Elevate Christian Network :: News and Events
Almost all Houston-area churches—including the Bayou City’s biggest congregations such as Second Baptist, Houston’s First Baptist, Church Without Walls, Wheeler Avenue Baptist, and Woodlands Church—canceled all Sunday activities as a precaution.
The congregations were glad they did when unprecedented rain levels ended up blocking many routes and leaking into some church buildings by Saturday night and Sunday morning. “We have five services on the weekend, and I cannot ever remember canceling all services,” said Chris Seay, lead pastor at Ecclesia. “We asked our community to stay home with family and to look out for their neighbors.”
Many Houston Churches Help With Hurricane Harvey Relief
Gregg Matte, pastor at Houston’s First Baptist, spent the weekend checking in with members of his congregation—from elderly evacuees to a local TV meteorologist—with whom he has been texting Bible verses in between broadcasts. Houston Christians did more than pray from the dry refuge of their homes or evacuation spots.
Clergymen were featured in a couple viral news reports from Sunday: a preacher who checked submerged cars for trapped drivers, and a priest who tried to paddle his way to Mass at Houston’s Catholic Charismatic Center. Several churches located on higher ground served as temporary shelters or meeting points for evacuees. Members with clear routes shuttled friends or dropped off supplies.
Temporary Shelters at Houston Churches
Nine churches in the Houston area served as temporary shelters for the city until survivors could be moved safely to other venues, such as the downtown convention center where officials are coordinating relief efforts. One of them, Fallbrook Church in north Houston, has already transported all of its evacuees and closed.
(Associated Press) Joel Osteen opened his Houston megachurch to flood victims Tuesday after social media critics slammed the televangelist for not offering to house people in need. Osteen says early in the storm, the church was in danger of flooding. (Aug. 30)