Pastor Don Spires of Calvary Baptist Church was in good spirits Saturday morning as members of a Savannah-based carpenters union demolished a stage in the church sanctuary. Meanwhile, church members prepared the fellowship hall for services to be held in the building for the first time since last October, when Hurricane Matthew caused extensive flood damage.
“They tore out the entire stage of the sanctuary,” Spires said, pointing to the framing that was left exposed after the carpenters made quick work of the project. “They told us they could give us four hours and asked what we wanted them to focus on so we told them to focus on the demo work in the sanctuary. They did it in two hours and 15 minutes.”
Fifteen members of the Carpenters Union Local 256 drove down from Savannah to donate their time Saturday instead of only the eight who were expected.
“The church reached out to a couple of our members who live in Brunswick,” said Brett Hulme with Carpenters Union Local 256 of how the union members got involved with the church. “The damage was bad. We’re donating our services free of charge as a way to give back. We do this at least once a year, where we come in to help those who need it.”
Flooding also damaged the carpeting and the pews in the sanctuary that will have to be to be pulled up and replaced at the church at 3105 Wildwood Drive in Brunswick. Glass in the sanctuary windows that were once orange but are now clear will also be replaced but had nothing to do with the storm. New floor tiles have already been laid in the sanctuary hall.
“While the storm caused us some problems, we are going to fix other things while we’re at it,” Spires said. “We received a $50,000 donation to use in the sanctuary. We’re going to replace the 28 pews on the main level and the eight that are on the second level and we’re going to replace all of the ceiling tile. This is a big challenge.”
Some work has already been done on the hardest-hit areas of the church — the fellowship hall and educational building, which contain church offices, classrooms, a prayer room and other facilities.
The church did not have flood insurance.
“Flood insurance would cost us $37,000 a year but we do have regular insurance,” said Spires who is the new pastor of the church.
Church members raised some of the money it needed.