Praying for Parking

As we near the completion of our new building, parking remains one of our biggest concerns. Would you join us in prayer as we seek the Lord’s will and provision in this matter? Our drawings – site plan PDF call for 45 spots to accommodate the 200 person capacity of the new facility. The proposal spans the area between the new building and the church office; the area previously occupied by the old metal church building and the entrance into the quonset hut distribution center. We plan to lay a limestone parking lot. An estimate for asphalt hit $40,000, so we are shooting for the much cheaper alternative, which we hope should run a little less than a fourth of that. The uneven ground, several extremely low spots, and the footers of the metal building, minimal finances, the need for big equipment, the lack of expertise and man power present challenges we need to overcome. With our growing attendance, some folks park over by the office, and others have to trudge through the mud, so we need to settle the parking lot issue asap – in the Lord’s timing and for His glory.


Trevor Patterson

Trevor Patterson

Dear Friend,

Thank you for your ongoing prayer support as God works incredible things for his glory. Rebuild Lakeshore continues our relief, recovery, and rebuilding efforts on the Mississippi gulf coast. While we diligently work out in the community with house construction, debris clean-up, demolition of blighted property, etc, much of our attention turns to the construction of our new church building. This summer should see the finalization of the design drawings with ground breaking soon to follow. Keep up with us as we begin to put together a construction schedule and recruit volunteer teams for the project.

As we shift gears and enter into the next stage of storm recovery, we have lost a valuable member of our team. Jamie Dunbar served well for 6 years. the Lord has led her back to her home state of Wisconsin to be near her family. Her absence has created a void in our work and hearts. While no one could replace Jamie, many of her tasks need to be shuffled to others. I have been praying that God would send us someone to spread the load. I assume God had someone in mind, perhaps from one of our volunteer teams, to come down and lend a hand for a while. I specifically prayed for a young man that I could invest my life into and perhaps serve as somewhat of an intern in the mercy ministry. As God usually does, he answered my prayers in a richer fashion than I would have dreamed and has raised up a young man from within our local community.

Let me introduce you to Trevor Patterson. Trevor was only 14 when Hurricane Katrina decimated our area. Some of our earliest volunteer teams helped rehab his flooded home. Fast forward 6 1/2 years and God has grown Trevor into a strapping young man with a heart for the Lord and a desire to serve. Without going into all the details of his difficult post-Katrina teenage years, suffice it to say the Lord radically saved Trevor and turned his life around. I had the privilege of baptizing Trevor earlier this year.

Trevor jumped into the Rebuild Lakeshore work-flow with both feet a few weeks ago, leading volunteer teams and working hard along side of them. We plan to move him into the little cottage here on the church property so that he can be available to the 24/7 ministry. Would you consider financially supporting Trevor in our new intern program? We’ve worked out a budget of $1000 a month that will cover expenses associated with his position as well as providing him a small stipend for personal needs. The semester of our program will span the 7 months of June-December of 2012. Please download this form to direct your contribution to invest in the life of this young man and the work of the ministry here for God’s glory. As the Lord turns tragedy into triumphant praise to his name, I praise God that he sees fit to use us in the spread of his fame.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

One of my new year resolutions for Rebuild Lakeshore hangs on the “reduce, reuse, recycle” philosophy. In an effort to be good stewards of the physical and financial resources God has provided, I have a few ideas I’d like to share and challenge ourselves to implement in the coming year.

No matter where we may stand on various environmental issues, the causes of climate change, or the existence of global warming, we can agree that God grants humans the responsibility for creation care. (Genesis 2:15) The Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative offers some issues of merit to consider. Let us not allow those who take environmental concerns to the lunatic fringe to negate our God given responsibility to sensibly care for his creation.

We should also recognize than many of these simple practices have very practical implications for the stewardship of resources. For example, we could save a tremendous amount of money each year if we reduced the amount of bulk waste we added to our dumpster. At $400+ a dump, this could add up to substantial financial savings, representing money we could reallocate to other ministry projects.

1. Build a Compost Bin

We produce an incredible amount of kitchen and yard waste. For example, next week we will host about 175 people. We will prepare 3 meals a day for 8 days. That is 4,200 meals of kitchen scraps in just one week. Adding grass clippings and fallen leaves can augment the pile and create a good carbon to nitrogen mix. The active compost bin can take these biodegradables and turn them into rich soil for our gardens.

