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by Bert Montgomery

Going Back to New Orleans: Post-Katrina Re-Connections and Recollections is a collection of personal stories and experiences from Bert’s friends, neighbors, and classmates in and around New Orleans. Part oral history and part memoir, this book is a journey through the storm and into interconnected wholeness.


Bert Montgomery’s Going Back to New Orleans is more than just a collection of stories from those who lived through it and those who know the city well. As the subtitle suggests, it also tells the story of re-connections. Although I personally escaped the worst of Katrina’s devastation, the devastation to my psyche was very real and I will never forget that smell of despair, both real and literal, after returning to the city. Bert’s and his family’s connections to the church I have attended for decades and most recently served as Associate Pastor, is a strong one… Not only did our connections with current and former members remain strong in the aftermath of Katrina, those connections were strengthened and many new connections were made through more than twenty work groups of youth, college students and adults who were housed and fed by our small congregation as they spread the love that Americans and Christians felt for their fellow citizens. As you read Going Back to New Orleans you will feel that you, too, whether you have ever been to New Orleans or not, share the story of a great American city and people who have re-connected to all that is truly important when tragedy strikes.

—Paul R. Powell, PhD, Associate Pastor,
St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans


As a lifelong resident of St. Charles Parish where Bert fondly recalls his youth, I lived and worked the aftermath and recovery that Southeast Louisiana endured. Each of these different accounts which surround the handling and horrors of one of the nations worst national disasters, is real and revealing. I felt myself relating to each as if I was living their ordeal through Bert’s words. As a child, I knew and respected the Montgomerys. We were all a part of the First Baptist Church of Norco family. Bert was a few years ahead of me, both at church and at Destrehan High School, but I knew and respected him then as I do now. I am still a member of First Baptist and we still appreciate the contribution and influences that the entire Montgomery family made to our church and community. This book and its reflections are a contribution of what we have come to expect from Bert. If you want a true account of the struggles of everyday people after Katrina, read this book!

—Gary L. Smith, Jr., Louisiana State Senator


About the Author

Born in New Orleans and a graduate of Destrehan High School in St. Charles Parish, Bert Montgomery now lives in Starkville, MS, with his wife and two sons. He pastors University Baptist Church, teaches religion and sociology courses, and still prefers chicory in his coffee. He is also the author of Psychic Pancakes & Communion Pizza and  Elvis, Willie, Jesus & Me.


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