Flooding hit Howard, and Baltimore County and city hard on May 27, 2018. The damage is quite severe with many people focused on Ellicott City. Yet there are projected to be long term issues in other parts of Baltimore. The EFCA ReachGlobal has responded to the situation and Stillmeadow Community Church which is led by Michael S. Meadow is being used as a staging area for floor relief. Today’s post deals with how the EFCA responds to a disaster in the community of Baltimore.
“It’s good to be blessed. It’s better to be a blessing.”
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I would say it’s as bad or worse than the storms two years ago. They say this is a once every 1,000-year flood, and we’ve had two of them in two years,“
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
“This storm is pushing our intimacy with our community 2-3 years down the road in a matter of days.”
Michael S Martin
He gives rain for the earth
and water for the fields.
Job 5:10 NLT
River in Glacier National Park, Montana
The Wondering Eagle looks for stories inside the EFCA, and in the process to also be on the lookout for positive developments where the denomination is engaging the community. The other day I heard about the role that an EFCA church in the Baltimore area is playing in flood relief and I want to draw attention to that situation. Let’s look briefly at a tragedy that took place.
The Flooding in the Baltimore Area
On May 27, 2018 thunderstorms pounded Baltimore for hours. What got international attention is the flooding that took place in Ellicott City. In this natural disaster Eddison Hermand of the Maryland National Guard was lost as he tried to rescue someone in the flooding. The Baltimore Sun put together a timeline of events which you can read here. Ellicott dealt with flooding as recently as 2016. There have been reports that have been undertaken to try and prevent the situation from repeating itself, but Ellicott is geographically prone to flooding and its a part of the community’s history. While Elicott got most of the attention there are other areas of Baltimore that also dealt with flooding and found themselves dealing with the effects of this natural disaster. Flooding occurred in Baltimore County and within the city itself. The communities of Dundalk and Catsonville were also hit hard. Six miles away from Ellicott City flooding also became an issue in the neighborhood of Beechfield. It is estimated that 150 to 200 homes in the Beechfield area around Stillmeadow Community Church sustained damage due to the flood water. Across the geographic area the rainfall varied from 1 to 10 inches. These are the totals of the rainfall.
- Inglesmith 1.14 inches
Anne Arundel County
- BWI 1.04 inches
- Catonsville Northeast 10.38 inches
- Catonsville Southeast 5.20 inches
- Bentley Springs 1.96 inches
- Downtown 3.17 inches
- Prince Frederick 4.35 inches
- Ellicott City 8.40 inches
- Ellicott City East (2) 7.92 inches
- Ellicott City East (1) 7.38 inches
- Ellicott City SSW 5.36 inches
- West Friendship 3.61 inches
- Lisbon 3.07 inches
- Columbia 3.00 inches
- Cooksville 2.30 inches
- West Friendship 2.08 inches
- Columbia NW 1.38 inches
Prince Georges County
- Western Branch 1.18 inches
St. Marys County
- Clements 1.00 inch
Within Baltimore County these are the concerns that professionals are concerned about in the wake of the flooding.
- Danger of electrocution from damaged electrical systems.
- The danger of electrocution from downed power lines.
- Health risks because of sewage spillage in the flood water and contaminated food.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning from damaged fuel-burning appliances.
- Chemical hazards because of spills
- Damaged roads, and destroyed pavement which is unsafe to drive on.
In response Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency. And Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman stated that the flooding in 2018 is worse than the flooding in 2016. Against this disaster the response by an EFCA church and ReachGlobal stand out but before we get into that aspect let’s look at the senior pastor of Stillmeadow Community Church.
Michael S Martin being installed at Stillmeadow Community Church
Who is Michael Martin?
Michael Martin is originally from Flint, Michigan. Before he got into ministry he apparently worked in corporate human resources. After becoming a pastor he planted Learn to Live Fellowship in Inglewood, California. If my research is correct this church was planted in 1994. In time he then moved on and went on staff at Oceanside Christian Fellowship in El Segundo. When you use the internet archives you can see Michael Martin on staff in 2012. Michael apparently is involved in reconciliation and other issues and has done denominational work with the EFCA. Michael is on the Board of Directors of TR-BE. TR-BE is an organization to train next generation church leaders on racial reconciliation while dealing with racially unjust systems. After being on staff for years at Oceanside Christian Fellowship Michael decided to return to Baltimore to become the senior pastor at Stillmeadow Community Church. His final Sunday at Oceanside was January 29, 2017. In the EFCA West newsletter they discussed Michael leaving California to return to the East Coast. You can read that newsletter right here. In addition, Michael S. Martin also gave a talk at the Eastern District conference of the EFCA which was held at Joe Hensler’s Faith Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania. You can read the post I put together about the Eastern District conference in, “The EFCA’s Eastern District Conference for 2017.” Michael also is a recording artist, as you can listen to some of his work which I found on You Tube up above. Michael is married to his wife Gail, and has two children and a son-in-law.
EFCA is Responding to the Disaster, Meanwhile Stillmeadow Community Church is Being Used for Disaster Relief
After this tragic flooding situation occurred disaster relief began to take place. Both the Red Cross and the Office of Emergency Management set up operations at Stillmeadow Community Church. Michael Martin and his congregation spent their Memorial Day taking care of flood victims and feeding at least 200 people. That included city workers helping out and those impacted by the flooding. Stillmeadow Community Church will be a staging area for months and is in this for the long haul. Shortly after the flood people were allowed to store the vehicles at the EFCA church. The Baltimore Sun mentioned Stillmeadow Community Church is a staging area for the Red Cross.
On June 4, Mark Lewis of the EFCA ReachGlobal Crisis Response was at the church to assist. The church is looking for volunteers that can help out. Volunteers I believe came out this weekend and there is more assistance needed in the future. If people want to assist at Stillmeadow on June 16-17 or June 23-24 they are encouraged to email email@example.com or they can call the Eastern District Office in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania at 610-395-9034. EFCA Reach Global wrote a post on their blog about the situation. You can read that in, “Pushing Our Intimacy.” According to the EFCA blog post both Michael S. Martin and the EFCA understand that the flood response and assistance can possibly go into 2019, but they are prepared to be there for the long term. In writing about the EFCA I wanted to feature this situation and let people know that help is needed. The EFCA has many good aspects to it, and this is one such situation that really deserves to be recognized. Its my hope that other people who read this can step up to the plate and help the “least of these” who are impacted by the flood. Perhaps this can even be the subject of missions from other EFCA churches in the Eastern District of the EFCA. The challenge with disasters is that people forget about them and move on, while people are still displaced or suffering. Insurance needs or even the lack of insurance will also be a problem as well for some people. In difficult situations perhaps individual EFCA churches can adopt a family in dire need and provide for their material needs of food and shelter. Either way The Wondering Eagle is happy to write about this assistance. These are the types of stories that I wish I could write about more often. They are more impactful and shows the church moving in a positive way. That is it for the day guys, please know that you are loved.