Payneway church hopes to recover from flood damage

PAYNEWAY, AR (KAIT)- A Region Eight church congregation is trying to stick together, after recent flood waters severely damage the building, and one church member is unsure what the future might hold.

"The first time that I walked through I just cried," said Annette Wray, who has been member at Liberty Baptist Church in Payneway since the doors opened in the early 80s. Her children grew up at the church, but now walking through the halls it is a sight that's hard to swallow.

"Taking out all the things we've done, the vacation bible schools. We had all those memories, but they we're good memories. It's just sad," said Wray.

A sign from Mother's Day still hung in the sanctuary from the last service they had in this building, and the day their pastor addressed the congregation with an announcement. "He said he felt the Lord was moving him, and on Mother's Day he had turned his resignation in," said Wray.

Wray says they tried to place sand bags around the building, but the water still pushed through. There were even some places where you could see the mold and mildew from where the water soaked up into the insulation and dry wall.

Outside of the church her and her husband have been hard at work trying to start cleaning up the mess left behind. "We cut it all out. Pulled out the insulation and the carpet," said Wray.

With everything the congregation has been through over the past couple of weeks, Wray worries if the church will be able to stay afloat. "I doubt we'll be to have a church, we're down to just like five members," said Wray.

But even with the uncertainty Wray says her faith will keep her strong. "We'll get over it, and there's people that have had it a lot worst. So, we're blessed."

Wray says since the flooding the congregation has been meeting at Sneed Street Baptist Church in Marked Tree.

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