New Orleans Seminary students from Missouri arrive safely to families after Hurricane Katrina
Editor’s note: The Pathway has been working to identify the location of all Missouri students attending New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, which was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. Information on students has been difficult to obtain because the seminary administration has been displaced and now operates out of Atlanta. Seminary President Chuck Kelley, however, has announced that all students, faculty and administration escaped safely.
By Barbara Shoun
September 20, 2005
WILLOW SPRINGS – To Megan Shammert of Willow Springs, a student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, the damage of Hurricane Katrina doesn’t yet seem real. Megan left New Orleans Aug. 27, before the storm hit.
“At first, when they told us we were evacuating, I thought, ‘Great! I’ll have a few days off from school, see my nieces, and come back and pick up on Greek.’” She went to her sister’s house at Willow Springs.
After the levees broke, she could get no information about that particular part of New Orleans, so she started going through the internet to get information.
Shammert is working toward a master of divinity degree with specialization in missions. She worked online before starting her first semester on campus this fall, and she is eager to get on with her education.
Since returning to Missouri, she has taken a temporary position at a factory with plans to work on her classes online.
In the meantime, a church in Florida has contacted her about an internship. “If this job falls through in the next month or so, I’ll probably go there if they’ll have me,” she said.
“God’s going to provide. Everything that’s important is safe. I’m here with my family and my friends. Everything down there is just stuff.”
Heather Tate, now staying with her grandparents in St. Louis, also left New Orleans on Saturday before the storm. She and some friends went to Atlanta.
“We thought we would be gone for a couple of days and be back that week,” she said. “When we got to Atlanta, we realized we wouldn’t be going back for a long time.”
Tate is a sophomore at Leavell College, an undergraduate school on the campus of the seminary. She is majoring in Christian ministry with emphasis in psychology and counseling.
Tate said she didn’t realize how emotionally draining it was until she went to Baton Rouge last week. She has decided to relocate to Green Bay, Wis., to be with her parents until she can decide what to do next.
“God is still good and he’s providing a lot for me but it’s hard to figure out another plan when you already have things planned,” she said. “I’ll probably be working out of the seminary extension center in Atlanta. I’ll probably take online classes and maybe go down to Atlanta for workshops.”
Tate said God has been teaching her a lot in this experience.
“Every day on our campus, we were praying that God would awaken us to worldwide missions. It’s exciting to see that God scattered us across the country and a lot of other countries. I know God has a strategy. He always has a plan.”