Deal to lead the Fellowship’s national disaster response efforts
By Blake Tommey
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
ATLANTA – On Jan. 1, Tommy Deal, former associate coordinator for CBF of Florida, will succeed Charles Ray as national disaster response coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Deal, who brings years of disaster response experience to the position, will diligently manage field responses during and following events and coordinate a national response in cooperation with state and regional efforts.
“Tommy brings a wealth of experience and compassion to this role,” said CBF’s Interim Executive Coordinator Pat Anderson. “He has been a tireless worker and an excellent coordinator of churches, volunteers and other helping agencies.”
Although not a first responder organization, in the wake of disasters, CBF staff and field personnel, churches and partner ministries provide relief supplies, resources and volunteers. As coordinator, Deal said his first priorities are to continue strengthening the partner relationships that make disaster response possible, as well as improve communication to churches and other CBF constituents.
“CBF disaster response is an opportunity to be Christ’s presence during a very dark time in people’s lives,” Deal said. “We want to continue being the ones who come into areas neglected by others to stay longer in the recovery period. As a minister leading disaster response for CBF of Florida and serving public safety for most of my life, this role is a wonderful marriage of the things God has called and prepared me to do.”
Since May, Deal has served as the disaster response coordinator for CBF of Georgia. He will continue in this role as part of a collaborative relationship between CBF of GA and national CBF.
In addition to his role with CBF of Florida, Deal has served as a chaplain to numerous police and fire departments and a state board member for Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. Deal has also received training in disaster response from FEMA. In conjunction with Deal’s leadership, Charles Ray will continue to fundraise and build partner networks in an effort to transform CBF Disaster Response into a sustainable mission of CBF.
“The goal of Tommy’s appointment is to both help manage and expand CBF relief efforts,” Harry Rowland, CBF’s missional church engagement specialist, said. “Charles Ray moved CBF from a ‘wait and see what we can do’ approach to a proactive, prepared network of state and regional response efforts, and now Tommy will build on that.”
CBF is a fellowship of Baptist Christians and churches who share a passion for the Great Commission and a commitment to Baptist principles of faith and practice. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.