Corpus Christi’s Water Ban Gets Quick Response from 10th District
Rev. Linda Connor, 10th Episcopal District
Recently, the people of Corpus Christi, Texas, learned that their City water was contaminated with IndulinAA-86. This agent is reported by the New York Times to be corrosive, causing burning of the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract when the body is exposed to concentrated amounts. Residents could not bathe, drink, brush teeth, or wash clothes with the water.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality worked together in addressing the issue. They coordinated their resources in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, and Houston to test the water and solve the problem.
Similarly, the Tenth District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) sprung into immediate action to get bottled water to people in Zone 3. This zone includes the historically Black neighborhood surrounding Brooks AME Church Worship Center. This neighborhood was the final zone to be released from the water ban and is home to several oil refineries and chemical plants.
The Tenth District AME Church Episcopal Office and St. Paul AMEC, both in Dallas, Texas, and Bethel AMEC and Emmanuel AMEC, both of San Antonio, Texas, worked together to support Brooks. Within hours of learning of the situation, volunteers from Bethel and Emmanuel purchased water, loaded it, and drove through rain and fog to Corpus Christi. Brooks AMEC received 1,000 cases of water from the church over the three-day ban. Cases of hand sanitizer and hand wipes were provided by the Women’s Missionary Society.
“When Rev. Adam Carrington, pastor of Brooks AMEC, text me about the growing crises in Corpus Christi, I knew that the 10th District would rise up and respond to the desperate need for clean fresh water in the city,” said Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Presiding Prelate of the Tenth Episcopal District. She added, “I knew that our church would be a center of help and hope for the community.”
“We immediately sent $1,000 from the 10th District Resource Account, a special account established with proceeds from the AME Store for this very purpose,” said Bishop McKenzie. “We also pledged $1,000 of our personal finances to assist in the aftermath if needed,” she noted.
“I have shared on more than one occasion that the availability of fresh clean water is the next justice issue for our country,” she continued. “Who gets clean water, how clean is it, when they get it and who controls or pollutes it will matter for generations to come. We have only to look at the recent events at Standing Rock and in Flint, Michigan… We may be able to survive an economic crisis,” said Bishop McKenzie, “but we will not be able to survive if there is no clean water to drink, fresh air to breathe or fertile soil to plant. We are the generation that will either make the environment better or make it worse for our children’s children. We are the generation that can make people just as important as profits.”