Fun to see something positive come out Katrina … I was there the week after it happened and was responsible for Purpose Driven’s web response to the tragedy – even travelled to the region with Rick and a team to see everything first hand. Anyhow, stumbled across this in Gulf Live and it made me happy.

Shortly after Katrina struck, Purpose Driven Ministries decided to pair churches outside the Gulf Coast with affected churches along the Coast. Wells said the California Lake Gregory Community Church’s senior pastor, Dave Holden, was speaking to the Purpose Driven leadership when the decision was made.

“He told them to give us a church,” said Wells. And Lake Gregory was put in contact with Beavers and the Calvary Baptist Church on Market Street.

After getting in touch with Calvary Baptist, Lake Gregory sent four teams to work along the Coast and paid Beavers’s salary for three months. They also brought Beavers to California for a Purpose Driven conference.

“I lost one-third of my congregation,” said Beavers, who said the trip to California came at a very good time for him spiritually. “I had lost leaders, lost supporters.”

In addition to the damage faced by his members, Beavers also had to pick up the damage in his personal life as well. “There were days when I was very discouraged about the ministry. I had hit a low point spiritually about my vision of this church.”

However, at the Purpose Driven conference in California, Beavers said his spirit was renewed.

“My vision, my passion for ministry came back,” he said. “It changed my mindset.

“The conference encouraged me, and I wanted to bring something back to the Coast. So, I talked about the possibility of doing something here.”

Wells said the conference would be different than other conferences. In addition to teaching the material from Warren’s book, Wells said he and Holden wanted to encourage pastors, preachers and ministers affected by Katrina.

“It’s really been a tough time for them,” Wells said. “Ministry is tough and ministry is hard. And, often, the minister doesn’t have anyone to turn to.

“We want to explore ways that they can help their community, their churches. And, we want to provide a networking opportunity. We hope to encourage the pastors in the community.”