columbia First UMC members prepared meals to go out to survivors.  Over 200 meals have been prepared since the day of the storm.
Mississippi United Methodists are working closely with community leaders to help those impacted by recent tornadoes. Twisters struck one day before Christmas Eve 2014 in Columbia and again, two weeks later, in Lauderdale County. Prayer over the situation was the first call to action followed by Early Response Teams from the Mississippi Annual Conference who helped put tarps on homes. Columbia was hit the hardest with federal emergency management reporting almost 60 homes destroyed and over 100 homes affected with major or minor impact.  
On the day after Christmas a load of 100 clean-up buckets, 600 health kits, and 13 tarps were delivered to Columbia from the Mississippi Disaster Response Depot in Saucier. Local volunteers unloaded the supplies at Columbia First UMC for distribution to the whole community through the assistance of Rev. Keith Gaughf, Rev. Selber McShelbert, and Rev. Greg Pittman and the churches they serve.  Gaughf of Columbia First UMC, took time to even instruct fellow Columbia residents with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) roof tarping process.
The call for volunteers extended beyond Mississippi, with United Methodists traveling from as far as Missouri to join the disaster response ministry. Volunteers were also needed to assist with manning a donation center, for data entry, and to work on water lines and pumps.  
Pictures from the Columbia storm damage are on the conference facebook page, The Mississippi United Methodist Conference.  
This current disaster response comes as the Mississippi Conference is preparing to host the Southeastern Jurisdiction Disaster Academy alongside the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) February 23-25, 2015, at Seashore Assembly in Biloxi.  
There are currently 86 people from 13 states registered for the disaster academy. Anyone interested in attending can click here for more information. Pre-registration is required to participate.  
To find out how you can give the gift of time or money to support United Methodist disaster response, click here.