A process that began eight years ago to mobilize volunteers quickly when disaster strikes is nearing completion.
In 2005 Don Davis (now deceased) and his wife Ann approached leadership of the Tennessee Baptist Convention about the possibility of donating their land for a facility which could be used for disaster relief operations.
The Davises were long-time Tennessee Baptist disaster relief volunteers who had a heart for the ministry.
After lengthy discussions and approval of the TBC Executive Board, the Davises deeded 18 acres to the TBC in 2008.
The Davises’ dream will become a reality on Saturday, June 1, when the Missions Mobilization Center will be dedicated at 1 p.m. at the facility located at 6434 John Hagar Road here.
While there may still be some finishing touches to complete the facility will be more than 85 percent finished and will be ready for full use once it is dedicated, Acres said.
TBC Executive Director Randy C. Davis observed that the Davis family “had a vision for a property they would entrust to the Tennessee Baptist Convention. This property was to be a tool in the fulfillment of The Great Commission.
“A portion of that vision will become a reality when the ribbon is cut on the Mission Mobilization Center on June 1,” Davis said.
He noted that the ground was to be broken for the MMC three years ago on the Sunday of the thousand-year flood that hit Middle and portions of West Tennessee.
“After the delay, ground was broken and work was started. Hundreds of volunteers have put tens of thousands of hours into this building, saving the convention hundreds of thousands of dollars,” stated Davis.
More than 420 volunteers contributed more than 32,000 hours. The value of these hours is approximately $656,000 according to the Federal Emergency Management Authority (@ $20.55 hr.).
The volunteers came from 1,300 churches and 66 associations. The volunteer ages have ranged from 18 to 90 years-old.
In addition to the donation of the property, donations were received so that no Cooperative Program funds were used for either the construction or furnishing of the MMC.
The 30,000-plus-square-foot facility is valued at $2.4 million.
Davis observed that the MMC “will serve Tennessee Baptists in multiple ways.
“It is well equipped for training in the many disciplines of disaster relief. It will serve to warehouse some of the very best equipment available to our DR teams, and a state-of-the-art communications center will be the nerve center during periods of deployment of DR teams.”
Davis also observed that the MMC “is strategically located in Mount Juliet to provide respite for teams on their way to serve most areas of the country.”
In fact, during recent tornadoes which swept through the South, DR teams from other states stopped at the MMC and were able to spend the night, Acres reported.
“The facility will provide an opportunity to assist volunteers from other states in reducing their lodging expenses during a disaster,” Acres added.