people in pews/doug austin

Saturday, May 11, 2002

There's hardly a volunteer job that Doug Austin won't agree to do, particularly when it means helping out another person.

"God and life have been good to me," he said. Austin lived in Cape Girardeau during the 1980s, but was transferred to Oklahoma with his job. When he retired in 2000, he knew that Cape Girardeau was where he wanted to live.

So shortly after he and his wife, Fran, moved back to the city, the couple became members at Lynwood Baptist Church. Austin can be found regularly volunteering for projects around the church, and in the community.

He's been working with the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Team since its formation in the Cape Girardeau Baptist Association about a year ago. The relief team operates a mobile feeding station that can be used during any disaster. Most recently team members helped clean up after a tornado in Marquand, Mo., and worked during a community disaster drill at Arena Park.

"I was just hanging out at the association office and heard the phone call," he said. The concept immediately interested him and signed up to help. "It's a great program."

The mobile unit works closely with the American Red Cross chapter and can feed up to 5,000 people though the largest number so far has only been 200.

Austin will serve as a messenger to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in June in St. Louis, Mo. He also plans to attend the convention the following year in Phoenix, Ariz., making a trip through Oklahoma to visit friends there.

He is also involved with the Gideons, an organization best known for placing Bibles in hotel rooms. He serves as the local chapter's vice president. About once a month, he can be found speaking about the Gideon program in an area church.

But it's not just his church that he serves. Austin is also a member of the Vision 2020/Community Relations Council for the city.

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