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Baptist neighbors ride out Isidore’s onslaught on village

PORT SULPHUR, La. (BP)–While most residents of Port Sulphur, a small village in the south Louisiana marshlands, heeded the calls for voluntary evacuations, some townsfolk decided to wait out the winds and rain of Tropical Storm Isidore in their homes — including Wally Molby and Mike Love.

Molby and Love reported they survived Isidore’s destructive winds and storm surge in relative comfort. “At times it was traumatic, but we managed to survive dry and unharmed,” Molby told Baptist Press in a telephone interview the morning after the storm’s arrival.

On Sept. 25, neighbors Molby and Love were helping each other board up windows in preparation for Isidore’s onslaught. “It’s what we do around here,” Molby said. “We help each other out. There aren’t many of us down here in Port Sulphur so we have to look out for everybody.”

The Plaquemines Parish neighbors, members of Port Sulphur Baptist Church, said they were prepared to ride out the storm in what they called grand style.

“We’ve got plenty of bottled water, batteries and a kettle of chili,” said Molby, a 70-year-old security officer at a local oil refinery. “My wife decided that we should stay and not evacuate. If she says stay, we stay.”

Love said if the storm had reached a category three status, he would have left. “The only thing we really have to worry about is the storm surge and we don’t think it’s going to be that bad,” Love said.

After the storm passes, Love said there will be plenty of ministry opportunities in the coming days.

“Our church is small, but it’s really active in the community,” Love said. “We try to be there for people when they need help, whether it’s with food or helping repair damage on somebody’s trailer.”

Port Sulphur has about 1,000 residents and only one Baptist church. “In this town, you got your drugs or your Christians,” Molby said. “Folks around here have a Bible in one hand and a pistol in the other. That’s why we do prayerwalks down the road.”

    About the Author

  • Todd Starnes