Thibodaux Pentecostal church pays for building with fireworks sales

by Raymond Legendre | HoumaToday

THIBODAUX — Hours after attending church Sunday morning, Pattie Guidry stood behind a booth with enough fireworks to illuminate the city’s gloomy mid-afternoon sky.

Across from her, the parking lot for House of Prayer First United Pentecostal Church, 2229 La. 3185, sat empty. But that would change, given time. Guidry, a longtime church member and frequent volunteer, was sure of this.

“It’s amazing the lines that pile up out here when we get closer to the holiday,” she said.

Guidry is one of several House of Prayer members who participate in the church’s fireworks sale, going on now until July 4. The stand is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday to Friday this week and open till midnight on Saturday and Sunday.

The church plans to use money from fireworks sales to pay off debt on its building, which was once owned by Lowe’s. In the past, money raised from fireworks sales has also been used toward mission work in foreign countries.

The fireworks sold this week could bring the church as much as $15,000-20,000 after taxes, said Ronnie Melancon, pastor for more than 25 years. He expects the church to be debt free by the end of this year.

The church has been selling fireworks since December 1994. Melancon originally got the idea from a friend in New Roads.

“We didn’t know what we were doing” at the start, Melancon said. “It took several years till we were doing real good, but the Lord always blessed us.”

Buying fireworks can be a tricky science.

If the church sells out too quickly of its main attractions, such as artillery shells, cake fireworks or bottle rockets, it might not be able to buy more from its supplier. Read more.

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