Katrina Hero


Rev. Elijah Mitchell

Hometown: Biloxi

Job: Pastor of Seashore Mission Church

Favorite Bible Verse: Philippians 1:3

Quote: “God has blessed me to experience his agape love through the many volunteers that have journeyed to Mississippi to assist us in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.”


In the hours before Hurricane Katrina hit, Mitchell was busy transporting his homeless congregation from the Mission Church to shelters to ride out the storm. Mitchell continued working until the winds forced him to seek shelter with his family.


After the storm, Mitchell devoted the first days to caring for those he could locate in the shelters and trying to locate the 12 people who had stayed at the Mission Church.  One of the shelters was located in the Biloxi High School near Heritage UMC, and Mitchell went by the church almost every day gathering supplies for the shelter on his way to visit and worship.


Mitchell was appointed Central Gulf Coast regional director of the recovery team and began to set up a relief organization, train relief workers and set up facilities for housing and working teams of volunteers.


Mitchell not only was involved in all the planning and training, but he was also involved in the operation of two volunteer camps at Gateway UMC and Seashore Assembly. Mitchell has touched the lives of many Katrina survivors and many of the thousands of volunteers who have come to help “heal hearts and homes.”


Mitchell has gathered back many of the Seashore Mission congregation and it holds worship at Heritage UMC. The mission’s board of trustees seeks a new location for the church facilities.


During the continued recovery process, many ordinary people have accomplished extraordinary things. Help honor them by nominating a “recovery hero.” For information, e-mail seashoredistrict@bellsouth.net or send information to Seashore District, 1509 24th Ave., Gulfport, MS 39501-2070.