CANNONSBURG, Ky. (KT) – More than three dozen Kentucky Baptists took part in an emergency packing event of Send Relief buckets on Sunday afternoon that will be sent South to help victims dealing with flooding issues in Mississippi.
A total of 280 buckets were packed, said Rob Allen, the director of the Send Relief Ashland Ministry Center. The buckets were trucked out of the facility early Monday morning, he said.
“I’d never seen it done before,” said Dicky Tiller, the pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Cannonsburg. “Everybody was going in different directions, but all were going the same way. They have it down to a ‘T.’ It’s amazing to watch them do that.”
Allen said many of the volunteers who came Sunday, which included about 25 from Liberty and several from his home church, First Baptist Russell, experienced a packing event for the first time. “Over half had never been here before so it was a great experience,” he said.
Two members of Liberty, Bill Johnson and David Bayes, put out the word to the small church that responded in a big way. Tiller said he was thrilled to watch his congregation come to the aid of those they don’t even know so quickly.
“It was a God thing,” he said. “I was in Acts, talking about the New Testament church, so it fit right into what we were doing. I dismissed church a little early to give people time to get something to eat and meet out there.”
Tiller, who has been on a long weight-loss journey that has seen him lose nearly 350 pounds, said being able to participate in the packing for the full 90 minutes was a blessing to him. “I was thankful to be able to go,” he said.
Each bucket is packed with 19 items ranging from utility knives, to cleaning products, to gospel tracts. An assembly line was in place and the packing moved quickly. The completed buckets are placed on wooden pallet, wrapped in plastic to hold them in place and loaded onto the truck. It was a busy place for a couple of hours, Tiller said
Allen’s 11-year-old daughter, Melia, was making sure each bucket had a gospel tract, Tiller said.
“She was sitting at the end of that (assembly) line and I said, ‘You better get up and do something,’’’ her father said. “She said, ‘I am doing something. I’m making sure these make it in every one of these.’’’
Hunter Mulhearn, a student at a local elementary and member at Liberty, carried full buckets from the end of the assembly line to the final staging area. “They called him the ‘Bucket Brigade.’ I was impressed by the folks there and glad to see so many from Liberty showing up.”
Tiller said, "It was great application to God’s word – to love and serve. It was the Cooperative Program in action. It was people cooperating for the Lord, reaching out and loving on people.”