Saving New Orleans with Faith?

Faith-based groups are doing their best — and in many cases doing better than the government — to keep the Big Easy alive

Misty Keasler for TIME

Reverend Jerry Kramer, pastor of the Free Church of the Annunciation, takes a group of newly arrived volunteers (not shown in photo) on a tour of areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina where they will be working.

When the levees broke in New Orleans, the Rev. Jerry Kramer scrambled to get his family out alive. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed their tiny house, but within days, Kramer, pastor of the Free Church of the Annunciation, was wading through the filthy floodwaters to help others. Before rebuilding his own home, Kramer helped rebuild homes and find shelter for many others. His congregation took out a million-dollar mortgage to turn the church and several surrounding properties into what they call Resurrection House, which includes a dormitory for volunteers who do construction work or reach out to the needy in the...

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