Bringing God's love to Hattiesburg, Mississippi's Hub City, through practical deeds of mercy and reconciliation.
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is called the Hub City because of its confluence of roads, railways and waterways. The roads that served to evacuate Hurricane Katrina victims from the Gulf Coast were also used to bring volunteers that provided relief. Despite being about 75 miles inland, Hattiesburg was hit very hard by the storm as it made its way north. Approximately 80 percent of the city’s roads were blocked by trees and power was out in the area for up to 14 days. The storm claimed 24 lives in the Hattiesburg area and approximately 10,000 structures received major damage of some type.
The Hattiesburg metro area is home to about 150,000 folks and almost 30% of the population is below the poverty line. Since the storm, the city has experienced a large influx of new residents from coastal Louisiana and Mississippi towns to the south, where damage from Katrina was catastrophic. The approximately 15,000 evacuees who moved into the area after the storm did so to find housing, schools and work. Many of those people have experienced dramatic changes in their lives and are now open to the Gospel of Christ.
God brought the storm and has provided an unprecedented opening for us to work together to advance His Kingdom. Our mission is twofold. We purpose to assist people still reeling from the effects of the storm by bringing hope and at the same time to expose mission teams from other geographical regions to a racially diverse mission field. We are seeking to build close relationships with the East Hattiesburg community by creating an environment where mutual dignity builds trust, and to share the Gospel in a message of compassion to needy people. To be Gospel-centered merely means to recognize our own need of God and of one another and because of the mercy and kindness shown to us, to show the same to others.
What to expect
The work will be painting homes in the morning in east Hattiesburg, near Ebenezer Baptist Church, then participating in a backyard Bible school in the afternoons with United Christian Ministries.
Here are the two video links to the work First Presbyterian Church of Hattiesburg did in October 2010 and 2011