Hurricane Michael Disaster Response, October 15, 2018

published 10/15/2018

You are receiving this email because you are subscribed to the conference newsletter. If you wish to unsubscribe from Hurricane Michael updates, you may do so by following the unsubscribe link. Please carefully select your options so that you are not removed from all conference lists. 

On Wednesday, October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael came ashore as a category four storm. The Alabama-West Florida Conference is on the ground assessing needs and damage and will continue to respond with short- and long-term efforts. Updates will be sent with prioritized needs. 

1. Prayer is one response everyone can offer. We ask that God will guide these efforts to reach the most people and that we may be a witness to Him through this tragedy. Should you have a specific request, click here and our AWF spiritual directors will be in prayer over your specific need. 

2. Monetary donations are crucial to our response. We have setup a direct online link where you may give to the Alabama-West Florida Conference. 100% of the money will be used in conference for supplies and rebuilding efforts. Kristi McClellan is also actively working on any possible grant money available. 

3. Many local churches want to know how they can immediately provide supplies. Good News UMC in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, has been staging a command center where they are evaluating daily needs. We have set up collection sites in most districts so that drop offs are closer to our local churches. In addition to UMCOR kits, Good News UMC has created a list of most-needed supplies at this time. Click here to access. We are in close contact with Rev. Brad Goode about what is needed most and will continue to update the list as assessments are made. This command center will transition to Woodlawn UMC in Panama City, FL, when they are able to assume this responsibility. The Florida Conference has offered assistance to help our furthermost east areas such as Port St. Joe. We are actively coordinating with them to have supplies delivered to this area as soon as possible. 

4. ERT teams will be a necessity in the coming weeks, months and years. If you have a team ready to help, please register them at this link and Susan Hunt will respond. Click here for upcoming ERT trainings. Because assessments will continue for many weeks, we are holding an assessment training on October 18 at Trinity UMC/Ft. Walton. Prior ERT training (current) is required. Click here for more information on this training

Our district and conference teams will continue to assess needs. Should any pastors have any questions related to insurance or financial needs, please contact the AWF Treasurer at or 334.356.8014. If you know of a specific need from a pastor/church who has limited communication, please have them contact Susan Hunt at 888.942.4477. Click here for the status of churches. You may visit for more information. 

Hurricane Michael Aftermath Update

published 10/11/2018

Updated at 10:31am to include update on Parker UMC

Updated at 7:46am to include Williams Memorial status

Updated at 7:55pm to include status of Shady Grove UMC, Grand Ridge UMC and Altha UMC. 
Updated at 7:52pm to include status of Alaqua UMC and Red Bay UMC
Updated at 10:03am to include details on Blountstown UMC

Updated at 12:42pm to includes statuses on Alford UMC, Bascom UMC, Callaway UMC, Graceville UMC, Hiland Park UMC, Honeyville UMC, Lynn Haven clergy residences, Panama City UMC, Sneads First UMC, Springfield UMC, Trinity UMC
Updated at 10:05 to include status of Cottondale UMC

Updated at 10:34am to include United Methodist Homes evacuees story
Updated at 10:27am to include New Hope UMC and Lakeview UMC status and further updates on FUMC Panama City

Updated at 6:35pm to include Parker UMC status
Updated at 3:58 to include status on New Hope UMC, East Mt. Zion UMC, Springhill UMC, Campbellton UMC, Bethlehem UMC and Rev. Dennis Tanton's home.  

Updated at 1:49pm to include Wewahitchka UMC status
Updated at 1:20pm to include Williams Memorial UMC, Dr. Doug Pennington's home and the MPC district office
Updated at 9:44am to include Bonifay UMC and Gulfview UMC
Updated 9:19am with to include status of Blount home
Updated at 8:57am to include update on Shelly Slate, the MPC Administrative Assistant

Updated at 7:46pm to include Port St. Joe UMC and parsonage damage
Updated at 12:34pm to include Baypines District report, Panama City FUMC and Forest Park UMC damage

