By John Hall, Contributing Writer
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.”
Everything except the congregation’s belief in God. In the wake of the storm, God continues to meet the church’s needs in remarkable ways. 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. Later this week, a tractor trailer full of supplies is coming from New Jersey.
“Pine Drive Church is in great shape,” Duck said. “It’s the facilities that need some work.”
The latest help is coming from First Baptist Church in Mineola, which recently 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 churches wanting to help with churches needing help following 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 church’s missions committee. “As a whole, the church wanted to do something in the areas that are being overlooked.”
“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 FBC Mineola’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.”
She continued, “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.”
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, God is blessing immensely, Duck said. Pine Drive Baptist Church is hoping to improve its facilities through the rebuild so it can better serve its community.
“The help means everything to us. 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,” Duck said.
He continued, “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.”
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