Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Update on Church Status from Mike Cole

September 17 update, received from GP Rev. Mike Cole:

Just a bit of helpful advice for those of you are are using your cell phones exclusively. Check your minutes used. If you are “overusing” your minutes, call your provider and increase your minutes immediately. You’ll pay more, but not as much as you will for each minute if you go over your allotted minutes.

Below are reports we’ve received as we have contacted or been contacted. The churches are not in any particular order – alphabetizing them is more than I can handle at the present.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is sending three teams to help us assess damages and determine a work plan. One team is already in the Beaumont/Orange/Port Arthur area. A second team arrives on Thursday and a third team arrives on Friday. There will be a meeting of our presbytery’s disaster response team with the PDA folks and leaders from the Southeast Texas Interfaith Organization (SETIO) on Friday afternoon at Clear Lake Presbyterian Church. We may be setting up as many as three work camps in the presbytery. As soon as we have information on that, I will pass it along.

On a personal note, Ellie and I were pleasantly surprised with the return of electricity early this morning (1:40 am). We realize that we are now in the minority of folks who have electricity and feel particularly blessed have this modest return to normalcy.

As you read down this list of churches, if you see a need that you think you can meet, make the contact directly to offer assistance. We don’t feel a particular need to control the flow of assistance, although it would be great to have reports of how churches are helping one another.

Houston, Grace PC – Doug Ferguson reports: Here at Grace we lost one of the steeples (the one over the gym) and have some fairly extensive water damage in parts of the sanctuary and offices (especially mine which was soaked).This morning we are beginning to go door-to-door to our neighbors identifying places where we can help. The stories I'm already receiving of neighbors loving neighbors are just amazing.

Tomball, FPC – Jim Gill reports: I preached my first sermon at FPC Tomball by candlelight. We had 28 brave souls come for service. We lost one tree and the copper on our steeple and the cross on top got peeled back. The power has been restored as of today and we only had one window break due to a tree limb hitting it. It was the outside window that caused a leak in the stained glass window. Ironically it was the window that pictured John the Baptist baptizing Jesus. Naturally that would be the window to spring a leak!

Galveston, Westminster – Barrett Ingram reports that he has heard that the church building is ok. The Westminster congregation will worship at Atascoita on Sunday.

Lufkin, FPC – The church is fine.

Navasota, FPC – Craig Sanders reports: The church survived well with only some slight damage. People in the church came through all right with some property damage. It is getting a bit tense in town with concerns about food and water and power.

Houston, St. Paul – Kevin Boyd reports: Saint Paul, Houston, has problems with trees that have fallen on top of the church. There is some structural damage. In addition, we had water leaks in several places, and a flooded sanctuary. We are still without power. Even so, a core group gathered for prayer and praise on Sunday morning. The school is also closed until power is restored.

West Columbia, Bethel – Jim Gentner reports: Here at Bethel all is well --- most members stayed, and all seem to have suffered minimal damage. The church has lost shingles and siding, along with a tool shed that a tree fell on --- all our windows were untouched. we are without electricity for a week, we are told, but hopefully we will hold worship outside on sunday. we have a crew willing to go anywhere we are needed. thanks for the update.

Bellaire, ChristChurch - Christchurch had flooding in the sanctuary basement and a large tree down at the entrance. They lost some of their siding. They will be worshipping in the Fellowship Hall Sunday since there is not likely to be power in the sanctuary until well into next week. Calls have been made on shut ins. Both Mark Cooper and Ashey Brodhurst had trees down on their roofs at home.

Houston, Central - Central had no damage other than a few small trees down and concerns about lack of ventilation with no electricity.

Houston, Christ - Christ Presbyterian had a little minor water damage.

Houston, Community of the Servant Savior - no damage, but no power

Houston, FPC - part of campus has power and part does not. Tree down in courtyard that is being addressed - nothing major

Atascocita: no answer at the church

Conroe, FPC - John and Mary Singleton report no damage to church; members okay. Power still out; some tree damage to church members' homes.

