Church reopens for Christmas Eve service after flooding nearly closed its doors

VIDEO: Church reopens for Christmas Eve service after flooding nearly closed its doors

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - A special Christmas Eve service in West Ashley wrapped up Thursday night where people attended their first service in the Crosstowne Christian's Church building since the historic flooding severely damaged it.

The message was of hope as people there said the journey over the last few months is a testament that church is about the people and not a building.

Church leaders didn't think they'd be able to hold a service inside the building for another few months, but things quickly came together.

Walking through the doors today, on Christmas Eve, many called it a Christmas Miracle.

"Losing our structure, literally our building, we rediscovered the movement of what the Christian faith is supposed to be," Pastor Paul Rienzo said. 

As hundreds filled the sanctuary and joined in the worship, Rienzo said this day speaks to the time.

"The Christmas story is all about that," Rienzo said."The structure of our church was removed and become an obstacle for us. For us to put our confidence in the same god that could bring forth his son."

A message of hope now, but Rienzo admits, when the flood waters rose, it was scary.

"Pretty much a total loss inside the building, all of our contents were lost," Rienzo said.

There's still work to be done. Many rooms don't have carpet and the bathrooms don't have stalls.

But it's coming together.

"So when I finally came back, we didn't have doors so I had to put shower curtains on my door," Rienzo said."And I remember the day that they put a door on there. God is so good to us, I got a door."

It was a joyful congregation with everyone reminded why this service is possible.

"Everything just came together, churches helped us out and people helped us out," Mandy Fisher said.

"To be all back together to celebrate the best holiday for us, it's amazing," Kathleen Duncan said.

The service Thursday evening was called "Scrooge the flood."

Over the last few months, the services have been held at the Citadel Mall Theatre.

The Sunday services will start back at the building Jan. 10. For the next two weeks, services will be held at Citadel Mall Theatres.

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