Inspired by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's words at a 2004 prayer breakfast that "home ownership is the most important factor in lifting a family out of poverty," Dr. David Crosby, Senior Pastor of First Baptist New Orleans envisioned providing 40 homes for 40 New Orleans families in need of adequate housing. The vision of how to make home ownership a reality for people of the New Orleans community was crystallized during a 40 Days of Purpose Campaign in the fall of 2004 at First Baptist New Orleans.
Through Dr. Crosby's vision, a crying need from the inner city communities, and responsive hearts in the congregation of First Baptist New Orleans, the Baptist Crossroads Foundation was established and the vision of the New Orleans Baptist Crossroads Project was formulated—a faith-based initiative to provide low-cost, high-quality housing for hard-working families who qualify.
The Baptist Crossroads Foundation partnered with Habitat for Humanity in the spring of 2005 to make this vision a reality. Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit, Christian-housing ministry which has as its primary goal to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscious action. Never has this impetus been more important to the city of New Orleans than following the city-wide destruction of the housing stock wrought by Hurricane Katrina.
As envisioned before Katrina, the Baptist Crossroads Project was the largest single Habitat for Humanity project, funded and built by a single denomination, in the world. However, in "Post-Katrina" New Orleans, these 40 homes marked only the beginning of a hands-on ministry that will span years and satisfy innumerable needs in flood-ravaged New Orleans - a community that lost more than 90,000 housing units to floodwaters.
Beginning in the summer of 2006, volunteers from across the country traveled to New Orleans to assist in the construction of 30 of the 40 homes. As a product of this volunteer effort, many hardworking, deserving, low-income families will have the opportunity of a lifetime—owning their own home—and we have the opportunity to be blessed by helping to make their dreams come true. The target area for the Crossroads Project is the Upper Ninth Ward (a New Orleans community hardest hit by floodwaters), and our volunteer efforts will help to bring renewed life to this devastated community.
The building of these 30 homes required the commitment of 10,000 volunteer days (80,000 volunteer hours). These hours included the preconstruction activities, actual construction, outreach and evangelistic activities, and so much more.
With a success story behind us, we now turn to the future. The Baptist Crossroads Foundation has again partnered with Habitat for Humanity, committing to build 300 homes over a 5-year period.
The Crossroads Project is offered by the Baptist community in honor of Christ and to the glory of God. Help us reach out and touch the heart of the city by being a part of this God-inspired vision.
The Baptist Crossroads Foundation was formed as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation in 2005.
The foundation’s mission statement reads as follows:
The Baptist Crossroads Foundation demonstrates the compassion of Christ to working families-in-need by providing opportunities for home ownership and connection to Christ in Greater New Orleans through the love and labor of volunteers and collaboration with like-minded groups.
To volunteer for the Baptist Crossroads Project or for more information about this ministry please contact:
Community Relations Coordinator