On any given Saturday each fall, you can find groups of people in orange and black attire in Stillwater, and crimson and cream in Norman gathered for a ballgame.
On Saturday, Oct. 21, in Okarche, a group of people dressed in yellow were gathered for another kind of special occasion.
Leaders with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) and the BGCO’s Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) assembled for the dedication ceremony of the new Facility.
Among those in attendance were Anthony L. Jordan, BGCO Executive Director-Treasurer; Laddie Adams, former director of the BGCO brotherhood and DR; Sam Porter, former BGCO DR director and current Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Director; and Don Williams, current BGCO DR director, among many DR volunteers and supporters.
Standing in front of the Facility, which is located off Northwest Expressway near Okarche, Jordan talked about how the center is an answer to prayer.
“We thank God for providing this place of ministry for disaster relief, which has offered help and hope to so many people who are hurting through these years,” Jordan said. “We honor people like Laddie Adams, in whom God originally put a vision for disaster relief ministry in Oklahoma years ago.”
The Facility will house DR equipment, offer space for training sessions and other events, as well as feature a kitchen and serving area. Jordan announced that the DR Facility was named the Samuel R. Porter Facility. He also announced other buildings on the property that were named in people’s honor, including the Laddie Adams Building and the Dick and Peggy Blodgett training room.
Jordan thanked the donors who made possible the purchase and remodel of the building possible, as well as those who helped in the renovation. Many Oklahoma Baptist DR volunteers served hundreds of hours in renovating the building, prior to the dedication ceremony.
Alan Quigley, BGCO Mobilization Team leader, spoke about the spiritual impact of Oklahoma Baptist DR.
“Since this ministry was founded, there have been nearly 8,000 volunteers trained, more than 4.5 million meals prepared and more than 150 disasters to which Oklahoma Baptists have responded in 27 states and 18 foreign nations,” Quigley said. “From hurricanes to tornadoes to wildfires to floods, Oklahoma Baptists have been there for people when they need us most.”
Porter thanked his predecessor Adams and the many people who served with him during his nearly 20-year tenure with the BGCO. “Early in my ministry, God gave me a heart to reach people for Jesus by serving them through Disaster Relief. It’s been an honor to serve with Oklahoma Baptists through the years,” Porter
said, also sharing personal stories from his DR work. “From disasters ranging from the tornadoes of 1999 and 2013, to 9/11 and later Hurricane Katrina, God has used our volunteers to share the love of Christ through service.”
Williams addressed the great DR legacy Oklahoma has and thanked the volunteers for their faithful service. He voiced the dedication prayer, which was followed by a lunch prepared by DR volunteers.
One of the volunteers in attendance was Gary McKen, pastor of Haskell, First.
“This facility is so fantastic. I remember the days of staying in tents and having to find pots and pans to cook,” said McKen. “To know that God has provided this launching pad for ministry and all of the equipment is such a blessing, and I pray that we will continue to be able to serve people in their times of need.”
To support or find out more information about Oklahoma Baptist DR, visit www.okdisasterhelp.org.