Bishop William Willimon announced today that Rev. Nancy Cole will assume responsibilities as Conference Disaster Recovery Coordinator effective June 1. She will also serve as a member of the extended Cabinet by virtue of her position as Disaster Recovery Coordinator.
Rev. Cole has already given significant leadership to disaster relief since the April 27, 2011, tornadoes. Her work in organizing, communicating and deploying workers in Tuscaloosa and the surrounding area has been invaluable. Nancy has been involved in multiple areas of response including working with city government, FEMA, VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and of course local churches and volunteer groups. She will be offering this same commitment and passion now on a larger scale for the North Alabama Conference. Nancy will also continue to direct Natural Church Development (NCD) for the Conference via partnerships and ongoing development of leaders for assisting NCD work.
Bishop Will Willimon says, “Bob Alford has enabled our Conference to give an energetic and well-coordinated response to the disaster. Now Nancy will insure that our church will lead in long term recovery. Nancy has shown remarkable skill in organization and leadership in NCD. She will be joining the Cabinet so we'll be sure to stay in the lead in compassionate, organized response.”
Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR’s domestic director for disaster relief, says the extent of destruction from the storms is the seventh largest disaster in FEMA response history. Thus, the long term recovery efforts will necessitate planned partnership between many entities including the United Methodist Church.
Rev. Bob Alford adds, “It is important we offer our best efforts in the months to come. Rev. Nancy Cole and the people of the North Alabama Conference will continue to reach out in a significant manner of service at this unique time.”