ALPHARETTA, Ga.—The North American Mission Board has named Sam Porter as the new national director for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.
Porter will replace Mickey Caison, who will officially retire Aug. 31.
NAMB noted Porter has been a proponent of SBDR for years and one of the first disaster relief leaders to respond after the 9-11 attacks in New York City. He made numerous trips to the area for two years and served as a chaplain in the morgue at Ground Zero.
Porter also has led more than 100 volunteer mission projects and more than 40 international relief missions. He’s headed recovery efforts for a year in Haiti following 34 volunteer teams from Oklahoma in the wake of the devastating earthquake Jan. 12, 2010.
“We’ve been praying and looking for Mickey’s replacement for about 18 months,” said David Melber, NAMB vice president of Send Relief.
“Sam has been in the disaster relief world for a long time working around the nation and throughout Oklahoma,” Melber noted. “He’s proven to be a great leader. I’m excited to see how he’s going to continue unifying our state disaster relief leaders during crisis and how he will bring a new direction for disaster relief that’s going to further build its future.”
NAMB shared news of Porter’s appointment with state disaster relief leaders during a phone call with state disaster relief leaders on July 11.
“We started looking for someone who was well-respected in the disaster relief world,” Melber said. “Sam had that respect because of his historical work in the disaster relief world. He’s highly regarded as a leader among state partners, and he truly understands how disaster relief works.”
Porter said he is “really thrilled to get to continue in the ministry I’ve already been doing 19-and-a-half years.”
“The SBC-DR network of state directors is a fellowship of incredible men that help believers learn how to put themselves in the mission offering plate,” he said. “My prayer is that we can see every state convention have a strong disaster relief team to impact their part of the USA for the Lord by serving when individual’s lives are torn apart by disasters of various types.”
Porter currently serves as volunteer missions specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), which includes responsibilities as the director of Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief. His resume of SBDR efforts is extensive. Porter plans to retire from the BGCO Aug. 15 and begin his role with NAMB in mid-September. (BP)