St. Charles Herald-Guide

Groundbreaking for church Katrina could not vanquish

Caleb Frey - April 11, 2007

Easter Sunday was cold, wet and dreary this year, but if the winds of Hurricane Katrina couldn't break the resolve of the congregation of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Ama, neither could a little rain when it came time to break ground for the site of their new place of worship.

The original Mt. Zion church fell to the mighty winds of the infamous storm, but in Pastor D.B. Molliere's eyes, it's all a part of God's plan.

"We move as the Lord leads us," he said.

Since August of 2005, the pastor and his deacons have been holding worship services at the First Baptist Church in Paradis.

Having a place for his flock to praise the Lord is something Molliere deeply appreciates.

But he’s even more excited about the prospect of returning to the new church he’s ready to start calling “home.”

"They have been accommodating us the last 18 months; Pastor Albert Charles," said Molliere.

"Most of our membership have followed us to First Baptist, but there’s no place like home."

Financing for the new church comes from the congregation, insurance on the original building and a loan.

"The previous church was 7,700 sq. ft.," Molliere said. "The new one is going to be 13,000 sq. ft."

The latest chapter in the story of Mt. Zion Church, which has prospered since 1898, began Easter Sunday with sunrise service at First Baptist of Paradis.

Afterward, the congregation and followers motorcaded to the site of the old Mt. Zion Church, which in six to nine months will be the site of the new Mt. Zion Church.

The site of the groundbreaking may not look like much more than dirt and pilings at first glance, but Molliere has a vision and he felt Easter Sunday was the perfect day to reveal it to all who have stayed faithful through the past two tumultuous years.

"It's the greatest day in all Christianity," Molliere said. "The victim on Friday was the victor on Easter Sunday."

Dressed in their Sunday best, holding umbrellas and doing their best to dodge the rain drops, those attending the groundbreaking smiled happily in the knowledge that what they lost will soon be found again.

Although Molliere appreciates the hospitality he's been shown in the absence of having his own house of worship, he looks forward to the day he can once again open the doors of Mt. Zion.

"Hopefully by the end of the year or no later than the first part of next year we should be bale to go in." Molliere said. "With God's help of course."

Groundbreaking for church Katrina could not vanquish
Photo by Caleb Frey