FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, announced today that it has adopted a three-tiered approach to providing relief to Louisiana pastors, students from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and members of the public affected by Hurricane Katrina.
The approach, which will offer housing and clothing assistance to Southwestern Seminary alumni and displaced students, was set in place after New Orleans Seminary announced that it had moved operations to its extension campus near Atlanta, Ga., following the hurricane. Southwestern Seminary will also soon begin fielding disaster relief teams on the ravaged Gulf Coast, placing them under the direction of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s disaster relief coordinator.
The seminary has established a toll free assistance line to provide information for displaced seminary alumni and seminary students. The number also provides information on where funds and staple items, such as non-perishable foods and toiletries, may be donated. For more information, call 1-800-SWBTS-01.
HOUSING, CLOTHING AND JOB ASSISTANCE FOR ALUMNI
A number of housing units are available for alumni of the seminary who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Seminary President Paige Patterson said the seminary was offering lodging to displaced pastors and other ministers because their sole source of income, the financial support provided by the churches they serve, no longer exists.
The seminary’s Helping Hands house is also ready to provide clothing to those pastors seeking refuge from the destruction on the Gulf Coast. Kent Sanders, director of student life and a representative for the Office of Church Minister Relations, said the ministry, which receives regular donations of dresses, suits and casual clothes would prove valuable as people arrive at the Fort Worth campus.
The Office of Church Minister Relations is also ready to work with displaced pastors who wish to serve churches in Texas that currently have no pastor. Churches in the Fort Worth and Dallas areas who wish to partner with the seminary to offer housing assistance or request an interim pastor should call the seminary’s toll free number to speak with a representative from the housing office or the Office of Church Minister Relations.
RELIEF FOR NOBTS STUDENTS
Students from New Orleans Seminary who wish to seek housing assistance at the Fort Worth campus may also call the seminary’s toll free number. The seminary, in conjunction with local churches and individual Southwestern Seminary students, stands ready to provide assistance.
Supplies are now being collected for students displaced by the hurricane and should be taken to the seminary’s Recreation Aerobic Center (RAC) on the main campus. Supplies most needed include the following:
Non-perishable food items
Toiletries School supplies
GENERAL RELIEF TO THE GULF REGION
Southwestern Seminary will be fielding teams to the area of the Gulf Coast affected by the hurricane. Seminary groups will be working under the direction of the Southern Baptists of Texas disaster relief response team, according to Greg Kingry, vice president for business services at the seminary.
“We want to make certain that our teams are being used in a coordinated way where they are most needed. The SBTC is working to identify those locations,” Kingry said. He said it is possible that the teams may not be able to work in New Orleans for months.
Students who wish to be involved in work with the SBTC in restricted areas must be certified as a disaster relief volunteer. The SBTC is offering disaster relief training Saturday, Sept. 3, from 9 a.m.-12 noon at the organization’s offices in Grapevine, located at 4500 State Highway 360. For more information, log onto www.sbtexas.com.
Kingry also said that the seminary would soon host a disaster relief training session on the campus of the seminary for students who wish to participate.