A Louisiana Landmark Rising From its Ashes

A Louisiana Landmark Rising From its Ashes

A Louisiana landmark, destroyed by fire, is on its way back.
The former site of the relay station's restaurant (Nick Lawton, KTVE/KARD)
The former site of the relay station's restaurant (Nick Lawton, KTVE/KARD)

ENTERPRISE, LA. -- The Jim Bowie Relay Station Restaurant in Enterprise tragically burned down almost a year ago.

A humble restaurant with just 39 chairs back in 2000 would go on to serve 65,000 people a year from all over the world.

A local group said its rebuilding starts now.

"It was just heartbreaking to actually see people that was all coming together in the community and trying to put out something that brought this community together," said Brad Coleman, President of Outlaw Ministries.

Today, the restaurant is just a square of dirt, littered with a few charred scraps, but its other buildings, such as a chapel and old gas station, still stand.

Outlaw Ministries bought the relay station back in September from owner John Ed.

They said they're putting it back on its feet.

"I believe the good lord had it all worked out when, unfortunately, the restaurant burned, that we would come up here and get everything fixed back up again and do something different with it but still kind of the same," Outlaw Ministries member, Shelton Hawthorne, said.

Outlaw Ministries performs Christian sermons old cowboy style with horses, guns with blanks and all.

A few months back, they told the station's owner they were interested.

"We come up here in the dark and looked around and all the buildings were still here. We'd eat here at the restaurant many times," Hawthorne said.

"He (Hawthorne) said 'You reckon Mr. John Ed would let us do ministry up there on those old buildings?'  I said 'Well, we can get with him and see.'  We did and he says 'Well, how about you just buying it?' The lord opened a door that I thought could never be possible," said Coleman.

Even though it's gone, Outlaw Ministries said a new restaurant could still be in the works for the future.

"My future plans, of course, would be to get a restaurant back up and going because that's what brought everybody here," said Coleman.

With a lot of elbow grease and even more determination, the station is now open and Outlaw Ministries is even hosting Christmas events as soon as this Saturday.

Outlaw Ministries hopes to keep this landmark alive for countless Saturdays to come.

"Hopefully we'll keep on with it. Carry on the tradition," Hawthorne said.

"If everybody gets behind me and behind the lord, we'll get it there," said Coleman.

If you haven't seen what Outlaw's done with the station yet, this Saturday, December 7th would be the perfect opportunity.

Jim Bowie's Country Christmas, complete with Christmas lights, music, a mechanical bull and even Santa Claus himself will be at that station this Saturday.

You can still find the relay station at 3642 Hwy 124 in Enterprise, Louisiana.

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