Hurricane reports – Mississippi through Texas
BILOXI — The Rodenberg Church of Christ facility lost some shingles on the roof but is otherwise in good shape, according to Les Ferguson Jr., minister at the Orange Grove Church of Christ, Gulfport, Miss. The Biloxi church serves many of the troops stationed at nearby Keesler Air Force Base, which suffered major damage in the hurricane. Contact [email protected].
BYRUM — The Siwell Road Church of Christ has been featured in several media reports as the parking area continues to act as a staging area for incoming heavy machinery, trucks and tractor trailers. One member says the that while the pavement and asphalt are crumbling, the church is making inroads with its outreach efforts. On one peak day, 40 trucks were waiting to be unloaded at the building, said Dick Rayborn of the Johnson Grove church in Bogue Chitto..
GULFPORT — The Orange Grove Church of Christ held Sunday morning services with 94 in attendance. The auditorium has sustained water damage, and the tarp-covered roof needs to be reshingled. Several members’ houses are damaged. The Meadowbrook Church of Christ, Jackson, Miss., has delivered supplies, and the facility is serving as a distribution point. Minister Les Ferguson Jr. requests an immediate need for ice, water, fuel, tarps, nails and financial assistance. To send support, see www.openchurches.com or www.brentwoodhills.org. The church maintains a message board at www.ogcofc.org/message_toc.htm.
JACKSON — Television station WLBT reports that the Siwell Road Church of Christ, with the assistance of the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office, has sent truckloads of supplies to areas in need. Also mentioned was a large convoy of relief supplies with a mobile command center sent from South Carolina to the Gulf Coast. The church has posted a list of needs on its Web site, www.siwellroad.org, and also requests volunteers. For more information, call (601) 372-2551.
JACKSON — The Meadowbrook Church of Christ sent supplies to the Orange Grove Church of Christ, Gulfport, Miss., and Wiggins Church of Christ, Wiggins, Miss. Senior minister Jerry Neill said that members are serving local shelters, with approximately 40,000 refugees in the Jackson area. Volunteers are needed who wish to serve on the coast, and housing is available from church members. Meadowbrook is accepting supplies and checks made payable to the church, earmarked “Katrina Fund.” See www.meadowbrook.org or call 601-362-5374.
LONG BEACH — The Long Beach Church of Christ’s facility suffered major roof and interior damage from wind and rain. “As a whole, we are extremely blessed and God has protected us,” said minister Mark Hodges. “As far as we can tell, no one was injured and all are safe. Several of our members are dealing with a lot of loss. Some have completely lost their homes, others their jobs, along with the obvious loss of utilities and comfortable surroundings.” A group from the Landmark Church of Christ, Montgomery, Ala., has assisted in relief work in Long Beach. The Gateway Church of Christ, Pensacola, Fla., is collecting funds for the Long Beach church. For more information, contact Fred Walker at (228) 863-8535 or see longbeachcoc.org
OCEAN SPRINGS — The Ocean Springs Church of Christ’s facility is intact, but “19 of our 100 or so families have lost everything through flooding, etc. — including mine,” said minister Al Sturgeon. “Our two greatest needs it seems right now are money and manpower. Churches have been awesome in sending both so far, but it seems as if these wonderful outpourings of love are drops in a deep bucket that remain.” Church members have transformed their building into a local relief headquarters, turning pews into makeshift stock shelves for supplies. The staging area serves churches in Gulfport and Biloxi. A steel roof will be installed Wednesday, Sept. 7, by volunteers from the Mayfair Church of Christ, Huntsville, Ala., which is also collecting funds for the Ocean Springs church. Contact the church at [email protected] or call (228) 875-7811.
PASCAGOULA — The Central Church of Christ’s facility and many members’ houses have sustained flood damage. Minister John Dobbs lost his house in the storm. “Manpower and money continue to be the biggest needs,” he said. “However, anyone who comes needs to bring a tent, as we have no accommodations at all.” The Gateway Church of Christ, Pensacola, Fla., is collecting funds for the church. For more information, call (850) 476-4466 or contact Dobbs at [email protected] or see remains.blogspot.com.
SOUTHAVEN — The Goodman Oaks Church of Christ is providing shelter for 150 displaced people, said minister Steve Reeves. The majority are from New Orleans. “We opened our building as a shelter Sunday night and by Monday morning had over 60 with us,” he said. “Our members are volunteering to cook meals, provide childcare, help find jobs and ultimately find homes for those who have nothing to go back to.” For more information, call (662) 239-3600.
