From Feb. 14-20, Texas saw unprecedented freezing temperatures which left many communities without electricity and running water. This historic phenomenon surprised many Texans since the state is not used to dealing with such drastic weather conditions. Texas Baptists churches in the Houston area have stepped in to provide some of the necessary support for the recovery of their communities.
Shelter and repairs
Located in Northwest Houston close to the Cypress region, Copperfield Church was able to serve their community both as a warming and homeless shelter during the storm. Lead Pastor Casey Hough shared how the church housed several individuals who had no access to power or running water, from Sunday night through Friday morning.
“In our area, everyone lost power at some point due to the rolling blackouts. Besides loss of power, there was loss of water, boiling advisories, and several people whose pipes burst,” shared Hough.
“Thankfully, the church was not in an area subjected to boiling water notices, so we were able to operate as a shelter for a little bit longer,” he explained. “Although our church lost power, we were able to provide space heaters and temporary lights through generators.”
While Copperfield Church has closed its warming center now that power has been restored, they will continue to help their community by providing assistance for households with water damage. The church has provided a sign-up sheet for members and neighbors to request the help of volunteers in the tearing down of drywall, flooring and other related projects.
Providing for basic needs
Similarly, Heights Baptist Church located south of Houston in Alvin has been actively helping its surrounding communities. Lead Pastor Lee Peoples shared how the church was able to house four families in need of power and water for most of the week.
Additionally, with the help of Texas Baptists Men, the church was able to distribute close to 200 cases of water to several places and members of the community in the towns of Alvin and Manvel.
“In our area, power came back quicker than the water did. We’ve seen a lot of damage from pipes bursting and lack of running water. In some cases, the water is just now being restored,” shared Peoples.
Heights Baptist Church continues to be in close contact with the Alvin and Manvel authorities in order to provide further assistance for community members as well as be prepared for long-term needs.
Through these trying times, both churches remain hopeful and look forward to continuing serving their communities by fulfilling specific needs.
Due to the winter storm, Copperfield Church was able to identify the great need for a homeless ministry within its community.
“We are definitely more aware of the pressing need and opportunity to care for those entrusted to us within our community,” Hough shared. “Although it’s a challenge for us to know how to best help all those we met, Christ has shed some light on what we should be focusing on.”
Likewise, Peoples described how these circumstances remind the church of its purpose.
“As a church, one of the reasons we seek to help our community in these ways is because we want to be a church for the community instead of just being in the community,” he shared. “The people in our community don’t exist to make our church bigger; rather we exist as a church to make the people around us better – so they can know Christ and love the Lord.”
Texas Baptist Missions Foundation has created a Church Disaster Relief fund to assist churches in need of assistance due to damage from the winter storms. Click here to give.