Passionaries Serving in New Orleans: CSED's Warrenetta Banks, Arthur Johnson
American Baptists who volunteer with American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ (ABHMS) “Home Mission: ’Til the Work is Done” in New Orleans are familiar with the welcoming faces of personnel from the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED). Volunteers have particularly grown to know CSED’s Warrenetta Banks, volunteer coordinator, and Arthur Johnson, CEO. As residents of and tireless advocates for the Lower 9th Ward, both Banks and Johnson are heroes in their own right.
Banks has spent 50-plus years in the Lower 9th Ward, where she was born and raised. CSED’s offices are housed within Banks’ more-than-a-century-old church, just down the street from her residence. Banks regularly shares her personal story with volunteers and encourages other residents to do likewise.
“Volunteers keep coming back not only because there is so much work to be done but because they get to work directly with a homeowner that is either back in the home or trying to get back in the home. Here, in New Orleans, people are very friendly. We are laid back. We love to eat, but we love to talk as well,” she says. “Volunteers realize, ‘You’re no different from me— you had children, you a had a job, and [after the hurricanes] everything in your life changed.’" READ MORE>>