MERCI Ministries to be Redirected
Banded Brothers, a not-for-profit organization that has provided management services at MERCI since the fall of 2009, will discontinue its operation of the MERCI Center effective July 31. The decision was accepted by the Conference Connectional Table with appreciation for their work on May 9.
For 11 years, MERCI Center has been a site for disaster response and mission support for the North Carolina Conference. Established after the devastating flood associated with Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd in 1999, MERCI has provided warehouse space for assembling flood buckets, health kits and school supplies, as well as supplies for home repairs made necessary by natural or economic disaster.
“Banded Brothers appreciates the confidence the NC Conference has shown our organization and the opportunity we have had at MERCI Center,” said Ben Jackson, the chairman of the MERCI Advisory Board and member of Banded Brothers.
The decision to end their operation of MERCI was made after 18 months of involvement. It was determined that the Center, as it is currently structured, relying on donations as the only source of income, is not sustainable.
The Conference Connectional Table, at its meeting on May 9, expressed gratitude for the assessment of potential the group of professional and businessmen had provided through their work at MERCI. Because of their efforts to raise money for MERCI, there is more money coming in now than ever before and yet it is not enough to sustain the Center.
The CCT decided to seek new ways of continuing the ministries of MERCI and when Banded Brothers ends their involvement July 31, to turn over the property to NC Conference Trustees.
The ministries will continue. Although tornado damage and destruction to homes and loss of lives in eastern NC occurred after Banded Brothers’ decision, the need for disaster recovery is great and it will continue. Footprints, the ministry of service through youth mission teams, will be continued by the Conference camps, expanding the potential for mission to areas that have not been served previously.
Charlie Gray, President of Banded Brothers, remains optimistic about the ministry, encouraging contributions for victims of the tornadoes so that the recovery can go on. Volunteers are ready to serve and to restore homes and lives.