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Churches ramp up relief efforts for storm areas

Tropical Weather-25

Authorities evacuate a family from rising waters caused by Florence, now a tropical storm, on Saturday in New Bern. Area churches are ramping up relief efforts for areas bearing the brunt of the storm.

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Saturday, September 15, 2018

With southeastern North Carolina and parts of South Carolina now feeling the dire effects of Tropical Storm Florence, area churches have already started ramping up relief efforts.

Dwayne Stallings, who is active in N.C. Baptist Men relief work, said on Saturday that the group is still in the planning stages but he expects to start getting information soon about ways Baptists can assist in the recovery.

Dan Smith, an administrator at Mid-Atlantic Christian University, posted on social media a suggestion that people donate storm supplies they bought but didn’t have to use to the relief effort. He said MACU will be working with local churches and Milligan College, a Christian college in Tennessee, to send help and supplies as soon as roads in flooded areas open.

Smith said there are MACU alumni in New Bern, Jacksonville and Wilmington who are helping coordinate the effort. Churches are invited to join MACU in the response, Smith said.

The N.C. Conference of the United Methodist Church, meanwhile, has requested that congregations take up offerings to help with recovery from Hurricane Florence. United Methodist congregations also are being asked to create hygiene kits and cleaning kits that will be kept at local churches until they can be transported to storm-impacted areas.

The Rev. Michael Williams, pastor at Moyock United Methodist Church, said he will be discussing the church’s role in the relief effort with church members on Sunday. He said he plans to be active in the response and welcomes anyone in the Currituck area interested in helping with the relief effort to contact the church office at 435-6920.

Perquimans County residents are also being urged to pray and donate items for hurricane victims.

Bagley Swamp Wesleyan Church is asking for non-perishable foods, bottled water, diapers, baby wipes, flashlights, blankets, towels, washcloths, personal hygiene products and first aid kits on Sunday. It plans to send them to churches in the affected areas, said Todd Kemp, the youth pastor at the church. The church is located at 402 Bagley Swamp Road and can be reached by phone at 426-2792. Items will be sent through World Hope International which can provide the transportation, Kemp said.

Pastor Carroll Bundy of New Hope United Methodist Church sent out a call for people to gather at the Perquimans County Courthouse at noon Monday for prayer.

“We plan to greet one another in Christian fellowship for about five minutes and then join in prayer for our community, for our emergency services, school systems and legal systems for all the people and church families,” Bundy said.

The prayer portion is expected to last for 10 or 20 minutes.

To find more information about hygiene and cleaning kits, visit www.umcor.org/umcor/relief-supplies/relief-supply-kits/hygiene and www.umcor.org/umcor/relief-supplies/relief-supply-kits/cleaning.

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