Bryan church damaged after winter storm
“There’s not much that doesn’t need some type of replacement or repair.”
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Homes, businesses, and even churches have been impacted by the recent winter weather in the Brazos Valley. On Saturday countless volunteers from the community and church parishioners met at the North Bryan New Birth Baptist Church to assess the damage and start the rebuilding process.
Rev. Sam Hill, Pastor of North Bryan New Birth, said as bad as the situation may seem, he has faith the church will overcome.
“There are some instances in the scriptures where an event appeared to be negative,” said Hill. “Further down the line, you saw it as a positive.”
Hill said he believes the pandemic prepared the church for this moment and considers this Chapter 2 of the church’s “Glory Story.”
Chapter 1 was about the restrictions that were placed on the church last March at the height of the pandemic; the church had to transition to having online services, which Hill believes prepared them for the next chapter.
“We learned how to do church online, we didn’t necessarily like doing it that way, but it was a necessity of the situation,” said Hill. “However, now that this has happened, had we not learned how to do church online through the pandemic, we would have been scrambling just trying to see what we would do for Sunday services.”
Unlike the pandemic, the winter storm brought physical damage to the church.
The damage is extensive, according to Hill. The ceiling will have to be replaced along with carpet and flooring and hidden damage within the church walls.
Church members, volunteers from other churches in the community, neighbors, and students, helped clean up the damage.
Hailey Pohl is a senior at Rudder High School in Bryan and a member of the Rudder Rangers volleyball team. She said it was important for her and her teammates to give back to the community when it’s needed most.
“The last four years I’ve been at Rudder, we’ve always helped out our community, whether its painting houses or by helping people home by mowing the lawn,” said Pohl. “Rudder volleyball has always loved to help out our community any way that we can.”
“Considering the circumstances with the snow and power outages and the flooding, we really want to do anything that we can to provide for our community,” said Pohl.
Despite the challenges that the church is facing, its focus remains on helping the community.
For years North Bryan New Birth Baptist has been a food pantry, providing fresh produce and foods to those that need it the most.
Bridgett Chargois is on the finance committee for the church. She says the goal is not to miss a Wednesday of distributing food.
“This is a church of service; our pastor is forever out in the community and pushing us to give to the community,” said Chargois.
The church does have insurance, and the church said they estimate the damages affect 95 percent of the church, if not 100 percent.
“Some of the ceiling panels burst because the water pipes that burst are upstairs, then a lot of water poured down so much so that the entire sanctuary eventually was covered in water,” said Hill. “There’s not much that doesn’t need some type of replacement or repair.”
Hill said he is grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the community, especially when so many are affected, even other churches.
“It’s humbling first of all because we’re just a small church, and the pastor is even smaller so to have people just show up,” said Hill. “I’m just humbled.”
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