BY CARLA HINTON chinton@opubco.com Published: May 28, 2011
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Oklahoma faith communities are familiar with storms and the resulting needs that are painfully present.

In the aftermath of tornadoes and severe weather that wreaked havoc in some cities across the state, several churches and faith-based organizations opened their doors to provide for those experiencing loss.

The Rev. Kim Hayes, senior pastor of Bible Baptist Church in Chickasha, said he wouldn't have it any other way.

Hayes said he serves as a chaplain for the Chickasha police and fire departments and the Grady County sheriff's office. He said he didn't hesitate to volunteer his church building at 226 S 29 when the need arose for an emergency shelter in the area.

“That's our calling,” Hayes said. “We're on this Earth to give to others.”

In addition to providing shelter for storm victims in the Grady County area, Hayes said the church's youth group volunteered to serve as cleanup crews in neighborhoods blasted by Tuesday's outbreak of tornadoes and severe weather.

Hayes said many of the churches in Chickasha, including First Baptist Church of Chickasha and Chickasha Church of Christ, joined in the effort to support families affected by the storm.

Other churches and faith organizations that opened their doors as emergency shelters or provided assistance in other ways included Surrey Hills Baptist Church in Yukon and the Salvation Army's Canadian County Service Center in El Reno.

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