WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The old saying goes, ‘The church is the people, not the building.’ But, having your own building feels more like home, and Pastor Clifford Barnett of Warner Temple AME Zion Church would agree.
“You always want to have a home base, it’s good to have a building, but like you said we don’t worship the building. We worship God and we worship the things we’re going to do through the building so you got to have a place where you can start connecting and moving out from.”
It’s the same old story, of people forced from a place they love, due to the natural disaster of Hurricane Florence. But, that doesn’t change the effect it has by any means.
“To govern yourselves every day, it was always a daily process. All of a sudden one day you’re like ahhh we got it, then we don’t have it. It was just a self-challenge, but we endured.”
This church family had to involuntarily move and share a location for 10 months with another congregation. Although it wasn’t the ideal situation, Pastor Barnett said they’ve been thankful and blessed throughout the process.
“One of the things that we’ve learned throughout this process is that everybody in the city has done the same thing, to help us get through and to help us get to this point.”
The fight to return to their church home has been recognized by many. Members of churches throughout the community came and went during the service, including a local icon, Mayor Bill Saffo.
Warner Temple AME Zion is at 620 Nixon St.