Monday, September 05, 2005

gulfside assembly lost


From John Edward Nuessle of the General Board of Global Ministries:


"So many of us have been so concerned about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on Gulfside Assembly.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has confirmed what aerial photos indicate: There is little but rubble left at Gulfside.

An aerial view, located by staff of CIM (GBGM unit: Community and Institutional Ministries staff) on the internet, clearly show where buildings once stood. It may be that parts of some structures are still intact. The entire vicinity of Waveland was very hard hit.

Marian Martin, the director of Gulfside Assembly, and Wila Dunbar, a GBGM missionary assigned to Gulfside, are both safe.

Some elderly employees were reportedly reluctant to leave Waveland. We don't yet know anything about them.

The area is still closed off.

Aerial pictures show that the main building of Moore Community Center in Biloxi is still standing.

Pray for those who mourn and who are hurting in the Hurricane area; be prepared to help as you are led in the relief and rehabilitation".



A brief description of Gulfside:

"Before the civil rights movement of the 1960s, there were few places in the South where blacks could find hotel and meeting accommodations. Most of the places that did exist are now closed because of inability to compete with larger establishments. But thanks to the vision and commitment of United Methodists, one such historical institution not only survives but thrives and today welcomes guests of all races and nationalities. It is Gulfside Assembly.

Located in Waveland, Mississippi, Gulfside was founded in 1923 through the determined efforts of Bishop Robert E. Jones, who saw the need for a place of retreat for "Negro" Christians. The sprawling grounds facing the calm blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico are surrounded by towering oak and pine trees. Guests can hike through a vast wooded area or stroll along the beach. A perfect setting for spiritual renewal, Gulfside has improved and expanded its facilities over the years. Recently, five guest houses providing special equipment for the elderly were added.

In its origin, Gulfside served not only as a center of retreat and recreation for blacks but also as a year-round vocational school for underprivileged children. Today, an annual total of more than 5,000 people of all ages and backgrounds assemble at the site for a variety of activities including spiritual retreats, training of clergy and lay leaders, meetings, workshops, and family reunions".

2 Comments:

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2:10 PM  
Blogger St.Phransus said...

Hey Ken,
I put a call into our conference director of missions to let me know when they've assessed gulfside and have a plan for what's next. if need be our church is going to send a group of youth and adults to gulfside next summer to help with reconstruction. i discovered gulfside for the first time last year when i was on vacation in biloxi. i had never heard of it but it was absolutely beautiful.

cheers,
jonathon

4:56 PM  

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