Houston, Advent - no answer

Houston, First Lao - no answer at church

Houston, Northwoods - buildings okay at church; power restored; services planned for Sunday. Members are okay.

Houston, Oaks: Noelie Day reports no damage to church; big trees down on grounds. Still no power; do have water. Members okay.

Houston, Windwood: church okay; a couple of trees down on property; services scheduled for Sunday; Pat Ryan has tree down on her house.

Kingwood, FPC - Jim Davis reports that church in good shape; some trees down; some members have trees on houses, but overall everyone is okay. Held services last Sunday in the dark and will again this Sunday -- regardless of power status.

Waverly - Clerk reports all is well. He talked with Dan Alexander Saturday night and he is okay, too.

Woodlands Community - 2 large trees came down on church over child-care center; 2 HVAC units damaged. Everyone is okay, though, and some have power.

Houston, Grace Taiwan - large tree down, but no significant damage

Houston, Heights – One report that a tree went through one of their windows.

Houston, Heritage - Lost some small trees. Copper sheathing on old chapel’s steeple was stripped away, creating some damage both to the steeple and some water damage to chapel interior

Houston, John Knox - structure fine but lost several trees

Houston, Juan Marcos - no answer

Houston, Korean Central - only minor damage

Houston, Korean Young Nak - only minor damage

Houston, Memorial Drive - no power expected well into next week. Serving dinner to the community Wed. Night. Will worship Sunday - all other events cancelled

Houston, Pinecrest - had several bad leaks - several older members have large trees in homes. PDA is working with Pinecrest on immediate assistance ot members – also working to get a POD into their area.

Houston, Pines - lots of tree debris has been cleared. Offering ice and internet access and cell phone recharging to community

Houston, St. Andrews - no visible damage, no power

Houston, St. Giles – no answer

Houston, St. John’s - no damage visible from street

Houston, St. Luke - no damage but no power.

Houston, St. Philip - lost some small trees, in good shape

Houston, St. Stephen - some water damage from roof leaks. Roof damage especially over outreach center

Houston, St. Thomas - no damage, fully powered

Houston, Spring Branch - some water in sanctuary from backed up toilet, water in Fellowship Hall and Academy building but it’s been cleaned up

Houston, Thien An – no answer

Houston, University - big window in sanctuary broken out

Houston, Westminster - sign blew down, no other damage

Houston, Woodforest – no answer

Huntsville, FPC – no answer

Sealy, FPC – Tom Wessman reports the church is ok.

Katy, Grand Lakes – Harry Slye reports Grand Lakes building had no damage and did not lose power. They served breakfast yesterday and this morning to neighbors without power. About 100 yesterday and 30 today. Power is coming back on in the area. Grand Lakes is ready to receive 4 families and care for them the next two weeks in our education rooms upstairs.

Thank you, Mike for this report! Thanks also to Associate GP Mary Marcotte who gathered a lot of this information over the phone.


Wendy Bailey said...

Just talked with Richard Kleiman at Faith, Baytown. The church is standing, has some missing shingles and trees down. There will be a simple service there on Sunday at 10:30.

RevDi said...

Thanks, Jody, for being our Techno-Wizard of a Moderator! Things up on Lake Conroe have been rather dark, but power appears to have been restored this evening. It came on, then went off, then came on again and seems to be holding! Praise the Lord! We are fine in our little brick home. Damage around us is mostly limited to tree damage -- but boy, can those big guys fall! Even Live Oaks have toppled, with root balls out of the ground!

Prayers, please, for all in Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula, and especially for Gene Straatmeyer (H.R.) and his family. Gene and Jean S., their daughter and son each had homes on Crystal Beach. Last word (from the aerial report) was that Gene's home is standing, but Sandee and Mike both lost theirs.

More tomorrow....

Quotidian Grace said...


Glad to hear from you. How did you fare in Baytown?