Lunches of Love
Red Cross Shelter
Angel Tree
Mission Experiences


Red Cross Emergency Shelter
“And if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and
satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.”  Isaiah 58:10
In the late summer of 2008, two hurricanes hit the Gulf within a two-week period forcing inhabitants of the Texas coast to flee inland. Suddenly, the Franklin County Emergency Shelter was hit like a one-two punch as 238 evacuees converged upon FUMC.   
Hurricane Gustav brought 131 people to our shelter at 3:30 a.m., Sunday, August 31, 2008. A tired group of volunteers were waiting, offering food and a safe place to rest.  Most of the people in this group had medical or transportation needs. Some of our guests attended church with us on Sunday morning, as well as Bible study and children’s time on Wednesday. 
After they got their bearing, many rolled up their sleeves and helped our volunteers with cleaning and organizing activities.  Some of our guests worked together to stage a talent show for the community the night before they left town. They had even composed a song to say “Thank you” to the wonderful people of Mt. Vernon. The guests from this hurricane were able to return to their homes on Wednesday, September 3, 2008. 
Almost before our weary volunteers were able to catch their breaths, Hurricane Ike brought 97 more people to our doors on Friday, September 12, 2008. The last family left the shelter on Thursday, September 18, 2008.
When the Family Life Center opened in 2005, the goal was to use the center as an emergency shelter. The Administrative Board and Trustees made the decision to join forces with the Red Cross in 2007 and Jack Abbott provided the leadership as shelter manager. Kristi Key & Jim Cleveland are the new Co-Managers for the Franklin County Emergency Shelter. Jack Abbott was the manager from 2008 to 2012. Janie Cowart joined the shelter in 2008 as assistant manager and she will continue in that role.
Operating the shelter has provided a wonderful opportunity for our people in our congregation to share Christ’s love in a very special way and many admit it was an enriching and eye-opening experience. Susan Sample said, “This changed our lives forever. The people who were here gave us blessings back ten-fold.”
THANK YOU congregation, for your continued support and the 60 volunteers who are ready and willing to serve.