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On The Fiftieth Anniversary Of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief

WHEREAS, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR), a Christ-centered, cooperative partnership of church, associational, state, and national ministries serving through the local church to bring help, hope, and healing to individuals, families, and communities affected by disaster, has just completed fifty years of service; and

WHEREAS, SBDR ministry was recognized by the Home Mission Board and galvanized by the Texas Baptist Men organization with the initial response to Hurricane Beulah in 1967 under leadership from the late Robert E. “Bob” Dixon, who left a great legacy for Southern Baptists; and

WHEREAS, Those initial relief efforts set the stage for fifty years of SBDR ministry in preparing meals, repairing roofs, providing childcare, removing debris, washing clothes, rebuilding homes, starting conversations, sharing the gospel, and leading people in the midst of crisis to find comfort in Christ; and

WHEREAS, SBDR represents the best of Southern Baptist cooperation and partnership in times of crisis and disaster, focusing on the local church and highlighting compassion and changed lives; and

WHEREAS, In 2016 SBDR was named the National Member of the Year by Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), an organization which helps coordinate relief efforts among various governmental, private sector, and nonprofit groups; and

WHEREAS, SBDR has become one of the largest organizations of trained volunteers providing mass-care response, both domestically and internationally, and has been recognized as the third largest relief organization in the United States; and

WHEREAS, SBDR has truly become the public face of the Southern Baptist Convention, demonstrating Christ’s love in tangible ways to a watching world, and being recognized nationally and internationally by major news outlets, numerous local newspapers, and television stations across the country; and

WHEREAS, The seventy-five thousand team members of SBDR remind themselves of important truths through the color of gold, representing the worth of every person to Christ, and the color of blue, representing loyalty to Christ which compels their attitude and behavior of servanthood; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 12–13, 2018, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, express gratitude to God for His providential guidance in the creation of SBDR and for His multiplied blessings upon this mission and ministry network through the years; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we commend the individuals and churches of the Southern Baptist Convention that have been involved in SBDR work for their commitment to Christian love in action by their praying, giving, and going in order to meet the urgent needs of hurting humanity in crisis situations; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptist individuals and churches to give toward the ministry of SBDR through the North American Mission Board or their state Baptist conventions; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptists to consider prayerfully the opportunity of becoming SBDR volunteers and to contact their state Baptist convention SBDR directors for training information; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we encourage every Southern Baptist congregation to become a Disaster Ready Church, planning, connecting, and responding to the disaster relief opportunities that will surely continue to become available in the future, until that time when, as Romans 8:21 promises, the whole creation that has been groaning will itself “also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.”