WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Evangel Church’s commitment to serving stretches beyond the Wichita Falls city limits.
For the past 22 years, lead Pastor Patti Bateman and her husband, Senior Pastor Kile Bateman, have sent resources around the country and the world to help with the effects of natural disasters.
“One time I was at a meeting years ago, and a pastor stopped me and he gave me a title that I don’t know if I liked the first time I heard it. He said ‘You’re the disaster pastor,’ and I thought he was saying I was a disaster of a pastor, which I sometimes feel like I am. And he said ‘No, I just love the way your church rises to the occasion’,” said Kile Bateman.
The Bateman’s have housed Hurricane Katrina and Rita evacuees, helped rebuild homes after Hurricane Harvey and, more recently, have started helping those affected by Hurricane Ida.
“There’s almost nothing you can say that can bring immediate healing but to be there for them and to walk with them during those valley times, that’s what ministry is all about,” said Bateman.
Over the past few weeks, Evangel Church volunteers have been on the ground helping many victims rebuild homes and businesses. They’ve also given out food to those still in need, and they plan to keep helping for as long as help is needed.
“Many times these disasters, everybody wants to go right after it happens, but the need many times becomes greater as the days wear on, and so we’re long term when it comes to helping with disaster relief,” Bateman said. “So we’re ready to go, not just for the immediate response, but for the follow up as well.”
Bateman said knowing the community of Wichita Falls supports Evangel in all it does is the best feeling.
“This is the city that faith built, and it is the city that faith continues to rebuild whenever devastation and destruction comes,” Bateman said. “We come together, we cross denominational lines, we put our hand to the plow, and we don’t look back, and we say let’s do all we can. And the thing about it is, we do all we can, and God does all we can’t.”
The Bateman’s said Evangel Church will always rise to the occasion to help anyone in need, no matter the place.