Above: DR team members help a resident in San Marcos, Texas after Hurricane Patricia struck in 2015
Southern Baptists have multiple designated days of emphasis on the calendar, including Baptism Sunday, Cooperative Program Sunday and the Lottie Moon Week of Prayer for International Missions.
One day of emphasis gaining additional notice highlights one of the most well-known ministries of Southern Baptists—Disaster Relief Appreciation Sunday.
On Sunday, June 5, Oklahoma Baptist and Southern Baptist churches across the convention will have the opportunity to highlight Disaster Relief (DR) ministry and the thousands of church members who serve as DR team members.
On that Sunday, DR team members often wear their signature yellow apparel to church services, which can include times of recognizing volunteers, prayer and highlighting the need to support DR financially.
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief State Director Don Williams talked about the uniqueness of Oklahoma in DR ministry.
“On this appreciation Sunday, we hope churches across this state will take a portion of their service to recognize this strategic ministry assignment God has given us,” Williams said. “Oklahoma Baptist DR has been a leader in terms of serving and giving. It is vitally important that even more people rally around this ministry to pray, serve and give.”
In 2023, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Since it was founded in 1973, Oklahoma Baptists’ disaster relief operation has trained and mobilized more than 5,200 volunteers who have served in nearly every major disaster recovery effort, including a response to 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and major tornadoes in Moore and other parts of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma Baptist DR has prepared hundreds of thousands of meals, helped thousands of property owners in distress and shared the Gospel with victims of disasters. Most recently, Oklahoma Baptist DR has been serving in Seminole, in the aftermath of devastating tornadoes, and saw at least one profession of faith
“We are blessed to have a wonderful group of team members who work hard, serving people in need, all to share the Gospel,” Williams added.
Visit okdisasterhelp.org for photos, videos or information about Oklahoma Baptist DR, or to make a financial donation.
Fast facts about Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR)
- Oklahoma Baptist DR was established in 1973, and its founding director is Laddie Adams. The ministry will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.
- More than 5,000 Oklahoma Baptists are trained volunteers with Disaster Relief, and since 2014 alone, volunteers have spent a combined 55,329 days serving.
- Oklahoma DR team members have served in nearly every major disaster recovery effort since its founding, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and major tornadoes in Moore and other areas. Most Oklahoma Baptist Associations have DR equipment and trained teams to assist in a disaster.
- During the 2013 Moore tornado relief, more than 8,000 individuals donated to Oklahoma Baptist DR efforts.
- In 2017, Oklahoma Baptists dedicated a new disaster relief center on a 17-acre property near Okarche, which stores DR equipment, as well as serves as a launching pad and training center.
- According to Don Williams, state director of Oklahoma Baptist DR, since 2014, the ministry has prepared more than 700,000 meals, made 29,821 ministry contacts, seen 310 professions of faith and distributed more than 1,400 Bibles.