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DISASTER RELIEF DIGEST: 140 churches damaged; Hundreds of volunteers mobilized

Photo by Brian Blackwell

Laura’s toll includes 140 Louisiana Baptist churches

By John Kyle

ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBM) – Hurricane Laura’s 140-mph, Category 4 winds considered nothing sacred, including houses of worship.

While hundreds of thousands were left without power and water, perhaps just as devastating is the destruction of houses of worship, which often are central to the lives in a community.

John Hebert, director of missions and ministries for Louisiana Baptists, estimates 107 Louisiana Baptist churches have sustained damage from minor to catastrophic – and some may not open their doors again.

“We’ve seen reports indicating as many as 140 churches sustained damage of some nature, but we’ve been able to address some of those needs which has brought the total down to 107,” Hebert said.

Louisiana Baptist state missions staff have spent most of the week since Hurricane Laura’s landfall calling and visiting pastors and churches across the state trying to get an idea of the severity and scope of the damage.

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Mississippi Baptist disaster relief crews mobilizing across Louisiana

By Hubert Yates

LAKE CHARLES, La. ( BP) – Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief (MBDR) teams were in the first wave of a large response of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams rolling into Louisiana after Hurricane Laura raked the state Aug. 27.

A 20-person team of MBDR mass feeding specialists has been working in Lake Charles at what is known as a “super kitchen” field facility of the Salvation Army disaster relief program. The first team of MBDR volunteers rotated out on Sept. 3 and were replaced by another.

The Louisiana Baptist Joint Incident Command has asked MBDR to provide teams possibly through October 3. MBDR is currently recruiting credentialed volunteers and scheduling teams to meet this need.

Additional state Baptist disaster relief teams working in the areas damaged by the Category 4 storm include:

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