The Alabama-West Florida Conference, under the leadership of Bishop David Graves, continues to receive reports in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Communication is extremely limited in heavily damaged areas, however, we will be updating this page in the coming days. Bishop Graves plans to visit the area early next week, if entry is allowed, to provide pastoral care and continue to survey damaged areas. We ask for continued prayers for those in several conferences who will feel Hurricane Michael’s impact for months and years to come.
At this time, monetary donations are crucial to the recovery efforts. Donations to the Alabama-West Florida Conference are preferred and can be made online by clicking here or by mailing a check to:
Alabama-West Florida Conference
Attention: Suzanne Krejcar
4719 Woodmere Boulevard
Montgomery, AL 36106
Memo line: Hurricane Michael Recovery
For those churches able to gather this weekend to worship, Bishop Graves is asking for each church to collect a special offering for relief efforts in our conference. Offerings may also be taken in other upcoming services in the coming weeks. Please mail those collections to the conference office at the above address.
The conference has already received a $10,000 grant from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Half of that has been used to buy gift cards so that pastors can distribute them in areas that need the most help. The gifts cards will be used for gasoline, building supplies and other necessary items.
The following updates to churches and parsonages have been provided to conference leadership. At this time we have not made contact with all pastors but thus far, there are no injuries to report.
Baypines District: No damage
Dothan District: No major structural damage, some heavy tree damage. Power is beginning to be restored. Rev. Sara Shaver continues to make contact, especially with the southernmost churches in the district.
Mobile District: No damage
Pensacola District: No damage
Marianna-Panama City District: Heavy damage in concentrated areas. Because cell towers are out, many pastors are unable to communicate with Dr. Doug Pennington and the disaster response coordinator. Dr. Pennington's house is in much better shape than anticipated. Water did not enter like they thought. Shelly Slate, the MPC District administrative assistant, is temporarily in Mobile. Her house has some damage but is repairable. The district office is severely damaged. 
-Good News UMC, Point Washington UMC and Woodlawn UMC all appear to be ok.
-Alaqua UMC, Bethlehem UMC, Campbellton UMC, East Mt. Zion, Graceville UMC, New Hope UMC, Red Bay UMC and Springhill UMC have no major damage. Rev. Dennis Tanton of Bethlehem UMC lost everything including his home, truck and boat. 
-The eastern side of Panama City extending to Port St. Joe appears to have received the worst of the storm.
-Lynn Haven UMC and St. Andrew UMC both have extensive damage to their sanctuaries. Rev. John Blount's home is in good shape, extensive downed trees. Rev. Craig Carter and Rev. Terry Tatum's house both have damage. 
-Alford UMC has no damage but pastor's house has roof damage. 
-Altha UMC: very tip of steeple on ground. Doesn’t appear that it caused any structural damage. Three windows broken and completely gone in front of sanctuary. One boarded up and two just standing open. The roof is in good shape as is separate fellowship hall building.
-Bascom UMC has some damage. 
-Bonifay UMC is in good shape. Rev. Andy Perry reports that he and his congregation are doing well. No significant damage to the property. 
-Blountstown UMC's roof is badly damaged and lost its steeple–it punctured the roof. Narthex windows are broken. The fellowship hall is in need of repair but workers coming so that utility workers can lodge there. Parsonage is ok. 
-Callaway UMC is completely devastated. Rev. Robert Bruce's home has major damage. 
-No damage has been reported for Cottondale UMC
-Forest Park UMC has some of its roof missing according to a TV broadcast video 
-Grand Ridge UMC's roof is slightly damaged but not enough for leaks and sign was twisted and on ground.
-Gulfview UMC is in tact with very little damage. Rev. John Woodrow is still working on contacting his congregation with limited cell service. 
-Hiland Park UMC has severe damage to the sanctuary. 
-Honeyville UMC's roof might be damaged. Rev. Jeff Painter's home is damaged. 
-Mathison Retirement Community was evacuated last week. Click here for story
-Marianna FUMC has damage to stained glass and the children’s church has standing water. The playground is destroyed. Dr. Nathan Attwood is at his home and not able to leave his neighborhood.
-Mexico Beach UMC appears to be in tact based on a photograph we received although the area is devastated.
-New Hope UMC has no significant damage
-Lakeview UMC has no significant damage
-Panama City FUMC, the steeple has been compromised and has caused damage. Extensive damage to older part of facility. The CLC is ok and will be used for emergency response. 
-Parker UMC has extensive damage to the facilities, roof was secured. The parsonage received extensive damage and roof has also been secure. 
-Shady Grove UMC's steeple is hanging down. Roof and eaves are damaged. 
-Sneads FUMC the steeple is off, some water damage. 
-Springfield UMC has extensive damage to church and pastor's home. 
-Trinity UMC has severe damage. 
-Wewahitchka UMC church and parsonage appears to only have minor damage. 
-Williams Memorial UMC is repairable. There is extensive damage to the roof but can be repairs. Rev. Taylor's home received extensive damage and they are waiting for an assessment to know if it is repairable. 
-The new building at Port St. Joe UMC faired relatively well. The sanctuary and education building have six feet of water. Local police feel the damage is worse inside that how it appears on the exterior. Church furniture is in the streets. The parsonage is a total loss.  
-We do not have updates for the following churches: Aldersgate UMC, Chipley UMC, Bonify UMC and Emmaus UMC. We also do not yet have a report on The Ark. If you have a confirmed report, please send it to
UMCOR cleaning and hygiene kits are another way local churches can help. Please only provide completed kits and not other supplies not on the list. Click here for complete information on kit assembly. Good News UMC in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, will serve as a staging area for these kits and other heavy equipment that is being coordinated by Rev. Rob Haynes and Mike Morris. The convenience of the church location will allow kits to move into damaged areas as soon as possible. Several churches throughout the conference are serving as receiving churches for completed kits. Click here for the list, additional churches are being added throughout the coming days. The warehouse in Decatur, AL, is moving kits into the area soon. 
The conference has established a dedicated Web domain that will direct you to more information on requesting a prayer, how to give to the Alabama-West Florida Conference and how to register a team. Visit for details. ERT teams are not able to enter at this time, but you may register a team and someone from our conference will be in touch. A direct toll-free phone number and email address are active. Several stretches of Interstate 10, a main artery in the Marianna-Panama City District, are closed. For now, only local emergency personnel are being allowed into areas.
The conference is appreciative of the many expressions of love and care we have received from around the connection. We will need extensive help in the foreseeable future and will continue to communicate immediate needs. Please join us in praying that God will direct us all to be the hands and feet of Christ during this devastating time.

