Helping hands provide hope for tornado damaged church - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Helping hands provide hope for tornado damaged church

Posted: Updated:
HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) -

"My first thought was are we every going to recover?" said Karen Reidenbach.

Reidenbach is a church deacon at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Hattiesburg and was in disbelief looking at the damage done when the tornado swept through.

"It was pretty devastating when we all got here yesterday, started to survey the damage and went upstairs," said Reidenbach.

She said that devastation didn't last long because hope came in the form of helping hands.

"It's just overwhelming to look around to see the numbers of people here and the work that's been done today. If you had seen this place at 9 O'Clock, it doesn't look anything like it does now," said Reidenbach.

"Whatever I can do to be useful and be out of the way is our hope. That's kind of the way our whole team that came up here with. We just wanted to make a dent," said the Reverend Scott Castleman with First Presbyterian Church in Ocean Springs.

The Reverend Scott Castleman came with members from Presbyterian churches in Jackson County to remind people at Westminister, they're not alone.

"It's you can see the gratitude in their faces and grief and the loss. It's heavy, I mean there's a weight," said the Reverend Castleman.

"As soon as we got a call that they got a direct hit, I was like, okay we're going," said Leslie Kbidahl, a member of First Presbyterian Church in Pascagoula.

Church members said seeing damage like this makes them think back to a time after Hurricane Katrina when they too were devastated.

"It was neat for me to see folks who received help after Katrina who knew exactly how to help. I didn't have to do anything, our folks just knew what to do," said Reverend Castleman.

"We were hurt, not severely but we were hurt. They helped up from up here, we're here to help them," said Lee Kbidahl.

It's that spirit that's left church members grateful. And although their church building is damaged, the faithful said their church body is stronger than ever.

"Wow, have chill bumps just thinking about what I should say," said Reidenbach.

There is a fund set up for the church at all Bancorp South locations.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Two teens charged with Gulfport man's murder

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:00:30 GMT
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die.More >>
    Two Gulfport teens are charged with murder after police say they shot Lamont Hayes in his home last week and left him to die. Monday night, investigators tracked down Jalen Shaquille Williams, 19, and arrested him at his home. Rashad Rejohn Johnson, 17, was arrested Monday at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Facility, where he was being held on an unrelated charge.More >>
  • Two more Singing River Health System clinics set to close

    Two more Singing River Health System clinics set to close

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:10 PM EDT2014-07-30 01:10:42 GMT
    Singing River Health System has announced the closure of two more primary care clinics as part of a realignment program. The Gautier and D'Iberville facilities will close August 29.
    More >>
    We will rebound. That's Singing River Health System CEO Kevin Holland's response to the announcement that two clinics are closing in South Mississippi. Those facilities are in Gautier and D'Iberville. Holland said it's also unfortunate that several people will lose their jobs because of the closings.More >>
  • Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:54 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:54:09 GMT
    According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later Tuesday night.More >>
    An area of Gulfport still reeling from the brutal murder of a child last week was hit with another violent death Tuesday night. According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.