From Consumers to Transformers

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His name was Isidore. He was a jewish-german immigrant in the mid 1800’s who  developed a small fortune in New Orleans as an investment banker and was responsible for electrifying the local street car lines. Isidore also had a vision to expand the consumerism in New Orleans by building a grand department store chain that he would call “white house.” Of Course he wanted to stay true to the french roots of New Orleans so he called it Maison Blanche. His flagship store on Canal Street was built in 1909 and now houses the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans hotel.

To stay true to his vision of expanding his department store chain and his christmas character Mr. Bingle, Isidore began to open other stores around the city of New Orleans. This included a prime piece of real estate on LA Hwy 61 which could take you from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Unfortunately Maison Blanche was not able to sustain its once economic fervor and after multiple mergers and ownership changes the store on Hwy. 61 was closed in the early 1980’s.

The building was then occupied by the thriving First Assembly of God congregation who envisioned using this building as a center for ministry training, evangelism, and a house of worship to the one true God. We all know what happened next when a young and unassuming congregation of worshippers who called themselves Celebration Church acquired this property in 1996. 10 years later after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina – this property would provide Help, Hope & Healing to over 125,000 families.

Celebration Church is about changing people from consumers in our world to transformers of our world. That’s why we will rebuild that property on Hwy. 61 (now called Airline Dr.). What was once the epicenter of consumerism will now become the epicenter of transformation and missonal outreach in the name of Jesus Christ. You can support this vision by giving faithfully to A City Transformed: Investing in Eternity.

-Manley Miller

PS. You might know Isidore’s name because of the school he funded & founded – Isidore Newman High School in Uptown New Orleans which has graduated local sports legends Peyton & Eli Manning.

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