For the first five weeks after the storm Lakeshore Baptist Church held Sunday worship services on the rough cement slab where our church building used to sit. We enjoyed the shade of a blue tarp for three of those weeks as we sought encouragement and strength from the preached Word. Habakkuk 3:1-19, Luke 7:11-17, 2 Corinthians 1:3-11, and Psalm 57 gave us hope in our sovereign God who never fails.
We have now erected a couple of 24X50 air-conditioned quonset huts. One serves our food and clothes distribution and the other as a multipurpose structure. We packed about 80 people into it for this past Sunday’s worship service. I preached Psalm 40:1-3. During the week, rotating volunteer teams will use the building as a make-shift dormitory.
First Baptist Church of Clinton LA and Emmanuel Baptist Church of Boca Raton FL have partnered together to provide a temporary building while we construct our permanent facilities. Lord willing, they will put up a 36X90 metal building on our church property in the next 4-6 weeks.
FBC Gaffney SC has offered to head up the planning and construction of our permanent facilities. Before the storm we had been looking to build a 3,500 sq ft. fellowship hall and educational space to replace our cramped buildings. My sister, an interior designer is using those sketches to layout a floor plan for the all new structure which will put the sanctuary, fellowship hall, Sunday School classes, nursery, bathrooms, kitchen, and office all under one roof. If Mrs. Juanita is reading this from Virginia – yes, we plan to include plenty of closet and storage space. 🙂
God has reinforced to us that the church doesn’t need buildings to fulfill its purpose of magnifying and marveling at His magnificence and glory. At the same time He has shown us that buildings do sure serve as handy tools in the fulfillment of our chief end. As we move from a shadeless piece of concrete, to a blue tarp, to a quonset hut, to a metal building, to a fully equipped beautiful new facility, we pray that we will continue to “rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9)