St. Patrick's Episcopal Breaks Ground In Long Beach

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - After three years in the post-Katrina wilderness, the congregation at the St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Long Beach is finally on the road home.

Saturday, they gathered on the site of what will be their new church for a ground breaking ceremony led by Bishop Duncan Gray of the Mississippi Diocese.

St. Patrick's had been holding services at Camp Coast Care. Rector David Knight said they were determined to keep their church family together, knowing this day would eventually arrive.

"Almost 40 percent of our members lost their homes completely. One hundred percent had damage of some kind from Katrina. And here they are, working hard and praying together. And we've never lost sight that the church is not the building, it's the people. And that is displayed in our commitment to being a part of this community and being a people who can be of service the next time a storm comes, and not a victim," the Rev. Knight said.

A multi-purpose building, which will also house worship services, will be built first. It's scheduled to be completed in about nine months. Work will then begin on a new sanctuary.