BRENTWOOD — David Acres, Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief director since 2005, has announced his retirement, effective Sept. 30.
The East Tennessee native served as pastor of several churches in Tennessee including Liberty Baptist Church, Wartburg; Mount Harmony Baptist Church, Knoxville; and First Baptist Church, Huntsville.
Acres, who will be 65 in September, served as director of missions for Big Emory Baptist Association, based in Harriman, from 1999-2005 when he joined the TBC staff.
Acres came to his new role with expectations gained from his experience in disaster relief during his role as a DOM and trained volunteer.
But just two months into the job, disaster relief work was redefined by Hurricane Katrina which struck New Orleans and surrounding areas in August of 2005. “Hurricane Katrina changed the way disaster relief was done before I really even got started,” Acres recalled.
Hurricane Katrina was just one of 50 disasters worldwide which Acres and Tennessee Baptist volunteers responded to during his nine years as director.
While the Katrina response was massive, Acres surprisingly said that was not his toughest response.
Responding to the flooding in Nashville and Middle Tennessee in 2010 was the hardest, Acres acknowledged.
“At times it is harder to work at ‘home.’ People have greater expectations and often the volunteers become victims,” noted Acres, who currently is interim pastor of First Baptist Church, Jamestown.
Acres said the highlight of his DR ministry has been working with volunteers. “I love working with the great volunteers we have across Tennessee,” he stressed.
During his tenure Acres helped oversee the construction of the new Missions Mobilization Center in Mount Juliet. The MMC was dedicated last summer.
TBC Executive Director Randy C. Davis noted Acres “has helped direct Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief’s compassionate response through some of the largest natural disasters in U.S. history. We greatly appreciate his diligent faithfulness to the task,” Davis said.