Columbus church looks back on Hurricane Katrina relief efforts

COLUMBUS, Ga. – It’s been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast.

A decade later, WRBL took a look back at how folks in Columbus helped get people back on their feet.

The people we spoke to said it was hard to believe that ten years have gone by.

From corporations to congregations, everyone’s goal was the same — to make the lives of those affected a little bit better in whatever way they could.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Georgians were quick to help.

Georgia Power sent crews from Columbus to help restore electricity…and others brought victims another kind of light.

Jim Grant and Jon Connally of Evangel Temple Assembly of God in Columbus, answered the call, performing physical labor and helping repair a destroyed church.

“We’re to help others in need and that’s something I enjoy doing,” Grant said.

“Just being the body of Christ, and in the time of need, responding,” Connally said.

They remembered the tough times….

“Going down by the beach and seeing all the homes that had been there for years were completely washed away and there was nothing left down there for probably half a mile,” Grant said.

“A lot of people had moved out, they were gone and you know, no dogs in yard, no activity, just people gone and you could it was just a sad picture,” said Connally.

The group slept in FEMA tents, built their own showers and ate meals inside a blown-out auto parts store…but they wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“We go down with a sense of service and we’ll do whatever is asked of us and we enjoy it,” Grant said. “It’s a hard day’s work and we rest well at night.”

“When you’re finished and you sort of look back and you see what we’ve been able to do…come together for that week and they’ve put it all back, you know, new paint, new tile, new sheetrock, new roof, you look at that and you sort of smile and have a good feeling,” Connally said.

Grant and Connally serve as part of the Missions Construction team at Evangel Temple. The group has been helping people across the world for 40 years.


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