Conway congregation celebrates Easter despite uncertainty caused by Florence flooding

Conway congregation celebrates Easter despite uncertainty caused by Florence flooding

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - For the first time in more than six months, a church service was held at Trinity United Methodist Church in Conway.

Although you could hear music and voices as you can at any Easter service, it was a little different than most.

“Thank you for your blessings upon our families," prayed Rev. Dr. Kim Strong during Sunday’s Easter service. "Upon our congregation. Upon this community.”

In the weeks after Hurricane Florence made landfall, floodwaters rose into the five buildings that are a part of Trinity Church. When the water receded, it left behind damage, contamination and many questions as to what the church should do going forward.

“Our education building is going to have to be completely redone and we are going to probably lose two buildings in the grand scheme," said Strong. "For a while, a lot of people were worried because they weren’t seeing any progress but that’s because we were having to deal with FEMA and didn’t have flood insurance.”

Dale Grunsky serves as the Chairman for the church’s building commission and says within the next two weeks, the paperwork process to receive help from FEMA should be complete.

"We’re also dealing with the architects on the new plans for the facility and we’re going to have a transformation of Trinity church,“ Grunsky said.

A vote was held to decide if the church should rebuild on Long Avenue or relocate to a different location, 78% of the congregation voted to rebuild in the place it’s always been.

”This is their neighborhood, they grew up here a lot of the members got married here," Strong said. “This is their home, even after three floods in four years this is still their home.”

And ‘home’ is where you found this church’s members Easter Sunday. Since they couldn’t hold the service on the inside of the building, the members sat in lawn chairs and on golf carts around the front steps, an area that was underwater a little more than six months ago.

“This was the first service we’ve had of any type here and it was great," Grunsky said. "It’s great to see everyone and it was long overdue.”

The congregation hopes to be back inside the building by the beginning of 2020.

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