Flooding damages buildings, not spirit at St. Paul's Anglican Ch - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Flooding damages buildings, not spirit at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Conway

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The flood damage totaled thousands of dollars for St. Paul's Anglican Church in Conway. Church officials say the expenses came at a time when the church's budget is already tight, however, clergy officials say the damage was done to their buildings not their spirit. 

When the flood waters started rising into the church's day school, Father Reggie Corfield said he couldn't believe it. "The immediate response is why us again?" said Corfield. "We already been through so much, we had an AC unit that broke, two actually and it cost almost $20,000 that was just a month ago."

Corfield said he felt helpless. "To see the water pouring in there was nothing we could do, we just had to watch and see it happen."

The church, which stands on Main Street in Conway, is a 105 years old.  "A lot of water flowed in from the storm drains and flooded out our school building, 6 or 8 rooms got flooded," explained Corfield. "Water destroyed carpet, sheet rock, and a lot of mold was there."

St. Paul does not have flood insurance. Corfield says the insurance that did have does not cover rising waters cases. The church even tried to apply for FEMA aid, but was denied. Corfield said they were told they do not qualify because assistance is for homeowners. 

Despite the setbacks, the church's faith has never been broken. "The Lord has been immensely good to us and even through this storm it has brought us together like never before," said Corfield. 

Many of the church members are retirees on a fixed income. Corfield says some have even been affected by the floods themselves, but they still managed to give what they could help the church start renovations. 

"People in our own congregation they have stepped up to the plate, they chipped in, they have spent hours working on these projects, to help get it done so that the costs are not so much," he said. 

The church really just needed to buy materials. Donations from other churches in Conway have poured in and he says the support from the community has been overwhelming. 

Corfield added," Even from people out-of-state have helped us with little money $20, $30, $40, but it has gone a long way."

St. Paul's Church sees the flood as a blessing and a testament of faith. "You know there is always good in pain and suffering and I can not see it more prominent in a situation like this, so it has been a great blessing to us," said Corfield. 

Most of structural damage was to the church's daycare school. Church officials say there was only minor roof damage to the actual church sanctuary. They plan to make those renovations in the near future. 

The repair work for the school should be done by the end of October. 

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