Bishop's Appeal for Marion County in West Ohio

On December 23, just two days before Christmas and while most of us were engrossed in the delight of family and church celebrations, a community within the bounds of our West Ohio Conference began suffering enormous loss due to flooding. Unseasonable rains caused the Scioto River to overflow, flooding parts of Marion County and forcing about one hundred residents from their homes.

The La Rue United Methodist Church under the leadership of Pastor Ed Fugate and in the heart of the flooded area, became a key partner in assisting people with clean-out, food and moving and is now a center for the Red Cross.


Four nearby United Methodist Churches – Prospect Street, Waldo, Morral, and Oakland rushed their supply of flood buckets to  La Rue. Loss was extensive, with 70 homes confirmed damaged. The Kiwanis Village retirement community, an apartment complex for seniors, was completely flooded and evacuated.

Needless to say with several feet of water in homes, the loss of belongings and damage to structure is great, and Christmas plans were necessarily altered or lost. Much work is ahead for this community over the coming weeks and months as they assess the damage and recover.

This is where we as United Methodist Christians step up as the faithful community - in prayer, as volunteers and with finances. Families who don’t have insurance coverage or other resources need help to replace belongings and rebuild. Renters need help with deposits for new places to live. Soon teams will be needed to repair homes. Please offer your help as you are able with:

Your prayers. For a community of survivors to know and believe that the hope of the incarnated presence of God is still theirs to receive and will not be dampened.

Your gifts. Give online through the West Ohio Conference to West Ohio Disaster Relief. 100% of the  money that you give is used to assist families impacted by disasters within the boundaries of the West Ohio Conference. Survivors of this flood do not have access to federal or state assistance. Giving to West Ohio Disater Relief will allow these families an opportunity to access financial resources needed to rebuild their lives.

Your readiness to serve. Our Disaster Response Ministry, under the leadership of Rev. Dee Stickley-Miner and Scott Bowden, is forming teams to be ready when asked. Mike Fogle is the Disaster Response Coordinator for Capitol Area North District. Dee, Scott, and Mike will keep us posted on when the La Rue community is ready for us to come in. If you are interested in helping, please contact Mike Fogle at mfogle300 [at] or 740-225-8535.

I look forward to joining you in this important recovery effort that brings hope and healing. Be encouraged in Christ Jesus the source of our hope. I remain,

Your servant, Gregory V. Palmer, Resident Bishop