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Pleasant Home Baptist Church
Our Church's Story
Established in 1903 Pleasant Home Baptist began the work of providing a place of worship for the Matthews Community just north of Laurel, Mississippi. Later on additions to the facilities were updated in the 1960s. With an average attendance from 50-100 worshipers throughout the years Pleasant Home might not have been a large church but God's plan for Pleasant Home was. For over one hundred years Pleasant Home operated from this location doing their best to be obedient to God in ministering to their neighbors and striving to glorify God. God has always had his hand upon this church and that was no different in 2018 when PHBC was changed forever.
Following our church's first every virtual Easter service on Sunday, April 12 2018, Pleasant Home Baptist Church was hit by what came to be known as the Easter Tornados. Throughout Sunday afternoon and into Monday morning Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and even South Carolina would get significant damage from the various tornados that swept through the southeast.
The tornado that hit our church and community was the largest out of all. Estimated by the National Weather Service to have been 2.25 mi (3.62 km) wide, making it the widest tornado in Mississippi state history, and the third-widest on record in the United States, surpassing the May 4, 2007, EF3 tornado. The tornado was also long-tracked, with a path length of 68 miles. Damage was severe to the point the path of the tornado could be seen from satellite imagery. Many of Pleasant Home's members lost their homes due to the destruction of this tornado. Just as the tornado scared the land, so many hearts were scared following its path.
Monday morning our church began to coordinate relief groups for debris clean up, tree removal, and food. We partnered with First Baptist Church Soso, a local sister church, who also had damages from the same tornado to go each street affected by the tornado and evaluate needs. Various venders from the local community set up at both churches to feed the victims of the tornado as well as those who were volunteering. We had teams from all over Mississippi show up to help us love our neighbor in the wake of the destruction. We had teams come from as far as Texas to assist.
With the following weeks consisting of constant clean up work around our church and community, Pleasant Home also had another place it needed to work on. Where would we meet now that our facilities were destroyed?
Fast forward to today, Pleasant Home Baptist has been blessed with the support of multiple organizations that have come alongside us to build back God’s church. We never would have know the provision of God for His church if we had never lost it. Yet through His grace he has laid churches and organizations in our lap that have come and blessed our church in countless ways. This has been the greatest lesson of all: If it is God’s work it will always be get done. There is nothing that God starts that He can not finish. That is true for your salvation as well as this building.
We look forward to the day when this chapter comes to a close, but we know that His story for Pleasant Home will continue on.
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