Monday night, Johnston County Emergency Services representatives and Johnston County Commissioners recognized Pastor Lee Colbert and the First Baptist Church of Smithfield for their assistance during disasters and emergency situations.
Rev. Colbert and the Church received the Partners in Protection Award, given to partners who collaborate with Johnston County Emergency Services to “minimize the impact of disasters and other emergencies on the health, safety and property of the citizens of Johnston County.”
“We could not accomplish our mission without the relationships we have with partners such as Pastor Lee Colbert and the members of First Baptist Church of Smithfield, according to Sandy Wood, Emergency Management Coordinator. “The church has been a constant and long standing partner to Johnston County Emergency Services. Pastor Colbert and the members of the First Baptist Church of Smithfield have always graciously opened their doors during crises that impact the citizens of Johnston County.”
“For example, Pastor Colbert has assisted with evacuations, cooling stations, clothing and basic needs for the homeless or less fortunate, Mrs. Wood said. “He has opened church doors for any request we have ever made including, housing for the National Guard, patients evacuated due to emergencies, people stranded on I-95 as a result of a hazmat incident, and shelters from cold weather and emergency weather events such as hurricanes. Not only does the church offer shelter from severe events, but they provide items from their food pantry and clothing closet to those in need. People are warmly welcomed and always offered food and refreshments. Pastor Colbert has made the many resources of the First Baptist Church of Smithfield available to Johnston County Emergency Services and citizens.”
Rev. Colbert, who announced recently he was retiring in Feb. 2020, was unable to attend the presentation due to the birth of a grandchild. However, church deacons Mike Carroll and David Laster accepted the award on his behalf.