Katrina, along with destructive winds and catastrophic flooding, brought with her small tornadoes that hit here and there with no rhyme or reason. One such tornado touched down and destroyed the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Ama.
Despite the loss of their place of worship, the church family's faith in God's ability to help them rebuild is alive and intact. “By the grace of God, we will rebuild, bigger and better than before,” said Deacon Singleton, of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
“All that is left is the slab,” said Rev. Mollaire of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. “The deacons of the church and I were all evacuated to other areas when we got the news that our church had suffered considerable damage,” said Deacon Pierre. “The building was still standing after the storm but there was so much damage to the front section of the church, we decided it was in the church's best interest that it be torn down and rebuilt.”
Luckily, Molliere said, "insurance covered much of the loss". “The money is coming in, partly from a rebuild fund we have established and the congregation continues to tithe money to the church, maybe even a little more than usual because of our current situation. We have received a donation from the state convention by way of the National Baptist Convention. We expect more money in the future for there is a plan throughout the state as it relates to rebuilding New Orleans to provide additional funds for our district. Most of our people are cooperative and doing their share to help with monetary donations. We just can't wait to be back in our church home,” said Mollaire.
The First Baptist Church in Paradis has opened their doors and hearts to the congregation of Mt. Zion, offering them a temporary place to worship. Mt. Zion holds Sunday morning services at 7:30 a.m. at the Baptist Church in Paradis.
“With the help of Deacon Pierre, we are able to hold our Sunday school classes and Bible study lessons at the American Legion Hall in Ama on Wednesday nights. We are very grateful that people have stepped up to help us and prevent the possibility of our congregation breaking or losing members,” said Mollaire.
“Several members are displaced and in different areas, but with every one person we lose, there are two more to take their place. We have been very blessed. It was a very dark view at one time. But with time, it's getting brighter,” Mollaire said.
“We did lose our church, but everything God does, he does for a reason. Maybe that reason was so that we could build a new and bigger church to better serve the needs of our congregation," said Deacon Pierre.
"People ask, ‘Why Mt. Zion?’ Why not Mt. Zion? A lot of the time, people get relaxed in their faith. They figure they've got it made. God gets our attention. He gets it through disasters sometimes. God is looking more at the people and their faithfulness. The church was destroyed but the church still survived. The church is the people," Deacon LeBeouf added.
The church family of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church has faith that the best is yet to come. “We are down, but we are not out. We will be able to go home very soon," said Deacon Singleton.
In the article, Rev. Mollaire of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church was quoted as saying “Luckily, Mollaire said, insurance covered much of the loss.” This quote was in error. Rev. Mollaire does not attribute the insurance coverage of the church to luck. As a Christian, he does not believe in luck and considers the insurance coverage of his church a blessing. He also requested that the following Bible scriptures be included in the article.
Psalms 125-1, “They that trust in the LORD shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever.”
Romans 8-28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” The St. Charles Herald Guide staff apologizes for any inconvenience.
|Rev. D.B. Mollaire (center) with the Deacons of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. Deacons pictured are Irvin Pierre-Chairman, Norman Singleton, Jr, Warren Lebeauf, Sr, Donald Friloux, Jason Markey, Edward Murray, Charles Williams, and Percy Wilson.|