FERGUSON – The power of a tornado takes minutes to destroy a town, but the impact on the survivors lasts a lifetime. First Baptist Church of Ferguson is working with fire departments and the city of Ferguson to support the survivors of the Mayfield, Ky., tornado.
Doug Inman, FBC associate pastor of missions and youth, is also a firefighter in his community of Orchard Farm and the chaplain for the Ferguson fire department.
“A fellow firefighter from Orchard Farm said he was willing to drive donations to Kentucky,” Inman said. “He said, ‘I’ll supply the gas, if I can get a trailer.’ We have him covered. We have an enclosed trailer and we wanted to help with the donations too.”
Inman put the notice requesting donations on the church page, the city page and his personal page and it was not long until he had lots of items coming into the church.
“Church members brought items, but it was even more amazing to see so many people from the community bringing in items that we want to get down to Kentucky before Christmas,” Inman continued. “We want to thank the community because they went all out and brought in more than I imagined.”
Employees of the city of Ferguson have been in touch with contacts in Mayfield. They discovered that the survivors of the tornado were in the nearby hotels and motels. In addition, insurance workers and FEMA employees are also taking over the area rooms.
“We want to help,” Inman said, “so, we are taking 10-15 people and two vans down in January. The city of Ferguson will send employees and donations to Mayfield at the same time, and we will make up Team Ferguson.”
Inman and volunteers from church have been working as Engage NOCO to beautify and cleanup the city. The Engage NOCO van is outfitted with equipment that will aid doing the job that Inman outlined.
“We will be cleaning up,” he said, “We want to clear trees and debris to clear lots to the foundation so that insurance companies can get homes and businesses back up. We want to help them get things going.”
Inman and the church do a lot for the community through cooperation with the city and elected officials. “We’ve really worked hard to build bridges between the city and the church. We team up to work on many projects. It is important to earn their trust. It enables us to reach out into the community and to love up on people.”
Inman is excited to use the January mission trip to Mayfield to share Jesus with people.
“When we went to Texas as Team Harvey to clean up after the hurricane,” he said, “our people had lots of opportunity to share. There are many ways people are brought down, but this gives us the opportunity to lift them up and love on them. We are able to carry out our mission ‘To Love God, Love Others and to Engage the community.’”