Deacon Endra Cosby

Deacon Endra Cosby is the facilities manager at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Third Ward. Cosby grew up in Chicago before moving to Minnesota and then Houston, where his brother is the pastor at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. Cosby had never experienced a hurricane before Harvey. He and his wife had just moved into a house in Pearland when the floods occurred. During the flood, Cosby recalls the challenge of trying to travel through the flood water in his neighborhood.

In his neighborhood, residents alleviated some of the flooding by digging in a nearby retention pond to allow more space. Cosby’s house escaped flooding because it was higher off the road. His biggest fear during the storm was losing power. Once Cosby was able to travel, he helped to facilitate the distribution center that was set up at the church. He describes the initially hectic atmosphere of the church but says that his sister-in-law took charge of the operation. At one point, Mayor Turner asked the church to become a shelter, but there was not enough space. Once the distribution center opened, truckloads of supplies began arriving from churches and organizations around the country. Cosby says that the purpose of the distribution center was to continue giving aid as long as people continued to give supplies. Also, just a few weeks after Hurricane Harvey, the church sent some of its supplies to Puerto Rico to aid recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria. Part of the reason that the distribution center stayed open for months after Harvey was because Cosby and others noticed a need in the community, even among those not affected by the flood. The mission of the distribution center was to help those in need without questioning why they needed help. The conversation ends with Cosby talking about the contributions that his sister-in-law, Ms. Gloria Rose, made to the church’s recovery efforts.