Churches organizing efforts to help Oklahoma tornado victims

HOW TO HELP -- Visit tulsaworld.com/2013tornadohelp to find out how to help Oklahoma tornado victims.

Oklahoma churches that mobilized to help victims of Sunday's tornados shifted their attention to the Oklahoma City area Monday afternoon when a devastating tornado cut a wide swath of destruction through Moore.

"We're still helping in Shawnee and Carney," said Brian Hobbs, communications director for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, "but most of our attention is on Moore."

Hobbs said the statewide Southern Baptists Disaster Relief organization was providing meals for disaster workers and victims in Moore.

Many of the 5,000 trained Baptist disaster relief volunteers are being called into service, he said.

"We will not leave until every family is served," he said.

Statewide Baptists have set up a website for receiving prayer requests and making donations: tulsaworld.com/okdisasterhelp.

Many churches are collecting money and goods for tornado relief.

A box truck of ready-to-eat meals and bottled water left Victory Christian Center Tuesday morning.

Victory staff member Rod Baker said he parked the truck at Journey Church in Moore, a staging area for disaster relief.

"It's terrible. It's unbelievable," he said. "It looks like a bomb went off."

Baker said Victory, working with Feed and Hungry and Convoy of Hope, will provide two more semi-trailers of goods.

Donations can be made at the Victory Bible Institute building at 81st Street and Delaware Ave., and cash donations can be made on line at tulsaworld.com/victorydonate.

Guts Church, 9120 Broken Arrow Expressway, was collecting water, diapers, nonperishable food and money in its parking lot Tuesday morning, said the Rev. Bill Scheer, pastor.

"I think that its important for the church to be incredible at disaster relief," he said. "It's simply the love of God with work gloves."

The United Methodist Conference of Oklahoma disaster relief officials are asking people to donate cash, but not goods, and to stay away from the disaster area.

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