Ministry Happening in the Storm-Battered South

By BGEA and Samaritan's Purse   •   April 6, 2021

A group prayer circle with chaplains
At the end of March, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team deployed to multiple areas due to devastating storm systems, including Nashville, Tennessee, and Newnan, Georgia (pictured here).
A drone view of destroyed homes after a tornado
A mile-wide E-F4 tornado raced through the small city of Newnan, Georgia, causing one death and damaging close to 150 homes on March 26.
A chaplain prays at a man's door
Just a few days later, Nashville, Tennessee, was slammed by heavy rainfall, which caused 7 fatalities and damaged another 150 homes. It was the worst flooding the region has faced since 2010.
A woman raises in her hand in prayer alongside a Billy Graham chaplain
Crisis-trained chaplains are offering prayer and a listening ear to weary residents who are dealing with massive destruction in their communities.
A chaplain sits with a woman on her doorstep with her wet furniture in the lawn outside
Among the chaplains is Bob Poff, who talked with 90-year-old Edith Sannella. Her property was damaged in Nashville, and much of her furniture has had to be removed from her home.
A destroyed home after a tornado
It only takes seconds for a person's world to change forever in disaster, but 70 percent of people struck by disasters were already facing some sort of hardship.
Chaplains pray on either side of a masked woman
Therefore, Rapid Response Team chaplains are there to help locals process the trauma they faced in disaster—and may have been dealing with beforehand.
The Mobile Ministry Center sitting outside a church
Many of the chaplains' conversations occur in the team's Mobile Ministry Center, a large vehicle that hosts a conference-like room where locals can have respite for a few minutes.
Two young men talk with a chaplain by a hot tub that moved during the flood
Nashville residents have had a difficult year—facing a deadly tornado in March 2020, a destructive derecho and a Christmas morning bombing. The Nashville Fire Department reported over 100 rescues from the city's most recent disaster of fast-moving floodwaters, which moved the pictured hot tub from the backyard to the front.
Power line crews busy at work
Newnan's tornado brought down trees and power lines with wind speeds up to 170 mph.
A chaplain leads prayer for residents who are holding a new Bible
Hope—it's what every person needs, and it's exactly what Jesus offers. Some Georgia residents are choosing to cling to their faith in the aftermath of the storm. Billy Graham chaplains teamed up with Samaritan's Purse, a ministry that cleans up homes after disaster, to give a family a Bible. >> Have you placed your hope in Jesus? Start a relationship with Him today.
A chaplain prays with an American Red Cross worker
Just as chaplains deploy at a moment's notice after disaster, the American Red Cross is constantly nearby the team's deployments. Seeing others' pain from the Nashville floods, a chaplain and American Red Cross worker pause to pray.
A chaplain talks with a smiling masked woman
Even during the hardest seasons, some locals are able to find a reason to smile. Here, a resident talks with a Billy Graham chaplain amid disaster cleanup in Newnan, Georgia.
A man uses his hands to describe what happened during the storm when talking to a chaplain
As chaplains talk and listen to Georgia and Tennessee residents, more are deployed in Southside, Alabama (tornado), and Port Macquarie in New South Wales, Australia (flooding). Please keep all those recovering and the chaplains in your prayers.