Devastation doesn't stall worship service
by Amanda Stegall
May 02, 2011 | 4421 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jimmy Warren with 2nd Genesis Ministries secures a load of supplies to take to storm victims Saturday morning at the Crowe Springs Baptist distribution site.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Jimmy Warren with 2nd Genesis Ministries secures a load of supplies to take to storm victims Saturday morning at the Crowe Springs Baptist distribution site. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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The building may be in shambles, but the Crowe Springs Baptist Church family and friends gathered for a worship service Sunday before continuing clean-up and recovery efforts.

"Church isn't the building," Ronnie Cowart, pastor of Crowe Springs for the past 10 years, told his congregation, "It's the people here."

One tent was initially set up outside the structure, but as the crowd grew for the service and to offer help afterward two extra tents and more chairs were added, still leaving people standing nearby.

David Franklin, associational missionary for the Bartow Baptist Association, was present and spoke to the group, explaining that "the government has come to the church and said 'you guys are more together than anybody else.'"

Churches throughout the county have been asked for assistance in the recovery for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of community members.

"We've got volunteer teams signing up to help rebuild," Franklin said. "The body of Christ is committed to help the community of Crowe Springs."

"When we started this I had no idea what it would turn in to," said Cowart, describing the community response.

Crowe Springs Baptist was established in 1865 and maintains all original records since that time. "I don't know if [the records] were damaged by water," said Cowart. The church also remains on the original foundation. Between 50 and 75 people attend Crowe Springs every Sunday.

"When we came back in the next day there was a single page from a songbook in the middle of the aisle [in the sanctuary]," Cowart told his fellow church members. "It was 'I Am Blessed.'"

"Sometimes I feel like Job where I just don't get it," said Wesley Morris of 2nd Genesis Ministries during a Sunday morning service as he delivered a message of hope. "It doesn't matter how many trees fall or how bad it gets, the Bible says we have a living hope that cannot be taken away."

On a larger scale, Anheuser-Busch has stopped producing beer through their Cartersville brewery and shipped over 362,000 cans of water to families and relief workers throughout Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia.

Retail outlet Belk Inc. also committed to help, donating $200,000 to the American Red Cross Spring Storms Fund.

Locally, several organizations and churches have been involved in relief efforts and the list of volunteers continues to grow every day. Individual churches who want to help may do so, but donations are asked to be taken to Grace Baptist for an overall distribution.

Donation drop-off locations:

* The Daily Tribune News, 251 S. Tennessee St., Cartersville. 770-382-4545

* AM 1450 WBHF Community Radio, 7 N. Wall St., Cartersville. 770-386-1450

* Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, 122 West Main St., Cartersville. 770-382-1466.

* Grace Baptist Church, 477 Old Cassville White Road, Cartersville. 770-382-6652

* Northpointe Church, 30 Orchard Road, Adairsville. 770-387-8135

* United Way, 140 Douglas St., Suite 104, Cartersville. 770-386-1677

* The Salvation Army, 17 Apex Drive, Cartersville. 770-387-9955

* Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, 110 Porter St., Cartersville. 770-607-0610

* Bartow County Animal Control, 50 Ladds Mountain Road, Cartersville, 770-387-5153

* STARS Pre-K, 1657 Cassville Road, Cartersville. Call the Commissioner's office for more information, 770-387-5030.

* Regions Bank, 200 West Main St. or 620 East Main St., both in Cartersville.

Cartersville CARES is also accepting donations at Excel Christian Academy, 325 Old Mill Road, Cartersville. Items can only be dropped off at this location Monday through Friday. See their Facebook page for more details.

Items needed:

Baby food and formula

Large/yard trash bags

Shovels

First Aid kits

Hand sanitizer

Diapers (all sizes)

Baby wipes

Personal hygiene items (razors, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, etc.)

Insect repellent

Sunscreen

Paper plates and cups

Plastic silverware

Paper Towels

Napkins

Laundry detergent

Canned drinks

Bottled water

Peanut Butter

Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, juices, soups

Crackers

Granola bars

Cereal

Pillows and pillow cases

Work gloves

Dust masks

Several people have been affected by the storm, but Cowart says they have been strong through the loss. "Their smiles are their spirit and their tears, that's where they're heartbroken," he said.

Monetary donations are also welcomed. To make a donation, or if you have items to donate, call 770-382-6652 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.

To volunteer, call the Emergency Management Agency at 770-387-5089, or Grace Baptist Church.