Monday, October 31, 2005

Gautier Presbyterian Church Rebuilds - October 31

Dear Friends

We have had a wonderful week, followed by a beautiful worship service this morning. We were joined this morning by our friends from First Presbyterian Church Starkeville, Mississippi, who have been gutting a house this weekend. Despite their loyalty to Mississippi State (perhaps misplaced but we shouldn't say anything!), they are welcome down here anytime.

Yesterday, we had a huge painting party at the church, and managed to paint the entire church. The party was organized by the Evergreen Presbyterian Church, in Dothan, Alabama, who located some donated paint for the occasion and provided all the expertise for putting in the trim after the paint.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Gautier Presbyterian Church Rebuilds 10/30 Report

An important day in the Church calendar. Please join us for worship. We especially want to have our friends who've come to the Gulf Coast here with us. Put your hammers down. Leave your cordless drill to recharge, and join us to hear the Word.


483 years ago, on the eve of All Saints' Day (a day we know as Halloween), October 31, 1517, a young Roman Catholic Priest by the name of Martin Luther posted on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, a list of 95 theses, or statements, and requested a meeting of the churchleaders to discuss and debate the substance of these 95 theses. At the time, Martin Luther had no idea what drastic changes this simple actwould bring upon the church, but posting those 95 Theses began a virtual chain reaction that resulted in the events that we know today as the Protestant Reformation. Protestants celebrate and observe this last Sunday in October as Reformation Sunday, and our Lutheran friends celebrate it as the birthday of the Lutheran Church. And making Luther what many historians recognize as the third or fourth most important person in history!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Gautier Presbyterian Church - Katrina Impact on Members

Gautier Presbyterian Church
Membership Roster and Individual Damage Report

Family lost a great deal of business due to the
storm and suffered water damage.


  • William

  • Elizabeth

Terribly exhausted from trying to clean up around
their house.


  • Jim

  • Sue

Navy family that will have to relocate because the
homeport which was already slated to close sustained too much damage


  • Michael

  • Casondra

  • Brielle

Had tremendous flood damage. Living in their
home, but no walls or flooring


  • Patricia (Pat)

  • Richard (Dick)

Stayed during the storm. The three children
(Calvin, Shone and Hanna) stayed as well and remain traumatized.
Schools are back in so that may help some.


  • Leon

  • Calvin Brown

  • Shone

  • Hanna

She is our oldest member and had knee replacement
surgery 10/26/05. She will go into rehab when she leaves the hospital.


  • Aubin

Had water damage to their second floor and a gaping
hole in their roof.


  • Joyce

Are doing well but have many friends/family in the
Houston/Galveston area.


  • Ralph

  • Dotty

Doing well but have many suffering friends in Texas.




Lost their home and all their possessions in the
storm. They are buying a house to replace the one lost,
but it is empty


  • George

  • Mary

Having great difficulty with the magnitude of the
damage in our area.



Struggling, as a young family, to help others out
in the church.


  • Waldemar

  • Robin

  • Amy Jo

  • Billy

Pam was supposed to have surgery in New Orleans the
day before the hurricane but it was canceled. The surgery will be
handled locally now, but later in the year.


  • Wayne

  • Pam
  • Courtney

Were new to the area and stayed during the storm
and are having a hard time coping afterwards. Both are working very hard
with other members of the church


  • Bill

  • Jan

New to the area and stayed during the
storm and are having trouble coping.


  • Dan

  • Blanche

Tremendous damage to both of their work sites.
Sylvia’s restaurant went under water.


  • George

  • Sylvia

Health problems in the midst of all of this and both had
to go back to work quickly after the storm which is both a
blessing and difficulty with all that needs done.


  • James (Jack)


Had significant water damage to her house.


  • Daphne

Had to swim out of her house as the water went over
her roof! She is nearly 80.


  • Marge

Tree damage.


  • Fred

Roof damage and yard damage. She has taken in a
friend of her late husband’s who lost his house.


  • Dorothy

Flood damage


  • Keith
  • Heidi

  • Samantha

  • Tony

New to the community and trying to cope with the
damage. House faired well.




30 trees down on their lot. Some still hang
precariously over the house. She is an avid gardener.


  • Dick

  • Brandy

Several holes in their roof.


  • Richard

  • June

Stayed during the storm because he has cancer and
they couldn’t move. Recently went to Houston, things that looked rather
grim in Feb are better now.


  • Dick

  • Barbara

Lost most of her downstairs to the storm. All her
precious music/piano/organ was downstairs.


  • Martha

Lost her house and all her many belongings in the


  • Gerry

Roof damage. She is caring for her daughter and
son in law who lost everything in their beautiful water front home.


  • Judy

Had sludge throughout their home and are having to
gut it all. Living in a travel trailer


  • Jim

  • Jo

  • Dan

Lost the downstairs to flood.


  • Rick

  • Donnis

Lots of tree damage.


  • Jerry

  • Mary

Some water in the house.


  • Jesse

  • Cookie

Some roof damage. They are caring for her mother,
who lost everything


  • Dan

  • Gerry Anne

  • Amanda Partridge

Gautier Presbytieran Church Rebuilds 10/28 Report

It has been a graceful week here in Gautier.

