LEAGUE CITY—From the perspective of Rudy Guerrero, the recovery from Hurricane Harvey was all about God’s timing.
Preaching at a special worship service Oct. 21 in the newly renovated sanctuary of Texas Avenue Baptist Church, Guerrero, who has been the pastor of the League City congregation since 2004, recalled how his faith was tested after the 2017 storm flooded most of the facilities, resulting in more than $200,000 in damage.
He remembered asking, “Lord, what are you telling us? Is it time to move, are we going to close the doors? We don’t have that kind of money.”
Guerrero submitted a grant application in November 2017 with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, hoping to receive some funding to rebuild. Although the church was in frequent contact with SBTC, months went by without any information on the grant.
In the meantime, church members worked “countless hours” according to the pastor, cleaning out the buildings and then slowly beginning the remodeling process. Even though members met in the gutted-out facilities, the ministry never stopped.
By the time spring rolled around, Guerrero and deacon chairman James Tullis were still waiting on God’s direction.
“James and I continued to pray, but there were no answers.”
Then a phone call came in from SBTC wondering when the church was going to cash the check.
“What check are you talking about? We never received a check,” Guerrero replied.
Texas Avenue Baptist Church was supposed to have received a check in December from SBTC for $80,000. Although the whereabouts of the original check remain a mystery, “God knew exactly what he was doing,” determined Guerrero.
SBTC immediately transferred the money into the church’s bank account.
The pastor believed God waited until the spring to deliver the money “because we needed to learn that he is Almighty God, that his plan is in progress, and we needed to learn that he will move when he decides to move.”
He explained that God continued to pour out his blessings as they received thousands of dollars from Galveston Baptist Association, Nassau Bay Baptist Church in Houston and First Baptist Church, Gonzales. Church members and others in the community contributed to the cause as well.
Through connection with the SBTC ministry Texas Relief, seven Southern Baptist volunteers from Pennsylvania spent a week working on the sanctuary and fellowship hall. Meanwhile, SBTC Disaster Relief “never once stopped calling,” said Guerrero, checking in each week to see what the church needed and helping to get discounts on materials. Contractors also provided discounted work.
“The value of the work that we have done is over $200,000 and we still have about $3,000 left of the original money that was given,” Guerrero said. “No way could we have done that on our own. God did it. And how did he do it? By using his people here in this world.”