Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church looks to futureBy COLIN CAMERON,
The past few years, and the last year especially, have certainly warranted some unfortunate circumstances for Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church. However, things are looking up.
Less than a year after reopening its doors following the tornado in 2013, the church suffered extensive damage from the tornado in January 2017.
“It really destroyed the sanctuary and the fellowship hall,” said Pastor Dr. Carl Burkett, whose home was also damaged by the tornado.
Burkett explained that for a while the congregation continued to meet at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Ellisville.
While the last few years collectively have not exactly been easy, Burkett said their faith in God never allowed the storm to destroy their spirits throughout this process.
“It’s been rough on the congregation and myself, but through it all we have hung in there, and with the help of the Lord we have stayed together,” Burkett said. “We’re still worshipping the Lord, we know that everything is in His control and we know that He is going to make things right.”
Additionally, Burkett explained that, despite the unfortunate circumstances, the resilience and dedication of the members of his congregation has been deeply uplifting.
“The other church is about 18 miles from here. They might have told someone else that that was too far, but they didn’t tell me,” Burkett said. “I know every one of our members, and every one of them made it up there while we were there.”
“They stuck it out, and I am very proud of them for that. Every time I get in the pulpit I try to let them know how proud we are of them for staying together with us.”
Now, the church is quickly approaching a full recovery for a second time since 2013.
As of last month, the congregation is back on the church’s campus following the completion of the fellowship hall and educational department according to Burkett.
Burkett said they are expecting to complete the rebuilding process and move back into the sanctuary as early as June this year. Additionally on July 29, the church plans to host its dedication and homecoming celebration.