San Antonio team working to help Port Arthur church with Hurricane Harvey damage

Published 12:36 am Friday, July 7, 2023

A church team traveled from San Antonio to Port Arthur to continue work on restoring Memorial Baptist Church.

More than 20 members of Woodlake Baptist Church are at the Port Arthur church this week restoring part of an educational building, primarily working on tile flooring, Rev. Bill Brazell said.

This is the San Antonio church’s third year to travel to Port Arthur to work on the church grounds. The damage they are repairing is from 2017’s Hurricane Harvey.

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The church took on approximately six feet of water in it and was closed four weeks due to Harvey.

Brazell said they have 27,000 square feet of buildings.

The initial repairs came after Harvey and began in the worship center.

“We’ve had about 500 volunteers that have come to our church and helped us rebuild,” he said. “We’ve been given over $500,000 in gifts, donations and other types of help to restore the buildings. And this has been going on since Harvey hit in 2017.”

The church grounds back up to a Jefferson County Drainage District No. 7 pump station, and when the area flooded, the church parking lot was used as a boat launch, Brazell said.

Through the years the church has also had members of Christian Aid Ministry work and stay there for a month at a time. The ministry, which consists of the Amish and Mennonite faiths, restored approximately 30 homes in the area before they left.

Brazell said after the hurricane they lost a part of their membership.

“We are still trying to rebuild our congregation,” Brazell said. “We are a multi-racial church and are really interested in reaching the people of Port Arthur who might not have a church home that might need one.”

Brazell is grateful for the work provided by the members of Woodlake Baptist Church.

“God is so good,” he said.

“It makes us very grateful to God for his demonstration of love and care for the people of Port Arthur.

Memorial Baptist Church was founded in 1914 in Port Arthur. The location at 4011 Memorial Boulevard is the church’s third in the city.