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United Methodists respond to worst earthquake to hit Haiti in 200 years

A building in Haiti after the earthquake from January 12, 2010.
A building in Haiti after the earthquake from January 12, 2010.

Worst Earthquake in 200 Years Hits Haiti

On January 12, 2010, the country of Haiti suffered a massive earthquake, registering 7.0 on the Richter scale according to the United States Geological Survey website ( The quake epicenter was only 10 miles from the capital of Haiti, Port-Au-Prince. The United Methodist church is responding to this disaster in several ways; first, praying for those who were affected and the responders, and secondly, UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) is responding on the ground through a field office that opened in 2005.

In an article from Linda Bloom and Kathy L. Gilbert, of the United Methodist News Service (, missionaries from Providence United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, thankfully have made contact with the Rev. Kenneth J. Carter, the pastor of PUMC, and indicated that they are safe and sound. Another contingent of missionaries was going to be dispatched today from the same church but that has been delayed due to the earthquake. Some other United Methodist mission teams have not been able to make contact or accounted for yet.

Widespread concern for this poverty-stricken country abounds. Many are feared to have perished since the quake was so large in an area with a population of 1.8 million that received two aftershocks of 5.9 and 5.5 on the Richter scale. UMCOR, the United Methodist relief agency, is making plans to send teams for recovery and response along with material resources and monies to help deal with this disaster.

“UMCOR has always had a strong presence in Haiti,” Hazelwood said. “With this tragedy, we’ll just be redoubling our efforts, and we’ll be calling on people across the country to help us.”

The United Methodist Church has a longstanding relationship with the country of Haiti and remains committed more than ever to providing emotional, physical, financial and spiritual support to the people in this devastated region. If you would like more information on how to get involved with helping with this disaster please go to or