Bay St. Louis church celebrates Katrina recovery

Main Street UMC after Katrina
Main Street UMC after Katrina

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - As South Mississippians wrap up a weekend of commemoration ceremonies for the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one Bay St. Louis church is celebrating a visible sign of recovery.

Members of Main Street United Methodist Church say they are blessed to be able to worship in a sanctuary that was threatened by Mother Nature. While the storm didn't bring down the church, it did bring down its steeple.

"It was terrible, just like the destruction all over the coast. It was very heartbreaking," Lawrence Jaubert said.

Jaubert knows more than anyone just how bad the damage was. That's because the architect was charged with putting the steeple back in its rightful place.

"We tried to reconstruct the steeple from remnants that were on the ground."

Now, members and leaders of the community are celebrating what may seem like a small gesture to some, but is a beacon of community spirit for others.

Mayor Les Fillingame said the new steeple is a sign of "the strength and the fortitude and the depth of the faith that we have in this community."

Longtime resident Myrt Haas agrees.

"It makes you feel good to know that people still care about each other," Haas said.

Haas is not a member of Main Street United Methodist Church, but she is an admirer who believes that this sign of recovery gives immeasurable strength to the people Bay St. Louis.

"It's a sign of encouragement," Haas said. "You feel like it might get back together again."

Architects say the new steeple was built around a super steel structure that should be able to withstand hurricane force winds.

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