Oakside Baptist Church gives out supplies to tornado victims

Published 4:07 pm Monday, January 16, 2023

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On Monday, Oakside Baptist Church hosted a tornado relief distribution for those impacted by the tornadoes Thursday. 

“A lot of people are homeless right now. A lot of people are without power and gas and need all kinds of items to get by right now,” Pastor Tim Tidwell of Oakside Baptist Church said. 

Tidwell said initially the church was contacted by another church that wanted to minister in the area but didn’t know how to go about doing it. 

“They asked us, “Since you’re right there in the middle of what was affected, would y’all consider being a relief center?’” Tidwell said. “We prayed about and had peace about doing that. So we sent out emails and texts and the community has come together to bring a ton of supplies that people need.”

Tidwell said the donations the church received came from members of the church and local churches in the communities.

He said approximately 40 people picked up supplies, and he anticipated more will follow.

“Thank God that we were spared because business every business down here is torn up,” Tidwell said. “We’ve sensed that God placed us here for a reason, and we’re just blessed to be able to give back to the community. What blesses us are the churches and people from all over this community have come together to donate and are here to volunteer to help distribute.”

Lucinda Deitman, president of the homeowners association of Lexington Park, said it’s hard to put into words how she feels about the damage the tornadoes caused.

“The homeowners are appreciative of everything that everyone in the community is doing for us,” Deitman said. “Speaking for myself, I just want to help my community, the people that I live with every day, to make sure that they’re being taken care of and are helped in any way that I can.”

Jack Riley, a young volunteer, said he is happy to help his community.

“I’m glad to be able to help our community,” Riley said. “I’m a bit sad too because all these people’s houses were torn down.”

Andy Buchanan of the Troup Baptist Association said there will be another distribution tomorrow from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Lexington Park.

Deitman said even if the weather brings rain, they still plan to do the distribution from under tents.

“We’ve spent days out in the rain cleaning up people’s yards and driveways to get them out of their houses,” Deitman said. “We were all soaking wet by the time we were done but you have to help people out, and it’s not something you can’t wait for — you have to get out there and help them.”

For more information on emergency supply donations and distributions call Buchanan at 706 -884 -1975.