South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief Volunteers Receive National Recognition

At a gathering in late January of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) leaders from state conventions across the nation, three South Carolina volunteers were recognized for their service to the Lord through Disaster Relief (DR). Receiving awards were Steve Shumake of Grace Baptist Church in Sumter, Avery Fox of Clinton First Baptist Church, and Wil Bradham of the Southeast Baptist Association.

Avery Fox and Wil Bradham were awarded SBDR Distinguished Service Awards for 2015. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals for specific performances during disasters and is based on the most recent year of response.

When last fall’s South Carolina floods occurred, the Georgetown area where Wil serves as Director of Missions for the Southeast Baptist Association was affected. He immediately went into action as he delivered cases of water to first responders, made contact with area disaster response partners, and arranged for a local church to be the SBDR command post/housing site, all on the first day of the flood incident.

A ten-year DR volunteer, Wil served as Incident Commander to get the Georgetown command post up and running, and continued to be involved throughout the response. Wil’s passion for seeing others come to know Christ was evident as he was involved in meeting both physical and spiritual needs.

Avery Fox has also been a Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteer for ten years. During the recent South Carolina floods, he served as a unit leader and on-the-job trainer for a number of collegiate groups who came to help in the flood recovery efforts.

Avery’s heart for serving Christ in crisis is exhibited by his willingness to drop everything and do anything when needed, no matter how big or small. On several occasions Avery represented the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief ministry on the governor’s “Team South Carolina” events at disaster resource centers across the state. He also worked with local and city officials when needed.

Steve Shumake was awarded the SBDR Phillips Award for 2015. The Phillips Award recognizes individuals for a series of services and/or specific performances during disasters and is based on the most recent year of response.

Steve has been very effective in enlisting volunteers for the SBDR ministry as well as providing leadership for a positive experience for those involved, according to SC Baptist Convention DR Director Randy Creamer.

During the South Carolina floods, Steve was on site at the command center at Grace Baptist Church, serving as site coordinator and any other role needed during the seven week response. Leaders from other states whose teams served out of that command center would agree that Steve helped to make their work more effective.

Southern Baptist and South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief would like to thank Steve, Avery, and Wil for their faithful service and servant hearts while bringing help, healing, and hope to those in need.