For over five years, students at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville have had the opportunity to train and respond to disaster events as part of the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) team and the Florida Baptist Disaster Relief. This summer, BCF established a fully functional disaster relief unit and through the generous donations of churches and individuals, the team was outfitted with a new disaster relief response trailer.
According to BCF Associate Professor of Leadership and Christian Education David Coggins, the disaster relief team at BCF is a clean-up and recovery unit. As such, the new BCF response trailer is stocked with equipment to mobilize to any disaster event that SBDR clean up units may respond to, including hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or any other disaster event. “The opportunity to start a fully functioning collegiate unit has been a work in progress for over 5 years,” stated Coggins. “We have had opportunities to train and opportunities to respond to disaster events in the past, but now we can respond and provide relief ministry at any time the opportunity presents itself to us.”
Coggins noted that “This is a great opportunity for our students to be involved in meaningful ministry even while they are training for vocational ministry. Disaster relief for many college students is often a one-time experience, but we want our students to make it a life commitment of ministry to those who are hurting as a result of a disaster. This gives them the training and opportunity to gain valuable experience as they prepare to be leaders in our churches in disaster relief ministry. We are grateful to those churches and individuals who have invested in our students to make this resource available to our students.”
Pleased with the new addition, BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen stated, “We are delighted to have this new equipment to utilize for our disaster relief work. Dr. Coggins and the team here at the college have done phenomenal work across the country, literally around the world. This is just indicative of the heart of our folks. When the family hurts, the family responds. It is one of those things that you hate to have to use because it means somebody has faced hardship, but when that hardship comes, we want to be ready with the equipment and the personnel to respond.”
The commitment of those involved in the disaster relief ministry is another example of the way BCF faculty, staff and students are making a lasting impact on the world. “Disaster relief is another step where we are seeking to change the world through the unchanging word of our Lord,” Kinchen said.
For more information on disaster relief at BCF or to learn how you can become a part of the school that is shaping the next generation of Christian leaders, please call 800.328.2660 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.