The name Harold Moore may not mean much to you but if you were part of Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief then you know Harold was something of a legend. He volunteered with the Greenup Baptist Disaster Relief for more than 20 years. Disaster Relief is the pride-and-joy of many Southern Baptists. It is Southern Baptists putting their faith to work in helping the hurting. In Disaster Relief circles just the mention of Harold’s name commanded attention. Harold served in just about every major disaster over the past 20 years. He was even honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the Southern Baptist Convention.
The tragic flooding in Houston by hurricane Harvey reminded me of Harold. This tragedy reminded me of his absence. I had the honor of being Harold’s pastor. I had the privilege of preaching Harold’s funeral. The damage done by Harvey reminded me of Harold’s absence and the desperate need for men and women just like Harold. It also reminded me of the need for state and associational work. Harold served more than 20 years in Southern Baptist Disaster Relief but more specifically, Harold served Southern Baptist Disaster Relief through the Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief from the Greenup Baptist Association. There has been a lot of talk lately about the value of State Conventions and even more about the value of local Associations. How are Harvey, Harold and Associations connected? When you turn on your television and you see those yellow and blue hatted Southern Baptists handing-out meals, remember they have been mobilized by a local association, and largely trained through state conventions. They cook meals, run chainsaws or do mud-out with equipment mostly owned by state conventions or local Baptist associations. The most important element in all of this are the volunteers who come from local churches that are active in local associations that are apart of state conventions who unite under the Southern Baptist banner. Look closely at all of those trailers when you see them on the news, they will say Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief and then their sending state. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is comprised of volunteers and equipment from local associations and state conventions. Each element of this cooperative chain is vital but all of the parts are not equally strong. As local Southern Baptist Associations struggle to find their way, Southern Baptists ability to respond in times of disaster Is also suffering. In the Greenup Baptist Association, like many other associations across North America, involvement is down. Decreased involvement in local associations means decreased involvement in Disaster Relief which results in a decreased ability to respond in times of disaster. The pride-and-joy of Southern Baptists can only be as strong as our involvemet with our state conventions and local assoications. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief cannot exist from your money alone, it needs a new generation of men and women to fill the spot left by Harold and others just like him.