Joseph Barrett took time away from his pastoral duties last week to lend a hand in the Ellis Christian Disaster Relief chainsaw team's response after a storm toppled trees across a broad swath north of Corsicana.

Barrett is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Italy and became a trained Disaster Relief "yellow cap" last year. "I don’t get to volunteer that much because I’m a full-time pastor, but I happened to be able to take some time" at the end of the week, he said.

He mentioned two reasons for being a TBM DR volunteer. "It's a chance to do something different and in a different environment." Also, "getting your boots on the ground is enlivening to your church body."

Several men in Central Baptist are TBM volunteers. Barrett has encouraged involvement in ministry through TBM, and "I push it every time there’s a training around," he said.

TBM and its regional partners plan multiple training events around the state each year, many in the spring. Disaster relief training opportunities are listed on the TBM Events page.

David Hardage is a longtime Baptist pastor and statewide leader who promotes church engagement through TBM. ”When a pastor leads the way in church ministry, whatever that ministry is, the congregation tends to give more credibility to the ministry, as well as making positive decisions to be involved themselves," he said.

Barrett said he likes setting an example of service, "but I wouldn't want to represent it like I did something special." Other volunteers, many retired, had worked in Corsicana the entire week before the pastor arrived.

And his thoughts were with his congregation. "Getting buy-in from other members is easy to accomplish if you're buying in yourself."

Joseph and Natalie Barrett, with their daughter, Tessa.