Pender County church closer to reopening for worship one year after Hurricane Matthew


PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Tomorrow marks one year since Hurricane Matthew made its mark in southeastern North Carolina.

Hurricane Matthew destroyed many homes and business, but with other communities reaching out to those in need one house of worship is almost done being restored.

“Whenever we saw the water rising here, I’m from Pender County and my heart just broke and I thought ya know we’re going all across the state and across the county to help, why can’t we just help out right here. So I got plugged in with some pastors and said hey let’s do this. It’s been a great opportunity to just love on the community,” Wrightsville Beach Baptist Church’s Pastor, John McIntyre said.

Bethlehem Baptist Church is almost 200 years old and when it seemed nearly impossible to fix after Matthew, it sparked a passion for many to give back.

“I came out a year ago to help them restore this church, cleaning it out and gutting it and I just fell in love with this little church and it has been my project for the whole year working with Pastor John,” volunteer Andrea Horan said.

One volunteer said looking back to when she first started to now, the difference is remarkable.

“A year ago today with this church, it was a mess. It stunk,  it was moldy, it was wet and soggy everything all the pews all the carpeting. We were ripping everything out. To see where it is today and knowing what it’s going to look like when it’s done. I’m so excited,” Horan said.

Even though there is a lot of excitement to see the final project there is still a lot of work to be done.

“We just want to make an impact, ya know each person can help one person. You may not be able to change everything, but we can all do something,” Pastor McIntyre said.

After the final inspections and finishing touches the new and improved Bethlehem Baptist Church will re-open their doors for worship.

Pastor McIntyre said they hope to finished in about a month.

Categories: Local, Pender, Weather

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