Alabama’s ‘chainsaw maniacs’ aid in Isaac cleanup at New Orleans Seminary

Kenneth Burnham, a member of Meadowbrook Baptist Church, Oxford, cuts a felled pecan tree into chunks near the front of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary campus Sept. 1 as part of the cleanup from Hurricane Isaac. Alabama Baptist disaster relief workers from the Cleburne and Calhoun Baptist associations and from Tallassee arrived on campus Friday, Aug. 31, to clear trees and other debris both on the seminary campus and in the surrounding community. (Photo by Frank Michael McCormack)

By Frank Michael McCormack

NEW ORLEANS — A team of about 25 disaster relief workers from Alabama were hard at work on the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) campus over the weekend, removing debris and downed trees scattered by Hurricane Isaac.

The team of Alabama Baptist disaster relief volunteers from Calhoun and Cleburne Baptist associations and the Tallassee area arrived Friday afternoon and quickly got to work. The team was well-experienced, with members who had volunteered in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, almost seven years to the day prior, as well as other hurricane recoveries through the years and the April 2011 tornadoes that swept across Alabama.

John Thomas, associate director of missions for Calhoun Baptist Association, said the current Calhoun team plans to work through Tuesday, Sept. 4, and then reassess to see if more volunteers are needed to continue the work.

“Like cold water on a hot day, Alabama disaster relief volunteers brought what we needed most,” said NOBTS President Chuck Kelley. “Their chain saws are undoing the damage of Isaac with relentless effort. Their nickname on campus is ‘chainsaw maniacs’ because they keep going and going.”

And thanks to that steady, determined work by Alabama Baptists, the seminary campus will be ready for classes to resume following the Sept. 3 Labor Day holiday.

To read the full story, visit

(Gary D. Myers contributed)


About thealabamabaptist

State Baptist newspaper serving Baptists in Alabama, providing information, inspiration and interpretation as well as challenging readers to serve and find opportunities for ministry that further the kingdom of God.
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One Response to Alabama’s ‘chainsaw maniacs’ aid in Isaac cleanup at New Orleans Seminary

  1. Kevin says:

    The volunteers from Alabama were mentioned in the NOBTS email newsletter. I’m very proud of the people from my home State.

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