Sunday, September 11, 2005

Katrina and the Presbyterian Congregations in Mississippi, South Louisiana and South Alabama

What has happened to the Presbyterian congregations in the areas hit by Katrina?

I have wanted to see a listing of the churches, along with the type of damage suffered. Not finding one, I made one, using several different sources -- I thought I'd share this with you.

Here's what I know... (send me updates if you have them)

From the Synod of the Sun: South Alabama Presbytery fared better than its Mississippi counterpart, suffering little damage, according to the Rev. Samford Turner, executive presbyter."There's no damage to any of our churches," Turner said. "There's a few shingles missing on some of our coastal churches, but nothing to speak of, as far as damage."Turner acknowledged that some individual Presbyterians had personal property damaged or destroyed."

Government Street Presbyterian Church
300 Government St.,
Mobile AL 36602
From their web page: "Government Street Presbyterian Church’s 175 year old landmark building, located in the center city of Mobile, less than one-quarter mile from the water’s edge came thru unscathed. Every member’s household was affected. All lost electricity, most had downed trees with scattered property damage, while some along Dog River and the Bay had extensive damages due to flooding. Among members, there were no injuries or loss of life."


Canal Street Presbyterian Church
4302 Canal St
New Orleans, LA 70119
From their web page: "Our building still stands on Canal St., our people still stand united in cities like Houston, Dallas, Jackson and Birmingham. We are a church without walls, and you are welcome to come journey with us. To God be glory both now and forever! Amen!"

Chinese Presbyterian Church
2901 W Esplanade Ave
Kenner, LA 70065
The church building remains. There is some roof damage. The church's web page,, has some photos. The web page also had a membership roll and where they can be reached. The members are spread all over the nation.
From the Synod of the Sun web page: Fellowship hall badly damaged. Sanctuary fared better.

First Presbyterian Church - Baton Rouge
763 North Blvd
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
Apparently there is no damage to this church, and worship continues. The church is very active in hurricane relief efforts -- see the web page for more details:

First Presbyterian Church - Lake Charles
1801 2nd Ave
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Their web page had a copy of the bulletin for worship on September 11th, so the church must be OK.

First Presbyterian Church - New Orleans
5401 S Claiborne Ave
New Orleans, LA 70125
Their web page says, "The church has been flooded by hurricane Katrina and the members are in exile. Contact Cliff Nunn at cwnunn@gmail or call 972/838-2556 to talk to him. Email us if you want to help clean up after the storm. You may also contact him about CDP matters. Pray for us as we seek to continue to do Gods ministry while in exile."

John Knox Presbyterian Church
4201 Transcontinental Dr
Metairie, LA 70006
From their web page: "Temporary Numbers to communicate with Pastor Harry who is in Houston, Texas and to relay information to JCPC friends are: 832-474-0240 and 281-492-0961 For confidential communication you may send email messages to: September 10, 2005 -- Good News! The church now has electricity and phone service. There is no water service yet. Once water service is restored we will make every effort to get the JCPC campus up and running. Please let us know if you are able to help in the clean-up process and when you may be available. For example: as soon as we are allowed back in or another time. Whatever time you can give, would be appreciated. Respond to this email address to let us know when you can help:"
From the Synod of the Sun: Sunday morning September 4th, less than a week after the fallout from Hurricane Katrina claimed their property - John Calvin Presbyterian Church of Metairie, LA, will worship in another church in another city. About 100 members of the 300-member congregation relocated in Baton Rouge. They found their pastor and their pastor (Harry Brown) found them. So, instead of attending another church's service, they will have their own service and their pastor will continue his work."

Lakeview Presbyterian Church
5914 Canal Blvd
New Orleans, LA 70124
From their web page: "On Monday, August 29, Hurricane Katrina came through New Orleans and changed our lives forever. We pray for the safety and healing of our community. Over the next few weeks and months we will use our website as a means to communicate with others news of our members. We thank those who have called and emailed us offering prayers and assistance and will be in touch when we know the extent of our need. Our need will be great but our faith in God and the love of our brothers and sisters around the world will see us through. God bless you all and may the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you each day."
From their Senior Pastor's web page: "Though these are unprecedented times for us, not so with God, for the times are in his hands. I am convinced that the faith I have seen so visibly expressed at LPC during the course of my ministry will sustain us all until we are privileged to gather once again. Linda and I will be in Milwaukee with my sister and brother-in-law until we are given permission to return. I encourage anyone who may wish to speak with me to call my cell (504)390-6035 or residence (262)691-8935. Know that you are all in my prayers. Please, friends, do call. I would like to hear from you. Neale L. Miller "

Parkway Presbyterian Church
6200 Camphor St
Metairie, LA 70003
Nothing on the web, but I heard from a friend in Atlanta that one of Parkway's members is an evacuee now living in a small town north of Atlanta. The word from him is that the church is closed.

