Cochran church open its doors to Hurricane Irma evacuees


COCHRAN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – In addition to Red Cross and FEMA providing shelters for evacuees, local churches are also providing shelter.

Christ Chapel Church in Cochran, Georgia are helping those in need during this difficult time.

“I couldn’t have guessed or wished for a better experience,” says the Gaines and Foster Family who evacuated from Chatham County.

Evacuees describe the chapel as a small church, with a big heart.

Pastor Richard Hulsey says, “It’s almost been like a family reunion, a homecoming type thing where race and state, none of that matters, it’s just us as humans just doing the best we can for one another.”

Christ Chapel has transformed their classrooms and other rooms into temporary bedrooms for the evacuees. A total of 11 people are being housed there and evacuees living in nearby hotels are allowed to come in and eat.

The outpouring of love and support is what pastor hulsey says makes the act of kindness genuine.

“When we sit down at a meal together, it’s almost like we’ve known each other our whole lives,” Hulsey adds.

One family said they were sleeping in their cars in a Walmart parking lot before finding out about the church opening its doors. A police officer escorted them to a nearby shelter. For them, it was a relief to get somewhere to eat and sleep comfortably.

“It was nothing short of a miracle, we got everything that we could ever possibly ask for here,” the Cafasso Family said. They evacuated from Florida on Thursday.

Pastor Hulsey explains, “The bible says it’s better to give than it is to receive and so we’re experiencing that right now.”

Christ Chapel opened 7 months ago. Church leaders say they’re dedicated to helping anyone that needs their help. Other churches in Cochran are also housing evacuees including First Baptist Church and House of Grace.


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(478) 745-4141 ext. 303 Karlisha Booze joined the 41NBC news team in October 2013 as the producer for 41 TODAY. A year later, reporting for Channel 17, the Bibb County School District channel, was added to her responsibilities. Born and raised in Macon, Karlisha is proud to be in her hometown doing what she loves to do. Karlisha's passion for news began in elementary school where she anchored the school's morning news and got an opportunity to try out for the Junior Journalists at WMAZ. She also performed in commercials with Kids Voting Georgia, for Bibb County and Cox Communications. Prior to working at 41NBC, she was a news intern at WGXA and was later hired as a production assistant and worked as a fill-in anchor/producer for the station's morning news broadcast. Karlisha graduated from Middle Georgia College in 2009 with an Associate of Arts (Communications), from Fort Valley State University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts (Mass Communications), and from Ashford University in 2014 with a Master of Arts (Organizational Management). She is currently pursuing a Doctorate focusing on Business Administration. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and spending time with family and friends, especially her son, Ka'Dence. If you have any story ideas, please pass them along!