Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains deploy to Texas Panhandle after second-largest fire in state’s history

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 29, 2024 – Crisis-trained chaplains with the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) are deploying to Hutchinson County in the Texas Panhandle, where the second-largest fire in the state’s history is forcing evacuations. Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 60 counties, as over 1 million acres have burned in Texas and Oklahoma. Officials say the fire – which started on Monday, Feb. 26 – is only 3% contained.

“The devastation from these wildfires we are seeing in the Texas Panhandle is heartbreaking,” said Josh Holland, international director of the BG-RRT. “We are sending our crisis-trained chaplains to listen, comfort and pray with residents who are hurting.”

BG-RRT chaplains are now providing emotional and spiritual support in two locations. In addition to Hutchinson County, chaplains are also offering hope and comfort to families who have been forced to flee their homes in war-torn Ukraine. The ministry recently completed deployments in Burnsville, Minnesota, and Las Cruces, New Mexico, following line-of-duty deaths of law enforcement officers.

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

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Interviews with:

  • Josh Holland, international director of the BG-RRT
  • Chaplain coordinators in Texas Panhandle

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

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Media Contact:
Christine Batchelder

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