Kevin McKee Lead Pastor, The Chapel
After Hurricane Laura hit our state, wreaking havoc from Lake Charles to Shreveport, The Chapel, like so many, was eager to help. Remembering our involvement in the relief for Katrina, Gustav, and the flood of 2016, we began to seek the Lord for opportunities where He might lead us. Our Siegen Location Site Pastor, Andrew Bates, went home to help his family in Winn Parish. At the time, the entire parish was without power! While his family had access to helping hands and resources, the parish as a whole needed significant and immediate help, especially the town of Winnfield.
Having helped in situations like this before, we desired to send help directly to those who could use and disburse resources within the community. Through Andrew’s relationships with two Winnfield pastors, The Chapel connected directly with the area’s needs. Dr. Jerry Pipes of First Baptist Winnfield, a mostly white community, and Pastor Tomell Hamms of New Zion Baptist Church, a primarily black community, were each able to serve Winnfield, yet able to serve more thoroughly when joined together.
With money set aside for disaster relief, a lesson learned over the years, we were in a position to reach out immediately. We also wanted to let other churches with whom we have a relationship in Baton Rouge know of our plans and invite them to join us. Pastor Donald Hunter of New Beginning Baptist Church and helping his denomination, also contributed financially to the gifts we would send to aid Winn Parish in recovery. Additionally, we asked The Chapel’s congregations to bring food, water, and non-perishable items. Immediately, people began bringing the supplies. Within days, teams drove trailers of supplies along with the financial gifts to these churches and their pastors in Winnfield.
Two churches in Baton Rouge – one primarily white and one primarily black – were able to help two churches – one primarily white and one primarily black- and their community of Winnfield. At one level, it sounds silly to say it that way because it is simply church communities helping other church communities. People of Louisiana helping people of Louisiana. Yet, it is also important to point out because the gospel of Jesus, when fully embraced by a community, destroys divisions and hostility, allowing love to flow freely and graciously.
This united service was the part the Lord has allowed us to play in relief for Hurricane Laura. The needs are still significant, and even more so after Hurricane Delta. We are praying for more opportunities. We also pray that the church will work together to bring help and Jesus to places in need.
Lead Pastor, The Chapel