Indiana UMVIMs help rebuild
Burned Arkansas Baptist Church

March 16, 2001

Earle, Arkansas, - The National Coalition for Burned Churches (NCBC) is partnering with the South Whitley United Methodist Church (UMC), South Whitley, Indiana to provide volunteer support to assist with rebuilding the St. James Missionary Baptist Church, located at 1861 Cartwright Street in Earle, Arkansas. St. James was destroyed by fire July 4,1999.

Approximately 21 skilled and unskilled members of South Whitley UMC volunteer work camp arrive on Saturday, March 17. The group will worship with St. James during the 8:00 a.m. service at the Tyronza Baptist District Center located on Hwy 149 North of Earle. Headed by Rev. Connie Payne, the South Whitley church is part of the North Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. The group will remain in Earle through Friday, March 23, 2001, dedicating a full week to helping St. James rise from the ashes.

According to Rev. Terrance Mackey, NCBC president and executive director, "Church Rebuilding partnerships like this one between burned churches and volunteer teams are being repeated all across this country. The South Whitley volunteer work camp is an incredible team of faithful Christians committed to the call from God to go out and help their sisters and brothers. The very unselfish way that the South Whitley volunteers are giving of their time and their talent is quite uplifting. Just knowing that someone else cares is the best medicine in the world to help communities heal and recover from the tragedy of losing their sacred center of worship. "

The National Coalition for Burned Churches and Community Empowerment (National Coalition or NCBC) was established in October 1997, as a faith based response to the 1996 church-burning crisis. We are a multiracial, interdenominational coalition of clergy and laity whose places of worship have been burned or firebombed. Our mission is to help heal burned-church communities by providing advocacy support and technical assistance to victims in communities where churches are at risk of being burned for reasons motivated by racial or anti-religious hatred.

The NCBC Church Rebuilding Project was established to provide advocacy support and technical assistance to congregations victimized by arson, proven or suspected of having been destroyed with hate as a motivating factor. The project provides technical support and assistance to victims of church arson in on-site assessment of church rebuilding needs, professional service referrals, recruitment and coordination of volunteers, grants to qualified churches, and offering Healing the Hurt counseling to pastors and members of congregations to address issues of grief, fear and anxiety.

The National Coalition works in partnership with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church’s Ministries in the Midst of Hate and Violence and United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM), as well as other denominations, to coordinate volunteers to help burned churches rebuild.

For more information, contact:
Rev. Terrance Mackey, tel (843) 853-5363
Rev. Waldo Campbell, tel (901) 377-6060
Mr. Tommy Davis, tel (870) 792-8076

National Coalition for Burned Churches and Community Empowerment
PO Box 40784 Charleston, SC 29423
Tel (843) 853-5363, Fax (843) 853-5366

"Our Commitment: To Rebuild Burned Churches,
Restore Hope, and Build Healthier Communities"

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