(337) 477-2003

Disaster Response

SWLA UMC Disaster Recovery Work Days Online registration:

April 17 Work Day: REGISTER
May 15 Work Day: REGISTER

Cost to register: $10. These events are currently co-sponsored by First UMC Lake Charles, St. Luke Simpson UMC, and University UMC. Must be 16 years old to participate (16 and 17 year olds must be accompanied by a parent). We will meet in the parking lot of First UMC then head out to various sites in our community. All of our work will be outside and include projects like debris pick up, painting, yardwork, and small house repairs.

Our utmost thanks to our Disaster Recovery Ad Hoc Team (DRT), which has been authorized by UUMC Leadership Council (LC) to coordinate restoration of our buildings. Randy Morgan is our Project Manager (PM), and with him the DRT includes Warren Allen, Randy Roach, Katie Stewart, and Rev. Angela Bulhof. We are also grateful for the services of McCain & Swann, L.L.C. who helped us through some sticky mitigation negotiations in early days.

Anyone who has driven by the main campus recently has seen (and heard!) progress being made on the roof! Here is a Q & A to answer some questions you may have:

Q: Who is making important decisions about repairs?
A: In the context of our new “one governing body” system, our 15-member LC continues to make all decisions while the DRT (appointed by LC) coordinates efforts on the ground at the direction of LC. Randy Morgan (PM) is in frequent contact with LC Chair, David McCain, and is reporting progress and challenges and seeking guidance at each LC meeting.

Q: When will we be back in Safe Harbor?
A: LC has a contract with Krause Construction for the repair of the Day School, Safe Harbor, and offices as well as the entire main campus roof. At this time we have not been given an estimate for when they will be ready for us to occupy, but we expect it will be several months.

Q: What is the status of the capital campaign project?
A: LC continues to meet and communicate with our architect, consultants, and insurance as we make progress toward a phase 1 plan. At this time phase 1 project plans include replacement of the HVAC unit (which was completely destroyed in the storm), new ductwork, ceiling, and lighting in the sanctuary.

Q: What is being planned to repair the brick and cinder block walls that fell across Patrick Street in Hurricane Laura?
A: We are working hard to coordinate insurance repairs such that they are in alignment with our capital campaign building project. In this case, our DRT, contractor, and architect have been working closely with LC to tie in the same materials and look for exterior street fronts of the office and day school that were already being planned for exterior of the Sanctuary.

Q: When can day the Day School (UUMDS) reopen?
A: Katie Stewart and nearly all UUMDS employees are more than ready and waiting to return. We do not have a timeline yet, but the LC and the DRT have identified UUMDS as the number one priority to get repaired and back to business as soon as humanly possible. No stone has been left unturned and so many prayers have been prayed. Multiple avenues have been explored to make a way to get our DS employees back to work and our families reconnected. Many moving parts must come together to make this happen, including building materials availability, and multiple inspections at state and local level.

Q: What about The Bridge (UUMC East Campus)?
We have a work day scheduled Saturday, November 7 at 9:00 am to get UUMC friends together to take remaining yard debris to the road. Mitigation continues at the Bridge and Main Campus, and asbestos treatment and abatement are likely to be required at both locations since there are portions of both buildings built 50 or more years ago. We are currently soliciting bids for a new roof and steeple for the Bridge while contractors await interior test results.

Q: How is the roofer who was injured falling from the sanctuary roof?
Brandon Cherry has had multiple successful surgeries to his ankles, ribs, diaphragm, and scalp. He will need at least one more plastic surgery on his head where he was electrocuted. He will not be able to put weight on his ankle until January and will not be able to drive until May or June. He has inpatient occupational and physical therapy every day and is making slow progress. His father, Andy, posts an occasional online journal and has this request: “Please pray that the pain will recede more each day and for a quick healing of the ribs.”


3501 Patrick Street, Lake Charles, LA 70605
Phone: (337) 477-2003 • Fax: (337) 478-8106 • Email: info@universitymethodist.com