The Nashville Flood: The Real Story About the Churches

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  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    The real story of Jesus and his people is seldom shared…

  2. Michael says:

    I am very, very pleased that Sarah wrote this and we are able to tell “the rest of the story”.

    Awesome job, Sarah!.

  3. Sarah says:

    My husband and I have talked a lot about this, because there is a thin line. There is that place where we stand up and want everyone to take notice of what we have done…and I think that’s a little of what Foster was saying when he mentioned the church being out for video shots and photo ops. That’s there, I won’t argue against it…however, I think there has been remarkable true compassion in this situation.

    We had a group stand before the church last week that had come to help. They were from Iowa and were led by a couple who had a child in college here. They were coming down to pick up their kid and decided to bring supplies and help out….which led to their church pitching in and a team coming with a van and trailer filled with supplies. There was no arrogance in them…the young people that came were bashful and embarrassed at being applauded.

    So, I understand not wanting to grand-stand….but, man, for all the lousy things the church does, sometimes it is worth shouting that we have been moved by God to impact our community. It’s been a huge encouragement to me personally, and to those I know who have lost everything in this.

  4. Michael says:

    It has become fashionable, dare I say cool…to constantly condemn the church whenever possible.

    The truth is that all over the world the church is bringing life through the Gospel and the actions of her members.

    We need to be reminded…

  5. Isaiah56:1 says:

    Thanks for sharing Sarah. What an encouraging and uplifting testimony of the body of Christ.

  6. Sarah says:

    I should mention, in case anyone is wondering, the picture of the slides hanging in the kitchen is of slides that were covered in silt that we were able to wash and salvage from my in-law’s. They are hanging to dry in my kitchen 😉 The other pictures are from working at their condo.

    Thanks Isaiah!!

  7. dewd4jesus says:


    Thank you for writing this. Nashville being where my wife and I consider home, this reaffirmed it for me. My wife was asked just yesterday by a good friend when we were coming home. While much of “the church” as an organized entity leaves much to be desired, the influence of Christ in the Nashville community was always in evidence to us in the people. The people care about one another, for the most part. There will always be those who are in it for their own glory and gain. But in our experience most had no ulterior
    motives and just simply wanted to help out when help was needed because it was the right thing to do.

    And I just love the part of your story about the coolers staying full of ice and beverages. Reminds me of the loaves and fishes miracles during Jesus’ ministry.

  8. Xenia says:

    Thanks Sarah, for writing this.

  9. Tim says:

    Great article, Sarah…thanks!

  10. Sarah says:

    Thanks Xenia, Tim!

    Dewd…that was completely what I was thinking about the ice and beverages. We know a couple people dropped drinks in if they were leaving and had some left over, but I saw way more people drinking them. I thought it was pretty cool.

  11. jlo says:

    Sarah, you make me want to move to Nashville.

  12. JimB says:


    I know, maybe David Foster just wrote his article so he could grandstand and get photo ops, and the church he is condemning….maybe he is just preaching to himself about what he has or has not done?!?!?!?! This is kind of like the preacher who preaches against this sin or that sin, and that is (truth be known) because he himself is struggling in that area… From reading his article it didn’t sound too much like he has had his shirt sleeves rolled up… I don’t know, shouldn’t judge I guess…

  13. Sarah says:

    jlo…come on out 😉

    Jim…I honestly have no idea. I don’t know Foster or his church, or even anyone who goes there, so all I can go on is what he wrote in his article. I know on his church website he has links to several organizations that are working in the area (FEMA, Samaritan’s Purse, etc) and mentions that they’ve been working with them. So…I would guess he’s done something.

    What he wrote about despair being a huge issue and the fact that we can bring hope is right on. I just have had a very different experience with what the “organized” church has done. Many have wanted to serve and didn’t know what to do…the leaders in our church and others have laid it out for us so we can jump in. Our church today is not asking for volunteers because the project managers are spending the day scouting out where we are needed….so our volunteers are being used in the most effective and needed way.

