Disaster Response Team Responds To Northeast Texas Tornadoes

powderly tornado

Logan Johnson, 11, carries a sign that reads "Thankful" after he recovered it from his family's destroyed home after a tornado hit Powderly, Texas. (Photo by The Associated Press)

NTC Disaster Response Coordinator Rev. Jeremy Basset visited sites to assess damage, provide quick assistance

On Nov. 4, nearly two dozen tornadoes hit Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Among the areas impacted were Lamar County and nearby counties in the North Texas Conference’s East District. As weather reports were received, the NTC immediately moved into action.

East District Superintendent Rev. Cassie Wade spent much of the evening of Nov. 4 and the following days in communication with impacted churches.

“While we are so grateful that none of our churches in the East District sustained physical damage from tornadoes, we know that the people of Lamar County and the neighboring communities need our support today,” Rev. Wade said. “The United Methodist Church is always at the forefront when it comes to responding to disasters, and I am so glad to be able to partner with the North Texas Conference Disaster Response Team, UMCOR and the broader connection as we navigate this recovery effort.”

NTC Disaster Response Coordinator Rev. Jeremy Basset began visiting sites across Northeast Texas on Nov. 5 to assess damage, provide quick assistance and support local churches as they respond to the needs of their communities across the region.

In Powderly, just outside of Paris, Rev. Basset met Rev. Mark Hutchison of Powderly UMC and his wife, Marion. Thankful that the church building was not impacted, the two have been ministering to the community, personally delivering hot meals to impacted families and working within the disaster area. The NTC supplied Rev. Hutchison with gift cards of up to $2,000 to begin meeting additional community needs.

In Paris, Rev. Basset visited the Red Cross service center at the Lamar Avenue Church of Christ and met with three Paris-based UMC clergy: Rev. Kevin Strempke of Calvary UMC, Rev. Kathryn Strempke of First UMC Paris and Rev. Doris Smith of Mt. Zion UMC. The group – along with CitySquare Paris – is participating in early long-term recovery conversations and has offered UMCOR support and expertise.

“I know people across the conference are interested in how they can best help those impacted by the tornadoes,” Rev. Basset said. “In addition to continued prayer for the people of East Texas who lost homes and businesses last week, the best way to offer support right now is through donations to the NTC Disaster Response Fund. That fund gives us the freedom to nimbly meet emerging needs on the ground and help our neighbors as they begin their recovery journeys.”

Currently, there is not a need for donations of food, clothing or household items.

The former East District Camp that now operates as part of Cultiv8 Community has requested specialized assistance, as the tornado blew down several trees on the property. Equipped chainsaw teams interested in responding to this need should contact Rob Spencer at 940-736-3008. 

The NTC Disaster Response Team will continue to work alongside those in the affected area, deploying Early Response Teams (ERTs) and additional calls for assistance as needed. For any questions or further information, please email Rev. Basset.


Published: Wednesday, November 9, 2022