United Methodists begin storm cleanup, offer online giving option
July 12, 2005
Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster
By Meredyth Earnest*
ANDALUSIA, Ala. (UMNS) – United Methodists in Alabama–West Florida are
doing initial damage assessments following the arrival of Hurricane
Dennis, and the church is making online giving possible for donations.
Particular attention is being given to the areas of Navarre Beach, Fort
Walton Beach, Shalimar, Milton, and Pace, in Florida; and Atmore and
Monroeville in Alabama. The Category Three storm hit those areas hard
“I am so appreciative of the tremendous support we have received from
other bishops, conferences, and UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on
Relief) in the hours following this hurricane,” said Bishop Larry M.
Goodpaster, who leads the denomination’s Alabama-West Florida Annual
“We will need help,” he said. “We will spend the next 24 to 48 hours
assessing damage and then will continue to pick up, recover and rebuild.
“It’s very hard to go through this again, following Hurricane Ivan,” he added. “But we will get through it.”
Although the hurricane lost strength before making landfall, the areas that were hit are suffering.
“Despite the impression many media reports are giving, there is major
damage in our area,” said the Rev. Clyde Pressley, executive director of
the Conference Disaster Recovery Ministry. “Even though the damage is
significantly less than with Hurricane Ivan, we are still in need of
volunteer recovery teams just the same.”
|A Web-only image by Meredyth Earnest
The Rev. Clyde Pressley is the executive director of the Alabama-West Florida Conference Disaster Recovery Ministry.
Hurricane Dennis—later downgraded to a tropical depression—was blamed
for 32 deaths in Haiti and Cuba and five deaths in Florida and Georgia.
Hurricane Ivan hit the Gulf Coast last September, during a particularly
heavy hurricane season.
United Methodist Communications has again partnered with UMCOR to
provide a link for online giving for hurricane relief, effective July
The link, www.methodistrelief.org, will provide people with the
opportunity to give in the manner they choose and through the means that
is most acceptable to them, according to the Rev. Larry Hollon, top
executive at UMCom.
Many people have requested an easily accessible means to respond quickly
to those affected by Hurricane Dennis, and Hollon said online giving is
one of the most immediate channels that can be offered.
Pressley planned to visit hard-hit areas in the Alabama-West Florida
Conference on July 12, assessing where to send volunteer teams that call
the conference’s toll free hotline.
The conference’s toll-free number to offer assistance is (866) 340-1956.
Queries can be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The conference
needs cleanup crews and teams that can help with debris and floodwater
Volunteers interested in assisting in any area affected by Hurricane
Dennis can call UMCOR’s Volunteer Hotline at (800) 918-3100.
The Rev. Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR disaster response executive, was expected
to arrive in Mobile, Ala., July 12 to help the conference with relief
Contributions to United Methodist recovery efforts can be designated to
Hurricanes 2005 Global, Advance No. 982523. Checks to UMCOR can be
placed in church offering plates or mailed directly to UMCOR, P.O. Box
9068, New York, NY 10087-9068. To make a credit-card donation, call
UMCOR also needs donations of flood buckets filled with cleaning
supplies. For more information, call UMCOR Sager Brown at (800) 814-8765
or visit http://gbgm-umc.org/umcor/print/kits/ online.
*Earnest is the director of communications for the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference.
News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.
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Hurricane Dennis arrives
Florida Annual Conference
Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference
UMCOR Sager Brown