DICKINSON—The devastation sustained by Pine Drive Baptist Church in Dickinson can be summed up with one word: Total.
“We’ve got a sanctuary,” Pastor Ted Duck said. “Then we have a separate building that’s a gymnasium/activity center. Then we have a Christian school, which is where our offices are. We got 51 inches of water. It wiped out everything we have—everything.”
God meets needs
Everything except the congregation’s trust in God. In the wake of the storm, God continues to meet the church’s needs in remarkable ways, Duck noted.
Congregations from across Texas and scattered across the United States have donated money, materials and time to help the church rebuild and recover.
Many times Duck isn’t even sure how groups and churches hear about Pine Drive Baptist Church’s needs. Leaders simply call. A tractor-trailer rig filled with supplies is scheduled to arrive soon from New Jersey.
“Pine Drive Church is in great shape,” Duck said. “It’s the facilities that need some work.”
Build a relationship
Recently, First Baptist Church in Mineola committed to walk alongside Pine Drive Baptist Church through its long-term recovery. The two congregations were connected through Texas Baptists’ Church2Church Partnership effort, which brings together congregations wanting to help other churches affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“It’s not that close, but we have a lot of people who have friends and family on the coast. We know those personal stories,” said Sarah Neely, who is on the East Texas church’s missions committee. “As a whole, the church wanted to do something in the areas that are being overlooked.”
First Baptist Church wanted to do more than just send money or supplies for general relief.
“We thought that the Church2Church Partnership would be better because you could build a relationship and help in an area,” said Elizabeth Burnett, chairwoman of the Mineola congregation’s missions committee.
The East Texas church is helping with resources, volunteers and prayer. A partnership gives the entire congregation a chance to get involved in the recovery effort. Members already have given money. They’re collecting furniture. Even the children in the church are collecting toys for families who lost theirs in the storm.
“As a missions committee it’s very rewarding for us to see the results of the mission work,” Neely said. “Because it’s a long-term relationship, you get to see the difference you make.
“With our little experience in disaster relief, we realized this is a better model. We get to focus our efforts in one area and see the impact we will have.”
Help with facility and with church members’ needs
First Baptist Church is looking forward to serving Pine Drive Baptist Church and serving with them.
“When I talked to the pastor, not only is the church damaged, 80 percent of the membership is displaced,” Burnett said. “Hopefully, we can help not only with the church’s needs, but with members as well.”
Through congregations like First Baptist Church in Mineola, God is blessing immensely, Duck said. Pine Drive Baptist Church hopes to improve its facilities through the rebuild so it can better serve its community.
“The help means everything to us,” Duck said. “The most important thing is when I’m reporting to people what people have given from Texas, Missouri, Tennessee and others, they’re going to know that God is providing.
“It’s really exciting to see God moving. That’s what they need to see. They’re the church. It’s First Baptist Mineola. It’s First Baptist College Station. It’s Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Sanger. It’s Central Baptist Church in Deer Park. It’s Cana Baptist Church in Burleson. It’s First Baptist Church in Coushatta, La. It’s Glen Meadows Baptist Church in San Angelo.”
To learn more about how to partner with a church affected by Hurricane Harvey, visit Texas Baptists’ Harvey Response page and click on Church2Church Partnerships.