‘Disaster response’ is now a single Episcopal Area ministry for the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences, coordinated by Rev. Robert Craig
By Lane Gardner Camp, Director of Communications, Memphis Conference
Effective Jan. 1, the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences of the Nashville Episcopal Area have combined their disaster response ministries into a single area-wide ministry, according to an announcement by Bishop William T. (Bill) McAlilly.
Named to coordinate the Nashville Episcopal Area Disaster Response Ministry is Rev. Robert Craig, an elder in the Memphis Conference, who additionally serves as executive director of Reelfoot Rural Ministries, an agency of the Memphis Conference.
Craig has extensive experience with disaster response and preparedness throughout the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church.
As the Area disaster response coordinator, Craig will initiate and coordinate training and response for disasters inside and outside the Nashville Episcopal Area that includes middle and west Tennessee and western Kentucky.
Dr. Joe Geary, director of Connectional Ministries for the Memphis Conference, described the leadership under Craig as a move that will be “more expedient, eliminate duplication of efforts and have greater impact” for both conferences.
Geary cited major hurricanes last August and September for which the Memphis and Tennessee Conferences developed a common response that was more efficient and effective than if the conferences had operated independently. Craig coordinated that joint response at Bishop McAlilly’s request.
“I am honored to be trusted with the responsibility of coordinating the efforts of our two great conferences in disaster response and preparedness,” said Craig. “We already have dozens of committed and skilled volunteers standing ready to meet the needs of their neighbors following a disaster.”
Craig noted the Nashville Area is “blessed” with experienced leadership in most all of its nine districts (four in the Memphis Conference and five in the Tennessee Conference).
“My desire,” said Craig, “is to establish relationships with and partner with all our people who have the gifts and desire to be a part of this ministry of presence. I am committed to do everything I can to best prepare our congregations and districts to share the love of Christ in times of disaster.”
Two email addresses have been created, one for each conference, for laity and clergy to:
- request disaster assistance
- volunteer time and resources for disaster response
- inquire about and request training for disaster preparedness and response
Craig will monitor these two email addresses for the Nashville Episcopal Area: