2006 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Little, White, Albritton, Browning, Burton, Butler, Carmichael, Clarke, Cuevas, Davis, Doxey, Frazier, Gordon, Hewes, Jackson (15th), Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), Jordan, King, Kirby, Lee (35th), Mettetal, Nunnelee, Pickering, Robertson, Simmons, Thames, Tollison, Walley, Walls, Wilemon
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE MISSISSIPPI BAPTIST CONVENTION AND THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CHURCHES FOR PERFORMING EXEMPLARY SERVICE TO THE MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST IN SUPPORT OF REBUILDING AND RECOVERY IN THE WAKE OF HURRICANE KATRINA.
WHEREAS, on Monday, August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina, a Category Four Hurricane, crashed with unrelenting and violent force onto the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast, making landfall at or around Waveland, Mississippi. In one day, the worst natural disaster in our history struck us a grievous blow, leaving a 90-mile swath of destruction along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and causing severe damage throughout Central and North Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, an estimated 925 Southern Baptist churches in the three states were destroyed or severely damaged. The North American Mission Board coordinated the Southern Baptist Convention's relief efforts across the region. More than 5,000 volunteers were on site, feeding the hungry and working with other relief groups to provide housing and other basic needs; and
WHEREAS, Southern Baptists compose a considerable portion of the populations in states most impacted by the devastation, making up about 34%, 33% and 18%, respectively, of the residents in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana; and
WHEREAS, an amazing outpouring of support has been processed through the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board for disaster relief ministries in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, according to Barri A. Shirley, Mississippi Baptist Convention Board Associate Executive Director for Resource Services; and
WHEREAS, as of January 2006, the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board received $10,847,763.00 in cash donations. The Convention is partnering with volunteers and impacted churches to help repair or build 2,000 homes. These projects are in addition to the 10,000 homes already worked on by Baptist volunteers; and
WHEREAS, the Convention worked directly with churches and associations in assessing their rebuilding needs. Thus far, the Convention has identified recovery and rebuilding ministries totaling $9.6 Million. These funds are in addition to the cost of providing over 3.3 million hot meals during the months following the storm. The remaining funds and all future recovery efforts will be reinvested in the impacted communities through the local Southern Baptist churches. The ultimate goal is for God to be glorified through meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the storm victims; and
WHEREAS, the spontaneous responses of local Baptist churches filled in the gaps where the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board Disaster Relief Task Force couldn't place feeding units; and
WHEREAS, as Mississippi Baptist disaster relief plans shifted into long-term mode across the hurricane-stricken Gulf Coast, the Task Force's main feeding unit, a fully self-contained tractor/trailer capable of preparing more than 10,000 meals per day, was stationed at First Church, Biloxi, Mississippi, while trained chainsaw crews, medical teams, cleanup groups and child care units from Mississippi Baptist churches ministered in the Gulf Coast area. In addition to the mass feeding unit, Mississippi Baptists distributed tons of foodstuffs, diapers, cleaning supplies and other items that are very much in need by the victims of the hurricane. Mississippi Baptist chainsaw crews completed more than 2,400 requests for help. The medical teams treated people, wrote prescriptions and administered shots as needed; and
WHEREAS, in these most trying times, both volunteers and recipients have exemplified dignity and grace. Many have had reconfirmed that it is truly more blessed to give than receive. At the same time, those receiving help have been shining testimonies of encouragement and endurance to all of the volunteers. We just can't say too much about the support we got from Baptists across the state:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the executives, employees and volunteers of the Mississippi Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist churches for their active role in assisting the recovery and rebuilding and for their exemplary service, conduct and performance subsequent to Hurricane Katrina's unprecedented destruction on and near the Mississippi Gulf Coast in August and September 2005, and we offer our thanks to these individuals for their assistance during this critical time, as we endeavor to rebuild our state and restore its economy.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board for distribution to the Southern Baptist churches and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.