250 year old church damaged during Hurricane Matthew opens for first service

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – 9 On Your Side first brought you the story of the 250 church damaged by the flooding in October.

Now five months later church renovations are finished.

The sign reads “there’s no place like home”.

That’s how church members at Southwest Christian Church feel after being displaced for five months.

When we first saw them, they were hard at work renovating after Hurricane Matthew hit, the second time this church was flooded in two decades.

Sunday was their first service back in their beloved church.

Preston Hunter Chairman of Board said they are glad to be back in and it made them all closer as a congregation.

“Nothing is going to set you back, whether it’s a flood or a hurricane or whatever we will come back stronger, said Hunter.

They now have full renovations complete with new walls.

“When you came we had pretty much torn from here down, and I could see through, you could see through all the Sunday schools rooms, “ explained Church member Shelia Hunter White.

And their signature red carpet in the sanctuary is back.

“With the pews already being red, we knew we were going to have to go back to red carpet, plus the congregation would not have let us change from red,” said White.

Church member Doug Rivenbark said this was definitely a learning experience.

“Be strong, keep the faith, whatever happens you just got to come back and you’ve got to adapt and overcome,” said Rivenbark.

White said she prays nothing like this happens again but now she is happy and that, “there’s no place like home.”

 

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