Back to NewsApril 8, 2010

Coal Mine Disaster Team

Tuesday, April 6, 2010, prior to arriving at one of the darkest scenes in Raleigh County, WV's recent history, a team of Appalachian Bible College students and staff knelt in prayer. Just hours before, Dr. Daniel Anderson, President of ABC, was contacted by Jeremiah Dys, President and General Counsel of The Family Policy Council of WV, who requested assistance for counseling and comforting the many families impacted by the tragic event at the Upper Big Branch mine. Following Tuesday's involvement the team was invited back by the Governor's office.

David Childs, Dean of Students and certified in Critical Incident Stress Management, has been responsible for leading a team daily to the location where families await regular briefings and closure concerning their loved ones. Those serving on the team have been Seniors Matt White (Pastoral), Lynette Mix (Missions/Nursing), Stacie McCary (Missions/Nursing); Juniors Jon Miller (Youth Ministries), Mike Cross (Pastoral), Ron Kline (Pastoral); and college staff members Corinne Kline (Assistant to the VP for Development), and Dr. Jerry Knoblet (Chair of the Bible & Theology Department).

“Although few individuals are prepared to act in such diverse situations,” Dean Childs stated, “each of these students and staff responded to the need.” Dean Childs went on to share that Junior Mike Cross, resident of WV, volunteered immediately when he heard of the opportunity to serve. Mike has been intimately acquainted with mine disasters in the past and sensed the importance of the responsibility.

Dr. Anderson continues to assure local and state officials that “ABC is praying for the families of the victims and we are prepared to serve in whatever capacity is necessary to support our community in the days and weeks ahead.”

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