WEST (June 16, 2013)--While West wrestles with FEMA, the First Baptist Church of West has been busy spearheading relief efforts inside the town.
As of Sunday, crews have bulldozed a total of 35 homes that were heavily affected by the West Explosion for free and then helped clean up afterwards.
According to the church’s pastor John Crowder, FBC West is one of the first entities in West to hand out cash vouchers directly West citizens stemming from privately made donations.
The work has put some church-related functions on a back burner.
“There are a lot of emotions every day, I mean, it truly is a daily emotional roller coaster," Pastor Crowder said.
"It's easy to put ‘planning a service’ on the back burner and say ‘I'll get to it later’, but then you find yourself on Wednesday night or Sunday morning and you need to know what to say."
On Sunday morning, First Baptist Church of Crawford gave FBC West some much needed relief.
The church led worship and prepared Sunday’s message so that church personnel could relax and enjoy Father’s Day with their families.
“There’s a lot going on here at the First Baptist Church of West,” FBC Crawford Pastor Jeff Gravens said.
“I can’t imagine taking on many of the burdens they have shouldered. I thought this was a great opportunity to bless them as they have been blessing other people.”
And Crowder says he’s completely fine with taking a day off.
“Providing a lot of these services has been exhausting and spiritually tiring at times,” Crowder said.
“But we are finding strength through the Lord, and we were more than happy to host FBC Crawford this morning.”
FBC West is currently involved in “Loving West,” a week-long event hosted by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Volunteers from all over the state have traveled to West to help clean up debris from recovery efforts.
“Disasters can bring the best out in people and helping everyone with the little things is what this week is for, “Crowder said.
Registration for “Loving West” starts each day at 8 a.m. through June 22.
Sign-up is at the First Baptist Church in West on Marable Street.