2016 Disaster Relief Awards
South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief (SCB DR) presents four awards each year to recognize volunteers for outstanding service to the Lord through Disaster Relief. This year’s award winners were Ron McGuire, Mary Causey, George Poepping, and Wayne Miller.
The Watson Award
The highest honor given by SCB DR is the Watson Award, which was presented this year to Ron McGuire of Summerville Baptist Church. Ron is the Unit Leader for the Screven Association/Summerville Baptist Church chainsaw unit.
Named for the late Choice and Grace Watson, pioneers in the start-up and growth of SCB DR in South Carolina after Hurricane Hugo, the Watson Award honors an individual or couple who personifies a lifetime of local, state, national, and international service in Disaster Relief.
Ron McGuire served in El Salvador after Hurricane Mitch in 1998, and since then has served after numerous disasters both close to home and across the country. His deployments have taken him to ten US states in addition to his DR work in South Carolina.
According to his team members, Ron is the “go-to guy” if there is a need, yet calls no attention to himself as he serves the Lord by serving others. Meeting spiritual needs through conversation and prayer with those affected by disaster “tends to be the underlying spirit and purpose” for Ron’s participation in Disaster Relief. Those in his unit often hear him pray, “May others see the light of Jesus in us.”
The Permelia Creamer Award
This award honoring outstanding service by a woman in SCB DR is named in memory of Permelia Creamer, who showed how to live out the call of a Christian in all that she did. The 2016 Permelia Creamer Award was given to Mary Causey, a member of The Church at Life Park, Mt. Pleasant.
Mary serves with the Charleston Association feeding team and as the feeding class trainer for SCB DR. She also works alongside her husband when he is deployed to manage a DR command post.
“Whether Mary is teaching in the feeding classroom, assisting on a feeding team, or helping her husband run a disaster site, she maintains her sweet spirit and always has a smile and kind words for those around her,” says a fellow DR volunteer. “Mary’s quiet and humble spirit is a blessing. Her willingness to help however she can and her desire to assist in Disaster Relief demonstrates her love for the Lord.”
The Buck Buckner Award
The award named in memory of “Buck” Buckner goes to an individual who has been a leader in both SCB DR and in an allied area. This year the award went to George Poepping, a member of Northside Baptist Church, Lexington.
George has been involved with SCB DR for many years in various ways. After participating on many deployments as a chaplain, his latest role is serving on the state DR task force as the Chaplain Coordinator. George has prepared for this area of ministry by participating in events held by the Federation of Fire Chaplains, CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management), and FEMA. He has also earned North American Mission Board (NAMB) endorsement as a Disaster Relief chaplain.
George assists with DR training events by loading and unloading materials and equipment, driving trucks and parking trailers, distributing supplies to classrooms, and whatever else is needed. George is constantly sharing and showing God’s love to assist people any way he can and anywhere he is needed, always with a big smile on his face.
The Tommy Thompson Award
Named for an associational DR Director who was a stalwart in a rural association, this award goes to an individual who leads by example in the smaller membership/rural areas of South Carolina. The 2016 recipient of this award is Wayne Miller, a member of Red Hill Baptist Church, Edgefield.
Wayne is unit leader for the Edgefield Association’s DR recovery unit. Although he prefers chainsaw work, he has also served in mud-out deployments, with the most recent being last fall’s flood response in the Columbia area.
In addition to his Disaster Relief work, Wayne leads the men of Edgefield Association in ministry projects such as building handicap ramps and doing house repairs for the needy. Those that serve with Wayne state that he is always available to help people in need. At 75 years of age, Wayne says he will continue serving the Lord “as long as I can drive a nail.”