NEW! September 2023 Disaster Ministry Update (9/12/2023)

September 12, 2023
[Tuesday, September 12, 2023]

Hurricane Idalia
 left significant wind and flood damage in south central Georgia especially in Valdosta and surrounding areas and Glynn county.  We are still assessing the numbers of families and individuals impacted by this hurricane.  Early estimates are around 100 homes destroyed and 1000 with major damage throughout the impacted areas. We are thankful for St. James Lutheran Church in Brunswick GA! They have stepped up to serve their community by providing Emergency Assistance funds to survivors who are in need in Glynn county. We will continue to need funds to help people with emergency assistance and in long-term recovery with funds for materials and supplies both in Glynn County and in Valdosta area.  Donations are greatly appreciated to support this response. Volunteers are needed to help with clean up and rebuilding. Clean up kits and supplies are needed now.  If you can help please contact Pastor Morgan Gordy for more information.

Griffin and LaGrange/ West Point GA: January 2023 Tornadoes caused major damage across several counties in Georgia. Thanks to a grant from LDR and other generous donations, we have been able to fund a construction manager for the Griffin area. Thanks to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Griffin for standing up volunteer housing and being the construction management hub for this response. Funds for this response will provide for materials and supplies for rebuilding in both LaGrange/ West Point and Griffin [Spauding County]. Volunteers are needed to help with the rebuilding.

Selma and Prattville AL: January 2023 Tornadoes caused major damage across several counties in Alabama. Thanks to a grant from LDR and donations, we have funded an outreach worker to ensure that all may have a chance to recover from these devastating tornadoes.  Funds for this response will provide for materials and supplies for rebuilding in Prattville, Autauga/Elmore counties and in Selma.  Volunteers are needed to help with clean up and rebuild.

Middle and West TN: Floods and Tornadoes 2021, 2023- yes, Tennessee continues to have disasters across the state. Most recent in East TN with damaging straight line winds. We continue to respond and assist with long-term recovery in seven counties across the state from the 2021 batch of tornadoes. In March/April 2023 tornadoes ripped through the state again. Now we are setting up responses in Rutherford / Cannon County as well.  Thanks to Advent Lutheran Church for hosting the long-term recovery committee meetings and for Jeff Lysyczyn for agreeing to chair this committee as well as assist other committees as they are forming in areas also impacted by the tornadoes.  Funds are needed for materials and supplies as well as volunteers to help rebuild so that these families can recover.

Amory/Wren MS:  March 2023 Tornadoes devastated Mississippi. Disaster response resources have been spread thin addressing all the damage in so many areas. We are focusing our efforts on Amory and Wren as other disaster providers are focusing more on the other areas.  Pastor Stacey Parvin is working 1-2 days per week helping the communities form a recovery process and providing much needed emotional spiritual care.  Even though we have been active here since March, our work here is just beginning.  Donations for materials and supplies, continued emotional and spiritual care, and volunteers for rebuild is much needed for their recovery. We are currently working on volunteer housing options in this area so that teams may come in and help.

Moss Point MS: 2023 June Tornadoes tore through the coastal city of Moss Point.  No stranger to disaster, this community has quickly organized a response with the assistance of Jon Biggs, one of our disaster coordinators! Jon has stepped up to serve as construction manager to oversee and direct the rebuilding of the homes that were destroyed or received damage. Funds for materials and unmet needs as well as volunteers are greatly appreciated.

Lutheran Disaster Response is committed to empowering communities!

We were blessed to have LDR National Trainers – Dale and Jean Peercy come in August and provide disaster response workshops for the communities and providers in Amory, Jackson MS and in Griffin GA.  With their skillful instruction, we hope to see more forward movement in the recovery process in these areas.  LDR trainers will be back October 18th in Bolivar County in MS to continue training communities for long term recovery!

Thank you to the congregational outreach teams and Women of the ELCA groups of congregations in the Synod who have provided supplies so that families as they begin again in a new or repaired home have what they need! Kitchen boxes, bathroom boxes, bedroom boxes have been assembled and donated by teams and women’s groups in Reformation Lutheran Church in Greenville TN, Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Atlanta GA and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Garden City GA. Thank you!!
As you see, our synod continues to experience disasters. LDR continues to walk with us in all of these events. It takes us all to bring light and hope and hands of help that is much needed after these storms. If you would like more information, or would like to help, please reach out to me at Thank you for all you do!

God’s peace,
Pastor Morgan Gordy