‘This is a miracle’: Whitestocking community gets help to rebuild church


BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — Thursday marks six months since Hurricane Florence tore through southeastern North Carolina. It left a mark that will stay with communities for years.

Whitestocking’s Sandhill AME Church was left underwater following the historic storm. Now, it is on the road to recovery. It hasn’t been easy, but the hope of this community has not once wavered.

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“If you know the god that we serve, he’s a provider,” Sandra David said. “He sends help in the time of need. We didn’t know how it was going to come, but we knew it was going to come.”

David is the pastor at Sandhill AME Church.

“This is a miracle,” Valerie Jordan said. “If anybody wanted to not read about a miracle but see a miracle, just come to Whitestocking.”

This wasn’t their first flood. The people who live in the Whitestocking community know devastation.

This week, more helpers are on the horizon. One group is here to rebuild more than just hope.

“It’s really just to make a miracle for this church,” Becky Hetzer said. “They’ve been praying for it since the flood, and they had no idea how it was going to happen. We call them ‘holy hookups’, when the Lord just intervenes in the very special way that he does. We’re here to make a miracle.”

Hetzer works with Hosanna Industries, a construction non-profit from Pennsylvania. Her team is here this week to restore the church’s dining hall from the ground up.

David says this is one of many blessings over the past six months. She says the church is step one of recovery for the community. After that, she says everything else will follow.

“Once you see one thing start, God finishes up what he starts,” David said. “So it’s going to be okay.”

David says they are planning to have a dedication service Thursday at 6 p.m. in the brand new dining hall. This will be the first time the community will be back together under this roof since the hurricane hit last September.