Churches begin clean up process with the help of others

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) --This past Sunday we introduced you to a Region 8 congregation whose church was destroyed by the flood waters.  That church is one of several in and around Pocahontas in the same situation.

Jeral Dean is the Pastor at Elnora Free Will Baptist Church.  The church was built in 1987.  In a matter of just a few weeks flood waters have flowed in and destroyed everything they built.

"It's just disaster right now.  We've got all the pews out of it and of course they're a total loss," said Dean.

Almost everything that was inside the church was destroyed by the water.  Now it is being broken into pieces to be taken out and thrown away.

"We're ripping up tile, we're taking out water logged pews, carpet, dry wall, insulation," said Kelly Wright.

Wright is with John 3:16 Ministries.  The men are picking up the broken pieces of pews and hauling them outside.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to all the flood victims to be here firsthand and to be involved in the cleanup effort.  It's really significant to see what the people are up against and what they face," said Wright.

Usually the baptismal is the only place where there is standing water inside the church.  Last week there was almost four feet of standing water in and around this building.

Because of the flood both of the pianos and the organ inside the church are total losses. Because they're so heavy, workers are demolishing them to get them out.

So much has been lost that doing a cleanup like this can be daunting for those who feel a sense of ownership with this building.  That is another reason it is so important to have the extra help.

"I think it just shows God's love and how much people love the church and love the people of the church," said Dean.

"The work that we're doing helps us so much more than those that we're working for," said Wright.

And what they're doing from haling out the ruined carpet to taking apart the kitchen cabinets is getting this congregation closer to where they need to be.  Dean said it could be several months before they are back in their building.

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