Church congregation has faith after the flood - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Church congregation has faith after the flood

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT)- One congregation refuses to sink after rising waters severely damage their facility. Sunday, Elnora Freewill Baptist Church came together for the first time since the destruction.

"I didn't know what we were going to do. It's just devastating to this congregation. I mean, they were so proud of that building," said Jeral Dean, who is the Pastor at Elnora Freewill Baptist Church in Pocahontas. A church that was one of the many casualties of recent flooding. Dean says the water was nearly four feet inside the church and completely destroyed the interior of the church, including the oak pews that had swollen and split.

"The people that just couldn't believe it. They just could not believe that the water could get that high in that area. But it did. So we're making history," said Dean. 

Sunday morning the church met for the first time since flood waters severely damaged their building. "As their pastor, I knew I was going to try my best to keep us together. I thank God for Sutton Freewill Baptist Church that offered their facilities for us," said Pastor Dean.

Dean began the service by lifting spirits. "I'd like to fire our yard keeper because they watered the grass too much, and I'm going to fire the janitor because the church is a mess," said Dean. But through out the service, many church members couldn't hold back their emotions. Dean says they didn't have flood insurance, and it will be long time before the church can get back to normal.

"I mean we're talking months here. We're not talking about a very weeks. We're talking months that we're going to be without a church. We haven't gotten in there to do anything yet. We've just seen it," said Dean.

But even in their devastation, church member sang out in praise. "The Lord's going to take care of us, and we're going to be better than before. We believe that," said Dean. And while their building was lost, nothing can take away their victory. "That's material things. The building is destroyed, but the church is fine. We do have victory in Jesus, and that's all we count on," said Dean.

Dean says several individuals and groups have reached out to the congregation. If you would like to lend a helping hand or donate you can call Pastor Jeral Dean at (870) 892-9228 or Dewreill Thompson at (870) 892-5312.

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