Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains deploy to South Dakota after deadly storms

BG-RRT Press Kit

Chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) have announced a deployment to Brookings, South Dakota, after deadly storms swept through the area on Thursday, May 12. Governor Kristi Noem issued a state of emergency after forecasters say a derecho – a large-scale wind storm with 90-100 mph straight winds and two tornadoes – blasted through the area killing two people and causing extensive damage.

“As we learn of the many lives impacted because of this deadly storm in South Dakota, our hearts are heavy for those who have suffered great loss,” said Josh Holland, international director of the BG-RRT. “We are sending our crisis-trained chaplains in the midst of this tragedy to show God’s love and provide emotional and spiritual care as the area begins the recovery process.”

BG-RRT crisis-trained chaplains will arrive early this week in Brookings, about 60 miles north of Sioux-Falls, South Dakota, and plan to remain in the area for several weeks. They will serve alongside the disaster relief organization Samaritan’s Purse to help meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those impacted by the tornado.
BG-RRT chaplains are now serving in three locations. Besides Brookings, South Dakota, BG-RRT chaplains continue to serve in Ukraine, working at several Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospitals, as well as in Poland, where they are offering hope and providing comfort and compassion to families who have been forced to flee from Ukraine.

For more information on the ministry, including videos, photos, news articles and an interactive map of former and current deployments, visit the BG-RRT press kit or Updates can also be found at

About the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team:

Media Opportunities
  • Interviews with:
    • Josh Holland, international director of the BG-RRT
    • Chaplain coordinators on the ground in Brookings, South Dakota
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The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team was developed by Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It has since grown into an international network of chaplains in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia who are specifically trained to deal with crisis situations. They have deployed to more than 550 disaster sites across the globe, including shootings, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.

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Media Contact:
Christine Batchelder

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

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