First Baptist Church joins long term recovery effort
by Jennifer Cohron
Jul 08, 2012 | 2940 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mike Gilbert, a member of Cordova First Baptist Church, digs a footer at the Disney Lake lot where a new home will soon be constructed for a family of storm survivors. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
Mike Gilbert, a member of Cordova First Baptist Church, digs a footer at the Disney Lake lot where a new home will soon be constructed for a family of storm survivors. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
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CORDOVA — Some members of Cordova’s First Baptist Church were caught off guard when their new pastor, Mahlon LeCroix, requested an interview while being considered for the position last year.

LeCroix said he detected concern from the congregation that he might not accept after witnessing the devastation around town, but his visit had the opposite effect.

“God moves greatly in areas that need Him the most. Here, God is needed desperately,” LeCroix said.

One of LeCroix’s first goals is to get the church more involved in the community, including long-term recovery efforts.

He recently opened the church’s fellowship hall for a design presentation by a group of Auburn University students who are working on plans for a new library, grocery store, fire station and City Hall.

LeCroix has also encouraged church members to volunteer for some of the Walker County Long Term Recovery Committee’s rebuilding projects.

Last week, LeCroix and two other men from First Baptist spent three days clearing brush, digging footers and pouring concrete on a lot at Disney Lake.

With the foundation now completed, the Mennonite Disaster Service has agreed to come in this summer to construct a home for a Cordova family who lost theirs on April 27, 2011.

LeCroix said he would like for his church to participate in all of the rebuilds currently being organized by LTRC.

“I desire for the community to see the love of Christ through the actions of the church. I can’t tell this family that I love them if I’m not willing to come out here and start working,” he said.

Cindy Smith of LTRC said the offer to help from Cordova First Baptist could not have come at a better time.

Her contact with MDS worked diligently to get a team assigned to the project since the Mennonites typically do not work in the South during the summer. However, the group needed the foundation to be laid first.

“It is a God thing. If they (the church) had not done this this week, it would have really thrown us behind on getting this rebuild started,” Smith said.

Volunteers from the Cordova Ministerial Association have also been working in the area on one-day assignments, according to Smith.

LeCroix, a native of Athens, said that he feels a call to serve the entire city while representing one congregation.

As a result, he has attended city council meetings and has volunteered to serve as team chaplain for the Cordova Blue Devils this fall. He is also planning for the church to participate in this year’s homecoming celebration.

“I am reaching out in every way I can think of because I want people who are driving by to see us doing something all of the time. We want Cordova First Baptist to be the church for the whole community and to be known as people who care,” LeCroix said.