Some churches in Hurricane Katrina zone unsure if they’ll reopen

By October 25, 2005

USA (BP/MNN) — As millions of Americans continue the clean-up and rebuilding stage after Hurricane Katrina, Southern Baptist churches in the region are beginning to wonder about their future.

According to the director of missions of the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans Joe McKeever, “Many of our churches are out of business. We have 27 churches that have been destroyed. If they can start up again at all, they’ll have to be changed. We’ve had small churches trying to maintain large buildings. They were using all their resources to keep the buildings going. They’ve lost everything.”

According to the Baptist Press, there’s no way to know what these churches will look like in the future. Weeks after the storm, some pastors and leaders have not yet returned to their church buildings. Most churches are just beginning to think about recovery.

The Adopt A Church program sponsored by the North American Mission Board may be the only thing that saves many of the New Orleans congregations, McKeever says.

“We’re figuring out exactly what all that will mean. Each church is going to need something different,” he says. Even churches that escaped damage will need aid. “They’ll be able to minister to others in the area and they’ll be able to house groups coming to help other churches, but they will need help doing that,” McKeever says.

This could be a turning point for the witness of the Gospel. If the churches aren’t rebuilt, especially in areas like the French Quarter, that’s like giving up. Greg Hand, a pastor in that area says, “If we miss this opportunity, there will be no change here. We’ll be fighting against reinforced spiritual darkness.”

Pray that many churches will be adopted and rebuilt to fight the spiritual darkness in this region of the country.

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