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Churches Rebuild Churches

Emergency workers from religious groups rushed to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, often outnumbering workers from Red Cross and FEMA. But with some utilities restored and supply systems back online, the long-term need beyond hot meals and cleaning supplies became evident.

More than 900 churches in coastal Mississippi and Louisiana were seriously damaged or completely destroyed. "We have congregations that are not meeting now, and are not likely to be for a number of months," Gary Torrens of the Presbyterian Church USA said.

Now, how will they rebuild?

Congregations from across the nation are joining the reconstruction effort. As part of a $10 million appeal to PCUSA congregations, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance created an account to help pay the salaries of pastors whose churches were crippled by the storm. In Mississippi, 27 United Methodist pastors and their families are living in campers while the denomination assesses need and launches a rebuilding campaign. The UMC has already ...

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