SOUTHPORT, N.C. -- The St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Southport is in recovery mode.
- The congregation has been around for 250 years and has around 550.
- Repair estimates exceed $1 million.
- Leaders hope to be back in the church by Easter.
The congregation has been around for 250 years and has around 550.
Reverend Canon, Jim Hanisian says he's touched by the community's helping hand in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
"There was a couple of churches here that were not as damaged that have offered us space in their churches as well. If we have a funeral or something that needs sacred space, we can go to the Baptist, Methodist or Presbyterian churches and they have all offered us to use their space to do that," said Reverend Canon Hanisian.
After days of fierce flooding, mold quickly set in. Church member Bill Bittenbender, who is overseeing the reconstruction process, estimates the cost to exceed $1 million. But, before rebuilding can begin, the church must meet its deductable of $200,000.
Bittenbender said "We have had to tear all of the wall board out, all of the floors, the sub-floors, and some of the original floors, because that building was built 1894, so that is an old building. Extensive damage in there removing the mold."
Both hope to be back in the church by Easter, but are just thankful for the community's love and that their fate was not worse.
"It is going to be a long, hard road, but we certainly will be able to manage it. I spend a lot of time here, as do a lot of other people, so you know, it really is a community effort."