The Steeple Story

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The Lakeshore Baptist Church building, constructed in 1952, sported a large wood-frame bell tower. Hurricane Camille stole the steeple in 1969. The congregation patched the roof, but the building lacked any adornment for about 30 years.

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In 2001 the church decided to replace it with a fiberglass steeple. I remember traveling to Texas with Bro. Ed McClendon, to pick up the steeple and bring it back on a flat bed trailer. Several church members and locals assisted in the installation.

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Little did we know that less than 5 years later another storm, of Biblical proportions, would hit us and totally demolish the entire building. Hurricane Katrina threw debris blocks away from the church property in every direction. Nothing but the concrete steps remained fixed. The fiberglass steeple apparently floated like a boat until it rested on the other side of the church property.

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In the days following the storm, we drug the steeple out of the rubble and set it up on the side of the road. It became a landmark for our relief efforts. The rescued spire began to serve as a “Beacon of Hope” to our decimated community and a rallying symbol for thousands of volunteers that flooded in from across the country.

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For eight years we worshiped in a “temporary” metal quanzet hut that bore no resemblance to recognizable church architecture.

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When we began to design our new church building we wanted to celebrate and honor our heritage while looking forward to the future. We decided to incorporate the old steeple into the traditional church profile of the new facility. With the help of locals, and a big crane, the steeple now stands tall atop the new building, to the glory of God.

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4 thoughts on “The Steeple Story”

  1. PTL The Lord has done and is doing a great work in rebuilding the church and the lives of the church family. I was down with Bob Thomson and a group from South Jersey 5 times starting in January 2005 . Glad to see that the old steeple was incorporated into the new steeple WOW what a beautiful church building. Keep up the good work Pastor Don

  2. The preacher who built the original church was Robert Lloyd McNamee. He was a home missionary, and had been a construction Seabee during World War II. He actually built the church himself, and was the pastor. His parents and a sister were killed in the terrible train accident Dec. 31 of 1929. They left children who became orphans, and Bob was one of them. His wife was Lois Meek McNamee from Long Beach,MS. After leaving Lakeshore they moved to Kiln,MS where he physically built another church. He had a heart attack in 1956 at the age of 35 and died in Kiln,MS. I have pictures he took of the church.

    1. Thank you so much for this story. I am familiar with Pastor McNamee’s name from our old records, but did not know all those details. Thank you so much. What church did he build in the Kiln? I would love to see any pictures you have.

  3. I was married to his son. He told me all of this. Bob McNamee physically built a small Baptist church in Kiln, MS. I don’t know when it was completed but the family moved after his death in 1956. I am in the process of finding information now about him. I’m putting together a book for his McNamee grandchildren.I searched the internet for a picture of it. I think I found it. It looks abandoned.My family went to Kiln years ago to see the place. I saw the church at that time. I have a picture of Lakeshore Baptist that Bob McNamee had. It is the same picture you have posted of the old church. I would love to have anything you have on Bob McNamee. It’s great being intouch. Dianne

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