    I think it’s kinda funny to think it’s just a bunch of people running out and volunteering all around the place…that would be a mess!!! I’m hugely thankful for how my in-laws have been tenderly cared for by the Church of Christ, others I know are being held up by a Baptist church, and our little fellowship is impacting many lives as well. Maybe Foster will clarify what he was thinking….I just took the opportunity to share things from my view on the experience.

  14. Rob Murphy says:

    Let your light so shine that men will hear your criticisms and suggestions for others’ serving better that they will glorify the Father in Heaven.

    Thank you Sarah for again telling it like it is. I am so happy to be “kin” to the Family of God who thinks and lives and loves like you and your family do.
    I always think of a faithful, retired teacher (Mrs. Pence) teaching me about Joshua and Caleb with a flannel graph back in 1977. A million hypocrites can’t sway me from the love she showed. I saw Jesus “for real” not in a flannel graph, but in the love Mrs. Pence showed.
    Someday in the future, some kid will look back to the love shown him and his family after a horrible flood and the loyalty to Christ he learned from you will shape and change his world. It’s a story he’ll tell his kids. That’s the legacy of the Church. That’s the real story in Nashville – the love of Christ echoing through hearts long after the waters have receded.

  15. BrianD says:

    Excellent article, Sarah.

  16. brian says:

    great article Sarah thanks for sharing it

  17. GlassySea90 says:

    A looong time lurker coming out of hiding from my soaking wet, Nashville CC-affliated church abode to second Sarah’s comments. I live less than a mile from Pastor Foster’s church’s meeting location, yet my perception is radically different. Many churches have stepped forward in incredible numbers and organization both with and without fanfare. Yes, there have been some grandstanders – but this is the land of mega-churches attempting to differentiate themselves. There is always some unfortunate grandstanding. My CC affliated church hasn’t been in the news but has sent teams out daily to help others – despite the fact that we are in a particularly hard hit area and have our own property damage to address. Additionally, many efforts have been behind the scenes — i.e, church staff and elders unofficially connecting church members with housing to share to those in need. No less important, many of the people who have stepped forward to organize relief in secular organizations – such as my own government employer — are Christians. The “church” is at its best when it does both — strike out in sign-carrying, faith sharing, and affirming armies, as well as in quiet individual lives.

  18. Sarah says:

    Thanks Rob and Brians 😉

    Glassy…glad you joined the discussion!! I’m also glad to hear that you have seen and experienced the same thing. Yes, there will always be some who are around for wrong reasons, but I have to believe that even those are being impacted by the emotion of serving in such a shocking situation.

    One of the things that my husband and his brother and I were all saying as we were taking wheel-barrows full of debris up to the street, was that whenever we hear of another situation where we can help we will run to do so. There was such encouragement in having strangers come and help.

  19. Great article! Good to know Gods people are doing what they should. It was like that after Katrina as well.

  20. brian says:

    This article made me think of something I struggle with, all fluff aside I consider asking for help, of any kind for anything a sin, actually a vile retched Satanic failure. This was something drilled into my brain, spirit, soul etc from almost day one when I became a Christian. I can remember repenting of showing grief, something I can control now even the death of a close family member does not produce any public display. Of course it eats me up inside but that is a character flaw I am begging God help me correct.

    I know this is wrong and even silly. But it is so hard to ask, need, lean, ask for prayer etc. Many of us, if we are honest, loath needing anyone. We are bred in the American Church to be anonymous and antonymous, our communities are functional and effective as well as efficient. They are often also sterile and dehumanizing. It seem being human is a vile thing, we are reprobate degenerate fallen creatures loathed by our Creator. I reject that, I think being human is a wonder, I see the spark of God in many people and in the acts of kindness done on a daily basis. I dont deny we need a savior, I know I do. But something has been lost in the translation. I dont know what it is but it has had awful consequences on many of us.

    God be with us.

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