Braithwaite Church re-opens for first time since Isaac - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Braithwaite Church re-opens for first time since Isaac

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Braithwaite, LA -- It's been three months since Hurricane Isaac's flood waters decimated community of Braithwaite in Plaquemines Parish.

Sunday, Bethlehem Baptist Church re-opened its doors to the community just in time to celebrate Christmas.

In Braithwaite, residents are spending this holiday season still gutting out their flooded homes following Hurricane Isaac.

Few residents have returned home and even fewer businesses and churches have reopened.

"After Isaac they had about six feet of water in this church, all the pews were turned upside down, the pulpit was gone, it was horrific mess. Isaac was just as stumbling block," says Pastor Michael Wade Jiles of Bethlehem Baptist Church.

The congregation of Bethlehem Baptist Church has something extra special to celebrate as they mark the Christmas Season.

They are back home, after rebuilding their church just three months following Hurricane Isaac.

"All the contractors were members of the church, no outside contractors," says Jiles.

"We haven't spent any insurance money on this building," says Church Member, Michael Powell Sr.

Before Hurricane Isaac Bethlehem Baptist Church only seated 200 members, now the new building accommodates 285 people.

"Everything that your eyes can see is new, everything on the wall, on the floor,new chandeliers, new sound system, new carpet, new everything, and it wasn't free," says Jiles.

The congregation plans to spend the next few months rebuilding their beloved Pastor Jiles' home which suffered extensive damage following Hurricane Isaac.

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