“There is nothing inherently sacred about home repair. What is sacred is meeting the needs of those in need. And that’s what Tex would have wanted.”  

Recently, our current board chair, John Pearce, and one of our previous board chairs and Glenn “Tex” Evans’ right-hand man, Jim Robinson, volunteered in our disaster rebuild and recovery efforts in Waverly, Tennessee. These two men have been involved with Appalachia Service Project for much of its 50-plus years of existence.

John reflected on a fond memory from their time volunteering in Waverly, “One of the last days we were working at the family’s house, their great-grandson walked into the worksite and started exploring all the different rooms in progress. He came into one of the front bedrooms and proudly exclaimed, ‘This is going to be my room!’ Then he showed me where his bed was going to go and where he wanted to put his belongings. It was such a touching moment that he was able to visualize the space and that it meant something to him.”

Jim Robinson shared a favorite sentiment from their time volunteering in Waverly as well, “On the last day we were volunteering, one of the homeowners, Mrs. Mercer, came to check in with us. She looked around at all the progress being made and at the volunteers working, then asked me, ‘Will you pray for my family and me?’ Our group gathered around her and her family and prayed a blessing over each of them and over their future home. That was probably the most meaningful part of my volunteer trip to Waverly.”

Jim Robinson has been involved with Appalachia Service Project for the majority of its existence. He could tell stories for days, and he was right beside our founder, Glenn “Tex” Evans, when they made some of the most significant decisions, shaping ASP into what it is today. John put Jim’s role in the founding years of ASP into perspective, “When Jim was first involved with ASP, he was still in college. Tex was a big dreamer and had a grand vision for what he wanted ASP to be, but it was Jim who helped make those dreams and visions a reality.”

“When I met Tex, I was just a young man,” explained Jim, “One day, Tex asked me to go get coffee with him. We started talking about how to communicate with others and how to interact and gauge your audience. I didn’t realize it immediately, but Tex was teaching me how to preach.” Jim continued, “I realized that I was going to be late to my next class, but knew that I would learn more sitting and listening to Tex than I could ever learn in a classroom. He was always teaching, always trying to help folks to grow and had an eye towards helping folks to learn more.”

When asked how ASP’s disaster rebuild and recovery efforts are making a difference, John Pearce stated, “Simply put, I think what ASP is providing is hope in a time of need. We meet people right where they are just the way they are, and that has always been one of our founding principles.”

Jim continued to expand on the topic of ASP’s rebuild and recovery efforts, “There is still a need for home repair, but Tex would have been the first person to say there is also a need for new homes, and I can guarantee you Tex would be ecstatic about ASP building new homes. There is nothing inherently sacred about home repair. What is sacred is meeting the need of those in need. And that’s what Tex would have wanted. We are there for Christian service. It’s not for my sake. It’s for the people that we are serving.”

To support our Waverly Disaster rebuild and recovery efforts, head to our Waverly TN Disaster Recovery page.