Fresh off the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, another hurricane is making her way towards Florida, and towards several SN churches, pastors, and staff. Hurricane Irma, one of the fiercest Atlantic storms in a century, is expected to hit Florida early on Sunday, causing major damage due to high winds and flooding to the fourth-largest U.S. state by population. A total of 5.6 million people, or 25 percent of the state's population, have been ordered to evacuate Florida, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The situation for many is dire, hectic, and scary. We are urging you to continue in fervent prayer for the millions affected by this storm. Included here are some quick updates on how Irma is impacting our network churches and pastors in its path, as well as some ways you can support these churches as they prepare for this storm.
SN Staff and Board Members
Sojourn Network has several staff members and board members located in both southwest Florida and the wake of Irma. Stephanie Neis (Executive Assistant to Dave Harvey) and her family have opted to stay in their home, making every preparation possible to withstands Irma’s anticipated 160 mph winds. Dave Harvey (Executive Director) and his wife Kimm have opted to stay north in the Philadelphia area to wait out the storm there. Tim and Patty Beltz are head north and west to stay with friends in New Orleans.
Summit Church (Fort Myers/Naples/Gateway, Florida)
Summit Church is canceling all weekly church activities, as well as all weekend gatherings at each of their three locations. The main church building was built to withstand hurricanes and is already prepared to be used as a designated shelter for members of their church should the need arise.
Redemption Church (Miami, Florida)
Redemption Church is canceling its Sunday service. Lead pastor, Jeremiah Taylor, and another elder, Brian Matthews, will be staying at Jeremiah's house through the weekend with a generator and water, ready to wait out the storm and be among the first post-hurricane responders in their Little Haiti neighborhood.
One Savior Church (Guyton, GA near Savannah)
Further up the eastern coast is another network church: One Savior. Sunday services have been canceled, and many folks are evacuating the area and heading north. Steven (lead pastor), his wife Christy, and their children are currently in Michigan and should be safe from the storm.
Crawford Avenue Baptist Church (Augusta, GA)
In Augusta, GA, Crawford Avenue Baptist Church is working with the Red Cross and other organizations to see if their facility can be used as a place for evacuees should the need arise. There weekly services are currently slated to continue as planned.
A Call to Prayer
As millions in our country prepare for another massive storm, we encourage everyone in our network churches to faithful, fervent prayer.
- Pray that God would stay this storm and protect the people, their homes.
- Pray that our network churches and their leaders minister effectively during this time.
- Pray that God would mobilize his church in extraordinary ways to really help people in need.
- Pray that South Florida won’t waste this tragedy. Pray that many folks who are dead in their trespasses and sins might be raised to new life in Christ.
Note: this post will be updated throughout the coming days to add details for giving and other updates once damage from the storm has been assessed.