Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, Transforms Old Soda Bottling Plant Into Ministry Center

Classes such as auto maintenance that have been eliminated in local schools are taught at The Hope Center in a former Coca-Cola bottling plant donated to Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga. Photo courtesy of Ken Bevel

An old Coca-Cola bottling plant donated to Sherwood Baptist Church has become a hub for disaster relief operations and a ministry to at-risk youth.

Albany, Ga., has been racked several times by severe storms over the last three years. From hurricane-force straight-line winds to a powerful tornado to Hurricane Michael, the city has experienced a tremendous need for assistance in getting out from under the rubble left behind.

Not only did Sherwood have a facility — donated by Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated — from which to distribute aid, but God sent them a man to run the operation. Enter Ken Bevel — a retired Marine Corp logistics officer who was a veteran of the Persian Gulf War as well as involved in the leadership of the U.S. relief effort to Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. Bevel also has played key roles in the Kendrick Brothers films “Courageous” and “Fireproof.”

“The last few years I was in the military, I prayed that when I got out, God would put the training and experience I had received to good use,” Bevel said, “and He did.”

God has opened doors in a big way for the disaster relief ministry in the community. As Sherwood has partnered with Samaritan’s Purse and the Team Rubicon veterans service organization, it has become a central distribution point for the entire community working with an interdenominational coalition of churches. Since the first major storm in January 2017, they have disbursed over $334,000 in aid.

Bevel gives God the praise for this.

“I haven’t had to beg for one dime,” he said. “God has brought it in from all over the country.”

In addition to funds, the center is also able to provide help with clean-up and tarps, and they were recently blessed with a new fully-equipped panel truck courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse.

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Source: Baptist Press