Lake St. John man glad to be helping to ‘rebuild a church’

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 30, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; In the parking lot at the Dollar General Store in Vidalia Saturday evening, Drew Powell had the hood up on his four-door Nissan, checking under the hood while he waited for his youngest daughter, Carolyn, to do some shopping.

Casually adding oil to the engine, the 78-year-old Lake St. John resident spoke with a friendly smile, revealing an eventful lifetime in just a few short minutes of conversation.

&uot;We came here from Memphis in the late 1930s. My father started with 50 acres at Lake St. John and later on he sold some lots,&uot; said Powell, who later found himself in Italy during World War II as part of an Army artillery unit.

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&uot;We could put three shells in the air before the first one hit the ground,&uot; Powell recalled as he replaced the engine oil fill cap and let the hood down.

After the war, Powell returned to the Miss-Lou, where he farmed and worked for the Soil Conservation Service for seven years.

Powell married his wife, Eba, in 1951 and they had six children.

Powell said he also worked for Natchez Lumber and Supply and served as a police juror in Concordia Parish for 13 years during the 1970s and 80s.

But for the past six years, Powell has been doing what he believes is the most important work of his life &045; preaching the gospel at the House of Prayer in Ferriday.

&uot;I was called out of service as a deacon at Forest Aid Church in Natchez. My obligation is to rebuild a church that had been dead for years,&uot; said Powell, seizing the chance to offer his advice on world affairs as he leaned against the fender of the Nissan.

&uot;President Bush better ask God for the answer and get the right answer, or we’re going to be going the wrong way,&uot; he said.

And for all of us, Powell offers the comfort of the Scripture.

&uot;The Book of John, Chapter 14, Verses 26 and 27. Ask for the comfort in Jesus’ name,&uot; he said.