Churches Struggle to Stay Open

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

The devastation of recent hurricanes coupled with the struggling economy are delivering a double blow to some Texas religious centers.

Some are closing while others are laying off staff.

Several Evangelical Lutheran churches in Galveston and Houston
were struggling even before Hurricane Ike -- which blasted ashore
near Galveston on Sept. 13.

It flattened buildings and killed at least 37 people in Texas.

In Pearland, Rev. Ken Gurley of First Church says his congregation has helped to pay mortgages for three other Pentecostal churches.

He says the combined effects of Katrina, Rita and then Ike have
really stretched church resources to the max.

Twenty percent of the 40 staffers at St. John's Methodist Church, of Houston, will be laid off between now and the New Year.

And at the Hare Krishna temple, a drop in donations -- not attendance -- has temporarily stopped construction on a new
building.

However, Rev. Gary Moore is hopeful December will be a good
month financially.

He says 25 percent of Second Baptist's revenue typically arrives
around this time of the year for the Houston church.


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