The Hurricane of 1915

Lakeshore Baptist Church began in 1911 in the home of R. C. Crysell. Shortly after erecting a church building a hurricane pounded our community leaving the structure in ruins. Ninety years later we find ourselves in a similar situation. Like then, the generosity of fellow believers came to our assistance to rebuild and move forward to the glory of God. The following article appeared in the Alabama Baptist paper in November of 1915.

Church Destroyed By Storm

November 4, 1915

Many will regret to hear that our mission church at Lakeshore was destroyed by the recent storm upon the coast. Its history reads like a novel. It was organized by only a few members, under the leadership of Rev. Buchanan, who, no doubt, was killed, as he mysteriously disappeared. They were greatly opposed and persecuted by the Roman Catholics.

After Mr. Buchanan’s death, the little band was like sheep without a shepherd until Brother McCardle and another minister started the work again and succeeded in securing several members among whom was a Roman Catholic who was baptized, regardless of the many threats made. Then again for several months they had no pastor, yet kept busy erecting them a house of worship. Our State Board came to their rescue by sending the writer to them as pastor and assisting them some upon their house of worship. We found only thirteen members, many of whom were children waiting our arrival. God alone knows our struggles yet within six months after arriving, our number had grown above thirty members, several being heads of Roman Catholic families. Owing to the combined opposition of the Roman Catholic priests and a Methodist minister who was recently killed by a train enroute there, the work has had but little growth since, save they have been holding the fort for God’s glory. Brother and Sister R. C. Crysell, who have done so much for the church, paid the balance of debt upon the building just before the storm. This they did by great sacrifice. Some of God’s most faithful on earth are among its members. Many of these have come into the Baptist church under great persecution. They occupy one of the greatest missionary fields on earth, being the only Baptist church on the L. & N. railroad east of New Orleans, for a distance of fifty miles, surrounded by Catholicism and the godless atmosphere of the coast. No place is in greater need, yet today their building lies flat upon the ground with their organ and seats broken, yet criticized no doubt by their godless and merciless persecutors.

Shall the Baptists of Mississippi see the good work they have so gloriously begun now stop and progress be hindered forever, or will they go at once to their rescue? No doubt God put it into the heart of our editor to make that noble appeal for Roman Catholic territory which he made just before the storm. Here is your opportunity! The land is before you. Will you possess it? To delay is half to fall! Although we are in another state, we desire to join God’s faithful in Mississippi who are upon the firing line to send a prayer meeting or Sunday School offering to those dear saints who are in so great need. However small the offering from each may be, if given by each church, we all shall share the victory even from the jaws of defeat.

Brother pastors and superintendents, our people will gladly respond if given an opportunity. Will we do it for Jesus’ sake? God grant we shall! God bless you!

Yours in Christ,

Carl M. O’Neal
Luverne, Alabama

Like then, we plan to rebuild and continue ministering and proclaiming the glorious gospel of God’s sovereign grace to the residence of the Mississippi gulf coast. With your help we can erect new church facilities that will expand the good work God accomplishes through the church at Lakeshore to his glory. You can send contributions to our new building fund to:

Lakeshore Baptist Church
1451 Great Oak Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70810