By Jerry Bell, Emergency Manager
(Editor’s Note–This is the third part in a series of stories in recognition of Hurricane Heroes of 2020. Continuations will be printed in an ongoing fashion over the next few weeks.)
This brings me to our next group of Heroes and Heroines. I am talking about all our churches, their pastors, and their flock. We would not have made it without the help of our church people, their dedication, and most importantly, their prayers. I know more than anyone what our church pastors and their people accomplished.
A whole book could be writ-ten about what they accomplished. I have been told by FEMA, OEP, State GOHSEP and our elected politicians, like Senator Mike Reese, and Representative Dewith Carrier what an outstanding job our churches accomplished during and after the hurricane. They helped so many people. The churches like Bible Baptist, TPC, FUPC, First Baptist, Temple Baptist, and numerous other churches in DeQuincy like the Church of Christ, the Full Life Assembly of God Church in Pine Acres, the Pentecostal Church in Hargroves with Bro. Anthony Kennon, and the ones in our African-American community that set up food kitchens and fed people and provided supplies for thousands of our citizens and anyone who showed up got food and supplies.
I went around to all the churches to see what they needed and I could not believe the amount of goods and supplies that was passed out. The pastors were all hands on and working so hard. I saw Bro. Jackson working so hard that I thought that he was going to pass out. I thought that this was what Jesus would want for his men of God to feed and take care of the flock.
When the large trucks would come in, I would call various churches and if they had too much stuff, they would ask me to send it to another church. Our churches, their pastors and members went above and beyond the call of duty in helping our city survive and rebound in record time. This list of churches is not all inclusive, just the ones that I worked with and know about. God knows what each church did.
I want to thank Pastor Jackson especially for helping me. One time a few days after the hurricane had passed, I became overwhelmed with all the tasking and requests and things that had to be done. I thought that I was going to have a panic attack. I quickly drove over and saw Bro. Jackson. He knew I was in distress. He walked over, hugged me and said a prayer of encouragement. This lifted my spirits and I was ready for whatever the day brought. Forgive me if I left anyone out from our church community. They all did a great job for our city.
There were many other heroes during the hurricanes. Some of them were the hospital staff that worked so hard to keep the hospital open for our emergencies. This was another burden on our hospital staff as they were also dealing with the Covid crisis. Dr. Jalal Joudeh worked so hard in this capacity and also keeping the public informed on new developments in the covid crisis. Our police officers knew that we had a hospital to take injured people to and this was greatly appreciated by all the citizens. DeQuincy is so blessed to have our own hospital and wonderful doctors on staff like Dr. Joudeh.
(To be continued)