Petal church remembers damage from Hurricane Katrina - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Petal church remembers damage from Hurricane Katrina

photo credit: Forrest County EOC photo credit: Forrest County EOC
photo credit: Forrest County EOC photo credit: Forrest County EOC
photo credit: Forrest County EOC photo credit: Forrest County EOC
PETAL, MS (WDAM) -

Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina made landfall and damaged 9,000 structures in the Pine Belt.

Katrina's winds ripped apart thousands of businesses, homes and churches throughout the area.

Today, Calvary Baptist church in Petal remembers how the hurricane destroyed its sanctuary.

 “It was devastating to see what it looked like, it was just a shock,” said Ernestine Evanson, a church member. 

The hurricane destroyed the front and back of church and cost millions of dollars worth of damage.

“I hate to see what the look was on my face when I seen it, it had to be pretty terrible because it was,” said Chuck Gary, church treasurer. 

Gary said it took $3 million to rebuild the sanctuary. Luckily, the church was given over $100,000 worth of donations from churches out of state.

 “It was such a long drawn out process, you thought maybe you wouldn’t have a church again,” Evanson said. 

The rebuilding process took about three years to complete, and church members were happy to worship in their new building.

“It was nice, just to know that I had a church that I could still come to because that’s just an important part of your life as a Christian,” Evanson said. 

Despite these hardships, members of Cavalry Baptist said they are happy to see their church standing in its former glory.

“It was done for a reason and the reason is shown today,” Gary said. 

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