Victoria, Texas—In the Summer of 2014, Butch Turley was responding to a flood emergency in Paris, Mich., along with his friend Bob Waldron—both longtime volunteers with Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief. Moments after praying with a homeowner there and leading them to make a profession of faith, Turley and Waldron’s vehicle crashed.
Waldron, who was driving the vehicle, was pronounced dead upon arriving at the hospital. Turley, a member of Millville Baptist Church in Frankfort, was in serious condition on life support. He would remain in trauma care for three weeks, in rehab for three more weeks, and essentially recovering for the better part of nine months.
But undeterred, Turley is back at it, and Hurricane Harvey meant another call out to disaster relief work for the retired firefighter. Turley spent the first week of October in Victoria, Texas, working with a Kentucky Baptist DR tarping team. Although he tried to help on the roof as he was able, he spent most of his time on the ground, moving material, keeping people feed, and doing anything else his team needed.
“I’m just glad to see Butch (Turley) back out,” Coy Webb, disaster relief director for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, said. “I think it shows the passion of our volunteers for the ministry and for the Lord that Butch desires to be back out again, and serving the Lord again and making a difference for Christ again.”
Webb added, “We just rejoice that he has recovered so well and is able to be out serving again after such a bad accident.”
This isn’t his first time back, though. Although he was out of commission for the remainder of 2014 and all of 2015, Turley, 72, managed to make it to West Virginia, Florida, and now Texas with disaster relief teams. He volunteers not only with Kentucky Baptist DR, but Tennessee Baptist DR and Samaritan’s Purse as well, something Waldron got him involved in.
“Bob turned out to be a great friend after that trip,” Turley said of their first of many experiences on a DR deployment. “I owe Bob a lot. He was a great guy, and a great friend. I just miss him terribly.”
Turley feels that God “is the only reason I’m still here after that accident,” he said. “They wouldn’t give me a lot of hope. But God saved me and I’m just trying to repay Him in whatever way I can.”
He has just always tried to help people, he said, explaining why he’s been working with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief since Hurricane Katrina. “After I retired, I’m still trying to help people out. I just think that’s what God wants me to do. Just to show my love to people and to be able to witness to them. We just never know.” (WR)