Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains deploy to Tennessee after violent storms

Crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team assist following storm damage in McNairy County, Tennessee. PHOTO BY TODD SUMLIN


CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 4, 2019 – Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) chaplains have deployed alongside Samaritan’s Purse to McNairy County, Tennessee, after strong winds and heavy rain last week left at least one person dead and caused extensive damage to the area.

A state of emergency was declared after the storm’s 70 mile-per-hour winds caused widespread destruction and left many without power.

“Any time there is a loss of life during a natural disaster, we grieve with the community,” said Josh Holland, assistant director of the RRT. “We are saddened that many people’s homes have also been significantly impacted by these strong storms. It is a privilege to have crisis-trained chaplains in McNairy County to share God’s comfort and love through Jesus Christ to those who are in a very difficult place in their life.”

McNairy County Mayor Larry Smith said that close to 60 percent of the county has been affected and said, “It’s going to be the largest debris cleanup in the history of McNairy County.”

Other teams of RRT chaplains are currently serving in both Freeport and Man-O-War, Bahamas, as well as Rockport/Pearland, Texas, and have deployed to 33 natural and man-made disasters since January 2019.

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

About the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team:

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 400 disaster sites across the globe, including shootings, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.

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Media Contact:
Blake Freeland