4 Year Update – Looking back and looking forward

Lakeshore Baptist Church after Hurricane Katrina

On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina slammed into the gulf coast leaving nothing but devastation in her wake. The Lakeshore Baptist Church buildings, situated about 1 mile from the beach on the Mississippi gulf coast, numbered in the casualties of the storm along with nearly 11,000 residences in Hancock County, schools, businesses, police stations – just about everything. Shortly after the storm, folks asked us if Hurricane Katrina destroyed our church. We firmly answered, “no.” While the storm destroyed all our church buildings, the church, itself, remained strong.

The members of Lakeshore Baptist Church, as the hands and feet of Jesus, began using temporary buildings and ministering to our storm ravaged community. As a testimony to God’s sustaining grace, we have partnered with over 500 churches from across the country to rebuild our community. Through these efforts literally thousands of families in our county have received assistance by way of emergency food, clothing and relief supplies. Others have received donations of household items, including furniture, cookware, and even toys for the kids. Hundreds of homes were gutted and cleaned by volunteers working through the ministry here. Over 100 homes have been rehabbed and 35 homes completely rebuilt from the ground up. God has been at work. We have seen so much accomplished, but the monumental job remains incomplete. we plan to continue these efforts for the foreseeable future.

Shortly after the storm we realized it would take several long years of rebuilding before we would see signs of full recovery for our church and community. I must confess, I did not anticipate what God would do in our hearts in the process. In the past four years God has shown us what a Gospel driven missional church can accomplish when she hungers after the glory of God and the good of her community. God has refocused our vision, reorganized our ministry, and re energized our passion. In many ways, Lakeshore Baptist Church stands stronger now than before Katrina.

While we still maintain, “the church is not the building,” we recognize the value of facilities to fulfill our primary gospel mission. We have hammered out a master plan for the physical buildings that can facilitate our vision for the future ministry of the church in Lakeshore. Lord willing, I’ll post an outline of these proposed structures soon. Please continue to pray for us as we seek God’s greatest glory.

Lakeshore Baptist Church - site plan proposal

4 thoughts on “4 Year Update – Looking back and looking forward”

  1. We had the privilege of coming to Lakeshore in November of 2005. While the students who came have graduated from our high school all of the chaperones are still here. The students still stay in touch and still feel blessed to have been a part of such an awesome mission. We are wondering if you still need to have a bed sponsored. And know we visit the website often and even a public school keeps you in our prayers. God Bless… You are our heroes!

  2. Dear Jamie or Don…
    We, Bill adn I are coming to Lakeshore to work with our Mission Team, led by Dave Miller, Grace EC Church, Knox, PA, the second week in December…are the sea boxes still available for couples to use during our stay…please advise…also…we may be arriving Saturday evening befor the rest of the team on Sunday…would this housing be available then? Our dates are 12/6-12/’09…Thanks!
    Lois and Bill Eisenhuth
    bubbaLB@windstream.net

  3. James and Pastor Don,
    Many thanks for your accommodations and friendship on our three trips to your church. We are sincerely grateful for your willingness to allow us to work on Sundays when we come down from Louisville, Kentucky and to provide us with “skill-appropriate” projects. We are a rag-tag bunch whose hearts are big and who appreciate all that you are doing for your brothers and sisters in the area. We look forward to seeing you all very soon.

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