Baptists Gather to Honor Relief Workers

( [email protected] ) May 12, 2004 05:28 PM EDT

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. — More than 300 leaders from state Baptist conventions across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico gathered for the 2004 Disaster Relief Roundtable meeting April 27-29 at First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn. to honor relief workers.

Baptist Press reported that eight Southern Baptist Disaster Relief workers have been recognized for their commitment and sacrifice in disaster relief efforts across North America and the world.

About 28,500 trained volunteers are part of the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief network nationwide. The disaster relief units are operated by state conventions, local associations and churches and are coordinated nationally by the North American Mission Board.

Following is the list of relief worker who were awarded:

Larry Koch, who has served as the disaster relief director for the Kentucky Baptist Convention since 1997, was presented the 2004 “Robert E. Dixon Award.” The award is named in honor of the pioneer of the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief ministry. Many Baptist leaders at the convention testified his leadership during the time of 9/11 attack.

Larry Murphy, the Alabama Baptist Convention’s disaster relief coordinator, and Tim Bearden, the Tennessee Baptist Convention mission mobilization group leader, received the “Outstanding Service Award.”

Four disaster relief ministry leaders – Jerry Butler from Alabama, Dick Leonard from Florida, Bernard Randall and Terry Shinkle from Kentucky and Ken Norton from South Carolina -- were presented the “Distinguished Service Award”:

The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams have been actively serving the world and the nation during the times of disaster and have provided both physical and spiritual need for the victims. In 2003, nearly 13,000 Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers responded to 176 disasters and prepared more than 1.5 million meals.