WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Fourteen months, that’s the amount of time that’s passed since the Grace United Methodist Congregation last saw their sanctuary.
“There was water coming in the balcony,” said Tal Madison, Senior Pastor of the church. "Water all over the place, running all the way down to the basement below.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, their faith was strong.
“We believed God had us," said Madison. "God had this.”
But it wasn’t the easiest of times. The worshiping continued in their gymnasium.
“We’ve been worshiping in there for the last 14 months," said Madison. "We had to put up the chairs, take down all the chairs every week. Our worship committee had to set up the alter, roughly the size of the one behind me and take the alter down every week including all the piece you see back behind me.”
Grace UMC held its first service back in the sanctuary since the storm Sunday, but you won’t see many changes, and that’s by design.
“The intent was to put everything back like it was but with the cleaning and all that,” said Madison. "The freshening of the walls and of course the carpet, those are nice upgrades.”
From flooded floors and waterlogged pews, to a renovated look. Grace UMC is the oldest Methodist church in the area, and they don’t have plans to go anywhere.
The church worships on Sunday’s with services at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.