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Church tears down historic sanctuary that was destroyed by Hurricane Michael

Published: Oct. 10, 2021 at 10:25 PM CDT
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Port St. Joe, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -On October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle.

The monstrous storm destroyed the First United Methodist Church of Port St. Joe’s 1950′s sanctuary leaving it almost unrecognizable to the congregation.

“Hurricane Michael destroyed our church, our historic sanctuary,” Pastor Jeoffrey Lentz said. “It blew out the stained glass and washed our beautiful pews and such away and the wind damaged building.”

The damages left the church with no choice but to demolish it and start again three years to the day after the storm.

The church held a special ceremony Sunday to share their favorite memories before it was brought down.

Posted by First United Methodist Church of Port St. Joe on Sunday, October 10, 2021

“So many special moments have happened in this building where our little ones have been dedicated and baptized into the faith,” said Pastor Lentz. “We have married our true loves in this place and we have said farewell to our family members in the service of a funeral. So it is a very heavy and difficult time.”

The church is now looking towards the future and rebuilding.

“This is really a moment of death and resurrection,” Pastor Lentz said. “Our faith teaches us that every end is a new beginning. So as this building comes down, it is making way for a new sanctuary that is going to have red brick and new stained glass windows, and a new tower. It will be a new beacon of hope and a new beginning for our whole town.”

While the building no longer physically remains the memories made at the church remain forever.

Photo slideshow of church memories

Posted by First United Methodist Church of Port St. Joe on Sunday, October 10, 2021

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