It is worse than I could have imagined

I type this from Pensacola. My family did survive the storm. I escaped here today to meet my wonderful father in law who purchased a generator and gas cans for me. I finally found gas and will return Friday with gen. and gas and water and some food.
The coast of Miss. is in horrible shape. My church, which was on the beach, is completely destroyed, I rode down there today with a fireman, we salvaged our bells from the debris. That’s it. Some of our more precious altar stuff was taken off site Sunday, but all else is gone (including ALL of my books – for the clergy out there you know how many that is).
We will hold services Sunday at Grace Lutheran in Long Beach at 11. After that, I don’t know. But this I do know – we will get through this and we will continue to be the church.
I suspect over 30 parishioners lost their homes completely, and probably 90% of the others have significant damage. Looking north from the beach road, there is NOTHING. The storm surge too it all out, no bricks, not frames, NOTHING. It is surreal.
Tomorrow I head back. The conditions are actually worsening. No coastal community has sewer plant operations at all, the health risks are rising. I don’t recall a class in seminary that covered this!
Meanwhile, my wife’s job is over, the clinic she worked for is gone. And we are but two of tens of thousands in the same boat.
May God have mercy on us all.
Thank you all for your prayers. My church was St. Patrick’s, Long Beach. Go to for updates. Our wonderful webmaster lives in D.C. for now, so she can keep you posted. I will be without power or Internet (duh) until I make another supply run to Florida.

8 thoughts on “It is worse than I could have imagined”

  1. Still Rector & Still Rector’s Wife,
    You & yours have been in Michael & my prayers non-ceasing. As well as Mary Koppel & A. J. & his family.

    I am so very sorry for your many, many losses. I can only imagine your sorrowing. I am grateful for all of your safety.

    Perhaps a seminary class did not cover a Katrina but our life-on the block-in community has memories of love in the midst of storms.


  2. David and Family,

    Please know you have been in my prayers hourly as I have walked thorugh my week in NJ. I pray that God will keep you safe – in heart, body and soul, as you try to pick up the pieces of the devestation. Other than money, how may I help?

  3. Jim, AKMA, all others who want to help St. Patrick’s…

    This is what I know. Go to for info on donations, including
    address. If you give directly to the Diocese of Mississippi and earmark it for St.
    Patricks, Long Beach then the money will come directly to us.
    ER-D has sent money but will be used for long term needs.
    ANYTHING your can do would help. We are in bad shape, but the spirit of
    our people is amazing.
    Thanks so much.
    God bless
    David Knight
    STILL RECTOR, St. Patrick’s, Long Beach, MS

  4. God bless you, David — we’ll be holding you in prayer, and our hearts will ache as we learn just how badly St. Patrick’s has suffered.

    Don’t hesitate to call on your friends for help. . . .

  5. Thank you for posting…for your faith and courage in the face of all this horror. You have my prayers, and that of my congregation who feel so helpless on the other side of the Atlantic. God bless you all.

  6. David
    Do you have any idea of a current address? I want to send a donation—one I know will stay in Mississippi. [I have ties there also.] It won’t be much but I’ll also mention it at church tomorrow.

  7. You will doubtless not see this till many days later, but I wanted to say that you and your family have been in my most meager and unworthy prayers, and will continue to be.

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