Two Regular Baptist churches in greater Houston, Texas, are directly under threat of catastrophic flooding by Hurricane Harvey, which has dumped more than 25 inches of rain and more is expected this week. Regular Baptist Builders Club is ready to help the affected Regular Baptist churches as they minister to their members and to their communities.
Pastor Albert Armitage Sr. of Berean Baptist Church in Humble, a northeast suburb of Houston, said Monday afternoon that everything in Humble is closed and locked down. “This will be an eight-day event for us,” he says. Berean canceled Sunday services because of the storms. “We had to cancel because we can’t have families coming out in these types of storms with all the flooding that was anticipated,” he says.
Pastor Armitage, who lives eight miles from the church, says, “One of the overpasses between here and there has 18 feet of water under the overpass. I have had 22 inches of rain at my house, and we still have three more days of rain in the forecast.”
Between major downpours, Pastor Armitage and his wife, Patricia, drove to the church Monday morning to assess the situation. To their surprise, the building has so far suffered minor damage. “We have a little bit of leaking in the main building, and a little bit of seepage in the library. I think the wind gusts lifted some of the shingles and water got in,” he says. “This is nothing like what we were fearful of getting, and we’re happy about that.”
Members of his church are not so fortunate. “We know that we have four families so far who have been displaced by the rain, and I would expect that we will have at least two or three more,” he says. “We know that one family had 22 inches of rain in their home when they evacuated, and the water was still rising.” Several families from Berean are staying with relatives or other families in the church.
Pastor Armitage says that it’s likely the storm will dump a total of 35 to 38 inches before it is expected to leave the area this Sunday. He conveyed that most Houston families have had experience with hurricanes or tropical storms and they keep reserves of food, water, gas, and propane on hand. “We know better than to be caught without supplies. We are prepared all the time,” he says.
Pastor Gerald Hawk of Good News Baptist Church in Katy, a western Houston suburb, sent out a Facebook post to church members on Saturday canceling Sunday services because of the threat of severe weather. The GARBC Ministry Resource Center has been unable to reach Pastor Hawk by phone, but Pastor Armitage talked to the family on Monday. The Hawks told Pastor Armitage their home is okay. “They thought their home would flood last night, but the water receded. The church is okay except for a leak in the roof above the nursery,” Pastor Armitage says.
According to the official City of Katy website, the town’s emergency services received 125 requests for rescues last night, and more are coming in. The city has set up two shelters to house displaced citizens. The National Guard has arrived and is coordinating rescue efforts with local police and fire. Katy Mayor Chuck Brawner has issued a dusk to dawn curfew, the city website reports.
Regular Baptist Builders Club is assisting Regular Baptist churches in ministering to their communities during Hurricane Harvey. Due to the catastrophic nature of this storm and the thousands of lives that have been affected, the Regular Baptist Builders Club is mobilizing resources to help these church members recover from the disaster. If your church would like to partner with us in this effort, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or donate to Hurricane Harvey disaster relief (select from pull down menu.) Excess funds, if any, will be used to help in disaster relief for churches and church families in similar situations.