Historic Vernon church close to reopening

© New Hope Baptist Church in Vernon is close to reopening its doors after shutting down, last summer, when the roof collapsed.
© New Hope Baptist Church in Vernon is close to reopening its doors after shutting down, last summer, when the roof collapsed.

VERNON,TX(RNN Texoma) - A Vernon church is close to reopening its doors after severe weather collapsed the roof.

New Hope Baptist Church shut down last summer for repairs.

"It was gut-wrenching and we didn't know what to expect or what the outcome was going to be, of course," Vincent Whiteside a trustee for the church said.

Severe storms caused more than $60,000 in damages.

The costs could have been higher.

"Local businesses, here, they've stepped up and they told us they can help us in any way we need help," Whiteside said.

He said the contractors, residents and business owners volunteered their time and donated materials saving the church $30,000.

Last week, severe storms came down hard on Texoma. Deacon Charles MacArthur Sr. said he was worried another collapse was imminent.

"At first, you kind of think about it because of what happened," MacArthur Sr. said. "After a while, you forget all about the rain, the wind and all of that. Now, you're just ready for your church to be open."

MacArthur Sr. said more than 105 members of the congregation all ready to return to their house of worship.

"When you are at home, it's just different," MacArthur Sr. said. "We just glad to be at home."

The church has survived two fires and a severe storm.

"It's God's plan to keep this church on the corner," MacArthur Sr. said."

MacArthur said they just started holding Bible study back at the church on Wednesdays.

For now, the church holds its services at the Baptist Student Center at Vernon College.

The church is expected to reopen in six weeks.

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