Walker church provides aid after flooding

Members+of+the+South+Walker+Baptist+Church+led+by+pastor+Mark+Carroll%2C+center%2C+pray+at+the+conclusion+of+what+is+normally+a+time+for+Bible+study%2C+but+which+became+an+informal+talk+about+experiences+during+the+flood+in+Walker%2C+La.%2C+Sunday%2C+Aug.+21%2C+2016.+The+church+was+an+island+of+high+ground+in+a+community+flooded+with+4-5+feet+of+water+a+week+earlier.+During+and+since+the+flood+the+church+is+serving+as+a+shelter+and+food+distribution+point+for+the+community.+%28AP+Photo%2FMax+Becherer%29
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Walker church provides aid after flooding

Members of the South Walker Baptist Church led by pastor Mark Carroll, center, pray at the conclusion of what is normally a time for Bible study, but which became an informal talk about experiences during the flood in Walker, La., Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016. The church was an island of high ground in a community flooded with 4-5 feet of water a week earlier. During and since the flood the church is serving as a shelter and food distribution point for the community. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

Members of the South Walker Baptist Church led by pastor Mark Carroll, center, pray at the conclusion of what is normally a time for Bible study, but which became an informal talk about experiences during the flood in Walker, La., Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016. The church was an island of high ground in a community flooded with 4-5 feet of water a week earlier. During and since the flood the church is serving as a shelter and food distribution point for the community. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

Members of the South Walker Baptist Church led by pastor Mark Carroll, center, pray at the conclusion of what is normally a time for Bible study, but which became an informal talk about experiences during the flood in Walker, La., Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016. The church was an island of high ground in a community flooded with 4-5 feet of water a week earlier. During and since the flood the church is serving as a shelter and food distribution point for the community. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

Members of the South Walker Baptist Church led by pastor Mark Carroll, center, pray at the conclusion of what is normally a time for Bible study, but which became an informal talk about experiences during the flood in Walker, La., Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016. The church was an island of high ground in a community flooded with 4-5 feet of water a week earlier. During and since the flood the church is serving as a shelter and food distribution point for the community. (AP Photo/Max Becherer)

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By The Associated Press

A rural Baptist church in Walker, Louisiana, has become a home away home for those affected by flooding.

As waters continued to rise in south Louisiana this month, South Walker Baptist Church became one of many locations that has served as shelter for victims of the flooding. The church is located in Livingston Parish on relatively high ground. Like many other locations nearby, it has continued providing sustenance for the body and soul.

According to the Associated Press, the church sheltered 96 people in the days following the storm. With a congregation of about 100 members and help from the community, the church is offering hot meals, running a pantry stocked by donations from around the U.S. and conducting prayer services.

Pastor Mark Carroll said the church also serves as a dormitory for more than 20 who lost their homes, including a man who had been living in his car until Saturday.

“It’s been this entire community,” Carroll told the Associated Press by phone on Sunday. “We couldn’t have done anything without everyone, and I mean just about everyone, pitching in.”

Locals such as Charles Craft, member of South Walker Baptist, told the Associated Press that he and his wife, Karen, lost their home about a mile from the church, but they’ve been able to salvage some irreplaceable items such as photos of their four children and 16 grandchildren. He said everyone in their family is safe, and that’s the most important thing.

My story is no different than anybody’s down the road,” Craft told the Associated Press, “Everybody’s life is out on the curb to be picked up by garbage.”

While many are aware of the flooding that has occurred in south Louisiana, there are a great number of people who don’t realize how much damage it has caused.

The Baton Rouge area got thunderstorms with at least two to three inches of rain Sunday, said the National Weather Service, which posted a flash flood warning for part of the day.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said Sunday that people around the U.S. are just starting to pay attention to the extent of flooding that killed at least 13 people in Louisiana. He told CNN’s “State of the Nation” the disaster has received less attention because it wasn’t a hurricane or named storm.

Edwards told the Associated Press if this were a storm he believes that Red Cross would be accepting a lot more donations. He encourages that “it would be very helpful if people would donate to the Red Cross, to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and also to come in and volunteer to help people get back in their homes as quickly as possible.”

Chasity Pugh contributed to this report.

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