New steeple highlights recovery of one Bay St. Louis church

Old Town Bay St. Louis after Hurricane Katrina, 2005
Old Town Bay St. Louis after Hurricane Katrina, 2005
Main Street United Methodist Church, 2009
Main Street United Methodist Church, 2009

By WLOX Staff

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - If you want to see a symbol of recovery in Old Town Bay St. Louis, just head over to the Main Street United Methodist Church, and look up.

Hurricane Katrina ripped off the steeple that had topped the house of worship for a century. It landed in the main intersection of Old Town.

Once artisans determined that the old steeple could not be repaired, plans were made to build a replica.  The new steeple, designed by noted Coast architect Lawrence Jaubert, has been re-engineered to withstand future storms.

Congregants and community members will dedicate the new spire on Sunday, August 30.  The ceremony will begin at 2pm at the Main Street United Methodist Church located at 162 Main Street in Bay St. Louis.

To mark the occasion, local artists Yuki Northington and Jenny Bell have created a limited edition print available for purchase. A limited number of prints are actually framed from material salvaged from the old steeple.

Heather Hensarling, the church's pastor, said that in "church language, the term 'transformation' means to make something old new again... to take a great thing and make it greater.  With God's help and the creative ingenuity of many people, we believe we have accomplished this in the beautiful steeple we will re-consecrate this Sunday."

The event will begin with a brief ceremony in the church's sanctuary at 2pm, followed by the dedication on the front lawn of the building.  The public is invited to attend.

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