Pastor and Mrs. Fernando Gonzales

Waterloo, Iowa—After a flash flood caused thousands of dollars in damage to Iglesia Bautista Hispana (Hispanic Baptist Church) in July, partners worked together to help the church recover. 

As waters receded from the church basement, Pastor Fernando Gonzalez was left with nearly $7,000 in uninsured loss. Church members rolled up their sleeves and went to work, assisted by the state association’s emergency response HELP Team. Pastor Roger Crawford of Calvary Baptist Church, Union, Iowa, leads the team, which is administrated through the IARBC Next Town Evangelism program. Recently the group has also assisted in the aftermath of the Parkersburg tornado and Cedar Rapids flooding. 

“When something happens and churches need help, I try to get a group together to help right away,” Roger says. “We send out an e-mail through our state fellowship, explaining the need, and others respond to help.” 

On the day of the Waterloo work project, Crawford was assisted by Pastor Gary Moore of Burton Avenue Baptist Church, Waterloo, and other church members. 

Volunteer emergency response team members

 Then word reached Michael Nolan, director of Baptist Builders Club, who consulted with the church to assess its remaining needs, still amounting to $3,000 in uninsured loss. 

“As much as we would like to think they are, churches are not disaster-proof,” says Nolan. “Every year we hear of property damage and churches facing the nightmare of trying to rebuild.” 

Nolan arranged for the church to receive $3,000 for emergency repair work. With the Iowa HELP team’s assistance and funding from Baptist Builders Club, the church was able to paint walls, replace windows, replace the furnace, install new sinks in the restroom, and purchase a crib and storage cabinet. 

After receiving the Baptist Builders Club check, the Waterloo church responded with gratitude.“ ‘Thank you’ hardly seems adequate to describe our sincere gratitude for your generous support and love,” Pastor Gonzalez says. “With God’s faithfulness and your support we have been blessed with the full amount. Glory to God!”