Billy Graham Chaplains Wrap Up Busy Year of Ministry

By   •   December 31, 2019

In 2019, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team had 62 deployments—41 domestic and 21 international—including this deployment to Texas after Hurricane Imelda.

Disasters, whether natural or man-made, strike at a moment’s notice and can leave countless people hurting, grieving and searching for hope. Since 2002, Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) chaplains have deployed around the world during these times to provide emotional and spiritual support.

To date, the RRT has now ministered at more than 450 disaster sites, offering God’s hope to those affected by not only the current disaster, but many times a crisis that existed long before.

>> View an interactive map showing RRT’s deployments.

“As so many people were in their darkest hour and overwhelmed with despair, we saw God’s faithfulness to heal the brokenhearted,” said Jack Munday, international director of the RRT.

Over the last 12 months, the RRT has sent nearly 900 chaplains to various disaster sites around the world, praying with more than 47,000 people and helping many find God’s peace.

One of the biggest natural disasters of 2019 was Hurricane Dorian—the most powerful storm to hit the Bahamas. Within hours of the Category 5 storm clearing the islands, RRT chaplains were on their way to bring hope in Jesus’ name. One team remains on the ground in Man-O-War, with a total of 105 chaplains deploying to the Bahamas after the hurricane.

“We listen to people’s stories, then listen some more,” said Chaplain Coordinator Strib Boynton. “We reassure them that Jesus loves them.”

In response to Hurricane Michael, the RRT sent 124 chaplains to minster in Panama City, Florida, over a nearly five-month period in 2019. During the entire deployment—which began in November 2018—183 chaplains were called to the area, the most chaplains sent to one area since the RRT was started.

“As we reflect on the ministry opportunities God opened [in 2019], we are filled with gratitude,” said Josh Holland, assistant director for the RRT. “This ministry is so blessed to be able to offer the hope and comfort that can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ to those who have been impacted by natural or man-made disasters.”

In addition to deployments, the RRT hosted two National Law Enforcement Retreats (Horseshoe Bay, Texas and Asheville, North Carolina) in 2019, allowing law enforcement officers from around the country to relax and hear from battle-tested leaders. Additionally, the RRT hosted its first Chief Law Enforcement Officer retreat at The Cove in Asheville. Retreats were also held for military and law enforcement chaplains.

“As we plan for 2020, we are leaning on God’s direction to be prepared for whatever comes our way,” Munday said. “Our goal is to continue building an army of crisis-trained chaplains ready to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.”

Look back at 2019 Rapid Response Team deployments, and join us in praying for wisdom and guidance for chaplains who may be called to minister in the new year:

Deployments continued from 2018:

  • Wewahitchka, Florida – Hurricane
  • Butte County, California – Fires
  • Panama City, Florida – Hurricane
  • Rockport/Pearland, Texas – Rebuilds
RRT chaplains pray with a Paradise resident in the aftermath of California’s Camp Fire.


  • Hillsborough County, Florida – Shooting


  • Aurora, Illinois – Shooting
  • Townsville, Queensland (Australia) – Flooding
Crisis-trained chaplains prayed with residents in the aftermath of the February 15 warehouse shooting in Aurora, Illinois.


  • Kaua`i, Hawaii – Flooding Follow Up
  • Lee County, Alabama – Tornado
  • Dodge County, Nebraska – Flooding
  • Christchurch, New Zealand – Shooting
Following a tornado outbreak that killed 23 people on March 3, the RRT deployed to Lee County, Alabama.


  • Charlotte, North Carolina – Shooting
  • Salman Arm, British Columbia (Canada) – Shooting
  • Penticton, British Columbia (Canada) – Shooting
  • Toronto, Ontario (Canada) – Memorial
“Healing takes time,” RRT’s law enforcement relations manager Chad Stillman said after the UNC Charlotte shooting. “We’re here to give a ministry of presence and Lord willing, share the hope of Jesus Christ.”


  • Wayne County, Michigan – Flooding
  • Mooresville, North Carolina – Shooting
  • Jefferson City, Missouri – Tornado
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma – Flooding
  • Dayton, Ohio – Tornado
  • Fredericton, New Brunswick (Canada) – Flooding
Multiple tornadoes swept through Ohio on May 27, leaving behind massive devastation. Chaplains deployed alongside Samaritan’s Purse to Dayton, where they prayed with more than 1,600 people.


  • Virginia Beach, Virginia – Shooting
  • Muskogee, Oklahoma – Flooding
  • Catawba County, North Carolina – Flooding
  • Gatineau, Ottowa (Canada) – Flooding
  • Melbourne, Victoria (Australia) – Fires
  • Darwin, Northern Territory (Australia) – Shooting
  • Renfrew County, Ontario (Canada) – Flooding
  • London, England – Anniversary of Grenfell Tower Fire
  • Paddle Prairie, Alberta (Canada) – Fires
A woman prayed to receive Christ following the Catawba County, North Carolina, flood.


  • Del Rio, Texas – Border Response
  • Laredo, Texas – Border Response
The RRT offered respite for immigrant families alongside Samaritan’s Purse at centers in Del Rio and Laredo, Texas.


  • El Paso, Texas – Shooting
  • Dayton, Ohio – Shooting
  • Nicetown, Pennsylvania – Shooting
  • Cochrane, Alberta (Canada) – No Greater Love Festival
  • Calgary, Alberta (Canada) – 25th Pentecostal World Conference
A total of 32 people were killed during August shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.


  • Odessa, Texas – Shooting
  • Freeport, Bahamas – Hurricane
  • New Bern, North Carolina – Hurricane
  • Wilmington, North Carolina – Hurricane
  • Horry County, South Carolina – Hurricane
  • Ocracoke Island, North Carolina – Hurricane
  • Lancaster County, South Carolina – Shooting
  • Nassau, Bahamas – Hurricane
  • Vidor, Texas – Flooding
  • Winnie, Texas – Flooding
  • Exuma, Bahamas – Hurricane
  • Man-O-War, Bahamas – Hurricane
  • Kensington, Prince Edward Island (Canada) – Hurricane
  • Summerside, Prince Edward Island (Canada) – Hurricane
  • Dunrobin, Ottowa (Canada) – Tornado
In late August and early September, Bahamians faced the wrath of Hurricane Dorian. Chaplains will continue to serve there in 2020.


  • Dallas, Texas – Tornado
  • Kincaid, California – Fires
  • Rappville, New South Wales (Australia) – Fires
  • Grays, England – Border Response
Chaplains listened to a resident’s story after an EF3 tornado devastated a 15-mile stretch of a Dallas, Texas, community on October 20.


  • McNairy County, Tennessee – Storms
  • Fishlake, England – Flooding
  • London, England – Terrorist
McNairy County, Tennessee, residents faced the largest debris cleanup in the area’s history when an unprecedented storm swept through the area on October 26, killing one person and causing significant damage.


  • Pensacola, Florida – Shooting
  • Huntsville, Alabama – Shooting

Deployments continuing into 2020:

  • Charlotte, North Carolina – Billy Graham Gravesite
  • Man-O-War, Bahamas – Hurricane
  • Rockport/Pearland, Texas – Rebuilds