The Oklahoma United Methodist Conference's annual meeting was held in Oklahoma City just days after the May 19 and 20 tornadoes in the metro area and other parts of the state. Hayes said the annual meeting's theme was “Mission Possible,” and delegates acted accordingly by performing service projects at various local agencies, including several that were assisting tornado victims.
Hayes said he toured some of the storm-ravaged areas in Moore and Shawnee and quickly realized that the church must be prepared to provide long-term assistance to individuals and families who lost their homes.
“I talked to residents and prayed with them. Really, television and pictures doesn't do it justice — so many people lost everything,” he said.
“I've told my people that this is a marathon. It is not a sprint. It's going to take some time for us to get people back on their feet. We are here to help them for the long run.”