Hurricane Dorian Destroys Tiny Bahamas Island With 3 Churches and 300 People

Image: Randy Crowe
New Life Bible Church

Since September 1, Pastor Randy Crowe has had limited contact with his former congregation on Man-O-War Cay, Bahamas. With no electricity, phones, or cellular service on the island, Crowe cannot reach anyone.

But during his one satellite call with a former congregant at New Life Bible Church, Crowe learned that the church he pastored for 12 years is gone, destroyed in the 200 miles-per-hour sustained winds surrounding the eye of the Category 5 storm.

The island, which has fewer than 300 residents, also endured tornadoes embedded in Dorian’s eye wall as the storm lumbered across the 700 islands that make up the Bahamas.

“Man-O-War Cay is decimated, just destroyed,” Crowe said.

CNN reported that Man-O-War Cay, part of the hardest-hit area of the Abaco Islands, suffered widespread damage to 90–100 percent of its buildings. There were three churches on the tiny island: New Life Bible Church, Church of God, and the Gospel Chapel.

New Life, covered in grey siding and flanked by palm trees, had been boarded up with plywood on each window along the sanctuary, in preparation for the storm, but it was not enough to hold back Dorian’s force.

“New Life and the cottage are all shuttered up,” read a final post on the church’s Facebook page before the storm. “The rest is in God’s hands.”

Having assisted with hurricane relief for every hurricane to hit the Bahamas since 1992, Crowe called Dorian the “worst one ever.”

With such severe infrastructure damage, Bahamian church leaders have not been able to contact fellow pastors in the US. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship reports that it has not heard from the pastors of its nine churches in the Bahamas.

It took three days for any outsider to reach Man-O-War. Since the closest airport in Marsh Harbour is under two feet of water, Crowe must wait until the weekend to bring supplies in his Piper Cherokee 6 plane.

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Source: Christianity Today