Over the past week, Texas has been hit by a winter storm that has left many millions without electricity for hours or days in below-freezing temperatures. In response, Texas Baptist churches across the state have opened their doors and provided resources for those who have been affected. Read how these churches are sharing Christ and showing love in the updates below, which highlight just a few of the many churches helping their communities.
Meeting needs in DeSoto
At Community Missionary Baptist Church (CMBC) of DeSoto, the church has opened their facilities as a registered secondary shelter and emergency rescue center. The church is providing food, showers and shelter to anyone who is in need, including families whose homes are without electricity and the local homeless population. In order to comply with COVID-19 regulations, the church has placed families in their own individual rooms when possible.
Despite the overwhelming amount of need the church faces, Lynn Harper, young adults pastor at CMBC, praised the Lord for giving the church the resources to continue serving people. He explained that community and service has always been at the heart of CMBC’s mission.
“The root of our ministry is community-style fellowship, like Acts 2, which says, ‘so that none would have need.’ So for us this service is not a disposition that started from this snow storm, because community has always been in the forefront of our hearts and our pastor’s heart,” he said.
Providing a warming station in Richardson
First Baptist Church of Richardson has partnered with the City of Richardson to provide a warming station for the community. Families were encouraged to come and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and coffee as they warm up and charge their devices. They may also stay the night in the activity center, where cots and blankets have been set up. Missions Pastor Ron Evans wants the church to be a respite from the stress and harsh conditions many have had to endure, somewhere people can relax and temporarily forget about the storm’s problems.
Keith Lowry, discipleship pastor at FBC Richardson, explained that there are families that have been without power for two days or more in below-freezing temperatures, and that providing a space for warmth is essential for peoples’ health. Whenever there are needs in the community, FBC Richardson follows Jesus’ command in Matthew 25:40, “‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
The church will continue to serve as a warming station until it is no longer needed.
Offering food and comfort in Conroe
In Conroe, Under Over Fellowship has been providing shelter to over 60 people since Sunday, when the city contacted them about opening as a warming center. They serve three meals a day to those staying at the facilities, and have also expanded to delivering hot meals to families and individuals in areas with no power or water, including a community of elderly residents.
Under Over Fellowship’s pastor Jerry Vineyard shared one story of an elderly woman in nearby Montgomery, who called the church to say that her electricity had gone out. She was frightened that the frigid temperatures could seriously injure her and her two pets. Vineyard was able to locate a propane heater and drove on icy roads to deliver it to her. Since then, the church has checked in on the woman daily, replacing the propane and providing hot meals for her.
“I think it is a prime opportunity for the Gospel. Anytime there is a crisis, people are looking for an answer. And we have the greatest answer to any problem: Jesus,” Vineyard said. “The greatest blessing that comes from all of this is that God allows us to serve. He allows us to be a part of His work.”
For more information about Texas Baptist congregations serving in the midst of the storm, individuals are encouraged to reach out to local authorities or others coordinating nearby relief efforts. To find a Texas Baptists church in your area, you may search the convention’s “Church Search” tool here, or contact your region’s Texas Baptists Area Representation here.