The Greene County Disaster Relief Chain Saw Ministry was established in 2005 following hurricane Katrina. The first deployment was in January 2006 for 2 weeks in New Orleans. Since that time the team has performed cleanup for several local tornados, the Springfield ice storm of 2007, the Popular Bluff ice storm in 2009, the St. Louis tornado in 2011 and the Hannibal tornado in 2013. The team was originally called to Joplin, but was cancelled as the need changed to heavy equipment. For the past three years the team has cut and delivered firewood to needy families in the local area. In 2014 approximately 50 cords of wood were delivered.
The roster of volunteers includes over 120 people from 20 Greene County Baptist churches. All volunteers have been trained in Chain Saw Safety and Disaster response activities. The equipment list includes 20 chain saws, two generators, electric sharpener, air compressor, a John Deere 34 hp tractor with brush claw, a 12 ft. trailer for chain saws, a 16 ft. flat-bed trailer, a 10 ft. trailer and a lunch box trailer. The mission of the chain saw team is:
- Be a witness for Christ
- Ensure the safety of the team
- Satisfy homeowner needs
Since 2006 all of the chain saw equipment has been housed at the American Red Cross on West Bypass. Last year when items left from the Joplin relief efforts were returned to Springfield, the space was needed for storage of these items. The chain saw equipment is still stored at Red Cross but in the outside secured area.
In November 2013 a developer in downtown Springfield donated to the chain chain saw ministry a 24 ft. X 62 ft. metal building. The requirement was the building must be taken down and moved to another property. The building has been disassembled and stored. Just recently the approval was given by Greene County Baptist Association and Grand Oak Mission to re-erect the building on the Grand Oak property. Currently the building permit process is underway and fundraising will begin shortly. The goal is to have the building re-erected by end of 2014.
The team is always in need of volunteers who have a heart for missions to serve in time of crisis. To participate in the chain saw team activities please contact Steve Losh at 417-861-9525 or Ronnie Walker at 417-343-3809.