STARKVILLE — The Starkville Church of Christ is serving as a distribution point to help churches on the coast, collecting supplies, clothing and food. The facility is being used as a staging area for volunteers arriving from churches across the nation. See starkvillechurch.org or call (662) 323-1499.
PORTALES — Members of the Third and Kilgore Church of Christ were prepared to welcome 100 refugees to their community, church members Randy and Nancy Dunson said Sept. 6. “Everyone in town, especially the churches, was scrambling for all of the things needed. The teens at our congregation prepared special bags for any children that might come,” the couple reported. But FEMA decided to take the evacuees elsewhere, “so we are wondering what to do with all of this stuff,” the Dunsons said. Church members are planning a relief and building trip to the affected area in December.
BROKEN ARROW — The Broken Arrow Church of Christ plans to use part of its facilities as a staging area for relief, said Outreach Development Minister Wayne Pope. Working with WFR Relief in West Monroe, La., Pope said that space for relief supplies is running out, so the Broken Arrow church plans to store supplies until they can be shipped closer to the disaster area. The church’s Web site is www.bacoc.org.
EDMOND — The Edmond church contributed $36,268 on Sept. 11 toward a Katrina Relief Fund, established by the church to aid victims of Katrina in New Orleans and Gulf Shores areas. The congregation will work closely with the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in Monroe, LA, to distribute the funds to families in need. The Katrina Relief Fund will remain open for some time, said elder Mark Coleman. Donations may be sent to the Edmond Church of Christ, 801 South Bryant, Edmond, OK 73034. For more information, call (405) 341-3353. The church’s Web site is www.edcofc.org.
MUSTANG — The Lakehoma Church of Christ is working to support Riverside Church of Christ, Lafayette, La., and the Gonzales, La., church. The church is serving as a staging point for donations and supplies. For more information contact Neal Robertson at [email protected] or call (405) 376-2883. The church’s Web site is www.lakehomacoc.org/home.html.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Quail Springs Church of Christ has launched “Operation Underwear,” donating undergarments for relief efforts. The church’s next collection is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7. Diapers, women’s underwear and bras, T-shirts, children’s and men’s underwear are needed. For more information, see www.quailchurch.com or call (405) 755-4790.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Memorial Road Church of Christ collected about $75,000 for hurricane relief Sept. 4. Church members are planning to take relief supplies to southern Mississippi Sept. 8-12. For more information, see www.mrcc.org.
TULSA — The Crosstown Church of Christ is housing about 150 people from Louisiana through the Red Cross, which is supplying cots. The facilities in use were completed this spring, said church member Linda Deckman.
BARTLETT — The Bartlett Woods church is continuing to provide relief and supplies to hurricane victims. For more information, see the church’s direct link to updated involvement information at http://www.bartlettwoods.org/hurricanerelief/index.html.
HORNBEAK — Reelfoot Youth Camp and Retreat Center, supported by churches of Christ, is preparing to house Katrina victims, said Resident Manager Leonard Blake. “There are 98 beds here, in central-heated and cooled facilities,” he said. “The local Red Cross chapter visited … and will be sending folks to us. … We already know of more than 50 refugees who have arrived in our county, and the Red Cross tells us more are being sent from full shelters to our south.” For more information, call (731) 538-2118.
MEMPHIS — The Holmes Road Church of Christ is providing meals at the Goodman Oaks church, Southaven, Miss., which is housing evacuees. Holmes Road minister Glenn Hawley said Sunday that his congregation is providing temporary housing for 20 evacuees and is renovating a classroom wing to house four more families for as long as needed. “We are preparing a network with churches in Nashville and other places to take as many families as they can house and/or find jobs for,” Hawley said. “We are extremely optimistic about finding places for many families this way.”
MEMPHIS — The Highland Street Church of Christ will host a meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, for elders, ministers and church members interested in Katrina relief. “The purpose is to communicate and explore how we might help each other as we all seek to help victims of Katrina,” said church member David Anguish.
MEMPHIS — The Sycamore View Church of Christ hosted a dinner for refugees in local hotels Wednesday night, said member James Wood. The church fed almost 200 people, and plans to do the same for the next several nights. Members also are collecting supplies and organizing members who can open their homes. For more information, see www.sycamoreview.org or call (901) 372-1874.
NASHVILLE — Chris Collins and Robin Clark, students at Lipscomb University, have launched a “Beads for Needs” ministry, selling Mardi Gras beads to raise money for hurricane victims. Collins said he sold 200 sets of beads in two hours on Lipscomb’s campus, and that he and Clark have contacted other universities about spreading the program. Read a Lipscomb news release about the project here. Proceeds will go to a fund at Lipscomb that will go directly to hurricane relief efforts through Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort. For more information, contact Collins at (931) 637-5544.
