Welcome to First United Methodist Church of Kaufman
208 S. Houston Street * Kaufman, TX 75142 * 972-932-2838
Emergency Response Team
Open to all members 18 years of age and up.
A disaster response team that responds to natural disasters locally and out of area.
UMCOR Certified, we are a mission program of the United Methodist Men of Kaufman to serve those in need when disaster strikes.
United Methodist Men of Kaufman
meet the last Saturday morning of each month for breakfast.
They enjoy Christian fellowship and participate in different types of service projects.
UMCOR Celebrates 75 Years
“The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the globe. UMCOR’s work includes programs and projects in disaster response, health, sustainable agriculture, food security, relief supplies, and more.” This year marks their 75th anniversary. You can be a part of UMCOR’s ongoing legacy of offering hope and relief to millions of people around the world during times of crisis by assembling a Health Kit or School Kit. These will be taken to the upcoming Annual Conference in June.
They answer the call…
Van TX May, 2015
We’ve all heard about the terrible storms that have pounded the North Texas area for weeks now but the one that hit Van cost not only damage to their homes but damage to their Methodist family. The loss of a couple of fine folk like David and Brenda Tapley, members of First United Methodist Church in Van Texas, was a shock.
The Kaufman County Early Response Team knows all too well what to expect from such disasters. From Bastrop’s wildfires to Cleburne’s and Lancaster’s tornados, it’s what the team trains for and has been through. Yet, always hoping to not be called out but all too often it seems they are. So they wait, they listen and then, they answer the call.
They answered the call on Wednesday morning May the 13th. The answer came from Maybank, Terrell, Seagoville and Kaufman. Others from Rusk, Longview, Plano and Denton. The rallying point was the Methodist church in Van. They meet up with other Methodist members there. A team was assembled then deployed to ground zero by 10 AM that morning, Boise D’Arcade Street, right across from the school which was total loss. With their mission before them they summon all their training and experience into action. Most of the team members are seasoned veterans others youthful but all with the same goal. To salvage not only property but people’s souls if needed.
They answered the call going right in with a team of 15 volunteers on that first day and the people on Bois D’Arcade are waiting for them. After parking their convoy they begin to search for those in need and see just what an EF3 tornado can do. Immediately they help a single mom with a teenage daughter. The mom, still in shock, glad that someone finally came to help them pick up the broken pieces of their lives, their belongings and their spirt. More souls approach seeking help, the whole neighborhood in shambles. Most living in old mobile homes that didn’t have much in the beginning but have in less now. They look desperate you can see it their eyes.
Soon a steady drown of machines begins to fill the air as chainsaws and tractors roar to life. Exhaust fumes fill the air and mix with the stench of damaged sewer systems. It’s a mad house. Convoys of trucks, cars and other equipment begin to arrive. People on foot and ATV too providing food and water. There’s mud, weeds, bugs it’s a miserable place but they just keep coming. By the tens then hundreds as town’s population swells, all kinds of faiths and services now. Everyone looking for someone to help, wearing their different colored shirts, it looks a rainbow of humanity. The Kaufman ERT group wears lime green so they can find each other in the malay.
For three more days the team gathers every morning by the Dollar General across from FUMC Van and their convoy heads to the same area. The team swells to a high of 29 at times and assist in recovery of 44 homes. On the final day, a Saturday, they are searching for others to help but with so many volunteers it’s hard to find them so we call it a day. After having a late lunch they head back and speak of getting ready for the next disaster. It will take some time to get all the supplies together and to rest up but we know all too well that we could be next and they must be prepared but until then they train and go over what might be improved upon so they can be able to serve again.
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