A Message of Hope

May 3, 2011 • United States

Gil McKee, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa, used Isaiah 61:4 as the text for his first message since twisters devastated his city and state: “Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.”

“When the difficulties come, God is always there with us,” Pastor McKee told the congregation during Sunday morning services. “He always brings healing—no matter what the heartbreak.”

His eyes filled with tears as he continued. “God will heal our emotional pain. He will comfort all who mourn.”

Pastor McKee’s sermon was also his first message since Samaritan’s Purse began working in Tuscaloosa. He preached Sunday while wearing an orange SP T-shirt, like the ones volunteers put on as they provide physical and spiritual help to storm victims.

“We have been privileged to partner with one of the greatest organizations on the earth, Samaritan’s Purse,” he said. “Franklin Graham was here yesterday. It was amazing to walk the neighborhoods with him. We loved people. We prayed with people. I saw his heart, and it is the same heart that everyone at Samaritan’s Purse shares. They are here to love us for the long haul.”

One of our Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief Units is based at First Baptist, and many of the volunteers serving with us are members of the church.

“It has been heart-warming to see everyone come together to help with this in any way that they can,” Pastor McKee said. “People in our city who have lost everything are being ministered to, and hope is being restored.”

The pastor told how Franklin Graham helped share that hope during his visit to Tuscaloosa on Saturday.

“People were standing in the rubble of their homes,” he said. “He put his arm around them and told them that SP is here to help them. Faces that were filled with despair began to catch a glimpse of hope. We are testimonies today that God can bring hope through anything.”

Luther Harrison, Director of North American Projects for Samaritan’s Purse, also spoke at First Baptist on Sunday. Watch his video below.