BAYOU VISTA — Getting to Faith Community, Bayou Vista’s only church, can require either daring driving or careful-direction following. And for at least one person, getting there took much of a lifetime.
The small white church with its large white cross stands by the Gulf Freeway near Exit 7. It is easy to spot since it’s only obvious neighbors are salt marshes and a nearby birding area.
But by the time you see it, it’s too late to easily exit. Locals may try to enter it from the east by crossing quickly from the freeway or cutting across both lanes of the access road offers limited sight lines. Though there is a small, unmarked entrance into the parking area, the Rev. Jack Ewing, Faith’s senior pastor, recommends against taking either of those two paths, favoring safer, but more complex boxed directions. He noted that there have been fatalities near the church when high-speed, rear-end collisions have occurred using this eastern entrance, though these were not church-related.
For church member Marian Brick, 96, there were barriers well beyond the traffic directions. First, she explained, her late husband was a “cradle Catholic.”
“I moved here 37 years ago when this church was a mission in a tent,” she said. “I’d grown up in Galveston with (revival) tents set out on the boulevard, so I wanted to come here. But I couldn’t change my husband’s mind.”
So, she faithfully attended Mass with him for many years until he died.
“Now I’ll get to go to that little church,” she told herself after his passing. “But the Lord didn’t have it planned that way.”
She was then assigned by the Veterans Administration as caretaker to a blind man who was an Episcopalian, so she accompanied him to his church faithfully Sunday after Sunday for additional years.
Then came a horrible car accident.
“I was T-boned by another driver who ran a stop sign,” she said.
This deprived her of her personal mobility for months and also cost her a car. After that, a friend who had offered to help moved away, leaving her still stranded from the church she so wanted to join. The new Faith was now housed in a fresh, white, clapboard building as it is now. The second story is raised as are many houses in Bayou Vista, the first regulated to storage at that time.
Finally, years later, Mrs. Brick is here and happy, enjoying her new family at a belated Valentine’s Day dinner in the redecorated storage area/fellowship room which replaced the storage area and is replete with crosses of every style and description. It still sits just a few feet above high tide on a good day.
The days haven’t all been good for Faith. Hurricane Ike took quite a toll here, and attendance once dwindled to as few as 22 souls. Now it’s back up around 80, about average for a Galveston County church.
“You have to come here on purpose,” said Mike Dipton who drives over weekly from Texas City. “You intend to come here. You find out, you come, and then you come back. It’s a great church that does a lot of work to help people.”
Rick Cousins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting to Faith safely
From north of Bayou Vista: Travel south on I-45, take Exit 7, proceed down the frontage road to the Y and bear right. Carefully cross all lanes to the left turn lane at the first stop light. Enter Bayou Vista and make an immediate left. Proceed on Neptune Drive to the dead end (Neptune at Sailfish).
From south of Bayou Vista: Head north over the causeway past Tiki Island. Stay in the inside lane and exit left from I-45 at Bayou Vista/Hwy 6. Go to the first stop light and turn left. Then take another quick left (onto Neptune Drive). Proceed past the fire station, City Hall, swimming pool to the stop sign at the Neptune/Sailfish intersection.
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