The Denham Springs church building and the homes of most members were heavily damaged by flood waters.
Denham Springs was just one of the areas flooded earlier this month when the Amite River poured out of its banks.
“Our church is about a half mile from the Amite River,” Abbott said.
The church building, the minister’s home and the homes of nearly 30 families within the church all flooded. A staggering number considering the church is made up of about 40 families.
“So much of our congregation was affected by this my concern was the church building, who’s going to be able to help us with that,” Abbott said.
It happened fast. As the water was rising, Mike Abbott and his family tried to get to the church building to move furniture but they were stopped by police blocking roads that at the time were starting to look more like rivers.
It was then they realized their own home was in danger. Unable to reach the church building they rushed home, loading what they could into their car and leaving.
“My neighbors had lived there for years and said they’d never seen water in that subdivision,” Abbott said.
But this was different. This time his home and those around it flooded. The water line on the outside brick showed that the water came up 33-inches high. Everything they had left behind was ruined.
Forced to focus on their own homes, the Abbotts and members of the Denham Springs church put a note on Facebook, asking for help to clean up their building. They were grateful when members of churches from nearby communities volunteered to help out — tearing out drywall and carpet.
“Everyone is so thankful to be alive and most of them seem encouraged by all of the help they are receiving,” Heather Fowler, a volunteer and member of the Goodwood Boulevard Church of Christ in Baton Rouge, said. “Whether it's food, water, cleaning supplies, or physical help in their homes, everyone is working together.”
Many disaster recovery groups are in the area. McClintock said he is working with 13 churches in the area to get supplies to those in need, everything from food, to clothing, to furniture. Other agencies, including Disaster Assistance Mission, Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team, The White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ Relief Ministry and Christian Relief Fund are also working with churches in the area to provide meals and other needs to victims. Each group is promising to be there for an extended amount of time, making sure they can help as many people as possible.
The Denham Springs church family is grateful for the help. They know it will take a while for everything to return to normal but they are doing their best to stay strong.