Church wiring ripped off — again

| May 20, 2010

NEW ORLEANS — How does God's house get rebuilt? Pastor Kenneth Davis is using one nail at a time.

It was a struggle after Hurricane Katrina to restore the sanctuary of the Lower Light Baptist Church in New Orleans East. The congregation dropped from 300 to thirty, and is now back to 175.

"We only had a handful of people in the beginning," remembered Pastor Davis. "We were blessed with a number of people moving into the community, but it is a struggle because most people are struggling themselves, trying to even get back in their own homes."

But they bought this building down the street, and are rushing to complete renovations and open a summer program for children from pre-kindergarten through high school.

"If we can get this building up and running, we'll do a feeding program," said Youth Minister Gail Murray. "That'll bridge the gap. Some children won't receive hot meals over the summer."

"We said that we were going to try to set up something for the kids, and catch them at a younger age, and try to have some programs to keep them off the streets," said Pastor Davis.

"We'll do some summer enrichment type programs, we'll do arts and crafts," said Gail Murray.

But the project has been threatened twice when thieves broke in and ripped out the wiring, the first time three months ago, and again last week.

"When we came to go up with the sheetrock, all of the electrical was gone again," said a stunned and angry Murray. "I was lost, I didn't know what to think. We called the police, but then I thought, I said I'm going to call Bill Capo."

"Each time, you know, it is $5000, $5000, so now this is another additional $5000 we have to put there," explained Pastor Davis.

Because they depend on donations, they don't have a budget yet for chairs, tables, books, toys — things to keep the kids entertained once the place opens. But they did ask me to get in touch with the New Orleans Police Department to ask for extra patrols in this area, and they have taken steps to seal the building, because they are determined to get it open this summer, for those kids.

"We're trying to do something positive, so please don't you know, just pull the wiring out again," Gail Murray concluded. "Let us get the building up and running, and see what we'll do with the community and for the community."

New Orleans police say they are aware of this situation, and on the lookout for the crooks.

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Category: Church Security

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