Saint Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church
1545 State Street
New Orleans, Louisiana
Their web page indicates they are trying to locate all church members. The pastor also says on that page, "Presently we are doing our work out of the offices of Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church (MDPC) in Houston, Texas."


Diamondhead Presbyterian Church
5301 Diamondhead Circle
Diamondhead, MS 39525
Major structural damage, electricity on (Source: Synod of the Living Waters)

First Presbyterian Church -- Bay Saint Louis
114 Ulman Ave
Bay Saint Louis, MS 39520
Destroyed, along with the pastor's home.

First Presbyterian Church -- Pascagoula
1819 Pascagoula St
Pascagoula, MS 39567
228-762-0296 FAX
4 feet of water in all of their buildings (source - Presbytery of South Alabama)
flooded, roof damage, structurally OK (source - Synod of Living Waters)

First Presbyterian Church - Ocean Springs
921 Ocean Ave
Ocean Springs, MS 39564
228-872-0401 FAX
Amazingly OK - but the rubble of everything from their building south to the water is piled up in their yard - manse flooded (source - Presbytery of South Alabama)
Manse flooded, some damage to sanctuary, major damage to fellowship hall, everything between church and coast is gone (source - Synod of Living Waters)

Gautier Presbyterian Church
PO Box 340
Gautier, MS 39553
4 feet of water in all of their buildings (source -- Presbytery of South Alabama)
six feet of water in church; no flood insurance, pastor's home OK (source - Synod of Living Waters)

steeple gone, damage to members' homes (source - Synod of Living Waters)

Long Beach
some destruction, flooding, church still standing (source - Synod of Living Waters)

Orange Grove
16148 Robinson Rd
Gulfport, MS 39503
some damage, no flood insurance (source - Synod of Living Waters)

Pineview Presbyterian Church
Hattiesburg, MS
No major building damage (Source: Presbytery of Mississippi Stated Clerk, John Dudley)

Pineville Presbyterian Church
Pass Christian MS
Water damage, trees down, roof damaged.

Westminster Presbyterian Church
5005 Lawson Ave
Gulfport, MS 39507
228-864-3247 FAX
church OK - again amazing - pastor's home flooded out - probably have to be torn down (source - Presbytery of South Alabama)
No major damage, being used as drop-off point for supplies (source - Synod of Living Waters)

Westminster Presbyterian Church
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
No major building damage (Source: Presbytery of Mississippi's Stated Clerk, John Dudley)


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11:44 PM  
Blogger Dave Hackett said...

Hi. Are you familiar with the efforts along a similar line that Presbyterians For Renewal is doing? They've got kind of an "adopt a wee church" and have listed all the affected churches - at

David Hackett

1:24 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

Faith Presbyterian Church in Baton Rouge didn't receive any damage but is aiding in relief efforts. They are using some of the Sunday School rooms as a shelter for mothers with newborns.
Also, there is an update on churches via Columbia Seminary alum ties on

6:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

I spent last week in Panama City Beach Florida at my Presbytery's Camp (Gulftreat is the camp and the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley is the Presbytery). In partnership with Gulf Beach Presbyterian Church, my Presbytery and that church opened the camp as a shelter. It is a true testament of the Presbyterian church being a connected denomination. Gulf Beach Presbyterian Church is not a member of the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley, but these two groups worked together to help the victims of Hurrican Katrina. Thank you for your update on the churches.

9:44 AM  
Blogger St. Casserole said...

Thanks for this list. Go to for a close up look at what's going on in Gulfport.

Ruth Memorial Church in Popllarville (Pearl River County)Mississippi lost roof shingles, had two windows break so water was let in and most of the lovely old trees are down. But! Church help arrived this week with love and chainsaws to help the church and that beleagured community.

1:57 PM  
Blogger St. Casserole said...

I meant:

1:58 PM  
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7:26 AM  
Blogger St. Casserole said...

Thanks, I live in one of the presbyteries mentioned and I didn't know some of this info. By the way, my congregation isn't on our list and DID receive hurricane damage. We are so small we may not show up on the radar screen.
I appreciate your bloggage here, brother.

10:25 PM  

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