The Christian Chronicle did a story in the February 2008 issue on Carrollton's Church Planting efforts: Article
In 2007 after two years of prayer and searching for a viable church plant location we found a small, flooded out church building and that included two other adjacent houses as part of the package.
The three buildings had remained untouched for 18 months after being flooded by Hurricane Katrina.
We needed $160,000 to purchase these three buildings would easily spent another $150,000 over the next three years rebuilding them. Carrollton Ave. Church of Christ, an inner-city church ourselves, was still recovering from Katrina and rebuilding its own facilities and simply did not have this kind of money.
Yet, our Elders stepped out in faith and took on this work in a difficult and at time dangerous part of New Orleans. By the world's standards this must seem pretty foolish, but then again, Christianity as a whole seems pretty foolish to the world.
When it was time to close on the purchase we had firm commitments for $60,000 leaving us $100,000 short. We stepped out again and signed the papers, went into the hole and took ownership. We never looked back.
This side of the page has the older pictures showing the first stages of work. The inside was gutted thanks to the hard work of a crew from Villiage Church of Christ.
This is what it all looked like before their hard work.
These tell our story in reverse order as you scroll down the page:
Grand Opening Was January 4th 2009 A standing room only crowd witnessed the culmination of three years of prayer and the hard work of hundreds. Charles and Angela Marsalis will lead this work in God's kingdom. Our gratitude for what God is doing in Hollygrove showed on all of our faces as we dedicated ourselves and the building to His service.
Carpet and tile were donated as was the base boards. A few loose ends like mirrors and grab bars and we're done. If you'll scroll down, the left side of this page shows both of these areas in their "before" state.
We've passed our electrical final inspecton and have finished most of the interior work with the help of an anwesome crew from Village Church of Christ who, if you'll look on the left side of this page, was the first group in to help gut the building.
Now we just need to get the flooring down, finish the plumbing, and get a final inspection from the City.
First Week in October Update
We had a church workday at Hollygrove one Saturday morning.
The building at Hollygrove is comimg together. The sheetrock is finished and our call for painters was answered!
From the guys who could reach the ceiling without a ladder to the little ones who "cut in" midway up, Carrollton's members painted the whole building at Hollygrove in one day.
Pat and Myrna made sure the paint job looked good while Kirk M. and Robert C. hung ceiling tiles most of the day. While half the crew worked inside, the other half worked hard to clean up the outside of the building area before the deluvian rains hit at 1pm.
And, it's just not a workday in New Orleans without food. Jazzy Wings donated the hot wings which were awesome!
Quick End of June Update
Props to the Central Church of Christ from Cocoa Florida who tore down the small white building between the church and the house, put up a new fence, and did too many other jobs to count. Here is an old picture along with a new and improved version. One can almost see the future basketball goal...
As of 6/13/08
Lots of good things have happened in the last three months. With the help of three of the most amazing men from Arkansas (You know who you are Willie!) we now have the classroom building redecked and reroofed. I tried to get a better picture of them but they were kind of camera shy. We were blessed not only by their work but by their servant hearts as they lived out their Christianity in the heat and humidity of summer in New Orleans.
If you look closely at the floor in the picture below you can see where we tore out a bunch of flooring, replaced joists, and then put it all back together. A wonderfully dedicated crew from Virginia (Piedmont Church of Christ) helped with this along with building a closet for the HVAC, cleaning out underneath the building, raking, digging, plumbing, and building a "deck" for the outside A/C units. They were amazing!
Seven Oaks Church of Christ generously donated some funds to make a down payment on the A/C systems you see being installed in the picture to the left. Along with tables, Bibles, plants, and an assortment of other things that we needed to open our doors, they also delivered all the chairs we needed to fill up the auditorium when we are ready!
Northlake Church of Christ from Atlanta blessed us with an awesome crew who painted the outside of the building, cleaned up underneath, and even tore down a chimney for us salvaging the brick.
We've started work on the duplex (double) next door to the church building where we'll have classes some day. We've got it gutted and have begun pulling up the rotted flooring. Much of the damage is from the leaking roof that still needs to be dealt with. However, the picture in the middle is what's left of the bathroom floor after years of ignoring leaks. Let this be a warning to all who expect their leaking tub and toilet to heal itself!
March was a busy month. We reframed the office area, widened the doorways, tore out the ceiling, took out the fence between the church and the future classrooms, cleaned up the yards, towed a car out of the back yard, completely rewired the building, and reroofed it. "We" being Carrollton members and many wonderful folks who sacrificed their time, and resources to come down and help expand the borders of the Kingdom.
Below are some pictures reflecting some of these efforts.
We took off the steeple to replace the deck under it. But Shane, "I used to be a roofer," Hines from Highland Hills Church of Christ is building us a new one and will bring it down when he gets hungry for another shrimp poo' boy.
We tried to save the ceiling but finally had to concede and pull it out for the electricians and future HVAC folks. The fact that it rained like the days of Noah after we got the roof stripped off but before we were felted in also contributed to the decision. You can see all the new wiring and boxes Mark Smith and his crew put in for us.
God Provides through the hands of his children. We were blessed with an electrician, two of his helpers and a youth minister (all in one big pickup truck). Driving all night, they hit the ground running at 9 a.m. and rewired the building free of charge in two days. Fueled on cajun food and loaded up with fresh sea food, they headed back home to Arkansas. Mark and Forrest, "Thank you" doesn't go far enough.
We are reroofed thanks to Shane and Tim who are pictured here on the roof.
This is an "action" shot of a banker actually working (fine gentleman in the shorts on the right). The fruits of their labors are seen to the left. We're ready to paint.
We'll get to the house next door (our future classrooms) as soon as another roofer volunteers to come down. That one will need to be stripped down and redecked before we can roof so it will be a bigger job timewise. It's about 30 squares of shingles, is steeper and needs to be done by a professional to keep folks from being injured. We can't do too much on the inside until we get it dryed in. But, with the help of a great crew from ACU and two churches in Abilene we did get it gutted.
That's "barge board" on the ceilings and walls.
The Beginning of Rebuilding--Tearing apart
In late December we were blessed with six men from the Village Church of Christ in Arkansas. This was the second dumpster the men filled to the brim with debris from the church and the duplex next door.
With the help of a wonderful crew from Tennessee, two years of growth was cut away from between the auditorium and the duplex next door. And, yes apparently there is a small back yard behind the auditorium as seen below.
This gives a better idea of how much work we got done in one day. Still lots to do, but folks from Highland Hills Church of Christ in Tullahoma rock! We wore out one weed whacker and a banker...