DISASTER RELIEF EFFORTS PAVED THE WAY
Winford Williams - Baptist State Convention of Michigan
WARREN, MI — The location of the BSCM Disaster Relief facilities to the city of Warren has been a lesson in God’s timing for Disaster Relief leaders. BSCM Disaster Relief Director, Win Williams says he has been asked why the Rebuild Headquarters is in Warren instead of Detroit. Williams says, “Personally, I feel we did not choose it , but God directed it.” When the North American Mission Board began to explore the possibility of rebuilding teams coming to the Tri-County area, they looked at Detroit first, but found no facility usable without spending months of preparation and thousands of dollars to make it happen.
They then made an appointment to meet with Warren city leaders. When they arrived, the mayor had five of his department heads at the meeting. Williams says “when the mayor said, ‘Welcome Southern Baptists! What can we do for you?’ God had prepared their hearts for our mission for Him.” The mayor had three buildings for the team to consider, but those buildings were found to be unsuitable for headquarter needs.
The Fitzgerald School District, also located in Warren, suggested an elementary school building available for use. The exploratory committee went to investigate. Williams said, “It looked like the school building had closed down the Friday before, the janitor had cleaned it on Saturday, and we could use it on Monday. In reality, the building had been closed for a year.” The school had a gym/dining hall, full kitchen, office space, and rooms to use for dorms. Even the security system was still in use. The Southern Baptists of Michigan Disaster Relief was ultimately charged no rent for use of the building.
Win Williams, Michigan Southern Baptist Disaster Relief State Director, examines new disaster relief headquarters with Warren City Councilwoman, Kelly Colegio. (Photo courtesy The Macomb Daily)
North American Mission Board Disaster Relief trailer parked outside of the new Disaster Relief headquarters in Warren, MI.
(Photo by BSCM staff)
The city initially requested they pay the difference between last year's utilities and this year’s, but then the city council voted to donate $70,000 to help with utilities.
The location is centrally located in the ministry area, just two blocks from the city limits of Detroit and about 30 minutes from downtown Detroit. “I strongly believe it was from the seeds planted by the DR volunteers doing mud-out ministry in Warren and the tri-counties of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties that God used to make it possible.” Williams said.
DR leaders are calling on Michigan Baptists to take advantage of the the opportunity here in Michigan to go on a mission trip for one day, a week, or as long as God wants you. You do not have to be a DR volunteer, and grant money may be available for the $25 fee for volunteers, if they are unable to pay.
The location of the Southeast Michigan Flood Recovery Ministry is Schofield School 2155 Warner Ave,Warren, Mi 48091.