Church back in sanctuary after winter weather flooding
As we gear up for the winter season one church is getting over last winter’s effects. Heavy flood damage from melting snow made members of First Baptist Church in Princeton meet in a temporary sanctuary for most of the year across the street.
Members of First Baptist Church in Princeton sat in their sanctuary Sunday, for the first time after flooding from February snows moved them out.
Pastor Russ Davidson says it’s a bittersweet moment.
“We have experienced closeness, and change is difficult for anyone. We had to think outside the box. We had to do church in a way that we’ve not done it before. We had to sit in places we never sat before,” Davidson said.
Davidson says the temporary sanctuary also made members from the balcony and floor level sit together.
“When we moved into the Christian Life Center, the very first Sunday there were people who have been going to church for years who said, ‘There are people going to church that I didn’t even realize were members of this church or attended here’. So its really brought us a family atmosphere,” Davidson said.
Insurance covered the flood damage and the building was remodeled with new lights, sound system, floors, railings, and pews.
There were also some changes to the rooms. Davidson says the Sunday school room was turned into a welcome center with a more open feeling to help maintain those friendships made in close quarters at their temporary sanctuary.
Longtime church member Phillip Van Hooser says he’s exceptionally excited to be back.
“You can kind of feel from the spirit of the people. We overcame, now we’re back. What better time than the week before Christmas?,” Van Hooser said.
Van Hooser said he’s thankful for the community’s support during the repair process.
“Everybody wanted to know, ‘How are we doing? How’s the church coming?’ They are looking forward to get to this day, and now here we are!,” Van Hooser said.
Pastor Davidson would like to eventually hold two services one in their church sanctuary and another where their temporary sanctuary was at the Christian Life Center across the street.