2. Sheet Mulch

Our distribution center receives a tremendous amount of corrugated cardboard in the form of boxes and packing material. I have been experimenting with a process called “sheet mulching.” We planted a variety of citrus trees just west of the bunk house. This summer we layered flattened cardboard boxes throughout the entire area and topped them with grass clippings. The procedure successfully kept the weeds down. Come spring, when we start mowing the grass again, I plan to add more layers. I’d love to use the same process in a few other proposed garden areas.

3. Start Recycling

Hancock County does not yet have a municipal recycling program, but the city of Bay St. Louis does. If we separate these materials upon use, one of our church members has agreed to carry all of our recyclable plastic including water bottles, plastic cups, etc to the drop off location. We can bring various kinds of metal to the scrap yard and get reimbursed per pound. I like the idea of getting money back for our garbage instead of paying to have it hauled to a land-fill.

4. Consider Re-purposing

Call me Fred Sanford, but I hate throwing things away that could serve good purposes. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Even when an item has been used past its intended function, it could be used for something else. Ripped tents work well as drop cloths, scraps of carpet provide great knee protection when laying tile, a few left-over shingles create a non-slip surface on steps, etc. We always find a need for small pieces of scrap lumber. I have spinach growing in cracked rubbermaid tubs and my wife dog’s love their kennels constructed out of bread crates. Recently we took a couple of broken tables, replaced the tops with plywood, and have brand-new custom sized tables. I’ve even been known to turn a broken stove into a turkey smoker. Before throwing something away, consider that the would-be garbage could serve an alternate purpose.

5. Compact Garbage

Even with the above practices in place, several items do not fall into the recycling, composting, or re purposing categories and must go into the dumpster. Even here we have room to improve and save money in the process. We learned this principle when demolishing houses. We might fill two or three containers with debris if we just tossed it all in, but we could reduce the number of pick-ups if we layered and stacked the material. Doing this with all our garbage, as much as possible, will eliminate paying for air pockets.

If you make a trip to Lakeshore this year, please help us stick to this category of resolutions. These ideas just scratch the surface of how we can become better stewards of the tangible resources God has blessed us with. If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Slated for Demolition

Slated for Demolition

Nearly six years after Hurricane Katrina, hundreds of condemned properties still remain standing as ghostly reminders of the storms devistation. As Lakeshore Baptist Church continues her mission of mercy we have partnered with Hancock County to rid the community of blighted properties.

Tommy Kidd, the county’s Solid Waste Department head, has been working hard to locate homeowners, acquire a “right of entry,” obtain a permit, and oversee the logistics of placing a dumpster on site. We can then step in to do the manual labor that will communicate a world of hope to our comunity.

These images represent the first handful of addresses our volunteers plan to tackle. Through this new partnership, I foresee this job taking at least a few more years to see through to completion. For those planning a trip to Lakeshore, get your demolition gloves and hammers ready. We still have a lot of work to do for the glory of God on the gulf coast.

Slated for Demolition

Slated for Demolition

Slated for Demolition

Slated for Demolition

Slated for Demolition

Slated for Demolition

Slated for Demolition

Slated for Demolition

Planning for 2011

Future Home of the Lakeshore Baptist Church Fellowship Hall

In six short weeks we will call 2010 history. The past year flew by so fast, I’m having trouble recapping all that the Lord accomplished through the work here in Lakeshore. I can’t pause long to glance back, because 2011 will looks pregnant with projects and preparations will keep me occupied throughout the holiday season, especially here on the church property. For the sake of those planning to make a trip to Lakeshore, to ring in the new year, let me lay out some of the tasks on the agenda for the first several weeks.

The Mercy House:

I gave a brief update a couple of weeks ago concerning the Mercy House. Sometimes the little details move the slowest. It looks like we may not have the sheet rock hung before the first of the year. Add dry wall to the list.

In addition to finishing the building itself, we need to build a fence along the south side to enclose the side yard as a play area for the kids, pour a landing outside the sliding glass door, layout the parking lot and spread the limestone, build a platform or back step out the downstairs backdoor, construct side walls and a garage door on the storage building out back, run a hose spigot out the side of the pump house, touch up finish paint here and there, several other random jobs not worth detailing here, and probably at least a handful of other things that have not made it onto my list yet..

The Bunk House Area:

The fence along the bunk house area has already begun to warp. We can correct this problem by running a cap along the top edge of the fence planks. Sandwiching the top few inches with stained pressure treated 1Xs topped with a 2X4 should do the trick.

