Video: Chickasaw County Twister Causes Church To Organize ‘Rapid Response’ Team
HOUSTON, Miss. (WCBI) — Five years ago, Parkway Baptist Church Pastor Rudy Rinehart and Church member Bruce Mixon had a lot to do, and talking with a reporter wasn’t on the list.
A massive tornado tore through the county the afternoon of April 27, 2011.
Dr Rinehart and Mixon went to work, along with other members from the Houston church, doing whatever they could to help.
“Because of the response of the tornado and everything that went on, five minutes after winds stopped blowing, every chainsaw was cranked,” Dr. Rinehart said.
In the aftermath of the deadly twister, Mixon wanted to have some sort of organized response for future disasters. He mentioned it at Parkway’s monthly Brotherhood Breakfast.
“The first few hours are the most critical for saving lives, especially and there’s a need for that,that’s what started me thinking and the Lord putting it on my heart. Everybody seemed to be on board and within ten days, or so I probably had 40 names on my list of people willing to volunteer and now I think I’m up to 54,” said Mixon.
The effort has become a rapid response team called Brotherhood Emergency Response Team, or BERT. They coordinate all assistance through the local Emergency Management Agency, and the ministry has expanded to other churches.
“We welcome anybody who wants to volunteer from any of the other churches in our area,” Mixon said.
Members of BERT have helped repair homes, and they installed a ramp at this house for a church member who is wheelchair bound. They pray disaster doesn’t strike, but stand ready, in case they are needed.
“In the process of meeting needs, whether giving out food through our food pantry , and emergency work we did, or cleaning yards or putting tarps on roofs, you have the opportunity to show the love of Jesus and to tell people about the love of Jesus,” said Dr. Rinehart.
BERT is looking for volunteers and donors. If you would like more information, you can call the church at 662 456 2745 or write to Parkway Baptist Church at PO Box 574 Houston, Mississippi 38851