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Middle Tennessee Free Will Baptists Hit Hard By Flood

On May 1 – 2, 2010, Middle Tennessee experienced the worst flood in its recorded history. Nashville was among the worst cities affected by the flood. The flood waters entered churches, downtown businesses, homes, the Opryland Hotel and even the Tennessee Titans football stadium (LP Field). Several Free Will Baptists churches received significant damage and Randall House had nine inches of water in their printing room. A fund has been established by the Tennessee State Association’s Promotional Office. If you or your church would like to help, please send all gifts to the Tennessee State Association of Free Will Baptists, Ray Lewis, Treasurer, 4132 Highlander Court, Antioch, TN 37013. Mark your gifts for the “Tennessee Disaster Fund.” The Executive Committee will administer the fund. The following statements will give some indication of the damage to the effect of the flood.

The Donelson Fellowship Free Will Baptist Church

TDF sustained 6-12 inches or more of water in all lower levels of our structure. Our estimate to repair the damage is in excess of $200,000. Approximately 27 families in our church were directly affected by the flood, and about 17-18 of those had significant damage to their homes. At least 10 have been displaced from their homes, and it is possible that the federal government may not let them rebuild, or may require them to jack their homes above the flood plain. This may be too costly for some of these families, but it could be days before we know the final outcome. A lot of the families in this part of town were employed by Gaylord (Opryland Hotel, Grand Ole Opry, Opry Mills, etc.) and lost their homes, vehicles and jobs all in one day.

So we’ve been a busy church for these last few weeks, but we’ve been a blessed church. God has poured out way more blessings on us than the devastation the deluge inundated us with. Executive Assistant, Sherry Anderson

Rejoice Free Will Baptist Church

Our church sustained a little over $11,000.00 in damages. We did not have flood insurance. We had 4 families suffer damage, but nothing catastrophic. Pastor Clifford D. Donoho

Randall House Publications

It is too early to tell about out losses. We should know total loss in the next two weeks once all invoices are in from workers, parts, services etc. I am hoping we have it down to around $100,000 to $125,000. Ron Hunter, CEO/General Director

Cofer’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church

Cofer’s Chapel had about 2-3 inches of standing water in the downstairs area which houses nearly all of our classrooms, our offices, and Fellowship Hall. An estimated cost of repair for the rooms, items unsalvageable, carpet replaced, etc is about $20,000. Our parking lot was also damaged from the flood and those repairs can be anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000. We had only two families affected by the flood and we are working to get them items they need. We are thankful to God that the damage was not worse and we know that He has a perfect plan for our church and that He will receive glory through all of this. Jenny Hawkins, Administrative Assistant

First Free Will Baptist Church, Dickson

Our church didn’t get hurt too badly. My office and my associate pastor’s office were both flooded. We had another family that lost a car and one who had damage to their basement, but overall God spared our folks from the worst of it. We praise Him for that. Pastor, Eddie Thomas

Cross Timbers Free Will Baptist Church

We had three families who were completely flooded out, several others who had minor flooding. On several occasions we had groups (including our youth group) go out and minister to the needy. We will continue to give to this cause, both in labor and financially. Pastor, Paul Harrison

LaVergne Free Will Baptist Church

Other than a member losing a car and a few being stranded we have not been affected. We have had several in our church volunteer for relief work and we are planning fund raising to assist those affected by the flood. Pastor, Stephen Marcum

Rock Springs Free Will Baptist Church

Rock Springs Church was not hit as hard as some other churches, yet not totally untouched. One of our “occasional attending” families, lived on the bank the Cumberland River and was forced out of their home. Fortunately, it was a rental house, so the extent of the damage was at least limited to some of their possessions. A few of our folks are employed at the water heater plant in Ashland City, and were out of work for varying amounts of time. Beyond that, it was mostly inconvenience that we suffered. We are blessed. Pastor, Mark Kennedy

Cumberland Youth Camp

We were blessed here at Cumberland Youth Camp to only experience minimal damage. All of our buildings survived without damage. The creek through our property overflowed its banks and covered our bridge. The water has not receded enough yet for a full assessment, but it appears that there is no new damage (it was damaged by a flood a few years ago). The only real damage we suffered was having some of our roads gullied by the heavy rain. In a few areas the water went across the road, washing the gravel into the Mississippi! It appears that they will require some heavy plowing (know anyone with a spare motor grader?) and maybe the addition of some gravel. It does appear that the flood has caused some of our campers to send in their camp registrations a little late. But we are still expecting good numbers of campers each week. We continue to pray for those who have suffered much more. Stan Coker, Cumberland Youth Camp