CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 29, 2020 – The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) is sending crisis-trained chaplains to New York City, to serve in conjunction with the Samaritan’s Purse Emergency Field Hospital that is being set up to treat COVID-19 (coronavirus) patients. Chaplains, along with the RRT’s Mobile Ministry Center, will deploy from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) headquarters in Charlotte on Monday, March 30, at 9 a.m.
Franklin Graham, president of BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse, and his son Will Graham, who is vice president of BGEA, will both be on-site at BGEA to pray with the chaplains before they depart for New York City.
“People are dying from the coronavirus, hospitals are out of beds, and the medical staff are overwhelmed,” said Franklin Graham. “I’m thankful for all the companies and individuals across this country that are pulling together and doing their part in this battle.”
More than 30,000 cases have been reported in New York City, with thousands of new positive tests being reported daily.
“As our own nation now has the most confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has crisis-trained chaplains ready to deploy to New York City—the epicenter of the outbreak—to offer emotional and spiritual care and to share the hope found in Jesus Christ to doctors, nurses and the community at large,” said International Director of the RRT Jack Munday.
Will Graham, who was recently with the RRT in Nashville, Tennessee, following the devastating tornadoes, said, “Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains run toward disasters to offer compassion and comfort to the hurting. We’re thankful for the chaplains who are voluntarily putting themselves into a very difficult situation—at a very tumultuous time—to minister to those who have been devastated by this terrible virus.”
For more information on the ministry, including videos, photos, news articles and an interactive map of former and current deployments, visit BillyGraham.org/RRT. Updates can also be found at Facebook.com/RRTChaplains.
MEDIA NOTE: Media are invited to cover the RRT’s departure from the Billy Graham Library, 4330 Westmont Drive, Charlotte, N.C., on Monday morning at 9 a.m. ET. Franklin Graham, Will Graham and Jack Munday will be available for interviews at that time. Contact Mark Barber at (828) 386-5803 or Blake Freeland at (980) 225-2757 with any questions and to confirm your participation. For those who are unable to attend in person, BGEA will provide content upon request.
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 450 disaster sites across the globe, including shootings, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes.
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