The forms for a 5X5 concrete pad sit ready for pouring in the north west corner of the bunk house. The elevator / lift will eventually sit here. We still need to raise $6,000 to have the lift equipment fabricated by a local business, Magnolia Iron Works.

The Distribution Center Quonset Huts:

I’m tempted to call this the “Distribution Center Village” since the area contains a total of 10 structures; two Quonset huts and 8 storage sheds. All of this must go, to make way for the fellowship hall ground breaking. Lord willing, the teams coming the day after Christmas can tackle this job. We still have plenty of empty bunks that week and could use some more hands, so if you are off, why not plan a trip?

The Fellowship Hall:

The fellowship hall plans are still baking at 350 and we are waiting for the thermometer to pop out. I’ve already been talking to the guys setting the pilings and they stand ready for this heavy duty job. Pray for us as we finalize the drawings and secure the permit. I hear the ticking clock and I’m working non-stop to get everything in place to break ground in January.

In addition to these major projects, I have a long list of smaller jobs that our church members and partner volunteers will tackle over the next several weeks.

On a more personal note, I’m also drawing up plans for a small cabin (324 square feet) for my wife and I on some property we purchased right next door to the church. As many of you know, since the storm, I’ve had a 45 minute commute to the church. I’ve been staying in a camper on the grounds at least once a week for the past 5 years. I look forward to reclaiming the drive time and becoming more accessible and productive. Lord willing, we will set the pilings over the holidays and frame the little house after the first of the year.

I can not thank you enough for planning a trip to Lakeshore in 2011. The year marks the church’s 100th anniversary and I believe it will prove the best year yet – all to the glory of God and the praise of his name.

The Oil Spill and the Mercy House

Oil Spil Lakeshore Mississippi

In 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated our gulf coast community in Hancock County Mississippi. With five years of relief, recovery, and rebuilding, many still struggle to get back on their feet. Now, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill has left even the most sure footed on slippery ground. Many fear that the long term economic effects of the oil spill could prove more damaging than Katrina for our area.

Here on the gulf coast our entire culture and economy is tied to the water. Commercial, charter, and leisure fisherman; ancillary businesses like, ice houses, bait shops, and fueling stations, boat repair, seafood restaurants, tourism, and on and on. The anxiety level runs high, and folks fear their way of life will never be the same.

After Katrina, most on the Mississippi gulf coast immediately rolled up their sleeves and got to work in the rebuilding of their homes and community. The oil spill brings a completely different dynamic. The nature of this disaster leaves most people helpless without any hope of concrete action towards recovery. As one local resident put it, “its one thing to loose your house. You can rebuild that. But when your source of lively hood is gone, what do you do? I feel helpless.”

In the wake of hurricane Katrina, Lakeshore Baptist Church launched a massive mercy ministry. To date, we have hosted literally hundreds of volunteer mission teams involved with storm clean-up, rebuilding, and relief efforts of various sorts.

Now, with the oil spill challenge, we have a strong desire to continue ministering to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of local residence. This commitment will require a sustained effort and prolonged partnerships.

In an effort to minister to the long term needs of our community we have begun building a facility, affectionally known as “The Mercy House.” This permanent structure will replace the aging makeshift collection of storage sheds and quonset huts our ministry has been operating out of for the last 5 years as we continue providing food, clothing, household items, and encouragement to those in need.

Located just one mile from the beach on our major road leading to the waters edge, the Mercy House will serve as a community hub of hope providing a wide range of services

Currently we touch the lives of approximately 300 families a month through our food distribution and other benevolence ministries. The Mercy House will allow us to expand the ministry with regular educational opportunities, like our recent “How to Stretch Your Grocery Budget” seminar, encouragement events, and other resources aimed to aid families going through difficulty and uncertainty.

To help build this new facility send your tax deductible donation to:

Lakeshore Baptist church
PO Box 293
Lakeshore MS 39558

(make sure to put “Mercy House” in the memo line)

Thank you so much for being a part of the work God continues to accomplish on the gulf coast to the praise of his name.

The Mercy House

Concrete Mercy

Concrete Mercy

A few weeks ago a group from Missouri built the forms and last week a team from Oklahoma poured the concrete footers for a 1200 square foot storage building that will serve our mercy ministry. A 30 X 40 metal quonset hut, similar to the church, will sit about 20 feet out the back door of the Mercy House. We have poured the footers, now we need crews capable of pouring the slab and erecting the building. If you would like to help with this project, contact us to schedule your mission trip to Lakeshore.

