At the Oakwood University Seventh-day Adventist Church in Huntsville, Alabama, volunteers load donated water bottles into a truck bound for Texas. [Photo provided by Oakwood University Church]
Columbia, Maryland, United States | Kimberly Luste Maran

In response to the recent Texas winter weather disaster, the Oakwood University Church (OUC) and Breath of Live (BOL) Television Ministry conducted a “water drive,” collecting more than 30,000 bottles of water as well as other essential items including socks, undergarments, gently-used clothing, feminine products, and cleaning supplies. The items traveled by truck on Feb. 22, 2021, from Huntsville, Alabama, to the Houston, Texas area.
The donated items were delivered to the World Harvest Seventh-day Adventist Church, a distribution site in Houston — and a church where Carlton P. Byrd, current OUC senior pastor and speaker/director of BOL, previously served as pastor. From there, the much-needed water was given to Houston residents, beginning at 12 noon the next day. 

“This will be the first of several trips we will make with supplies to Houston,” said Byrd. “Our brothers and sisters in Texas have gone through so much with the cold weather and winter storms. We wanted to help, and clean water is an essential commodity that we must have, which many residents don’t have access to at present.”

Millions of people in Texas are dealing with the aftermath of severe winter weather in the form of snow and frigid temperatures, which engulfed the region this past week. As many as four million Texans lost power for several days; and rolling blackouts in some areas continue. The combination of losing electricity, and access to heat and subsequently water — due to frozen and burst pipes and failures at water treatment plants — have left many in dire straits as they continue their struggle to survive.

The OUC plans to continue to collect donations, planning additional trips to Texas. For more information on how you can help, please call 1-256-837-1255; or visit or