Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Baptist Laymen Repairs Homes After the Storm

Veteran Billy Metts and the Baptist Layman of, Canton, Biloxi, Olive Branch, Madison and Louisville, MS completed repairs to the home of a disabled woman and her 3 disabled adult sons. Her husband is a patient at Louisville Health Care Nursing Home. Their home received major damage from the EF4 Tornado that devastated Winston County on April 28, 2014. After the repairs, Lucy Foster’s home on Piney Wood in Louisville, MS was turned over to her on November 14, 2014 by Winston Strong.
The Foster family came to Winston Strong, the community based
recovery committee, to seek help for their unmet needs on July 7, 2014. They were found eligible and Elmetra Patterson became their case manager. Disabled, double amputee, veteran Billy Metts coordinated this project through Brother Hubert Yates, the volunteer Coordinator of Winston Strong, along with Bro. Jimmie Maxwell, Laymen President, of Northern Mississippi Education Convention of which brother Coleman Crawford is the president of the convention and with Bro. L. C. Mitchell, Laymen coordinator of the General Baptist Convention of which Dr. Isaac Jackson, Jr. is the president of the General MB State Convention. Brother Clarence Travis of Canton, Ms was the licensed and bonded contractor for all of the projects in Louisville. MS. Brother Travis was honored and received an award for his role in the project from his district, the Madison County Laymen Association on Saturday, November 29, 2014 in Canton, MS.

Brother Billy Metts was pleased to have local Baptist Laymen of
Mt. Olive Bethel Harmony District of Louisville as volunteers for the projects. The laymen from Louisville were Brother Larry Baker, Brother Paul Coburn, Brother Courtney Owens, Brother Henry Yarbrough, Brother John Willie Jones and Rev. Dennis Jackson and their moderator is Rev. David Harris. “We certainly didn’t want to have laymen from out of town come here and our laymen not participate,” said Brother Metts.

According to Brother Metts, “There were a total of 17 men involved in the remodeling process of two homes. Their first day was July 19th when the volunteers were divided into two groups. One group worked on Annie Curtis’ home and installed flooring and a hot water tank while the other group worked on Mrs. Lucy Foster’s home which was seriously damaged. This home probably should have been a rebuild; however, these skilled volunteers repaired it and made it a lovely home for this family to return to. They worked for a total of 364 volunteer hours for 7 Saturdays. These are just the hours that the laymen from out of town worked. The Mt. Olive Bethel Harmony donated nearly $900. toward the project for some building materials and for food for the volunteers.”

According to Brother L. C. Mitchell, of Canton, a total dollar amount for all laymen volunteer hours was tallied at $7,500. Brother Mitchell stated, “These are some godly men and most of them have worked in disasters since Katrina in 2005; Holmes county several years ago and now Winston County 2014. It was a great experience for the new laymen that came with us to Louisville. We appreciate that the group came from Biloxi to help.”

Brother McArthur McGriggs of Biloxi, MS is a retired licensed contractor and a certified Red Cross volunteer. He is a Red Cross dispatcher nationally, of which there are only two. Brother McGriggs coordinated the efforts of the laymen from Biloxi to Louisville. He explained that the Baptist laymen help the uninsured, under insured and senior residents after a disaster.

Story and Photos By: Elmetra Patterson

Front Row L to R: Calvin Sojourney, Canton, Mrs. Lucy Foster (homeowner), Rev. Dennis Jackson, Louisville, Andrew Foster (son of Mrs. Foster, Leon Oscar, Canton
Back Row L to R: John Foster (son of Mrs. Lucy Foster), Jimmie Maxwell, Olive Branch, Paul Coburn, Louisville, Billy Metts, Louisville, Clarence Travis, Canton, L. C. Mitchell, Canton, Ed Walls, Madison, James Parnell, Madison, Elverse Alexander, Canton