Local pastor heading to Moore, Okla.

Published 10:45 am Friday, May 24, 2013

FRANKLIN—A local man is heading to Oklahoma Sunday to provide assistance for tornado victims and wants others to know how they too can help.



Hoyle Green, pastor of Sunbeam Baptist Church, has long been involved with Samaritan’s Purse, a relief organization headed up by Franklin Graham, son of Rev. Billy Graham.

Green, from Courtland, was area supervisor in the Mechanical Maintenance Department at Union Camp. He retired in April of 1999 and the very next month, a similar destructive tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma.

“I felt a message in my head to go and help,” recalled Green. At the time he was attending church in Sunbury, N.C., and asked about joining the group of Baptist Men who were going to assist. However, Green did not have the proper training to

travel with the Baptist Men, so he called the Baptist Disaster Relief organization in Moore and he was asked to come immediately. “They needed somebody skilled for management, so I loaded up a borrowed trailer with a compressor, nails, a ladder — everything I could think of and went.”

He and his wife Jean traveled to Oklahoma together and ended up staying six weeks.

After helping in Moore, they also went to Newcastle, about 35 miles south, which was also affected by the 1999 tornados. During this time, he teamed up with Samaritan’s Purse and began traveling around the country helping with disasters.

In 2007, Green was ordained as a minister and is now Pastor of Sunbeam Baptist. In 2011, while assisting with tornado cleanup in New Bern, NC, he injured his back and broke his leg.

When assisting with disasters, Green serves as a volunteer coordinator and provides assessment. He said he looks at the job, determines what type of equipment is needed and what kind of manpower needed and sends out the volunteers to do the job.

Green said that from his time in Moore back in 1999, he knows a lot of the people personally. “I feel like I have to go,” he stressed. “I’ve prayed about it a lot and am answering the call.”

As Green is now pastor of his own church, he has had to make arrangements to get someone to cover his duties, but says he will stay three weeks. He plans to leave Sunday after church services to make the 1,330 mile trek.

He urges others who feel the need to contribute, to consider Samaritan’s Purse. You go to the website and put in your availability. “We sleep in churches but they feed you. The only cost will be the expenses going and coming,” he explained.

“I encourage people who want to go help that this is a good resource.”

Green doesn’t know yet the exact site of where he’ll be, but said it will be somewhere between Newcastle and Moore. “This time, I really feel my heart tugging — telling me to go and help. I choose to do this.”

He said if anyone wants to take part in a mission trip, this is a good experience. “You will never have a vacation as rewarding,” he added.

Green has been a volunteer with Hunterdale Fire Department as well as the Franklin department. When he was a volunteer, he took classes and became an instructor for the state. That led to specialized training and he became an adjunct instructor. He was also a volunteer member of the VA2 Urban Search and Rescue Team out of Virginia Beach and eventually served as Safety Officer. Green says that group is in Oklahoma now.

It was through that group that Green went to the Pentagon right after 9-11 serving as both safety officer and chaplain.

Green maintains that he just wanted to share the fact that he was going and possibly give local citizens an organization to donate to. While there are a lot of organizations out there, Salvation Army for one, if someone wants to take a week off to serve Christ, I recommend Samaritan’s Purse. For further information, visit their website at www.samaritanspurse.org.

“The reward of helping those people is amazing,” he said. “We can offer them hope.”