PENSACOLA–Built more than 50 years ago, Beach Haven Baptist Church, located in west Pensacola, is experiencing afresh the goodness of God’s provision as fellow churches and local businesses stepped in to assist the congregation after Hurricane Sally damaged the building.
“The community is now really beginning to notice that God is working miraculously through the church,” said Pastor Ken Loubriel.
The pastor came to the church in 2019 and has since been leading the congregation to revitalize the building and more effectively reach out to the community.
Most recently they completed a yearlong project of replacing the roof that suffered significant damage after the hurricane hit in 2020.
Immediately following the hurricane, Florida Baptist Disaster Relief teams stationed at Pensacola’s Hillcrest Baptist Church sent a crew to put tarps on the roof. Then they helped reach out to the community during hurricane recovery.
Pensacola-area pastors Josh Morea of Myrtle Grove Baptist Church and Jeff Spooneybarger of First Baptist Church in Gulf Breeze, and multiple youth groups also came to help with resources, repairs and paint.
Then two weeks after a mission team of high school students from Georgia visited and renovated the church sanctuary, Pastor Loubriel received a donation for funds to purchase a new metal roof. The building permit was obtained by Taylor Roofing, a Pensacola-based Christian-owned construction company.
The church then used its building fund to pay two small crews to prep the roof for Guardian Roofing, located minutes from the church, to install the new tin roof. A little more than a year after the old roof was damaged, the new roof is finally complete.
Additional assistance from Brian Nall, executive director of the Pensacola Bay Baptist Association, has been instrumental in the success of the west Pensacola church. From initiating groups to help with projects to facilitating the process of obtaining a grant from Florida Baptist Convention, Nall has encouraged and equipped the church.
“Through the FBC grant, Pastor Ken was able to bring on an associate pastor to help with community outreach,” Nall said. “As this revitalization work continues, PBBA is committed to supporting Pastor Ken and the Kingdom advancing efforts at Beach Haven Baptist Church.
Through the association, the church has teamed up with First Baptist Church in Pensacola’s Church-to-Church food pantry and Samaritan’s Hands programs, giving church members an open door to plant gospel seeds in the community while providing food, clothing and blankets to those in need.
As a result, church attendance is on the upswing.
While there is more work to be done inside the church walls, the congregation is planning to start a community garden to reach and disciple people as they grow food created by God. They also have plans to open a Jesus Kitchen providing soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and drinks to the needy free of charge on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“Through all of this, I’ve learned to get out of the way and let God be God. It’s all in his timing,” said Loubriel.
The pastor and his wife Debbie came to Pensacola in 2008 after raising their family in Fort Walton Beach for 30 years. God prepared him for his role at the church through his experience in construction and carpentry work, church planting, and serving in maintenance at Cinco Baptist Church in Fort Walton Beach.