NASHVILLE — Deacons at the Brentwood Hills Church of Christ have launched www.openchurches.com as a “tangible, organized way we can help, as churches, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina,” said deacon Brent High. The site will pair congregations with available buildings with people who need long-term housing. The church plans to hire coordinators for the work next week.
ABILENE — Healing Hands International received a large donation of cookies for hurricane victims from the Abilene Cookie Company, David Catalina said Wednesday, Sept. 7. Healing Hands has secured free shipping for the cookies, but Catalina noted that it may take some time before the cookies reach their destinations. For more information, contact Catalina at [email protected] or call (325) 676-9991.
ARLINGTON — The North Davis Church of Christ is providing shelter for 150 displaced residents, church member Matt Prewett said Sept. 6. To assist, see www.ndcofc.com.
CISCO — Forty-eight Hurricane Katrina evacuees, and almost as many volunteers to assist them, arrived at a church camp north of Cisco days after Hurricane Katrina. A collaborative effort by the Cisco Church of Christ and Eastland County brought 48 evacuees to Lake Cisco Christian Camp, said Bill Kendall, camp director and church elder. Later in the morning, 25 Abilene Christian University undergraduate students and 12 graduate students arrived to assist. Kendall said the churches are supporting the effort financially with no federal or state assistance. However, by placing the program under the direction of Eastland County, Federal Emergency Management Agency funds might be available.
DALLAS — Area churches coordinating relief have launched a Web site, www.ntdisasterrelief.org.
HOUSTON — The Houston Astrodome is housing 25,000 to 30,000 people affected by Hurricane Katrina. Two miles away the Southwest Central Church of Christ is assisting. No one knows how long the recovery process for New Orleans will be, church members said. They are attempting to assist evacuees with a long-term plan to receive donations and provide services. Checks may be made to Southwest Central church of Christ, Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort. For more information, see www.swckatrina.com.
HOUSTON — Lifeline Chaplaincy, a ministry that provides financial assistance to families of patients in Houston’s hospitals. The ministry has received appeals from the Texas Medical Center Social Workers on behalf of more than 200 seriously ill patients being transferred from New Orleans to Houston hospitals. “It will take more than $40,000 just to meet the requests we have received thus far,” said Dr. Virgil Fry, of Lifeline. “We are committed to doing all we can to respond generously to these urgent requests for housing and other needs.” For more information, see www.lifelinechaplaincy.org.
HOUSTON — The West Houston Church of Christ is collecting pre-paid gift cards from Wal-Mart stores during the month of September. The church is working with the Impact Houston Church of Christ to distribute these cards to victims in Red Cross shelters in Texas. The church also is accepting monetary donations and is organizing a group of volunteers to help those relocated to the Astrodome Sunday. Matt Springfield is serving as the church’s disaster relief coordinator and can be reached at [email protected]. For more information, see www.westhoustonchurch.org or www.impacthouston.org
HOUSTON — Churches in Fort Bend County, southwest metro Houston, are each adopting a hotel filled with refugees. The Sugar Grove Church of Christ, Meadows Place, Texas, has adopted the Sun Suites hotel, said Body Life Minister Tim Shoulders. He said, “This quote from a resident in the hotel describes this group of people who are not receiving media coverage: ‘This hurts. I know there are people in the shelter who need help, but those in places like us need help also. Money runs out. Praise God for your love.’”
LONGVIEW — The Pine Tree Church of Christ plans to minister to evacuees staying in nearby motels, and is capable of housing 100 people at Camp Deer Run. For more information, contact Joe Pendergrass at [email protected] or call (903) 759-7398.
PLANO — The McDermott Road church has collected more than $34,000 for Katrina evacuees over the last two Sundays. Clothes and other items were taken to the High Pointe congregation in McKinney, which is serving as a distribution point. A team of members left this week with heavy equipment to assist in the clean-up efforts. The church is accepting donations and can be contacted at www.ccmcdermott.org or (972) 712-2727.
TEXARKANA — The Walnut Church of Christ is serving as a collection center for Texarkana and the four-states area. The church is focusing its efforts in and around Picayune, Bay St. Louis, Waveland, Diamondhead, Pass Christian, Miss., and Slidell, La. The church is accepting donations and can be contacted at www.walnutchurchofchrist.org or (903) 223-0388.