Baptists bring food by the truckload to Louisiana
By Allison Sebolt
September 20, 2005
SPRINGFIELD– After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, Second Baptist Church of Springfield was quick to get on the road and meet the physical needs of people in Louisiana.
Second Baptist has a partnership with First Baptist of Covington in St. Tammany Parish, and when the executive pastor of the Louisiana church called Second Baptist asking if they would be willing to collect food for people in the area, the congregation responded with speed.
Over 25,000 pounds of food and water were collected – enough to fill up two Budget trucks – in a few days after the food drive was announced in services on Sept. 4.
John David Edie, minister of international missions, and Brad Lewter, student minister, along with four members of the congregation left on the evening of Sept. 7 to deliver the collection. They brought relief supplies with them as well.
After driving 12 hours to Louisiana, the group began their ministry there by serving 50 dozen doughnuts to relief workers in St. Tammany Parish and praying with them.
The team noticed the staff of First Baptist, Covington, working tirelessly to help meet the needs of the people in their community when their own homes had been damaged and required attention. While flooding was not a major issue in Covington, the community sustained significant wind damage.
“There are heroes down there serving constantly…the thing that makes it amazing is that their lives were just as affected as the people they are serving,” Lewter said.
To meet the needs of the church staffs, the group spent time cleaning up their yards so they could get caught up with the recovery process around them.
The group found the most pressing need for food at that point in time was not in St. Tammany Parish, but rather in nearby Washington Parish. So the group delivered the trucks of food to First Baptist Church, Franklinton.
In Franklinton, Lewter said a nurse working with children with diabetes came up to the group and told them she had no juice to give her patients. Without hesitation, they provided her with juice.
The group arrived back in Springfield on Sept.10, but the church did not stop raising food. Another team left on Sept.16 to make a delivery at First Baptist, Covington.
“I learned how compassionate the evangelical church is in the United States,” Edie said.
Edie said a significant portion of the relief effort he saw while there was headed up by the church.