“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love, one to another.” John 13:35
We’ve talked a lot about all the personal devastation from the flood, but the Lockhart Road Baptist Church provided a literal island, a safe harbor in the midst of the flood where people from the neighborhoods came to be safe from the flood. Some swam, some came by car, boat or army truck, some may have walked. It all happened so fast, nobody knows for sure how they all got there.
The Amite River lies about 2 miles to the west and slightly downhill from the church. When we drive across the bridge, we estimate we’re, perhaps, 20 feet above the water. According to internet articles, the river crested at 46 ½ feet above flood stage.
No one tells the story better than those who lived through it, so we sat down, on two occasions, with the six church members who lived at the church for several days with the flood at its worst. I know they’d never call themselves heroes, but I don’t doubt that’s what many flood refugees called them. Remember, these are six ordinary young people with no special training, just doing what needed to be done, praying fervently for God to help them do the task that they believe came from Him.
LET ME INTRODUCE THEM…
Kevin and Rachel Ferguson got married in February, 2016 in Tucson, Arizona. Afterward, they moved to Denham Springs, and rented a mobile home for a few months to save for a house. Rachel works as a receptionist for an eye doctor, Kevin operates a crane and also serves as assistant pastor and treasurer of the church.
Daniel Ferguson is single, and lives with his parents near the church. He tried to drive to Kevin and Rachel’s place to help “rescue” them. Daniel leads singing in the services.
Gary “Skeeter” Hughes lives in a house on stilts, across the street from the church. He crosses the Amite river every day to repair transmissions. He’s our Sound Tech at the church.
Jason and Annie Ostten Impson live about 15 minutes from the church. For the next year or so, they are doing “deputation” while they raise support money to live and work as missionaries in Australia. As you’ve probably guessed, Annie is a daughter of Lee and Roberta Ostten, pastors of Lockhart Baptist Church. They are parents to six children. The youngest four (4-12) live at home. Jason preaches often in other churches across several states, as well as serves as an assistant pastor here.
Steve Ferguson is a preacher and has been a missionary. Currently, he works as a quality control specialist for a scaffolding subcontractor at Dow Chemical. He is a former Marine and father to Kevin and Daniel. He could not get to the church from his house until three days after the first water rose.
Just ordinary people, willing to step up and tackle an extraordinary situation, and they did it well. They also saw a few miracles along the way.
LET US SET THE SCENE FOR YOU: