Disaster Relief 2023 Award Recipients
SCBaptist Disaster Relief presented their annual awards recently to recognize outstanding volunteers for their excellence in service.
Buck Buckner Award
Wayne Dutton of Springdale Baptist Church, Lancaster, received the “Buck” Buckner Memorial Award for distinguished service. Mr. Dutton served as a Unit Leader (“Blue Hat”) with the Moriah Baptist Association Disaster Relief unit for over 25 years. He responded to such events as Hurricane Hugo, many Florida hurricanes, Hurricane Katrina several times, and communities close to home after local storms.
While cutting trees, pulling brush or multiple other ways of service, Mr. Dutton shared God’s love with those in need. He maintained the mud out and chain saw trailers to have them ready to serve and pulled the trailers to disaster areas near and far. He was very vigilant to promote safety and was an awesome teacher and mentor to his team members. Mr. Dutton’s strong faith in Christ and servant’s heart were always evident in his Disaster Relief (DR) activities.
Permelia Creamer Award
This award is given to honor service to Disaster Relief ministry by a woman. It was presented this year to a group of sisters: Carolyn Summers, Judy Dingler, and Toni Flynn of Camp Creek Baptist Church, Lancaster. Known in DR circles as “the three sisters of the laundry,” these ladies have most often served in DR shower/laundry ministry, but lately have discovered a love for mud-out ministry as well.
The sisters have recently taken the lead in reviving a recovery unit in their church after it had grown inactive in the association. They are willing to do any tasks that need to be done. Serving the Lord with gladness, they bring positive attitudes and laughter to the sites where they serve.
Tommy Thompson Award
James Looper of Nine Forks Baptist Church, Pickens, was presented with the Tommy Thompson Award for leading by example in a smaller membership church/rural area of South Carolina. James is Unit Leader for the Pickens Twelve Mile Association’s chainsaw and mud-out unit.
When the association’s DR unit was stolen a couple of years ago, James worked tirelessly to construct and equip a replacement trailer. During that time, he served on numerous deployments with nearby units both in SC and out of state. He has worked to build interest in DR within the association now that their new unit is ready to go, encouraging others to serve people in crisis.
Cliff Satterwhite Award
This award gives special recognition to a person in a church, association, or denominational leadership role who has served in the aftermath of a disaster. Rev. Mike Wallace, Associational Missions Strategist for the York Baptist Association, was presented the award for leading recovery efforts by SCBaptist DR in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian in 2019-20.
Because of Mike’s leadership, SCBaptists were able to assist the Caravel Zion Baptist Church in Freeport, Bahamas with recovery and rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Dorian. The York Association’s mud-out unit was shipped to Freeport. DR teams and church mission teams used it for tear-out, mold remediation and repairs on the church and on homes in the surrounding community. Mike coordinated plans, people, equipment, and supplies. Throughout the challenges of this overseas recovery project, he led with grace and a heart to serve in the name of Christ.
Choice and Grace Watson Award
Jeff Heath of Edwards Road Baptist Church, Greenville was announced as the recipient of SCBDR’s highest award, which honors an individual or couple who personifies a lifetime of service locally, state-wide, and nationally in Baptist Disaster Relief. Due to illness, Jeff was unable to attend the award ceremony, but will be presented the award soon.
Jeff is Unit Leader for the Greenville Baptist Association mud-out unit. He has a Christ-like heart for serving others. He leads his team to accomplishing amazing amounts of physically demanding work while still giving priority to ministering to the homeowners through encouragement, prayer, and scripture. Jeff always gives God the glory and credit for what is accomplished. Jeff’s team members see him lead with patience, skill, attention to detail, and humility; therefore, they gladly follow him in serving Jesus.
Congratulations to all these award recipients! May God bless you for your service to him through SCBaptist Disaster Relief!