Some Vernon church goers work to repair church after storm damage

VERNON, TX (KAUZ) - Some Vernon church goers are working to repair their house of worship.

Last month, an overnight storm flooded the church closing it down for now.

Repairs were already being made to New Hope Baptist Church before the storm even hit. The church members were repairing the roof because the building is more than a century old.

Despite their best efforts, the damage was still done.

"What you're seeing now, it looks good considering what it looked like the first time we walked in here," Deacon Charles McArthur said.

How much the cost to repair it is unknown.

"We know it's going to be expensive," McArthur said.

The day before the storm they laid down the felt and were expecting to finish the next day but Deacon McArthur said, once the storm hit, that all changed.

The pastor called him the morning after the storm hit asking him to come down to the church to see what happened.

What McArthur said he saw was his childhood church flooded.

"It looked just like a water hose went off in here," McArthur said.

A $10,000 roof repair turned even more expensive. The asbestos abatement alone will cost $25,000.

"We were all happy about the roof, everybody was dancing, jumping with joy, you now," McArthur said. "The joy turned into sadness because when you start walking in here you see what it looks like."

The church members were hoping to stop the roof from collapsing like many other historic Vernon buildings.

"If they got a good roof on them, typically the buildings are in tact and in good shape."

The pews, the podium, the carpets were all gone. Deacon McArthur said they are hoping to save the organ at the very least.

One of the few remaining tools of the church that survived the storm could barely make a sound.

It was the piano given to the city's Africa-American leader, Christine Lyday, to play.

The church will remain closed as they continue to make repairs.

"Oh, it's going to take some time to put this church back to it' original form," McArthur said.

The church is holding their services at Vernon College's Baptist Student Ministries Building. They expect their house of worship to reopen in six months to a year.

The New Hope Baptist Church pastor said they are still waiting for an insurance estimate to know exactly how much damage was done.

If you would like to help out, you can call the church at (940) 552-9454.

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