Mennonite Disaster Service response begins from reports by MC USA and MDS
The Greensburg (KS) Mennonite Church building and parsonage was destroyed in a tornado that leveled 90% of the structures of Greensburg, Kansas, a town of 1,500 last Friday evening, May 4. The congregation is a member of Mennonite Church USA through its membership in South Central Conference. The church building was built in the early 1970s. The congregation celebrates their 75th anniversary in September. Jeffrey Blackburn is pastor of the congregation of 81 members.
Within hours four teams from Mennonite Disaster Service’s Kansas Unit were in the area doing cleanup. Kevin King, executive director of MDS, was on the scene Saturday, just hours after the storms hit. “It’s like something I haven’t seen before. It looks like a giant rake came through and raked the town away.” King was emotional as he described that in the town there didn’t seem to be any walls remaining. “Virtually not even a cluster of bricks left.”
Greensburg has a population of over 1500. Pastor Blackburn said that three-quarters of his 80 or so congregants live in the town of Greensburg, and so now at least three dozen of them are without homes. He added, “I knew MDS would show up, but I didn’t think it would be this fast.” Though their church building is gone, Blackburn said they have put up notices about meeting together on Sunday morning in nearby Haviland.
Mennonite Church USA Executive Leadership is collecting funds to assist the congregation in cooperation with the South Central Conference. You may send your check to Mennonite Church USA, Box 347, Newton, Kansas 67114. Earmark the check for Greensburg Mennonite Church. Or you can give by debit or credit card by going to www.MennoniteUSA.org and clicking on “give.” You’ll find the Greensburg Mennonite Church listed as a special project.