The second annual Shrimp Boil First Community Church holds Friday to benefit the Back Bay Mission continues the church's long support of the mission's work to assist the poor and needy in Biloxi and the three coastal counties of Mississippi.

The second annual Shrimp Boil First Community Church holds Friday to benefit the Back Bay Mission continues the church's long support of the mission's work to assist the poor and needy in Biloxi and the three coastal counties of Mississippi.

All proceeds from the fundraiser, presented by First Community's Mission Council, will be donated to the Back Bay Mission.

But First Community has an even more direct relationship with Back Bay. FCC member Mark Hollinger was elected in May to serve as president of the Back Bay Mission board.

"It's a region that's taken a three-step hit," Hollinger said of Mississippi's Gulf Coast.

"First, there was Hurricane Katrina, then the economy went bad," he said. "Now it's the oil spill. It seems like every time they try to climb out of the hole, something else knocks them back down."

Hollinger said he joined the Back Bay board after serving on FCC's Mission Council and seeing the good work it does in the Biloxi region and has done for nearly 90 years.

He joined the board just a few week before Katrina and visited Biloxi three weeks after the hurricane.

"It was quite a life changing thing for me," Hollinger said. "It opens your eyes. It opens your mind and heart to what's most important in life and what we all should be doing.

"You see the great work their Back Bay staff does and how much the community appreciates it," he said.

The Back Bay Mission suffered from the hurricane as much as anyone, with most of its buildings damaged beyond repair, Hollinger said.

The triple whammy of hurricane, economy and oil spill have resulted in the mission's budget facing a $126,000 deficit, he said.

Although the contribution First Community will make from the Shrimp Boil will be relatively small as compared to the mission's need, "every little bit helps," Hollinger said.

The mission is support by churches and organizations from across the country, he said. More than 80 agencies have sent volunteers to assist Back Bay with its work to help the Mississippi Gulf region's residents rebuild their lives, homes and businesses.

Hollinger said he last visited Biloxi in May during the last board meeting.

"It was only a few weeks after the oil spill, and already Back Bay was hearing from clients about their businesses being impacted by the oil spill," he said.

Last month, a letter to the board from the mission's director reported that the local shrimp and fishing industry was down 70 percent, non-casino hotels had seen a 50 percent decrease in occupancy and the three counties around Biloxi had lost $26-million in May alone, Hollinger said.

And it's getting worse, he said.

Friday's shrimp boil will feature a menu of shrimp cooked outdoors with rice and beans, salad and homemade fruit cobbler, FCC Mission Council chair Joan Talmage said. The evening's featured entertainment will be by Tom Battenberg and his Dixieland Trio.

"We first did a shrimp boil a few years back just for fun and to get the word out to people about the Back Bay Mission," she said.

"Last year we decided to bring it back as a fundraising event for Back Bay," Talmage said. "It was so much fun and such a success, we're making it an annual event."