Michael Knight sharing from his front porchOn the morning of August 29, 2005 it looked like Hurricane Katrina had passed by the lower ninth ward.  It had not done a great deal of damage.  The lower ninth ward had survived.  Sometime after 8 a.m. Michael Knight had purposed to begin assessing his damage and see if there was anyone he could help.  The wind had slowed down and then with very little warning the water swept in.  In a matter of minutes the water was chest high and Michael was looking for his boat.  One of his boats was swooshed up into a tree.  He used one of his other boats that he subsequently renamed Katrina to begin his survey of the area.  All around him people were trapped.  Michael began a four day campaign to save people from drowning.  He pulled more than 100 people out of the murky waters now occupying the Lower Ninth Ward.    Initially Michael transported people to a nearby church building.  The water continued to rise.  The number of people Michael rescued from potential drowning quickly overwhelmed the space at the church.  Then Michael had to move all of them to the school just across the street.  For four days the numbers grew.  Michael said that the number of bodies floating in the water, people, and animals, created a smell that would overpower the senses.  It was a desperate situation.  They kept thinking surely someone would come.  Finally, Michael had to go and find the Coast Guard to get them to rescue the folks from the church.  Michael lived on the roof of his house for more than a week.  Each day he would make forays around the area searching for folks.  He had to get water and food.  He had to deal with the odors.  It was beyond difficult.  But, this was his house-his land and he would not be denied.  Michael persevered.  Freddie Hicks was with Michael during this whole mess.  He helped at every opportunity and was in every sense an able partner.  Freddie was willing to work.  He was willing to stay.  Freddie was an outstanding partner in helping Michael help others get out of the lower ninth ward.  Michael’s trade is junk.  He is the junkman.  He turns others castoffs into something useable and useful.  His home belongs to him.  He is deserving of admiration and thanks.  Both Michael and Freddie are courageous Americans.  For additional pictures of Michael, Freddie, the lower ninth ward and the devastation along the Industrial Canal  

Michael Knight

Courage and strength
Standing alone
Knowing Jesus cared
He would not fold

Seven days on a rooftop
More than a hundred souls
He found and freed
The water wouldn’t leave

Neither would Michael
He could not go
This was his home
He would not be overthrown

Standing alone
Three hundred days
Others returning
Their land he saved

Sometimes a man
Must draw a line
Here I stand
This life is mine
Courage and strength
Standing alone
Michael was God’s man
The lower ninth still his home

Clay Corvin 7/20/06  


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Clay Corvin

Clay Corvin is Co-Pastor at Bethel Community Baptist Church. He is the retired VP Business and Professor of Admin at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and was employed by NOBTS for 38 years. He was the pastor at the Brantley Baptist Center for twenty-five years. He is married to Carol Corvin and the father of three children and has three grandchildren. His ministry is to the homeless and helpless seeking to promote the cause of Christ everyplace he travels.