The Mississippi Baptist Convention Board remained closed on Wednesday (Aug. 31) as a result of excessive rain and issues at a water-treatment plant that led to a lack of usable water in Jackson. Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency over the weekend and told residents to leave the city.
Hubert Yates, director of Disaster Relief for Mississippi Baptists, said volunteers will remain on standby and in “assessment mode,” Baptist Press reported.
Reeves said earlier this week that the water “is not drinkable.” He noted that an incident command center was being set up at the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant.
“They will work with the city personnel that are currently there,” he said, “and we will assess what needs to be done to get the quantity of water flowing as quickly as humanly possible.”
The O.B. Curtis Water Plant is the city’s newest and main water treatment plant, The Baptist Record reported. A host of problems, including pump failures during the current flood event in central Mississippi, has forced operators to take the plant offline at a loss of 30 million gallons of treated water per day.
Shawn Parker, executive director for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, said the state convention’s office will stay closed until Thursday. Parker requested prayer for those in the area who are impacted by the crisis, and he noted some churches will be unable to meet in their buildings this Sunday.
“The situation has created a serious crisis across the city, and there is an immediate and urgent need for clean water for Jackson residents,” Parker told Baptist Press. “I know that churches are going to pull together to help meet that need.”
“Even though they can’t meet, I don’t think this is going to hamper churches’ ability to minister to the community,” he said.
“I think it’s going to give the churches a great opportunity to minister in their various communities,” he added, “and be able to share the love of Christ and the Gospel in a meaningful and tangible way.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — The Baptist Record and Baptist Press contributed to this report.