WOOSTER ‒ The Worldwide Fellowship of Independent Christian Churches is hosting a water drive in partnership with Trinity United Church of Christ and the Wooster/Orrville NAACP.
The new Canton-based church will collect bottled water that volunteers will distribute to those affected by the toxic train derailment in East Palestine.
The collection is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Walmart in Wooster, according to a news release.
Anyone can also help transport and unload water in East Palestine. To volunteer, call 330-356-1177.
Helping the people of East Palestine
The Rev. Tomeka Boles said the water drive is an example of the impact she hopes WFICC and the Triumphant Church of Wooster will have on communities across Ohio.
She said members of the church know people from East Palestine who remain concerned about their drinking water months after a Norfolk Southern train transporting hazardous materials derailed near the eastern Ohio town.
'We shall overcome today:' Civil rights veteran preaches hope at MLK Day celebration
"We want to help those in need and to get involved in the community," Boles said.
All donated water bottles will be driven to East Palestine following the collection, she said.
What is the Worldwide Fellowship?
Boles described the Worldwide Fellowship of Independent Christian Churches as a multi-ethnic church with more than 250 churches serving more than 40,000 people across nine nations.
Leading the Wooster branch is Archbishop Everett Caldwell, who operates out of the small chapel in Trinity United Church of Christ in Wooster, Boles said.
The history of the WFICC dates back to the World Council of Independent Churches, which was founded in 1993.
Caldwell and other members of the Ohio branch of the council left the church body, creating the Worldwide Fellowship in 2014 and establishing Ohio as the archbishop see, she said.
In 2019, Caldwell and his colleagues decided to move to Wayne County, calling it the Triumphant Church of Wooster.
Although the church lacks its own place of worship, the WFICC is working on finding a location in its new community, Boles said.
This article originally appeared on The Daily Record: Churches, NAACP to host water drive for East Palestine residents