LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Dave Hampton was surprised to learn he was being honored with the prestigious North American Mission Board Distinguished Service Award at the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Awards Dinner on Wednesday.
He was even more surprised to find out his wife Susan knew about it for two weeks.
“I can’t believe she didn’t tell me,” he said. “I guess she proved she can keep a secret.”
It’s not a secret about Hampton’s worthiness for the award, which was given to only seven throughout the Southern Baptist Convention. He is a 10-year veteran of Kentucky Disaster Relief work.
“It was hard because we tell each other everything,” Susan said. “I actually told my daughter but didn’t tell any of the grandkids. I had to tell my daughter Krista, she’s also a DR volunteer.”
Dave and Susan, who are members of Immanuel Baptist Church in Corbin, have been working DR together since they retired.
“When I retired, my wife and I didn’t want to sit around having nothing to do,” he said. “God has blessed us so much … making friends, helping people, seeing people get saved, which is our main goal. We love it. There’s nothing like it.”
Dave Hampton, who served 22 years in the Air Force, retired from the state inspector’s office 10 years ago. He and his wife decided to give Disaster Relief training a try and fell in love with the work.
“They called us out a month after we were trained,” Susan said. “It has been a godsend. It’s kept us on our toes, kept us young. We see people get saved and help people who are hurting.”
Dave Hampton, 73, went out on eight assignments in 2019, including serving in Illinois over the Fourth of July holiday. Most of the time, he is wearing the Blue Hat that in DR world means he’s the leader. Hampton has natural leadership abilities and a heart for others, said Kentucky Disaster Relief Director Coy Webb.
“Dave Hampton is an outstanding leader who served in a multitude of responses this year,” Webb said. “He exemplifies the Disaster Relief mantra to bring help, healing, and hope to people in times of disaster. His leadership helped us offer compassion and the Gospel to multitudes of disaster survivors.”
Hampton said he was surprised to be presented with the award and said “really, it’s the crew that goes with me that deserves that. You go out and every crew is the best crew you’ve ever gone out with.”
Susan Hampton said her husband is “a hard worker who always gives 100 percent. Dave gives everybody a chance to put in input,” his wife said. “Even me sometimes.”
She was proud of his award and “kind of surprised. We’re not people who think about awards, or care about awards.”
But they both do care about Disaster Relief work and said they are thankful for Webb. “We have the best director in the country,” Susan said.