Benton church helps fire victims get back on their feet

Benton church helps fire victims get back on their feet

BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - After the flames from the house on Twin Lake Road in Benton were contained Saturday morning, Benton Fire District 4 personnel called the fire recovery ministry at Benton United Methodist Church.

It's not the only program of its kind in the ArkLaTex, but it can have a big impact when called into action.

About three years ago, church members decided they wanted to do something to help local first responders. They heard about a fire recovery ministry at First Baptist Shreveport.

With their help, The Pairs and Spares adult Sunday school class at Benton United Methodist decided to take on its own ministry.

"It gave us an opportunity to reach out as a church. And I think that's one of the hallmarks of Benton United Methodist is our service to the community around us," said Ron Jones, of Benton United Methodist.

They created a "fire box" containing supplies. Members of the Sunday school class take the box for a week at time just in case they are called.

Saturday's fire was one of 6 or 7 to which the ministry has responded over the past 3 years.

"The most important thing is just for those people to know we care and that someone out there can help them in that situation," said Rachel Stoneman, the church's communications and missions director.

Benton Fire District 4 personnel offer to call the church every time they go to a fire because they know what impact it can have on those affected.

"The one thing we are in the business of is bringing order to chaos, and there's nothing more chaotic than a fire at your home," Benton Fire District 4 Fire Chief J.T. Wallace said. "It's very, very personal, very devastating.

"To have someone that is willing to come go the step further than we can go, providing those actual physical human needs that can't be filled any other way, it's special to have a group of people willing to do that."

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