Georgia Volunteers Help Restore Gulfport Church

Progress can be seen and heard here at New Evening Star Baptist Church in North Gulfport.

"We had approximately about three feet of water. Water rising from everywhere. We had mold, the top of the church came off, we had black mold and we just could not have church in the facility," said Rev. Charles Harris.

But that will soon change with the help of some volunteers from First Baptist Church in Rincon, Georgia, just outside of Savannah.

"We've painted, done some trim work, some caulking, and some of the sheetrock needed a little fixing up and a lot of painting," said First Baptist Church Rev. Bob Rogers.

Reverends Rogers and Harris have a friendship that goes back about 10 years.

They knew each other while they both pastored churches in Poplarville years ago, and so when the Reverend Harris called for help, Rogers came to deliver.

"It just goes back to the fact that grace is free. We can't earn God's salvation, you know. It's something that we receive as a gift. And so, it's just a way we give back. It's a picture of the grace of God really," said Rev. Rogers.

And that picture of grace will be a welcomed sight to 7-year-old Juwan Jones, who cannot wait for his new friends from Georgia to re-install the church pews.

"When they finish doing this job, they'll put the chairs back, and that's gonna be good for me because those seats right there, they were working my last nerve," said Jones.

Fortunately for Juwan and the approximately 450 other members, the church should be as good as new by the second Sunday in March, and when that day comes, the Reverend Harris says he will shout.

"Glory, glory, Hallelujah. Amen," said Rev. Harris.

Along with the nine Georgia volunteers, the church also had a little rebuilding help from area businesses such as Cazesta Custom Homes.