The weather is a lot nicer, which means our work is easier to do. Some things are back to normal: One of my members finally had her surgery, which originally was scheduled for the week of Katrina. She is recovering well. She is such a sport with this surgery, giving me a hard time this morning as I left her. She is the matriarch of our church and is such an inspiration to us all. One of the real disappointments of the damage at the church, is that the large stained glass window, which she and her son offered to the church, was badly damaged by the wind. We have tried to stabilize it, but it continues to worsen. We have a contractor who is going to attempt to take the window out this weekend. Keep them in your payers.

About noon today, I was delighted to see Al Thompson and his wife. Al works with PDA and was with our church very early after the storm. It was good to see he and his wife. They brought a gift as well. Our normal communion set is nowhere to be found now and would have been badly damaged by the storm in any event, because it was stored in an area that was flooded. Al brought a beautiful new set and presented it to us. It will be such a joy to use this set next Sunday during worship.

This afternoon our Session met and again had just a delightful meeting. There is such wisdom amongst our group. I am so thoroughly grateful to be shepherding such a mature group of disciples. We are working on a covenant with our partners (it is included in a second email). I pray you will look it over and consider it.

Tomorrow, we prepare for our “Painting Party” on Saturday with a group from Dothan, AL. Together with member of the Evergreen church in Dothan, we will be painting most of the church with paint donated from a paint store there.

We have asked a member of the church to oversee the needs list to help the church and the membership. Her name is Jan Fishinger and she'll prepare a "wish list" for publication.

Blessings on you all

Grace and Peace,

Rev. Chris Bullock

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Gautier Presbyterian Rebuilds After Katrina 10/26

A good day of rebuilding here at Gautier Presbyterian. The weather is milder, the air dryer and we're getting lots done. And we're feeling stronger. We enjoyed a pretty sunset.

Got word from folks in Oregon that a medical center is sending over a thousand new stuffed animals to have this area's Salvation Army distribute...and they're leaving us a huge supply also. Nothing like a happy Paddington Bear to make a kid perk up, right? And there'll be more for our police and fire departments to hand out.

We have needs as we recover from the devastation here in our beautiful South. Lord, we lift our needs to you. We need funds to rebuild, we need strength to face each day. We need friends to come to our town and put their shoulders to the wheel so that we may rest awhile. Help us become the South's new pioneers, rebuilding an entire part of America. And we need help to respond to the desperate needs of the people suffering after the earthquake in Pakistan. Please, Lord, help America and the world send help to them now!

Mark Shepherd, stalwart "mayor" of our little volunteer tent city on the church lawn, reminds those interested in helping us recover from the damage of Katrina that we need checks mailed to the church. Another perfect way to help is to send us gift cards for either Lowe's or Wal-Mart, where everyday we are purchasing rebuilding supplies.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Gautier Report for 10/25 - An Easy Way to Help

The Easiest & Best Way to Help: Send Wal-Mart or Lowe's Gift Cards

And the help just keeps on coming. We're so grateful for the volunteers from around the country who've come to work. What an inspiration it has been to see so many Presbyterians working up a sweat helping Gautier. And we can't forget the thousands of "Stormin' Mormons", Baptists, Catholics and all people of faith who are reaching out to help the Gulf Coast.

Here at our Gautier PDA Tent City (sorry, that's "Volunteer City" in Presbyterian-speak) our operation is made so much more effective with the talents of "Mayor" Mark Sheperd. Mark travels with two cell phones ringing all the time while his fingers fly on the computer's keyboard while he carries on two conversations on each point of the compass simultaneously and while he stacks supplies and repairs things. You get the idea...the poor fellow's pretty busy coordinating things but its all working out! We're grateful for his long term committment on this. We've had many blessings carried by the waves of the storm and Mark's one.

Mark was asked yesterday for his Number One priority on what we need donated here at Gautier Presbyterian and in fact, for the entire area we're helping. Easy answer. Mark needs gift cards from Wal-Mart and Lowe's. These stores are nearby and have pretty much everything needed to do our work. Our Lowe's SuperCenter meets nearly every requirement we have and their folks have been good to us. We note that Lowe's recently donated over $6,000,000 for Katrina!

Mark says, "We are always restocking our tool shed inventory and as we progress towards the rebuilding stage other tools will become necessary. We will also need large amounts of sheet rock/insulation, electrical and plumbing fixtures, carpeting etc. Each day down here brings a new set of challenges and a gift card provides the flexibility required in a disaster response."

Mark has already had a response to his appeal. The Disaster Volunteer Team from Salem's First Presbyterian Church is sending a $250 Lowe's gift card, on top of the $500 they've already given for the operation of the tent city. Now, Mark needs thousands and thousands more. Send your checks or gift cards using this address:

Mark Shepherd c/o Gautier Presbyterian Church
100 Hwy 90, Gautier, MS 39553

If you want to get a gift card right away for Mark and the Gautier team, here's the link to the Lowe's gift card site so you can order online with a credit card:

Here's the link for Wal-Mart's gift card:

Mold. Will it ever go away??