Sue McCown doesn’t usually make a pit stop at Saltgrass Cowboy Church but, on Saturday, she made a slight detour.
She heard that the church was serving tacos.
“It’s wonderful,” McCown said. “That’s one thing off the list that you don’t have to deal with.”
McCown has spent much of her time since Hurricane Harvey on the interstate, traveling from her temporary lodging in Galveston to Dickinson, where she has been repairing her badly flooded home.
The stop at the church in Santa Fe, 5622 FM 646, was convenient for her, she said. She pulled her car up to a makeshift drive-thru in front of the church, grabbed some barbecue tacos and was on her way.
Hundreds of other people on Friday and Saturday had the same idea. The Saltgrass Cowboy Church was a popular spot this weekend, as people from a sister church in East Texas passed out free barbecue meals until they were cleaned out.
Wallace Judalet, who traveled from Bar None Cowboy Church in Tatum, said the group gave out 2,000 meals Friday and were prepared to pass out more Saturday.
“We knew that people were down here that were still in a bind, that still ain’t recovered,” Judalet said. “We wanted to come down here and show them that there’s someone still thinking of them and loving on them.”
Hurricane Harvey made landfall on Aug. 25 in Rockport, about 200 miles south of the county. Over the next few days, the storm dropped up to 50 inches of rain in many areas, overflowing creeks and rivers and causing devastating flooding in the region. Santa Fe, a town of 12,222 people, was particularly hard hit.
Members of the Tatum church wanted to help people in small towns, Judalet said.
“We need to find small towns where people are forgotten about,” he said.
Chuck Bradley, a Santa Fe resident, lost a lot of his possessions because of flooding during the storm. More than a month later, he said he’s amazed at how much help the area is getting.
“It’s a huge deal,” Bradley said. “It’s amazing how we’re all coming together.”
Lori Piangenti, a Santa Fe resident, was so moved by the free food that she wanted to make a donation to Bar None. She had 5 feet of water in her home, she said.
“It’s such a blessing; what an awesome church,” Piangenti said. “They won’t even take a donation.”
Carl Efird, the lay pastor at Saltgrass Cowboy Church, was grateful to have seen the generosity of Bar None Cowboy Church, he said.
“God gets the credit for this,” Efird said. “It’s a good atmosphere. They’re just fine people.”
Marie Mahoney, a Hitchcock resident, was in high spirits when she picked up her free tacos Saturday.
“There are still good people in this world,” Mahoney said. “You hear all the bad news on TV, and then you’ve got people like this that want to help anybody that needs it. We are on our way.”