Congregation displaced by Florence returns to sanctuary nearly a year later

Church celebrates major milestone

HAMPSTEAD, N.C. (WECT) - Christian Chapel Missionary Baptist Church opened the doors to their sanctuary with a sigh of relief Sunday.

A repaired roof and new floors gave them just one more thing to thank God for. The last time they saw their sanctuary, it was flooded, took on roof damage and suffered waterlogged floor boards. Their time worshiping out of the normal space has tested their faith, but not broken it.

“Its been a very long and arduous process, at times overwhelming. However, we were reminded that its not our time, but God’s time," said Pamela Elliott, a member of the church.

“We have had many days that were full of sacrifice, full of concern," added Pastor Eric Puryear. "But through it all, God has been faithful to us.”

The congregation has been conducting service next door in their fellowship hall that didn’t quite receive the same damage as the sanctuary. Rev. Puryear said it was important to the congregation that they stay local.

Coupled with their return home, the church also celebrated 100 years of service. An accomplishment that not many are able to meet.

“If you stay the course, you have a moment like today," said Elliott. “I got up like a child at Christmas and it was great.”

The church still has a few minor repairs to work on, according to Rev. Puryear, but after so many months, the congregation is just excited to be back home.

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