December 11, 1973 – BGCO Board of Directors adopted a plan for disaster relief ministry. The plan entailed organization on a local church, association, and state convention level. Included was: financial aid, immediate emergency assistance, and repair/rebuilding as necessary and requested. This began to be implemented. When Alaska was hit by earthquake, men went to help with repair and re-building of damaged churches.
The first response given financially was in North Central Oklahoma (Enid area) when flash flooding destroyed much property. A free-will offering was taken in churches throughout the state and over $25,000 was divided among all victims (individuals and churches). In 1974 another appeal was made for an offering to be received for victims of a devastating tornado in the Drumright/Olive area.
Subsequently, an amount was set aside from the Oklahoma Cooperative Program budget and the Edna McMillan state missions offering for a permanent Disaster Relief fund. Funds for disaster victims are to be requested and distributed by the association in which the disaster occurs.
From that first team response in mass feeding at a disaster site, the ministry has grown to massive proportions. Over 5000 trained team members are organized into five geographic zones encompassing the state. They are trained to respond quickly and provide hot meals to large numbers in a short period of time. After the 2004 Florida hurricanes, over 14,600 hot meals prepared were prepared in one day from the large mobile kitchen – a new record high.
As the ministry has developed, several areas have been added in addition to hot meal service. Volunteers also can provide water purification, mobile showers and laundry, chain saw debris removal, mud-out,ash-out, child care, and medical assistance.