Baker Chapel United Methodist Church
DeGonia Springs, Indiana
9/11 Anniversary 2006
September 8-10, 2006
“It’s tough to remember the day, so doing something like this every year on the 11th makes it easier to deal with and makes it a lot nicer.” – Matt Bernstein, Bronx Firefighter
On November 6, 2006, a surprise twister struck Evansville, IN taking 25 lives, some of which were small children. The deadly storm damaged or destroyed nearly 1,000 homes and decimated The Baker Chapel in the tiny town of DeGonia Springs — a community of just 300 people amid the beautiful rolling farm country of Southwest Indiana. The Baker Chapel was the only non-residential building in DeGonia Springs. For 140 years the landmark building served as the church, social hall, municipal gathering hall, daycare center, and Sunday school.
Over 600 volunteers from across the United States descended on DeGonia Springs to help rebuild the Chapel. New York City firefighters who survived 9/11 along with survivors of Hurricane Katrina, the 2003 San Diego wildfires, and the 2004 Utica, Illinois tornado worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Amish and Mennonite men from neighboring communities to rebuild this beautiful church, instilling the lesson that a church is not about the building but about the people and their collective faith.