Escatawpa Church Reopens After Katrina - - The News for South Mississippi

Escatawpa Church Reopens After Katrina

"It was really bad," church member David Graham says.

Members of Escatwapa Baptist church say the memories of August 29th, 2005 are still fresh in their minds.

"You do not realize what a church building means to come sit down in cool and comfort until it is taken away," church member Dennis Blades says.

Katrina's wind and water destroyed the Jackson County church.. "The doors had been washed out and knocked down, the carpet had rolled up, and the pews were coming apart even though they were wooden pews," says Blades.

"One word, helpless," Graham says.

During the storm the church sustained more than a half million dollars in damages. But members like David Graham say they were not going to let Katrina ruin their spirit or their faith in God.

"If you do not trust God and believe, it will not happen," Graham says.

And members say through prayer the church was blessed with hundreds of people wanting to help them rebuild.

"We had Atlanta, Tennessee, California and Chicago," Graham says.

"We would be here working and a van would pull up and say we see you guys working we are going to help," Blades says.

And now the fruits of their labor can easily be seen all over the sanctuary.

"Everything looks so clean and neat, and I am just so humbled with all the people that came and helped us get back together," says church member Kathleen Lang.

"It is unbelievable how you feel inside to know that what was once so destructive it is back to what it is used to be and better," Graham says.

And members hope the rebuilding efforts serves as an example of the importance of keeping the faith during these tough times.

"The key is God, people that have the Lord in their lives have that extra strength to go that extra mile," Blades says.

By Patrice Clark

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