Richmond faith leaders share responsibilities of church during crisis

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– Days after Houston Pastor Joel Osteen faced online criticism for waiting too long to help Hurricane Harvey victims, local pastors are sharing what responsibilities the faith community has in disasters.

Pastor Kevin Cook of Broad Rock Baptist Church said his church is all about giving back.

“We have the responsibility to do what Jesus said and that’s go out and do what we can do to assist others,” Pastor Cook said.

The church has a ‘benevolence ministry’ that donates 12 percent of all tithes and offerings to communities in need.

Broad Rock Baptist is preparing to step in to help Hurricane Harvey victims, too.

Either you’re a church that’s in the community or you a church that’s of the community,” Pastor Cook said.

Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, faced backlash on social media for not opening church doors to flood victims.

In an interview with CNN, Osteen said he didn’t pay too much attention to the social media posts.

“Did it change anything? I don’t know, it probably helped up us to step up some things to do it faster,” Pastor Osteen said.

Other church leaders said they’ve had their share of emergency situations they’ve had to respond to.

Pastor Cook said he understands the expectations communities have of churches.

“The church has a responsibility, no matter if you’re a church of 10 people, 50 people 100 people, 1000 people 10,000 people, or whatever the case may be,” Cook said.

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