GULFPORT, Miss. (BP) -- The 15th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina will find Gulfport Pastor Jimmy Stewart praying where First Baptist Church stood before Katrina destroyed it. But Stewart's prayer will mark the grand opening of the Mississippi Aquarium that now occupies the plot.
|U.S. Coast Guard cadets and Connecticut collegians pause for a photo during a missions trip to New Orleans that prompted some of the team’s non-Christians to rethink their view of Christianity.|
“Our mission team was our mission trip,” said Randy Bond, director of the New London Collegiate Ministry in Connecticut who has taken four teams of Coast Guard cadets and students -– including non-Christians -- to his home state of Louisiana for volunteer work.
NEW ORLEANS (BP)--Each Wednesday, pastors/ministers in the New Orleans area have been meeting at First Baptist Church of LaPlace for fellowship and information. Around 50 of us gather there each time, but it's never the same group.
Outside campus housing at New Orleans Seminary, piles of left-behind items and debris underscore the heartache of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding it caused. Photo by Keith Manuel
The first project for the team of volunteers from Alabama and Mississippi was the removal of belongings left behind by students in their apartments and dorm rooms, said Bob Jackson, director of the seminary’s MissionLab program.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--A photograph of a gate snapped in two by hurricane-force winds tells the story: William Carey College’s three campuses -– in Hattiesburg and Gulfport, Miss., and New Orleans -- will never again be the same.
With work crews facing moldy walls and ceilings in student housing at New Orleans Seminary, campus police chief Barry Busby is helping and ministering to the laborers who are cleaning up the campus. Photo by Jonathan Blair
On Oct. 9, Busby gathered about 15 relief workers together in the seminary’s Martin Chapel for worship and Bible study. They called it the “Church in the Quad.” The next Sunday, attendance swelled to nearly two dozen in the original chapel at the seminary.
Although spared from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the chapel was without air conditioning, so the doors had to be propped open.
BOUTTE, La. (BP)--The kitchen is closed.
|Back in church
Becky Boykin and Renee Page greet each other at First Baptist Church in New Orleans during the first worship service since Hurricane Katrina. Photo by Sherri Brown
It was the first time that First Baptist Church -- significantly smaller in number but no less enthusiastic –- met for worship since Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans.
Lakeview Baptist Church's Christian flag never turned over during the New Orleans floods, but it bears the marks of the waters. The New Orleans congregation lost everything to water and mold damage. Photo by Sherri Brown
The church is built up enough so that the floodwaters stopped at its doorstep. But the church didn’t escape damage. Winds ripped away about a third of one building. Rain poured into Sunday School classrooms. Offices and church records were destroyed. Parts of the buildings that escaped damage soon showed signs of growing black mold. Weeks after the storm, there is still no electricity.
“Everything around us stood in four to six feet of floodwater for weeks. The grass is dead, the trees are dying,” said David Crosby, pastor of First Baptist.
But when the first worship service since Katrina was held Oct. 9, Crosby offered a prayer of thanks to “the God of storm and wind and rain.” First Baptist New Orleans will recover, but many other churches in the area may not.
METAIRIE, La. (BP)--Seven years ago, members of Good Shepherd Hispanic Baptist Church in Metairie, La., had compassion on fellow believers in Honduras hit hard by Hurricane Mitch. And now the favor is being returned many times over as Good Shepherd recovers from Hurricane Katrina.
MOBILE, Ala. (BP)--As thousands of volunteers descended upon the Gulf Coast region after Hurricane Katrina’s destructive winds and storm surge leveled entire communities, members of Dayspring Baptist Church in Mobile, Ala., decided the best way to help people start to recover was to walk house-to-house and knock on any doors that remained intact.