|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
NEW ORLEANS (BP)--They sang from a screen fueled by a borrowed generator. They hugged friends and waved to others across the sanctuary. And they asked the all-important post-hurricane question: “How did you do?”
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. Read More