Teach a man to fish

We had a great day yesterday. Here is the press release announcing the event:

Lakeshore Baptist Church will host a free seminar on “How To Stretch Your Grocery Budget” March 18 th from 10:00 am- 12:00 noon. In these tough economic times families find themselves struggling to make ends meet. A few simple to implement strategies can help your meal plans cost less. Courtney Elbourne and Juanita Shiyou will demonstrate how to make great tasting meals on a limited budget and have fun doing it.

The seminar will include special music by local vocal artist Britney Bostic and door prizes will be awarded. Pre- registration for the seminar is required and limited to 100 people. Pre-regestration forms are available in the church’s distribution center quonset hut on the church property from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm Wednesday-Friday March 10-12. Event attendees to the seminar will receive approximately 50 lbs of free groceries. Child care will be provided. Lakeshore Baptist Church is located at 6028 Lakeshore Road in Lakeshore MS. For more information call the church office at (228) 469-0110.

As you can tell my the news video above, the community received the event well. About 80 families attended and seemed very engaged by the seminar. btw, yes that is my lovely wife, Courtney, doing the teaching in the video.

The newscaster, Jeff Lawson, summed up our desire well when he quoted, “Give a man a fish and he eats today – Teach a man to fish and he eats the rest of his life.” This seminar is the first event of its kind as we strive to enhance our mercy ministry with education. As we help families become more self sustainable we want to combat poverty in our storm ravaged community. We look to host events like this in the Mercy House on a regular basis.

Thank you for remembering us in prayer and supporting the ministry God continues here on the gulf coast.

Stucco and Brick

As you can see, the Mercy House looks great! This past week our friends from Central Baptist Church of Corbin KY built back steps to the rear entry landing. Friends from South Jersey mudded and sanded the sheet rock in the lower level. If we can find someone this week to texture the walls, local teenagers will paint the interior walls next weekend.

Next on the list; we need to stucco the main house, lay pavers for the 32 X 16 front entry, and brick the 10 X 10 pump house. I do not have anyone on the volunteer list for the foreseeable future who have listed these skill sets. If you have experience in stucco or brick, please consider making a special trip to Lakeshore to help with this project. Contact us and let us know you can come. We will put you up in the newly built bunkhouse and I’ll personally prepare an authentic Creole / Cajun meal for your crew.

The Mercy House Vision

The Mercy House preview

The Mercy House preview

Four weeks ago I announced that the Hancock County Planning and Zoning Board approved the site plan for the “Mercy House.” Day before yesterday I posted pictures of the beginning of the new construction. Lord willing, the building will take shape next week. The above drawing renders our idea of what the finished facility might look like. We still need to decide on the color, but Mrs. Bea and I both like the color shown. 🙂 What do you think?

The Lakeshore Mercy House will host our expanding mercy ministry which includes all the efforts currently taking place out of the “Distribution Center” quonset hut on our church property. If you have been following us since the storm, you know that thousands of folks have received assistance through our benevolence efforts. Food, clothing, household items, and other things donated to the church get distributed out to the community from here. This important ministry will continue through the permanent facility.

The location has also morphed into a sort of “third place” where locals congregate in a casual environment to gain support and encouragement from our volunteer staff and each other. While many come in looking for hard tangible assistance, like food for the night, others will often stop by just to say hi and continue relationships forged in the immediate crisis aftermath of Katrina. Daily fare often includes impromptu counseling sessions, prayer meetings, words of encouragement, evangelistic encounters, etc. We pray that this this ministry that God has graciously established will continue, flourish, and expand in the new facility as we point people to the mercy of Christ through the gospel of grace.

The Lakeshore Mercy House will also enable us to add new components to our mercy ministry. Please join Lakeshore Baptist Church in prayer as we seek God’s will in future direction and opportunity. Possibilities on our heart include financial management seminars, drug and alcohol addiction intervention and mitigation, biblical counseling, various food assistance programs, tutoring, and other things.

If you would like to contribute financially to this project, you can send donations to Lakeshore Baptist Church PO Box 293 Lakeshore MS 39558 designated for “The Lakeshore Mercy House.” Don’t forget, the ministry continues to depend on donations of food, clothing, and household items for distribution. Please see our “needs page” for a list of suggested items if you can help in this way. Thank you so much for standing along side of us as we continue to minister help and hope in the name of Jesus Christ to our community.