MBC Disaster Relief chainsaw gang responds after Lawrence County storm
By Bob Baysinger
June 8, 2004
MT. VERNON – A new Missouri Baptist Convention disaster relief chain saw unit working out of the Spring River Baptist Association saw its first action May 25 when a storm swept through Lawrence County, while another veteran team out of St. Joseph responded to Albany after severe weather caused damage there.
The storm leveled a large tree and several large limbs at the Baptist Hill Campground and also knocked down another large tree at the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home in Mt. Vernon.
The new chain saw unit deployed a crew of 13 men representing nine churches. Workers included: Bill Blevins, Calvary Baptist, Carthage; Lee Sandtorf, College View Baptist, Joplin; Robert Dopp, Connor Mission, Joplin; Randy Sisco, First Baptist, Carterville; Ted Baugh, Bob Pennington and Joe Higgins, First Baptist, Carthage; Ron Crow, North Main Street, Joplin, Steve Patterson, Spring River Director of Missions, First Baptist, Carl Junction; Gene Needham, First Baptist, Reeds; Paul Case, Max Case and Scott Case, Warren’s Branch Baptist, Seneca.
“This was our first opportunity for our unit to be called out,” said Ron Crow, disaster relief director for the Spring River Association. “All seemed to go very well with great response from our men on short notice.”
The new unit received its safety training May 8. Crow said the group will receive Red Cross training in the near future.
“It’s great to see this new unit off and running,” he said. “It’s a great addition to the Missouri Baptist Convention and North American Mission Board disaster relief ministry to have a chain saw unit in southwest Missouri.”
Meanwhile, the St. Joseph-based team responded to the town of Albany and spent parts of two days assisting in cleanup efforts in several yards that had downed tree limbs.
“It looked like the worst part of these storms hit in the rural areas,” said Gary Morrow, head of MBC Disaster Relief. “If they had hit in the city it might have caused as much damage as the tornadoes did last year.”
American Red Cross and Salvation Army snack units took care of food needs in the Albany area, which had several buildings damaged. No serious injuries were reported, he said.