PC (USA) announces new coordinator for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Florida pastor Laurie Ann Kraus is experienced disaster responder

December 17, 2012

Laurie Ann Kraus

New Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Coordinator Laurie Ann Kraus —Courtesy of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance


Compassion, Peace and Justice (CPJ) Ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has announced the appointment of the Rev. Laurie Ann Kraus as coordinator for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA).

Kraus has been pastor of Riviera Presbyterian Church in Miami, Fla. since 1988. She has more than 20 years experience working in disaster response through the PC(USA). She served as the chair of the administrative commission for Hurricane Andrew relief and recovery in the Presbytery of Tropical Florida and was one of the founding members of the PDA National Response Team.

In announcing the appointment, CPJ director Sara Lisherness remarked, “It has been said that PDA is one of the ‘crown jewels’ of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s mission and ministry. We are blessed that Laurie Kraus has been called to serve as the coordinator for PDA. She brings tremendous gifts to this position and a wealth of experience responding to disasters through the church. She is a pastor, an educator and has been on the front line in responding to some of the most significant disasters this nation has experienced in the past 20 years.”

About her new work, Kraus said, “I have been a passionate participant in the work of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance since the first Sunday after Hurricane Andrew (1992) devastated our community and congregation’s life. Dan Rift from the PC(USA) and Paul Masquelier, then executive presbyter of San Jose Presbytery, showed up in worship and told us through tears, “you are not alone ― the Church is with you in this season of challenge.”   

Speaking of her volunteer work with PDA over the years, Kraus said, “As a volunteer with PDA since the National Response Team’s creation in 1995, my work in natural and human caused disaster as a responder, trainer and practical theologian has challenged, changed and transformed my understanding of ministry and of the Church.   I believe the work of PDA, in collaboration with all the partner ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, is “Emmanuel,” God made flesh as we seek faithfully to work for the healing the divisions and wounds in the world, in the communities we serve and in the Church we love.  To serve as the coordinator of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is an honor and a responsibility to which I will bring my deepest faith and best self.”

Kraus holds a BA from Wheaton College, the M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Columbia Theological Seminary and Florida Center for Theological Studies, where her dissertation projects were Rebuilding the Walls: A Narrative-Theological Model for Disaster Relief In the Wake of Hurricane Andrew (1994) and There is a River:  Embracing Diversity in the Multicultural Ministry Setting (1998).  She was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary) by Sinai University in Jerusalem for her leadership in interfaith graduate theological education.  

Kraus has served as a member and trainer on the National Response Team of PDA. She has been involved in disaster responses for numerous hurricanes, church fires, and shootings throughout the United States. She is a co-developer of PDA’s emerging Human Caused Disaster response ministry and curriculum. She is American Red Cross certified and is also a certified spiritual director.

She is the author of Tuning My Heart: the Melody of the Liturgical Year in Proclamation, Poetry and Praise, and has been published in several journals.  She was the content editor and a contributor to Out of the Depths: Voices of Faith from September 11, a 9/11 anniversary collection of articles and liturgy released in 2002.

Kraus is married to musician Warren Broome and is the mother of one daughter, also a musician who lives with her husband at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, where he is in preparation for ministry.

  1. Dear Laurie, Miami Shores Presbyterian Church is looking for a form for Haiti grant. Please let me know where to obtain this form. My email is shalter@mspc.net or phone 305-754-9541.

    by Sylvia Halter, Admin. Asst at MS Presbyterian Chur

    June 13, 2013

  2. Congratulations! Also delighted to learn of Gillian's whereabouts. We're in process of moving to Pensacola, FL where Rebecca's older son lives. Come see us, but don't wait for a hurricane! All the best to all of you! 1721 N. 16th Ave, Pensacola, FL 35203 (850) 725-1961

    by Dan McRight & Rebecca Fewell

    May 24, 2013

  3. My SSClass wants to send donation and designate toward the recovery from the explosions in West, Texas. Do we send our check to PCUSA and "memo - City of West, TX recovery?

    by Jan Poore

    April 29, 2013

  4. We are so proud of you at Utica First in New York. You were mentioned in Great Hour of Sharing. We continue to reach out in mission . The latest effort was a special honoring of Rev. John Sisley's prison ministry after retirement where we gave to John Bosco House which serves young men 18-25 who need a place to start a new life after prison.

    by Barbara Epley-Shuck

    March 13, 2013

  5. Congratulations, Laurie, and may God bless you as you undertake this new calling. Love, Mary Anne M

    by Mary Anne Mulder

    February 20, 2013

  6. You are missed at Riviera, but we are all so proud of you. ( I was Laurie's Administrative Coordinator for 22 years at Riviera PC.)

    by Barbara Prieto

    February 13, 2013

  7. Well, well, well! It could not have happened for a more qualified person. Laurie, you really deserve this appointment. It is great to see you moving up to an even more responsible job, in the area of mission which you love and are so skilled at. (I worked with Laurie in 2006 and 2008, as the the Recovery Coordinator for the Tropical Florida Presbytery.)

    by Tom Conrad

    January 30, 2013

  8. Congratulations! Once again I am in awe of God's wisdom and compassion as evidenced by your new calling.

    by Anne Jones

    January 16, 2013

  9. Having worked a couple of years with PDA (Katrina, etc.) It is good to have a hurricane seasoned veteran working with us and hope she can come down to NOLA to meet with our recovery teams. RM , chair PSL disaster recovery chair

    by Richard Maag

    January 15, 2013

  10. Congratulations! We are thankful for you. Very glad you are here. (former PDA chair)

    by Vince Mok

    December 29, 2012

  11. Congratulations, Laurie! I can hardly believe you are going to leave Miami! You will provide fine leadership for PDA! (I served with Laurie as a PDA team member under the leadership of Stan Hankins for ten years.)

    by The Rev Jackie Leonard

    December 19, 2012