Updated at 10.11.2018 at 7:46pm

Hurricane Michael Recovery

published 10/10/2018

The Alabama-West Florida Conference continues to collect reports from our churches, clergy and families and is preparing the best ways to help in the immediate and long-term aftermath. Churches should report damage to their district superintendent and district disaster response coordinator. You may also call the conference office at 334.356.8014 if you cannot reach your DS or DRC. ERT teams should prepare to deploy but please wait for direction from our disaster response coordinators. There are four immediate actions at this time.



Should you or someone you know need prayer, click on the above image to submit your request. All prayer requests will go to the AWF Director of Connectional Ministries, Rev. Ashley Davis. She will then deliver them to our Spiritual Directors team, who will pray over all requests. 


The quickest way you can personally help those in need is through monetary donations. You may donate online by clicking the above image or send a check to:
Alabama-West Florida Conference
Attention: Suzanne Krejcar
4719 Woodmere Boulevard
Montgomery, AL 36106
Memo line: Hurricane Michael Recovery

Completed UMCOR cleaning and hygiene kits will be needed in the coming days. Please only collect the items listed in these instructions. Please carefully follow the directions UMCOR has provided. Kits may be dropped off at the nearest collection site to you; click here for a list

At this time, the conference will be assessing damage through the district superintendents and conference disaster response coordinators. ERT teams will most likely be needed. You may register your team by the clicking the above image. Someone from the conference will contact you as soon as possible. 

A dedicated toll-free phone number has been established: 888-942-4477. 

A dedicated email address for these efforts has been created:

AWF Hurricane Michael Update

published 10/8/2018

Hurricane Michael continues to gain strength in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to make landfall in or near the bounds of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Our Conference Disaster Response Ministry is active in preparations and has provided the following update. 

Bishop David Graves encourages everyone to be in prayer for those in path of the storm and those who will respond in the immediate aftermath. The United Methodist Church has always been a community leader in post-storm recovery efforts and will be present when Hurricane Michael passes. 

Local churches should complete their disaster response plans as soon as possible. Click here to access resources and forms on the conference Website

The conference is coordinating with UMCOR to stage thousands of flood kits, hygiene kits, and other materials in anticipation of post-storm needs. Click here for more information on kit assembly

After the storm, churches should report damage assessments and needs to their district disaster response coordinator and district superintendent. Click here for coordinator contact information

While we encourage all to be in ministry to their neighbors after the storm, ERT teams should not self deploy to impacted areas until requested to do so.

Direct financial contributions are always best. You may send checks to the conference office with "Hurricane Michael relief efforts" in the subject line. 

We will share updates as they become available to us in the coming days. Should you have any questions, please reach out to Rev. Rob Haynes, our AWF Disaster Response Coordinator. 

A Video Message from Bishop Graves: Conference Staff Priorities

published 10/2/2018

October 2, 2018

We invite you to watch a video message from Bishop David Graves related to conference staff priorities. Click here to viewClick here to read transcript

You may also listen to this message as an audio-only podcast by clicking here, by searching for "AWFUMC Podcasts" on iTunes or in your preferred podcast player. We invite you to subscribe to these podcasts.

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