First Baptist Church of Luling dedicates new sanctuary

First Baptist Church in Luling held a sanctuary dedication on Aug. 28 – the eve of the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Ida, which severely damaged several of the church’s properties.

In his sermon titled “God Still Works Miracles,” interim pastor Dr. Gerald L. Stevens talked about how the storm forever changed the church, as well as strengthened his own faith and that of many of the congregation’s members.

“Talking about God working miracles is one thing, but living within God’s miracles is entirely another,” he said.

Three of the five buildings on the church campus, including the sanctuary and the WEE Center that housed the church’s weekday early education program, had catastrophic damage due to the storm.

“Since the storm, God has provided prayers, encouragement, recovery workers, materials, and financial assistance from all directions,” Stevens said during the dedication. “Generous donations kept us afloat. Let us always remember these kindnesses and their importance to us. Let them inspire our own future generosity to others.”

In an interview following the dedication, Stevens said the congregation was meeting in the fellowship hall as they awaited the completion of the sanctuary.

“We are so excited,” he said. “When you realize that God is actively working miracles for you … when you know that God is doing something for you, it’s like, ‘Oh my Gosh this is exhilarating.’”

Stevens said that God provided miracle after miracle in the rebuilding process of the church’s properties.

“When you pull it all together and you see it all and realize all at once that this is amazing and that we we’re here, you say, well, God did it,” he said. “Major reconstruction happened in record time.”

Hurricane Ida, as well as the COVID lockdown that preceded it, was rough on the Luling congregation, Stevens said. He said he is confident that the church will be stronger than ever from here on out.

“We see ourselves as a lighthouse of hope for the community,” he said. “God will work for you. We’re trying to be a beacon of hope that St. Charles can come back and will come back better than ever.”


About Monique Roth 882 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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