As evacuees return to Southeast Texas, early reports indicate a significant number of Texas Baptist churches in the area sustained damage when Hurricane Ike blew through the state.
Most of Southpark Baptist Church in Alvin is unusable after the storm, Pastor Bruce Peterson reported. The hurricane damaged the church’s roof, allowing rain to pour into the sanctuary and children’s building. The fellowship hall sustained limited water damage but is still usable.
First Baptist Church in Galveston was filled with water during the storm. The carpet and pews have been removed from the building.
Several Beaumont churches report significant damage. Amelia Baptist Church, Central City Baptist Church, New Beginnings Church and Westgate Memorial Baptist Church suffered water damage. West End Baptist Church and Dawndale Baptist Church sustained steeple damage.
First Baptist Church in Bridge City suffered major damage from up to five feet of water that filled its facilities. First Baptist Church in Nome sustained some damage to its steeple. Calvary Baptist Church in Nederland had some water and wind damage. First Baptist Church and McDonald Memorial Baptist Church in Orange each were damaged by the hurricane.
Ike blew the roof off Exodus Bible Church in Port Arthur, creating serious damage. Windows were blown out of First Baptist Church in Port Neches and its playground was destroyed. Central Baptist Church in Vidor had some water damage and its playground was destroyed.
At least 20 Baptist General Convention of Texas-affiliated churches in Union Baptist Association reported damage from Hurricane Ike. Among the worst reports is Centro Cristiano Vida y Restauracion in Houston, which saw its facilities destroyed. The roof was pulled off of Club Creek New Life Community Baptist Church in Houston. House of Celebracion in Houston sustained roof damage and is without a place to worship.
BGCT staff members are in the area surveying the damages. BGCT architectural staff will be assist congregations as they look at rebuilding their facilities.
“BGCT church architecture provides church building recovery assistance to our churches in two ways—assessment, helping determine the situation and conditions of their church buildings and two, resources, understanding funding and professional services options,” said Keith Crouch, leader of the BGCT Resources Services team. For more information on BGCT architectural resources, call Crouch at (888) 244-9400.