CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way many people celebrate the holidays.
But the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in places like Seaside Chapel in Carolina Beach where the community refused to let a setback dampen their enthusiasm.
The storms that came through Sunday night into Monday morning nearly destroyed the living nativity and city of Bethlehem at Seaside Chapel that parishioners have been building since September.
“I walked out here Monday morning and saw everything and the devastation,” said Seaside Chapel Pastor Jerry Vess. “All the hard work and all the man hours that had gone into it all torn down. My heart really sunk.”
Since Monday, the parishioners and members of the community have helped rebuild what was destroyed.
“People just come together,” said Vess. “It’s an amazing thing, the community. A lot of people in the community have come out and helped. We’ve had people donate wood and donate money to help us get things back together. So, you know, with the lords help...have helped us put it all together.”
“You would see people that you might not know them,” added Elijah Vess . “But just see them throughout the day. And to see them sit down and help you out and talk to them and get to know them; it’s really nice to meet everybody.”
Giving up was never an option, especially in a year like 2020 when people need all the positive messages they can get.
“We want people to see that there’s still hope,” said Pastor Vess. “It is that the true meaning of Christmas is to give.”
Seaside Chapel’s display is open Dec 4-6 and again Dec 11-13 from 5 p.m. To 9 p.m. It’s free and groups of 10 people will go through at a time to help with social distancing.