Reminder of how special county residents are

Published 9:07 pm Friday, July 15, 2011

Dear Editor,

As a Chilton County native no longer living in Chilton County, sometimes it is easy to forget just how special the people are there. I’ve only been away for a little more than four years now, and truth be told, I am really not even that far from home.

However, after the April 27 tornado ripped through Concord and Pleasant Grove, I was reminded of just how special “my people” are.

I am serving as associate pastor and student minister at Crossroad Baptist Church in the Virginia Mines community near Hueytown. I live in Concord, just a few hundred yards from where the EF4 tornado destroyed the homes of eight of my church family members and took the lives of a friend and several acquaintances.

The devastation required an immediate response and our church did the best we could under the circumstances. We supplied, as so many other churches did, food and water, clothing and supplies to those in need. We’ve been in relief mode for more than two months now. There were many times when needs were so overwhelming we wondered where we would get the supplies needed to meet the needs being presented to us. God provided, more often than not providing supplies ahead of developing needs.

From all over the country flowed supplies into our fellowship hall, then our gym, enabling us to not just meet the needs of our community, but to supply places throughout the state such as Phil Campbell, Rainsville, Alberta City, Tuscaloosa, Brookwood, Shoal Creek, Heneger, Cordova, Oakman, McDonalds Chapel, Pratt City and Hackelburg. We were blessed to be able to send a load of supplies to Joplin, Mo., as well.

Ohio sent us supplies; Kentucky, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee—they all sent items, for whatever the reason, to Crossroad. I am astonished at the role God blessed us to play in the recovery—one we still, though currently on a limited basis, are playing.

However, none of the donations we received were quite as special to me personally as those from Chilton County. Poplar Springs Baptist, Mulberry Baptist, West End Baptist, Bethsalem Baptist, Thorsby First Baptist, Clanton First United Methodist, the county school system, Mineral Springs Baptist, Ellison-Mims Funeral Home, LeCroy Tech (Hoyt Chastain and Tommy Glasscock), the Chilton County Sherriff’s Department, Garrison Farm and Home Center, Pates Chapel Baptist Church, Union Grove Baptist Church and many, many more people sent relief supplies, cash, checks, and offered their time in service to our community.

You all make me so proud to be from Chilton County, Thorsby specifically. I am a blessed man and we are blessed people for having such a connection with you now. It is my promise to the people of the communities of Chilton County that if ever there comes a time when you are in need of assistance, we will be there for you as you have been for us.

Your kind gifts allowed our church to be a visible representation of Christ to the people of our community during a time when hope was at a premium and desperately needed. That has had a mighty influence in the lives of hurting people. Thank from the bottom of my heart and our community prays God’s continued blessings upon you good people.

The Rev. Jason Green, Associate Pastor/Student Minister at Crossroads Baptist Church, Hueytown