A church in the storm

News | September 14, 2017

When Hurricane Harvey hit a couple of weeks ago, the flood waters came within feet of Christ the King Church in Houston. The church building probably would have fared OK in the massive storm that unleashed a torrent of rain and wind on the city.

However, before the storm hit, someone stole an outdoor sump pump from the church property. As a result, systems failed and the building flooded – causing approximately $300,000 in damage.

Several church families were also significantly affected by the storm.

Duane Larson – a St. Paul member who frequently taught adult education offerings – is the interim pastor at Christ the King. He has served there since July 2016.

“The people have really risen to the challenge in the most inspiring way,” he said on a day when an insurance adjuster came to visit and a delivery crew dropped off a temporary storage unit to help the church carry on with ministry. “The adrenaline has been running.”

With the sump pump system compromised, water had nowhere to go. It rained down inside the mechanical room. Three inches of water collected in music rooms, classrooms, supply room, the youth room.

The basement, Duane said, is now as “bare as it can go.” Crews gathered to tear out floors, cabinets, dry wall. They moved supplies up out of the affected areas, too.

With a bit of a “logistical dance,” Christ the King is continuing its work in this world, Duane said. He used the words devoted, generous, and gracious to describe the congregation.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the congregation will consider removing the word “interim” from Duane’s title at a special congregational meeting.

“Our cleanup efforts amplify again the call for us to speak and do God’s grace and love for the world, and for ourselves. It will be too easy for us only to be angry and even hateful. The fallen world has more than enough of those destructive waters. Our job, with God’s help, is to compound the interest of God’s love with and for others. We discover our own further healing having so done.”


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