Throughout Scripture, God’s favorite invitation was always, “Come and see.” Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Come and see. Come see a man who told me everything I ever did. Come unto me.
Over a year ago, Dennis Weems was comfortably residing in California. He knew of the devastation Katrina had wrought on this part of the world and had thought of coming this way to help. One Sunday he was visiting Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland, CA, and heard of the church’s plans to bring a construction crew to New Orleans. He joined them. And never left.
Pastor Jeff Box of Suburban Baptist Church said, “He came in April of 2006 and has been here ever since.” His arms swept over the new sanctuary which was being dedicated this morning and he said, “Dennis Weems designed everything you see before you today.”
Now, I’ve been going to a lot of church dedications and rededications lately. But I have to say, this is the most beautiful rebuilding I’ve ever seen. In the courtyard, the walkways are large flat stones spaced appropriately and greenery is everywhere. “Who did this?” I asked Jeff. “Dennis Weems.”
“So, how did this happen?” I asked Mr. Weems. He told how he had come down with the Highland group, planning to stay one week. “We were redoing a pastor’s home. There was so much work to do, I decided to stay another week or two. Then Pastor Jeff asked me to look at Suburban Church with him.”
They had walked around the hurricane damaged buildings, structures that Jeff had wept over and which he had privately decided would have to be torn down. When he met Dennis Weems and learned of his expertise in construction, he asked him to walk around the building with him. “What do you think?” Jeff asked. “Tear it down?”
Mr. Weems said, “Five or six contractors had turned Pastor Jeff down. They all thought it was a total loss.”
One year later, Suburban Baptist Church is a miracle. A lighthouse in New Orleans East. A lovely oasis in the midst of a depressing stretch of highway.