DALLAS (BP) – Robert E. "Bob" Dixon who pioneered Southern Baptist disaster relief ministry more than 50 years ago – seeing DR deployments as "invitations from the Father" – died May 10 at age 90.
Dixon fashioned homemade "buddy burners" from gallon-sized coffee cans when in the wake of Hurricane Beulah in 1967 he was dispatched to the Rio Grande Valley from a Royal Ambassadors boys camp.
His task: to do what he could to coordinate volunteers who would use the one-pot buddy burners to prepare breakfast for truck drivers delivering food and clothing to storm survivors.
"At the time nobody knew I had received disaster relief training by the U.S. Bureau of Mines when I was with the Tennessee Valley Authority" Dixon recalled in a Baptist Press story prior to his retirement in 1998.
Within three years Dixon had become executive director of Texas Baptist Men which created Southern Baptists' first tractor-trailer disaster relief unit equipped with a field kitchen ham radio bunks for a volunteer crew and a generator for emergency power.
Dixon's initiative sparked Southern Baptists' national disaster relief ministry with DR volunteers and equipment in all 50 states who deploy for hurricanes and other natural disasters both in the U.S. and internationally.