Superstorm Sandy spotlights surge in Southern Baptist Church plants

Published: Monday, Nov. 12 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Neighbors volunteering to help another neighbor in need move deep sand from the house on Beach 121 Street in the Rockaway Park neighborhood of the borough of Queens, New York, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Associated Press

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Our take: Hurricane Sandy has become an opportunity to serve for members of the Southern Baptist Conventions church plants (new churches established in unchurched communities) in the Northeast. Christianity Today reports that new churches have mobilized to help those in need in areas damaged by the storm.

When Hurricane Sandy churned up devastation in the Northeast last week, fresh Southern Baptist church plants part of a new urban emphasis the Convention rolled out this summer mobilized to help.

"I keep thinking, 'What if we weren't here?'" said Sterling Edwards, who planted a Southern Baptist church in Long Island six years ago, and a second about eight months ago. "What if we weren't mobilized and not able to reach out? Because we're seeing impact."

Edwards has opened up both his churches for disaster relief, offering showers, food storage, and a place to sleep for a team of about 50 disaster relief workers.

"One of the major obstacles for church planters [in New York] is that we live in a community with no perceivable, tangible need," he said. "So when a storm like Sandy comes along, it reveals the vulnerability of our community and in that sense, there is opportunity for us to be able to truly minister to people."

Read more about the work of Southern Baptists in Sandy's aftermath on Christianity Today .

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