Churches Help Katrina Victims - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson 8/28/06

Churches Help Katrina Victims

By David Kenney
david@wlbt.net

Here in the metro, area churches that mobilized immediately, sending supplies to the coast, where many people had lost everything.

In just a few days after Hurricane Katrina, two area churches emerged as leaders in the volunteer recovery effort, Christ United Methodist in north Jackson, and Siwell road Church of Christ to the south.

Shannon Fuller, "Katrina was such a massive project we just kind of stumbled into it."

When congregations from across the country heard of the hurricane victims needs, they immediately started shipping items to the two churches.

Reverend Chuck Halford of Christ United Methodist Church says, "We'd get phone calls from churches and groups we had never any contact with. Not just from our own denomination so it was very ecemencial effort and exciting."

Mark Ray of Siwell road Church of Christ, "We had a lot of people who we had never seen before come, some people came from hospitals, some came from out of state."

Hundreds of church and community members graciously gave their time, sorting items, then driving them down to various churches on the coast. 

For many coast congregations, who lost their sanctuaries, and everything they owned, it was the fuel for their existence.

Reverend Halford says, "They were just about ready to throw in the towell they showed up with workers and materials and it gave them hope so it kind of turned the around."

Some congregations in the metro continue to send supplies, and manpower to help rebuild, without any state or federal help, the churches made their relief effort work, on faith alone.

Mark Ray of Siwell road Church of Christ says, "It was amazing how it just kept snowballing and god found a way to just keep helping his people."

Many churches have found helping Katrina victims is more that a relief effort, it's a commitment. 

Reverend Chuck Halford says, "It's seeing others in love and seeing that in the congregation. This is long term, this is going to be a 5-6 year commitment. The church has made that commitment were gonna stick with this and see it through."

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