The President of the Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church, the Rev. Bill Higgs, recently announced that Methodists in the Bahamas are ready to launch their response to the recent disasters caused by Tropical Storm Hanna and Hurricane Ike in their neighboring countries of Haiti and Turks and Caicos. The Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church has a very vibrant church in Matthew Town, Inagua, as well as close ties to both Haiti and the Turks and Caicos through its staff and church members.
According to Higgs, the Conference has received multiple reports of the severe devastation experienced throughout these communities and as such, is moved to respond immediately and significantly with its Disaster Relief.
The early beginning of the Methodist Disaster Relief Program in 1992 led to the establishing of a formal organization now known as Methodist Habitat, a full time outreach program of the BCMC, based at Camp Symonette in James' Cistern, Eleuthera. Methodist Habitat also did a lot of work in Grand Bahama following Hurricanes Francis and Jean in 2005. In 2008 alone, through Methodist Habitat, more than 500 volunteers came to The Bahamas to work on rebuilding and repairing houses in Cat Island, Andros and Eleuthera.
Dr. Reginald Eldon is the Coordinator of the BCMC Disaster Relief Program. He said, "The fruitful partnerships which we have formed with various organizations to assist with our disaster relief efforts have been tremendous. We have had incredible support from The United Methodist Church through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and The United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM). Our partnership with the Bahamas Government, NEMA and the Department of Social Services has worked extremely well. We will continue to work hard and faithfully to assist all people of The Bahamas who suffered loss and disaster from the recent hurricanes."
- Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church